The AA was established as a student-centred collective in 1847. It aimed to challenge the established ways in which architecture was taught, argued and theorised at the time and urged its members to reconsider the commonplace social and cultural responsibilities of the profession at large – aspirations that remain at the heart of the school today.
The flexible, self-directed curricula on offer at the school, combined with the independence and truly global nature of the institution, afford the Architectural Association (AA) a rare degree of awareness in acknowledging and confronting the social, technological and cultural challenges of today. Comprised of approximately 800 full-time students, over 7000 members, 250 tutors and 100 administrative staff from all over the world, the association and its membership share eight Georgian houses in the centre of London, as well as a 350-acre woodland site at Hooke Park, in Dorset.
Research at the AA arises from the school’s perpetual engagement with global architectural discourse. It is guided by the belief that architecture is a highly complex human endeavour; a manifestation of collective values and individual expression that must necessarily develop in concert with contemporary scientific, cultural and social action. The school is committed to seeking and creating new knowledge that contributes to the improvement of quality of life worldwide and the design and materialisation of the prototypes of the future.
During their time at the school, individuals on all programmes benefit from friendly administrative support and a welcoming, student-facing service that can provide advice regarding all areas of life within the unique and intimate learning environment of the AA.
The Library represents a globally significant and specialised research resource in the field of architecture. Supporting the teaching programmes across the School, the Library also provides an information and loan service to AA members.
Founded in 1862, the Library holds almost 48,000 volumes on all aspects of architectural theory, history and practice.
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