AA Dipl, Hon FRIBA, FRSA; Director, Architectural Association, U.K.
Brett Steele directs the AA School of Architecture. This includes the AA public programme, publications, membership and fundraising activities. Current projects include multi-year master plans improving the AA’s historic Bedford Square home and the school’s rural campus in Hooke Park, where AA students and staff have designed and built five buildings since 2011. Brett has hired and brought to London more than 150 teachers from Europe, Asia & the Americas, who now teach at the AA School, lead seminars and direct design workshops in the Visiting School. Recent initiatives at the School include the AA’s Digital Prototyping Lab; dLab summer courses in computational architecture; new full-time MSc & MPhil graduate courses; and a new PhD by Design programme. Brett has created new departments supporting the work of the school, including a dedicated Digital Platforms and Social Media team; the AA Archive; and AACP Curatorial Practices, which includes a team of curators that have realised exhibitions and special events in London and at the Venice, Beijing, Sao Paolo and other architecture biennales.
The Architectural Association is Britain’s oldest and only remaining private school of architecture. For decades the school has been recognized as an influential worldwide leader in architectural education, and the school’s graduates are the recipients of the world’s leading prizes and awards in architecture, including three of the past ten Pritzker Prizes; 2010’s RIBA Gold Medal & Stirling Awards, AIA and UK Young Office of the Year awards. AA graduates have designed some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including all major venues of the 2012 Summer Olympics. AA alumni/ae are amongst the world’s leading educators and heads of schools. The AA is the world’s most international school of architecture, with 85% of its 750 full-time students originating from overseas. In January 2008 Brett launched the AA Visiting School, which now enrolls visiting students from throughout the world, in short courses and design workshops held in fifty cities on five continents every year. Recent Visiting Schools include Dubai, Tel Aviv, Khazikstan & Tehran in the Middle East; Turin, Istanbul, Madrid, Berlin, Paris, Chernobyl and other cities in Europe; in Santiago, Sao Paulo, Rio and Mexico City in Latin America; and Bangalore, Singapore, Shanghai, Beijing, Dae Jon, Tokyo and other locations in Asia. New 2014-15 locaations include Broken Hill, Australia; Mecca; Mamori Lake, Brazil; Las Pozas, Mexico; Kuala Lampur, and others.
In 1996 Brett founded and for 9 years directed the AADRL Design Research Lab, an innovative team-based MArch programme. He has taught and lectured at schools throughout the world, and is the editor of NEGOTIATE MY BOUNDARY (2002); CORPORATE FIELDS (2005); DESIGN AS RESEARCH (Beijing 2005); FIRST WORKS: ARCHITECTURAL EXPERIMENTATION OF THE 1960S & 1970S(2009; SUPERCRITICAL: PETER EISENMAN MEETS REM KOOLHAAS(2009); and O14: PROJECTION & RECEPTION (2012); NETWORKS: AN ANTHOLOGY OF DISTRIBUTED DESIGN CULTURES (forthcoming, 2015); and MACHINE WORKS: THE RISE OF MODERN MACHINIC ARCHITECTURES (forthcoming, 2016). Brett’s articles, interviews & lectures have appeared in ARCH+, ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN, ARCHITECTURAL REVIEW, A+U, ARCHIS, AA FILES, HARVARD DESIGN MAGAZINE, HUNCH, WORLD ARCHITECTURE, LOG, MARK, FRAME, JAPAN ARCHITECT, MONOCLE, ICON, DAIDALOS, AREA, and other journals; on CNN and the BBC, in THE WALLSTREET JOURNAL, FINANCIAL TIMES and other media. He is the founder and series editor of ARCHITECTURE WORDS, which has since 2009 published the critical writings of Denise Scott Brown, Rem Koolhaas, Peter Eisenman, Max Bill, Kengo Kuma, Toyo Ito & others; and AGENDAS, a series of two-dozen books documenting the work of AA students & units. Brett is the architectural editor of PORT. The AA Public Programme is the world’s largest annual series of public events dedicated to contemporary architecture, held in a dozen or more cities each year. Brett is a frequent writer, lecturer and critic, and his interests include the history of modern architectural education and cultural communication, and the impact of new media, information economies and networked design technologies.