Annual Brief 2018 – 2019


Who designs Britain?


AALU will continue exploring UK and similar territories in partnership with the British Geological Survey and the New Economic Foundation. As a case study, UK landscapes and cities reflect best the disorienting conditions of the contemporary world. Political uncertainty is part of the daily life, whether part of a European framework or outside of it, whilst existing socio-economic structures affect directly the built and natural environment, and its relationship with people. For example, agricultural and land ownership policies have exacerbated flooding in the lower cities and, London central power have depressed development in coastal towns which are unable to transform their economies and tackle the threat of rising water levels and climate change. These and other instances have prompt us to question the potential role a landscape urbanist can play in contemporary UK.





Using design as the main skill, the Landscape Urbanist from the AA will speculate and imagine potential designed policies, tools and scenarios that could offer UK alternatives to navigate and negotiate current spatial problems into potential futures by:


  • Exploring cartographic practices with the capacity to influence the public sphere and decision-making processes, such as interactive and participatory maps built by local people with data gathered on site.
  • Revisiting concepts such as commons, public participation, platform cooperativism, etc. through the lens of design, and their implications to build collecting design frameworks and management of shared resources that are neither public nor private.
  • Implementing latest technologies to simulate the behaviour of cities, landscapes, and territories, using software, scripts, to foresee possible future scenarios with the help of partner scientists and researchers.
  • Understanding the use of space, from a UK and other territories perspective, by diagramming and proposing new spatial configuration of public space in accordance to 21st century challenges.

AA Landscape Urbanism ProjectiveSandscapes atlas

“The AA is a Partner Institution and Affiliated Research Centre of The Open University (OU), UK. All taught graduate degrees at the AA are validated by the OU. The OU is the awarding body for research degrees at the AA.”