The AA School’s PhD programme combines advanced research with a broader educational agenda, preparing graduates for practice in global academic and professional environments. Current doctoral research encompasses the topics of the school’s postgraduate programmes in architectural theory and history, architectural urbanism, emergent technologies and design, and sustainable environmental design. Within each of these strands candidates can engage in design-led research (PhD in Architectural Design) or follow the traditional route of the text-based dissertation. Across the programme’s streams, shared research issues are explored through specialist groups, seminars and other events in and outside of the school. This year, several of the programme’s PhD candidates contributed to conferences and publications in the UK and abroad. ‘A Day on the Grid’ was a public event organised by Alexandra Vougia, Costandis Kizis and Gabriela García de Cortázar Galleguillos, held in early May. The programme’s current PhD candidates and recent graduates participated, as well as teaching staff and students from across the school. The day tackled the issue of the grid from nine angles, each examined by two papers: ‘prologue’, Aldo Urbinati; ‘urban’, Alexandra Vougia and Ross Adams; ‘maps’, Gabriela García de Cortázar Galleguillos and Emmanouil Stavrakakis; ‘drawing’, Alison Moffett and Nerma Cridge; ‘plan’, Alejandra Celedon and Costandis Kizis; ‘intermission’, Merve Anil and Eleanor Dodman; ‘coordinates’, Ryan Dillon and Arturo Revilla; ‘graph’, Valeria Guzman and Jingming Wu; ‘epilogue’, Doreen Bernath; ‘discussion’, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Mark Campbell and Marina Lathouri.
Pier Vittorio Aureli
Vida Norouz Borazjani
A Day On The Grid Conference
The grid has had a long and prolific history within the architectural discipline and the fields of spatial production. As a seemingly indispensable device for the existence of space, it has been both a model of rationality and a sign of artificiality.
This one-day event will address the manifold character of the grid, examining its existence as object, instrument or representation. The event is expected to act as a platform for the discussion of disciplinary problems, thus extending the grid’s historical manifestations into contemporary debates.
The event will look at the grid from various angles: the urban, cartography, drawing, the plan, coordinates, the graph and art.
The day will be divided into nine sessions, each of which will present two positions, followed by discussion. The event will conclude with a roundtable discussion with Pier Vittorio Aureli, Mark Campbell and Marina Lathouri.
This ‘Day on the Grid’ tackles architecture’s most obvious and yet elusive narratives. Structured around a series of paired thematic propositions, it will unfold as an exercise in reading and interpreting the objects of knowledge that have attempted to describe the nature of the grid, from the building of antiquity to the destruction of modernity. Taken together, these descriptions will act as a challenge to the much-quoted argument that one can no longer ignore the fact that, after modernity, the grid has come to stand for the ultimate signifier of anti-narrative. In our reading, by contrast, the grid is not understood as an object but as something that will always be there, at the very core of the language of architecture.