Nanotourism Ault. Once a booming tourist hotspot, nestled on the edge of the picturesque cliffs of the Picardie coastline in France, now a red zone and under thread of ephemerality.

This is an archive page for Nanotourism

Forthcoming dates for this school to be announced.


Ault, France

Friday 28 April – Saturday 13 May 2017

This year’s programme will be organised in collaboration between the AA Architecture Association, School of Architecture from London and Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture Paris-Val de Seine (ENSA PVS). The Visiting School will be located in Ault, a small town in the north of France. This will be the first organised programme after renaming the school from AA Visiting School Slovenia to AA Visiting School nanotourism, exposing its core agenda to an entirely new set of possibilities.
The two-week programme will explore the synergies between the local community and the particular natural forces generating the social, economic and natural conditions of this town, tackling the problems of eroding land of Ault. Once a booming tourist hotspot, nestled on the edge of the picturesque cliffs of the Picardie coastline in France, participants will investigate and identify the possibilities of implementing nanotourist strategies within the continuously negotiated relationship between land and sea.
Nanotourism is a creative critique to the current environmentally and economically unsuitable effects of mainstream tourism. The challenge is how to respond and create locally oriented alternatives through bottom-up processes. Nanotourism aims for smart solutions and innovative design strategies that rely on local materials and social resources.
Participants will research, design and build site-specific projects in 1:1 scale, materialising as organised actions, physical structures or holistic strategies for specific contexts. The workshop is open to all participants, eager to research, design and speculate on the role of architecture within the world’s most thriving economic sector – tourism.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

- Ault: Disappearing town on the white cliffs of Picardie.
- process of working / learning by doing: The key teaching agenda of AAVS nanotourism (AAVSnt) is to research and promote the process of creation that reaches beyond ‘design’. The process is equally important as the final project itself. A simple process diagram is communicated to the students at the beginning of each course: ‘research’, ‘design’ and ‘make’ activities that are successively organised in a recurrent process, a closed circle that has to be perpetually repeated to generate refined, specific and sharp results. Following this bottom-up process of design development and starting with initial elements of research, decision-making and prototyping, these are further on gradually organised on higher levels of understanding in order to produce more complex structures and holistic design solutions. Each following iteration of the process loop therefore produces better and sharper results.
- PAR (participatory action research): is an approach to research in communities that emphasizes participation and action. It seeks to understand the world by trying to change it, collaboratively and following reflection. PAR emphasizes collective inquiry and experimentation grounded in experience and social history in order to inform the process of design and building.


1) You can make an application by completing the online application found under ‘Links and Downloads’ on the AA Visiting School page. If you are not able to make an online application, email for instructions to pay by bank transfer.
2) Once you complete the online application and make a full payment, you are registered to the programme. A CV or a portfolio is not required. Motivation letter is appreciated.
The deadline for applications is 26 April 2017.
All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required, and are advised to contact their home embassy early. After payment of fees, the AA School can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop.

Casino de Ault, Ault, France


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee. If you wish to enhance your membership, a Subscribing Membership is available at an additional £70 (£130 in total), full details of which can be found at:

Fees do not include flights, other travel or accommodation. Students need to bring their own laptops, digital equipment, model making and hardware tools. Please ensure this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen at the workshop.

Ault 2017 Programme Directorship

Programme Head for AA
Aljoša Dekleva (b. 1972) graduated at Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana and Architectural Association DRL (M.Arch with distinction) in London (2002). At the AA co-founded +RAMTV. In 2003 he co-founded the architectural practice ‘dekleva gregoric architects’.
Programme Head for ENSA PVS
Christian Pottgiesser (b. 1965) graduated in architecture from Ecole d’Architecture Paris Villemin and in Philosophy from Paris 1, Panthéon Sorbonne. Chartered member of the RIBA. Co-founder of 'christian pottgiesser architecturespossibles' in 2005.
Programme Assistant
Jakob Travnik (b. 1991) graduated in architecture from University of Applied Arts Vienna, Institute of Architecture (Mag. Arch. with distinction). Currently working on his PhD on the topic of nanotourism at TU Vienna.


Programme Head
Aljoša Dekleva

Visiting School Director

Christopher Pierce

T +44 20 7887 4014
F +44 20 7414 0782

Links & Downloads

Publicity card

Programme site



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Visiting School Prospectus


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