The Architectural Association appoints four new Council members

The Architectural Association (AA) is delighted to announce the appointment of Alison Brooks, Pui Quan (PQ) Choi, Cindy Walters and Steven Ware as new members of Council, the AA’s governing body. As practicing architects, all four new members of Council will draw on their experience and knowledge to help shape the AA’s future as we launch a five-year strategy developed by AA Director Ingrid Schroder.

The new Council members were elected following a vote by AA Members, including current students and staff, in April 2024 and begin their three-year appointment on 15 July. We are excited to welcome Alison, PQ, Cindy and Steven to the AA Council and look forward to their support in shaping the future of our school and wider association.

Alison Brooks studied architecture at the University of Waterloo, Canada before moving to the UK in 1988. Since founding her practice in 1996 she has emerged as one of the UK’s most inventive architects, with works encompassing urban design and housing, higher education buildings, private houses and public buildings for the arts. She is the only UK architect to have received all three of the profession’s most prestigious architectural awards: the RIBA Stirling Prize, the Manser Medal and the Stephen Lawrence Prize. Alison has become a public voice for the profession, advocating for the role of women in architecture, the resurgence of building craft and the value of timber as an expressive, low carbon building technology. She has contributed to architectural education for more than fifteen years and taught a Diploma unit at the AA from 2008–10 as well as serving as an External Examiner at the school from 2011–19.

Pui Quan (PQ) Choi is an architect at Hawkins\Brown where she has worked on large-scale projects such as Crossrail, with a focus now on residential projects in London. She completed her undergraduate studies at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL and graduated from the AA Diploma Programme in 2019. PQ is currently a teaching assistant on the Open City Accelerate Course, a scheme that supports 16–18-year-olds who are interested in careers in the built environment. At Hawkins\Brown she chairs the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Voice Group and oversees the office’s participation in mentoring schemes such as Blueprint for All, Accelerate and Accumulate. She sits on the Blueprint for All Architecture Advisory Board and the NLA’s Diverse Leaders Steering Group. PQ is committed to making the built environment more accessible, inclusive and diverse, and is particularly invested in broadening access to the profession.

Cindy Walters is a director and cofounder of Walters & Cohen Architects. Since establishing the practice with Michál Cohen in 1994, she has led a variety of projects in the UK and abroad, including several schools, the Vajrasana Buddhist Retreat Centre in Suffolk, the Gallery of Botanical Art in Kew Gardens and the Dorothy Garrod Building for Newnham College, Cambridge. Cindy regularly contributes to academic and professional institutions as an external examiner and guest lecturer, has been a juror for the Lubetkin Prize and the Stirling Prize, and is a member of the RIBA Validation Board and competition adviser. Cindy was chair of the Architecture Foundation from 2019–23 and is now a trustee. She is proud to promote diversity and inclusion through her roles and practice, and is on her second term as governor at Regent High School, one of her former projects. In 2022, Cindy completed a PhD by Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.

Steven Ware studied biology at Western University, Canada and architecture at the AA, graduating with honours. As a partner with ArtBuild architects, he steers the development and application of bio-adaptive design principles, seeking new ways to fuse ethics and aesthetics. The practice’s internal lab works with biologists, academics, industrialists and research groups to develop biomimetic concepts which can be transferred to mainstream construction practice. Steven lectures widely on subjects that bridge biology and the built environment, exploring the very nature of intelligence informing architects and the building sector at large.