Rumblings at London’s Architectural Association about Eva Franch i Gilabert’s leadership

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Rumblings at London’s Architectural Association about Eva Franch i Gilabert’s leadership

A wood pavilion in front of the Architectural Association building. (Phil Rogers/Flickr)

The Architect’s Newspaper has received tips about a recent vote held at the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) in London. While the particulars of the vote have yet to be confirmed, it seems that it concerned the future of Eva Franch i Gilabert’s directorship. In a statement provided to AN, the AA did not disclose the substance or outcome of the vote in question. It did, however, emphasize its “significant” nature.

Meanwhile, tipsters have leaked a number of passed resolutions that reveal a lack of confidence in Franch. None would go on the record.

Franch, the AA’s first female director, assumed the position in 2018 amid a particularly volatile period for the private institution. Under interim director Samantha Hardingham, the school faced a dire financial situation, one compounded by a hike in rent and the then-ongoing renovation of its Bedford Square digs. In response, Hardingham implemented cost-savings measures, including rendering a part of its staff redundant. The school had also considered pulling the plug on its beloved journal AA Files. But by March 2019, Franch appeared to have turned around the AA’s financial misfortunes, and for the first time in the school’s 173-year-history, it was awarded degree-granting rights.

The AA’s statement has been reproduced below:

A meeting of the AA The School Community was held on June 29. A number of motions were put forward on which the school community was asked to debate and vote. The AA has a long tradition of self-determination through its school community and is proud to have as part of its constitution a mechanism to facilitate discussion and debate and to vote on significant matters regarding the AA’s future and direction.

Council recognises the heart of the AA lies in its democratic principles and welcomes the advice of the school community expressed through its meeting and voting mechanisms to inform the governance and leadership of the Association. The outcomes of the School Community Meeting have now been passed to council for discussion.

Update: A more clear picture of the vote can be found in our subsequent article.