Win a Scholarship for the AA Visiting School in Santiago

What does Soviet Union architecture have to do with Chilean astronomy? A lot more than many realize. In the 1960s, the Soviet Union manufactured three Grand Passage Instrument telescopes (GIPpy), and their accompanying domes in Saint Petersburg. Unfortunately, they fell into ruin after the Soviet astronomical mission’s departure from Chile following the 1973 military coup d-etat. Now, however, the Architectural Association Visiting School in Santiago, Chile, in partnership with the Pontifical Catholic University, will host a 10-day workshop in January on the GIPpy telescopes. The workshop is organized by the team that was recently awarded the Silver Lion at the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale for their work on Soviet prefabricated housing in Chile, and we’ve teamed up with the Visiting School to give away two £600 scholarships to attend the workshop!

For more information on the workshop and to find out how to enter to win a scholarship read on after the break…

AA Athens Visiting School 2014: Students Challenge the Static Built Environment with “Kinetic Haze”

Overview of the Interactive/Kinetic Archetype. Image © Alice Mangoyan

The Architectural Association Visiting School in Athens, as part of the AI research agenda, has continued its investigations to challenge the static built environment with its 2014 installation entitled Kinetic Haze. The project investigates the possibilities of architectural modeling via scripting, digital fabrication, and large scale installations.

This year’s investigation follows the theme of the previous year’s work entitled Cipher City: Recharged, in which the creation of complex form-making systems resulted in the discovery of interactive design patterns. Following their discoveries in 2013, students in this year’s program further investigated kinetic and interactive architecture in their new study entitled Revolutions. After a series of design ideas were developed by smaller groups of students, the teams collaborated to create the final prototype Kinetic Haze in less than five days. Read on after the break to learn more about the project.

Drawings from Famous Architects’ Formative Stages to be Exhibited in St. Louis

Zaha Hadid, The World (89 Degrees), 1984. Image Courtesy of Kemper Art Museum

As a student of architecture, the formative years of study are a period of wild experimentation, bizarre use of materials, and most importantly, a time to make mistakes. Work from this period in the life of an architect rarely floats to the surface – unless you’re Zaha Hadid or Frank Gehry, that is. A treasure trove of early architectural drawings from the world’s leading architects has recently been unearthed from the private collection of former Architectural Association Chairman Alvin Boyarsky. The collection is slated to be shown at the Kemper Art Museum, Washington University, St. Louis, as a part of the exhibition Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the  from September 12th to January 4th, 2015.

Take a look at the complete set of architects and drawings for the exhibition after the break.

A Prize for Promise: GAGA’s Hunt for the New Hadid

Post-Graduate Runner-up, GAGA 2013. Rob Taylor – Golden Temple of Trash

A few years ago London’s Architectural Association held an exhibition called First Works: Emerging Architectural Experimentation in the 1960s & 1970s, which wonderfully gathered together early projects from a host of the most famous names in architecture. In both Zaha Hadid’s gorgeously animated plan/perspectives of the Taoiseach’s Residence and ’s intensely unstable drawings of Micromegas, you can already sense a lifetime of formal exploration ahead for the pair; and yet who would ever guess the unique tectonic language to come from the anonymously mundane drawings of the Sequoyah Educational Research Centre by Morphosis?

When I set up the Global Architecture Graduate Awards (GAGAs) at The Architectural Review in 2012, it was with the insight that, at its best, the work produced at the start of a career can be its most daring and projective. At that fertile threshold between the academy and practice, uncertain graduates can be years ahead of more assured and mature colleagues in the creative risks they are willing to take.

AA Visiting School Los Angeles

The AA Visiting School is a satellite programme of the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London, and will be taking place in for the first time, from June 16 to June 27. The programme is broken up into research clusters that will be led by individual tutors based on the theme of “Machining Adaptive Living.”

Confirmed design instructors include Marc Fornes, Jenny Wu, Adam Marcus, David Freeland, Kevin Patrick McClellan and Alvin Huang. Guest lectures include Neil Denari, Heather Roberge and Tom Wiscombe. For more information, including registration please click here.

Title: AA Visiting School Los Angeles
Website: http://losangeles.aaschool.ac.uk/
Organizers: Architectural Association
From: Mon, 16 Jun 2014 
Until: Fri, 27 Jun 2014
Venue: University of Southern California (USC)
Address: University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

AA Visiting School: Tehran – The Third Place-Urban Machines

Courtesy of AA Visiting School

UPDATE: To apply please refer to the AA website, http://www.aaschool.ac.uk/STUDY/VISITING/tehran.
The Architectural Association has two full scholarships so you can attend the AA Visiting School in Tehran, Iran.
Please mention that you’re applying for the ArchDaily Scholarship. The deadline for submissions is February 28. 

