AA Architectural Association VS. Columbia GSAPP ?

Mar 21 '13 14 Last Comment
Mar 21, 13 7:01 pm




I got both acceptance letters, still haven´t found in the forum many opinions about the AA.

Both programs do travel abroad to a specific site and usually have real clients. (Ghana, Taiwan, Brazil). Wich I find very interesting.

What would you choose? Both have prestige and amazing teachers. 

I guess the other question would be ...



Mar 21, 13 8:25 pm

I'm going through a similar debate but except for the MsAAD at GSAPP...

Mar 22, 13 12:42 am

Id say AA. There is a reason European designers are hired by us firms and cities to do a lot of their actual design work. They are simply more experienced in creating and fine tuning livable, walkable places. London, Barcelona, Paris,Lyon, any city in the Netherlands...Europe in general.

James PettyJames Petty
Mar 22, 13 5:25 pm


Mar 22, 13 6:57 pm

AA really?

I am Greek and I know many people that have studied at the AA!

I think that Columbia is a lot better...!

AA is all about morphogenesis and bioshit

Definetely GSAPP

Mar 23, 13 2:40 am

AA H+U has nothing to do with morphogenesis and bioshit - little gem in the AA 

@spackle is correct - AA as knowledge of European models - also they do lots of things in Asia [recently Thailand / Singapore] + brazil

Mar 23, 13 5:27 am


I'm sorry I didn't see the H+U thing. I just overall judged AA

Mar 23, 13 5:36 am

Just to add, I would even say that most of the AA has nothing to do with morphogenesis and bioshit.  Aside from the DRL and EmTech, I'd say the school is actually quite far from such topics

Mar 23, 13 12:48 pm

The only program I am familiar with is the DRL, so that is why I judged it like that (maybe a little bit severe). I mean all the people I know have been through this program so I assumed that is the uni general point of view

Oct 17, 13 6:51 am

IIleyan, if you're from the US, try AA and if you're from EU, try GSAPP but if you're outside those, it depends really on what you really want. Try making a comparative table of both programs, your preference of the cities and then decide. I think it's better to always go beyond the box you are in right now. It's like cross-pollination; : )

Mar 28, 14 8:28 pm

Which did you choose? I am in the same situation! Im from America and this is such a hard decision!!!

Mar 29, 14 11:42 am


for sure 

I assume you already got american experience why don't you try British?

It is a known school, kinda european GSD. and its London man!  

but you'll have to stand British accent for 3 years tho lol  

Mar 29, 14 11:55 am

You choose AA? The price is pretty much the same after the conversion rate so that hasnt been a factor! I want to do work in Africa after I graduate graduate school. What are your thoughts? What did you like about AA? or dislike about Columbia?

Mar 15, 16 10:08 pm

Which one did you choose? I have the same problem this year, AA MSSED vs GSAPP MSAUD. Any advise?

Apr 15, 16 12:23 pm

I was in the same boat as you and recently graduated from the AA H+U program. I cannot stress enough how disappointed I was with the program. I would go as far as to say I absolutly hated it from an academic standpoint! 

This is what I would say to anyone considering the H+U program. If you want to live in Europe and get some culture (assuming you are from America), go with the AA. If you want to get a great education and plan to work in the U.S. afterwards, I would go with GSAPP. One of the biggest issues I had with the AA was the lack of concern and attention from the tutors, with perhaps the exception of one.The program was extremely unorganized and as you can imagine from a renowned university, many tutors were there just to have the school's name on their own CV. It was very frustrating especially during thesis when some of them didn't even show up or offer constructive feedback. The politics of the school are also very sophomoric. I personally found that the tutors did not support original ideas and favored students who aligned with the tutors personal agendas. I found this very surprising as many talented students were not given recognition or the appropriate assistance in helping them strengthen their individual interests and abilities. Okay, enough ranting. I would be happy to further discuss details on the program with you. Of course I am just one of many opinions of the program but I know many of my colleagues who share the same frustrations I can put you in contact with. A few of us in the program have shared these concerns with the tutors of the H+U and Brett himself, so maybe they will improve for next year but they have quite a few kinks to work out...

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