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The Cass: The Latest Architecture and News

Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light: On Turncoats, The Cass and Architectural Debate

09:30 - 26 January, 2016
Rage, Rage Against the Dying of the Light: On Turncoats, The Cass and Architectural Debate, With a ban on cameras, recorders and phones, the only physical records of the Turncoats debates are hasty sketches by the audience. Image © Andra Antone courtesy of Turncoats
With a ban on cameras, recorders and phones, the only physical records of the Turncoats debates are hasty sketches by the audience. Image © Andra Antone courtesy of Turncoats

“I’d like you to join me in hell” declared Catherine Slessor, the first female editor of The Architectural Review in her opening speech for the design debate series Turncoats in late November. What followed was a blistering, hilarious and poetic assault on the world of vanity publishing confided to an audience of 200 critics, architects and designers in SelgasCano’s Second Home. Normally a review such as this one might be accompanied with a film of the event itself, but in this case that is impossible due to Turncoats’ blanket ban on digital recording equipment (including phones) - one of numerous theatrical twists which have made this unassuming project one of the hottest tickets in town.

Turncoats is the creation of former AR Deputy Editor and current Deputy Director of the Architecture Foundation Phineas Harper, Studio Weave and Interrobang founder Maria Smith, and esteemed educator Professor Robert Mull, backed by the Cass architecture and art school. The series is like a hedonistic mash-up of an old school debating society and a ritualistic drinking game. Vodka shots, comedy warm up acts, sexy venues and mischievous polemical propositions make every Turncoats event a surreal and thought-provoking evening. The masterstroke is that not every invited panellist is speaking their mind – some are purely playing devil’s advocate. This reality-bending twist naturally invites a theatricality which blurs the line between argument and arguer, enabling a frankness of architectural debate rarely seen in our nervously polite industry.

Dean of 'The Cass' in London Resigns Over Proposed Relocation Plans

04:00 - 22 December, 2015
Dean of 'The Cass' in London Resigns Over Proposed Relocation Plans, Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University. Image © David Grandorge
Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University. Image © David Grandorge

Robert Mull, former Dean of London Metropolitan University's Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design—also known as 'The Cass'—has resigned over a dispute about proposed relocation plans for the school's campus in Aldgate, East London. As reported in The Independent, campaigners argue that the move, which was first announced in October 2015 by the university's Vice Chancellor John Raftery, would cause courses and jobs to be unnecessarily cut. The university's vision, named 'One Campus, One Community', aims to invest £125million ($185million) to create "a new, single campus in Islington, north London, bringing all of the [university's] faculties together on one site for the first time in the institution’s 170-year history."

The Life Of Dalibor Vesely: Teacher, Philosopher, Acclaimed Academic

04:00 - 3 April, 2015
The Life Of Dalibor Vesely: Teacher, Philosopher, Acclaimed Academic, Dalibor Vesely (1934-2015) at the AA, London, in 2013. Image © Valerie Bennett
Dalibor Vesely (1934-2015) at the AA, London, in 2013. Image © Valerie Bennett

Dalibor Vesely, a celebrated architectural historian, philosopher and teacher, died this week in London aged 79. Over the course of his teaching career, which spanned five decades, he tutored a number of the world’s leading architects and thinkers from Daniel Libeskind, Alberto Pérez-Gómez and Robin Evans, to Mohsen Mostafavi and David Leatherbarrow.

Vesely was born in Prague in 1934, five years before the Nazi occupation of Czechoslovakia. Following World War II, he studied engineering, architecture, art history and philosophy in Prague, Munich, Paris and Heidelberg. He was awarded his doctorate from Charles University (Prague) having been taught and supervised by Josef Havlicek, Karel Honzik, and Jaroslav Fragner. Although later he would be tutored by James Stirling, it was the philosopher of phenomenology Jan Patočka who, in his own words, “contributed more than anyone else to [his] overall intellectual orientation and to the articulation of some of the critical topics” explored in his seminal book, Architecture in the Age of Divided Representation, published in 2004.

2014 RIBA President's Medals Winners Announced

01:00 - 4 December, 2014
2014 RIBA President's Medals Winners Announced, Winner of the RIBA Silver Medal: Nick Elias of the Bartlett School of Architecture. Image Courtesy of RIBA
Winner of the RIBA Silver Medal: Nick Elias of the Bartlett School of Architecture. Image Courtesy of RIBA

The Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) have announced the President’s Medals Student Awards at a special event today in London. The awards, recognised as the world’s most prestigious set of awards in architectural education, were inaugurated in 1836 (making them the institutes oldest award, including the RIBA Gold Medal). Three medals in particular – the Bronze for a Part I student, the Silver for a Part II student, and the Dissertation Medal – are awarded to “promote excellence in the study of architecture [and] to reward talent and to encourage architectural debate worldwide.” In addition to these, the winners of the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing and the SOM Foundation Fellowships are also announced.

317 schools of architecture from over 61 countries were invited to nominate design projects and dissertations by their students. This year saw the majority of winners come from London schools, including the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL), Kingston University, the University of Westminster, London Metropolitan University (the CASS), the Royal College of Art, the University of East London, and the University of Greenwich. University College Dublin (Ireland) and the University of Brighton (UK) also saw their students commended, alongside the University of Sydney (two students) and the University of Hong Kong (one student).

See drawings from all the winning and commended students after the break.

RIBA Silver Medal: Nick Elias (Bartlett School of Architecture). Image Courtesy of RIBA RIBA Bronze Medal: Simon Dean (Kingston University). Image Courtesy of RIBA Silver Medal High Commendation: Justin Cawley (University of Sydney). Image Courtesy of RIBA Silver Medal Commendation: Yannis Halkiopoulos (University of Westminster). Image Courtesy of RIBA Bronze Medal Commendation: Emily Priest (Bartlett School of Architecture). Image Courtesy of RIBA Bronze Medal Commendation: Ho Yeung (Howell) Tsang (University of Hong Kong). Image Courtesy of RIBA Bronze Medal Commendation: Samuel Little (London Metropolitan University). Image Courtesy of RIBA Sergeant Award (Part Two Student): Adam Bell (University of Greenwich). Image Courtesy of RIBA + 81