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AA Files Thomas Weaver

The psychotherapist Adam Phillips once wrote that ‘Psychoanalysis does not need any more abstruse or sentimental abstractions – any new paradigms or radical revisions – it just needs more good sentences.’ This, in essence, sums up my relationship to architecture and architectural editing. The journal that I edit is, I hope, distinguished by the quality of its sentences. I like pacey, engaging and iconoclastic writing, essays rather than papers, and an almost indulgent use of any form of reference. I really don’t like the words ‘commonality’, ‘instrumentality’ and worst of all ‘criticality’. But, compelled by this questionnaire, before I launch into my own private manifesto and risk more first-person narrative than is absolutely necessary, a few salient details. AA Files was launched in the autumn of 1981 as the successor to a long line of Architectural Association School of Architecture house journals that began in 1887 with AA Notes. It was founded by the AA’s then chairman Alvin Boyarsky, with Mary Wall as editor. In his introduction to the first issue, Boyarsky suggests that the ambition of the journal is to offer a more accessible engagement with the culture of the school than the ‘club-like’ AA premises in Bedford Square (its origin, therefore, seems to have been empowered with correcting an architectural failing). He defined this accessibility as the publication of AA lectures, reviews of AA exhibitions and profiles of AA staff and student projects. Over the ensuing 29 years and 61 issues, just as successive directors of the AA have had to manage the weight of expectation in succeeding the charismatic Boyarsky, so too

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Profile for AA School

20/20: Editorial Takes on Architectural Discourse  

20/20: Editorial Takes on Architectural Discourse brings together editors from 20 leading contemporary architectural magazines to discuss co...

20/20: Editorial Takes on Architectural Discourse  

20/20: Editorial Takes on Architectural Discourse brings together editors from 20 leading contemporary architectural magazines to discuss co...

Profile for aaschool