March 5, 2018 - Architectural Association School of Architecture - Eva Franch i Gilabert announced as the winner of the AA Director election
e-flux Architecture
March 5, 2018
March 5, 2018

Architectural Association School of Architecture

Eva Franch i Gilabert. Photograph by Stefan Ruiz.

Eva Franch i Gilabert announced as the winner of the AA Director election

Architectural Association School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES
UK

www.aaschool.ac.uk
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Eva Franch i Gilabert announced as the winner of the AA Director election

Architectural Association School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES
UK

www.aaschool.ac.uk
Facebook /

The Architectural Association Search Committee is pleased to announce the result of the ballot for the preferred candidate for the new Director of the AA School. The election results will be recommended to the AA Council for formal appointment.

The election is voted on by members of the AA School Community, comprising a total of 1,077 students, faculty, staff and members of Council. The AA School has elected Eva Franch i Gilabert from a short-list of three candidates by a majority vote of 67% - the highest majority achieved in contested elections since 1990. Ms Franch is the first woman to be elected as Director of the AA School.

The balloting process was undertaken by Mi-Voice electoral services and saw an 81.3% turnout—one of the highest AA voter turnouts in the last 30 years—which is an indication of the continued strength of the AA’s system of participatory democracy.

Analytically Eva Franch gathered 587 votes (67%), Pippo Ciorra 154 votes (17.6%), and Robert Mull, 135 votes (15.4%).

Following this election result, the AA Council will carry out final contractual negotiations and formally announce the appointment of the new AA Director.

The forthcoming AA Director will set out and maintain a strategic vision for the Architectural Association. This vision should build on the intellectual plurality of the AA School and its position at the forefront of contemporary architectural discourse. The Director must maintain the confidence of the AA School Community and ensure the longevity and continuing international significance of the AA School and Association. Previous AA Directors in the recent decades include Alvin Boyarski, Alan Balfour, Mohsen Mostafavi, and Brett Steele.

In her presentation to the school on February 22 Franch said:

“Directing the AA is not about being a director, but directing a project, a pedagogical project that has consequences within the knowledge production of architecture and contemporary culture”

In her vision statement for the school, Franch stated:

“I believe in schools and cultural institutions that are anti-institutional even when being one, that act as cultural forums and civic platforms, and that believe in the importance of constantly redefining how we want to live together. Beyond regulating predefined domains of expertise, the AA has been a space for speculation, friction, and resistance. With a highly calibrated relationship between rigor and madness, the AA has been a hotbed for architectural experimentation, and should continue to be.”

Eva Franch i Gilabert is an architect. Since 2010, Franch has been the Chief Curator and Executive Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture in New York. Franch has lectured internationally on art, architecture, and the importance of alternative practices in the construction and understanding of public life. In 2014, Franch, with the project OfficeUS, an experimental office for the production of history, ideas and work, was selected by the US State Department to represent the United States at the XIV Venice Architecture Biennale. Her latest book, published in 2017, OfficeUS Manual, explores the structures of labor and production within architecture offices. Franch is currently a professor at The Cooper Union School of Architecture.

About the Search Process and the Ballot
The AA is well known for the uniquely democratic way in which it chooses its Director. This ballot is the culmination of a yearlong process involving the election of a Search Committee, comprising of students, faculty, staff, Council and external representatives, and a series of consultations within the school and the broader architecture community.

A Call for Applications was launched in November 2017 and received 73 responses. An initial list of 26 candidates was produced, with 15 candidates invited for 1st round interviews and 8 candidates for 2nd round interviews. Of the 15 candidates in the 1st round there were individuals from Australia, North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa with 9 men and 6 women. In the 2nd round, there were 4 men and 4 women. The three finalists invited to present to the AA Community during the week of February 19 were Pippo Ciorra, Eva Franch i Gilabert, and Robert Mull. Following a week of presentations the school went through a one week voting process that ended on Friday, March 2.

About the AA
The AA is an independent architectural school and an international cultural institution that serves as a forum for ideas. Being a major center for debate, the AA offers an unparalleled public programme of lectures, symposia, and exhibitions, together with accompanying publications.

Founded in 1847 by young architects wishing to educate themselves, the AA has a broad commitment to bringing issues regarding contemporary culture, architecture, cities and the environment to a large public audience, remaining focused on the education of architects. Throughout the AA campus in historic 18th century Bedford Square in London and the woodland setting of Hooke Park in Dorset, 750 students, 200 faculty, 90 staff, 6500 members and thousands of visitors engage with the most relevant debates in architecture today.

For further information on the AA’s History please visit here
For further information about the AA Director’s Search, please visit here.
For press inquiries or questions, please contact the AA Search Committee: searchcommittee [​at​] aaschool.ac.uk

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