Tehran, Iran’s capital, ranks among the world’s fast-growing cities. In the early 1940s, Tehran’s population was about 700,000. By 1966, it had risen to 3 million and by 1986 to 6 million. Today, the metropolitan area has more than 10 million residents. This explosive growth has had environmental and public health consequences, including air, water pollution and the loss of arable land and public realm. The ever increasing land value makes developments and the replacement of urban open space and easy choice. With the disappearance of open public plaza, by traffic islands and motorways the predominant public space left in the city is its many traffic arteries.

With a young population and the Cars as the main mode of transport in the city, the many highways of Tehran come to a grinding halt during rush hour.

AA Exhibition: Third Natures

The Golden Dome, Tokyo

Third Natures presents 15 years of speculations, projects and built proposals by the Madrid- based duo of Cristina Díaz Moreno and Efrén García Grinda and their collaborators, ranging from the beginnings of the practice in 1997 to their latest works, completed in 2013. In total, 26 projects are shown through drawings, models, objects and photographs. All this material is organised according to laws of affinity and connection, in an attempt to convey the vast range of the projects and their main field of operation – the space of mediation between people, objects, natural species and built environments. 

The title for this collection draws on a term first coined during the Renaissance to refer to a new type of garden that created a new and hitherto unknown reality – a ‘third nature’ – with a radical new materiality that was constructed through cultural connections. In the same way, the practice explores how cultural materials can be assimilated and then given back to the world in the form of proposals with strong links to contemporary society. Their approach, both critical and celebratory, is based on the emergence of new, extreme and unexpected forms of beauty. For further details, please click here.

AD Interviews: Ben van Berkel, UNStudio on London’s Canaletto Tower

Ben van Berkel. Image © Inga Powilleit

ArchDaily recently spoke to Ben van Berkel, co-founder and principal architect at UNStudio, an international network of specialists in architecture, urban development and infrastructure based in the Netherlands. The office, which was founded in 1988, has completed projects around the world ranging from Rotterdam’s Erasmus Bridge to the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart. With over 81 built projects, and 54 currently in progress (including Raffles City in Hangzhou and Scotts Tower in Singapore), London’s Canaletto Tower (which is due to be completed in 2015) marks the practice’s first major project in the UK.

Athens – CIPHER CITY / Revolutions

What would happen if a structure could transform in real‐time? AA Visiting School embarks on its’ third cycle to address issues of change, adaptation and interaction in the design of an enclosed volume. In this time of social, economic, and environmental uncertainty, it’s a quality for the built environment to regard transformation as a way of practice.

Revolutions have occurred through architectural history and vary widely in terms of design methods and fabrication techniques. Focusing on inspiring natural form‐finding techniques, AA Athens VS works towards producing a large‐scale interactive prototype that alters in real‐time the perception of interior space.

AA DLAB 2013: Light Forest

Light Forest installation, AA DLAB: Blue, London / Hooke Park, July – August 2013 (photo: Elif Erdine)

Light Forest is the final working prototype of the (AA) DLAB Visiting School, which took place in AA London and AA Hooke Park, a 350-acre working forest in Dorset, south west England, where the AA has a small educational facility centred on a woodworking workshop.

Re-inventing Shoes Workshop at AAtelier Paris

The AA (Architectural Association) is one of the world’s most renowned Schools of Architecture. It offers twice a year, since 2011, AAtelier: a 10-day highly international visiting school in Paris. What makes this course unique in the world today is its crossover approach between architecture and fashion.

The course is an intensive studio-based program that requires full-time participation and is run by Jorge Ayala whom graduated from the Architectural Association School in 2008. An AA certificate will be awarded upon completion.

More information after the break.

AA Visiting School Tehran

2009. Image Courtesy of

Taking place August 31-September 14, the 3rd annual AA Visiting School Tehran will be examining the quality of our urban spaces, we will be looking at infill sites, leftover spaces which have been generated as a result inefficient use of public roads to examine the potential for the generation of usable public space, or in other words the third place (the first being the home, the second the workplace). Using the theme ‘The Third Place-Urban Machines,’ they will be using our experiences from past years in regards to prototyping and simplex manufacturing to inform proposals for urban machines and interventions. These Proposals will attempt to specifically address site concerns and conditions. Our ambition is to produce and implement these proposals on site across the city. Applications are due no later than August 17. For more information, please visit here.

