Vision

Our vision is that people living in cities experience more fulfilled and more sustainable lives. Our school educates future leaders to design innovations that contribute to this change.

Mission

  • Network – To bring together outstanding students, practices, professionals, educators and entrepreneurs to generate and champion essential new approaches to the design of the urban built environment
  • Institution – To establish the school as independent and financially sustainable, achieving the highest standards of governance and academic delivery with the spirit of agility, openness and responsiveness
  • Programme – To provide programme(s) that generate incremental and disruptive innovations in the design of architecture and cities, and which critically equip our graduates for the creative and commercial practices of tomorrow
  • Talent – To be the route of choice for gifted students to become future spatial leaders, recruiting talented candidates from across the whole of society by proactively addressing soft and hard barriers to the profession/industry
  • Impact – To influence the future of architecture and the city – and particularly London – by producing provocative design/research for global dissemination and by being nimble agents of change within the capital itself

Characteristics

  • Proactive – able to anticipate future obstacles and desires and develop effective spatial strategies in response to them
  • Resourceful – exploiting the city as campus by forging connections, overcoming obstacles and creating opportunities
  • Intrepid – being fearless, daring and bold in your actions as a designer, thinker and operator; being comfortable with ambiguity
  • Mature – developing the awareness of your duties in the scholarly, professional, urban and global spheres of your work
  • Experimental – having a genuine desire to take risks, to create work that is testing something, and not to be afraid of the results

Values

  • Propositional – because it is too easy just to critique: what are you as an architect going to do about it?
  • Relevant – because we’d rather ask the right and difficult questions, than come up with the answer to the wrong and easy ones
  • Innovative – because we have a curiosity and restlessness about how architectural culture and production can evolve
  • Metropolitan – because we are immersed in the critical mass and mess of a complex and conflicted world city
  • Entrepreneurial – because we constantly seek new ways of operating and are open to ideas from outside architecture

Strategy

The LSA’s Theory of Change model

To develop and communicate our strategy, the LSA has used the Theory of Change, which is a specific method for planning that defines long-term goals and maps backwards to identify necessary preconditions (see diagram above).

Final goal

The final goal is the broader change an organisation is trying to achieve, which could be much bigger than the organisation could achieve on its own. Ultimately ‘Our vision is that people living in cities experience more fulfilled and more sustainable lives. Our school educates future leaders to design innovations that contribute to this change.’

Intermediate outcomes

Intermediate outcomes are short-term changes resulting directly from what an organisation does that will contribute to a final goal. The LSA has two main outputs: graduates from the diploma programme (approx 40 annually); and published design/research resulting from the school’s activities (approx 40 proposals, and 6 design/research publications annually).

Our school is designed to create outcomes from these outputs: students are equipped with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to contribute innovations in the design of architecture and cities; the publication of design/research promotes knowledge that can influence other actors to contribute. Our graduates and publications may be destined for the profession of architecture or an adjacent profession, and both of these can contribute to our ultimate goal.

Activities

Activities are the things that an organisation does to deliver a outcome and are within an organisation’s control. The LSA’s main activity is the Professional Diploma in Designing Architecture, a two-year programme of Part 2-level study composed of ten modules that address specific aspects of the knowledge, skills and behaviours our graduates will require. We also have a public programme, including lectures, events, and our website, which provide a platform for discourse and knowledge exchange.

Enablers

Enablers are conditions or factors that need to be present or absent to allow an organisation’s work to succeed. The LSA’s three primary enablers are relationships with the external regulatory environment that make our programme a viable alternative route into the profession. The school has already achieved validation from London Metropolitan University, and recognition from the Architects Registration Board and the Royal Institute of British Architects: our graduates therefore receive a Part 2 accredited Professional Diploma. We’ve applied for Specific Course Designation, which will make our course more available by giving access to the state package of student support. We aim to complete this by October 2018.

Inputs

Inputs are the resources that go into the project an organisation to be able to carry out its activities. The school has five main inputs:

  • Talented students – who will benefit from our model, drawn from across the whole of society
  • The Practice Network – a community of 100 London practices who provide work placements, teaching, and physical resources
  • Faculty – who are central to the delivery of the programme, and who drive the intellectual and creative life of the school
  • Founders Patrons and Founding Practices – who make the LSA financially viable in the mid-term by contributing donations
  • Physical resources – where the programme delivery takes place, such as Somerset House, Makerversity or the Practice Network