Simos Yannas

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. 


Simos Yannas 



Pier Vittorio Aureli

Lawrence Barth

Paula Cadima

Mark Cousins

Jorge Fiori

Hugo Hinsley

George Jeronimidis

Marina Lathouri

Patrik Schumacher

Brett Steele

Thomas Weaver

Michael Weinstock

Simos Yannas


External Supervisors

Doreen Bernath 

Vida Norouz Borazjani

David Cunningham

Socratis Georgiadis

Spyros Papapetros

Edward Soja

Ivonne Santoyo-Orozco

On Magnificence: The Construction of an Aesthetic Order of the World

Supervisors: Mark Cousins, Pier Vittorio Aureli

Magnificence, splendour, beauty, perfection, biénseance, decorum: these categories were but of a few of the various aesthetic principles that helped to define the sensible world constructed in part through the pre-modern city. While all these principles formed a basis by which power was represented and imagined, it was particularly that of magnificence that, throughout its long history and up until the eighteen-century, consistently retained a fundamental triad between the sensible world, political power and subjectivity. And though magnificence itself has perhaps disappeared from our contemporary spatial imagination, certainly the triad persists today under new terms. This investigation seeks to analyse selected historical interpretations and spatial manifestations of this category, as well as the nature of its apparent demise in modernity. The aim is to open a discourse around the possible legacy of this category in the modern urban realm, and to scrutinize the set of ideas or strategies that have come to take its place.

Ivonne Santoyo-Orozco is an architect and urban designer who obtained her Master’s degree from the Berlage Institute and was graduated magna-cum-laude from the UDLA-Puebla. She has collaborated with Fernando-Romero, Wiel Arets, Foster&Partners and Ove-Arup. Her work has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, Storefront for Art and Architecture among others, and has published in a variety of media. She has held teaching positions at the Architectural Association and Central Saint Martins.