AA Visiting School Singapore: ‘Objectify’ Workshop

Courtesy of AA & RARE

Conducted by RARE directors on behalf of the Architectural Association in , the ‘Objectify‘ workshop at Singapore Polytechnic’s School of Design will sample starchitecture to suggest and respond to the city’s idea of growth through image forging. Can architectural objects define a city? Singapore’s territorial enclave is punctuated with signature buildings designed by the worldwide architectural stardom. The exaggerated objectification of the architect’s status and designs is embedded in the city’s culture and apparent belief in their value. Taking place August 21-30, the workshop will explore these conditions, sampling icons to extract novel proposals. More information after the break.

2013 Foster + Partners Prize Awarded to John Naylor

‘Bamboo Lakou’ / John Naylor

The and Foster + Partners have announced John Naylor of Diploma Unit 16 as the 2013 Foster + Partners Prize recipient for his project ‘Bamboo Lakou’. Presented annually, the award is presented to an Diploma student whose portfolio best addresses the themes of sustainability and infrastructure.

Brett Steele, Director of the Architectural Association School of Architecture, said: “John Naylor’s project demonstrates the ways in which infrastructural ideas – and architectural imagination – might today expand beyond the clichés of Modernism to become life itself, literally breathing life into communities, cities and entire countries – today and long into the future.”

More on the project after the break…

AA Bilbao Visiting School: “Computing topos II”

Courtesy of AA Visting School

The is a worldwide network of design workshops and other programmes organised by the Architectural Association School of Architecture.The event will take place in from July 22nd to July 31st, focusing on new lectures over territory.

We have two scholarships for our readers interested on this activity, you just need to send us your CV/portfolio and a statement explaining why you would like to participate in this event. For more details read below.

Architectural Association DLAB, Blue

The Architectural Association announces the 2013 edition of the DLAB, the intensive computation and fabrication oriented workshop. The workshop continues the experimentation of last year’s edition, which resulted on the Fallen Star installation.

DLAB experiments with the integration of algorithmic and generative design methodologies as well as with large scale digital fabrication tools. Continuing its color based agenda DLAB will immerse in blue for its 2013 cycle as a way to investigate natural growth processes in relation to innovative concepts of architectural tectonics and fabrication. Blue will become the inspiration for diving into the depths of emergence, differentiation and complexity which are found at various scales in nature. We will carefully interweave these concepts with interaction and participatory design in order to create full-scale working prototypes. The programme will be formulated as a two-phase process. During the initial phase participants will benefit from the unique atmosphere and facilities of ’s London home. The second phase will shift to Hooke Park campus and revolve around the fabrication and assembly of a full-scale architectural intervention which will unify the design goals of DLAB.

Some of the most prominent features which the participants will be exposed to during DLAB include:

AA Visiting School Ivrea: ‘Factory Futures II Architecture Without Humans’

Courtesy of AA Visiting School

In July 2012, the AA, in partnership with the Adriano Olivetti Foundation and Gehry Technologies, launched Factory Futures: A three year research program aimed at exploring innovative architectural responses for the productive landscape of the future. The mission of Factory Futures is to connect the realms of contemporary urban theory with computational design techniques for the affirmative re-empowerment of the architectural practice within contemporary conditions of production. This year, the Ivrea Visiting School will develop design tools and research concepts to confront this phenomenon, which is challenging the conventions of both architectural design and urban theory during their workshop which takes place July 1-12. More information after the break.

AA Istanbul Visiting School 2013: Vertical Interventions

Courtesy of Architectural Association

In its third year, the AA Istanbul Visiting School, Vertical Interventions, in collaboration with Istanbul Technical University, will continue to rediscover verticality through novel generative design techniques and large-scale physical prototypes. Abstracted as a fusion of various sub-systems, each subsystem of the tower will be investigated in relation to their various performance criteria. The correlations between the separate sets of performance criteria and evaluation methods will be analyzed, leading to the generation of unified design alternatives for a vertical system typology. In addition to the custom-made digital design and evaluation tools supporting the core methodology, Vertical Interventions will also highlight the fabrication and assembly of a large scale working prototype integrating the performative characteristics of each system in examination.

As in 2012, the design agendas of AA Athens and AA Istanbul Visiting Schools will directly create feedback on one another, allowing participation in either one or both Programmes.