Terrain LAB

Monday 25 June – Thursday 5 July 2018

The AA Terrain Lab Visiting School is a 10-days workshop focused on the manufacturing of productive landscapes. The Lab researches the geographical, socio-economic and cultural forces of the territory, to speculate on the identity of highly managed and cultivated landscapes.

In 2018 we will continue exploring the riparian territories of Navarre, shaped by the large-scale water engineering works developed for its intensive agricultural production. As Spain advances its irrigation and cultivation techniques, it also faces radical territorial alterations. Simultaneously, the increased production of Spanish food due to the popularity of Spanish cuisine have turned its territories into a breadbasket of Europe and beyond. Within this context, Terrain Lab will seek a critical response through design and investigate food as a tool for social development. We will look at manufactured landscapes to understand land resources and food industry as crucial cultural ingredients for the construction of Spain's identity and the progress of local economies.

This experience will be the essence of the programme, excursions, on site research, laboratory observations and studio analysis. We will develop a critical toolbox of mapping, visual and material techniques to design a project that condense, convey and expose this culture through a collective proposal to local governments and communities.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

  • A series of architectural and cultural lectures will be delivered by local experts and professionals in the fields of architecture, landscape, agriculture and gastronomy
  • Multi-scalar approach of territorial processes through a critical analysis of site specific conditions
  • Cutting-edge technologies will be used to document and speculate on this manufactured territory at multiple scales. Participants will be introduced to projective and interactive cartographic tools (GIS ArcMap, ArcGlobe, ArcScene, CAESAR- fluvial simulation, Drone Photogrammetry), to computational skills in parametric modelling (Rhinoceros + Grasshopper), drawing and editing (Adobe suite)
  • Students will visit local farmers and engage with local policy makers. Participants’ final presentation and exhibition will be held and presented to the public at the COAVN, Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos Vasco Navarro at the end of the course
  • Participants will be able to experience first-hand traditional cultivation and cooking techniques at the Casa Gurbindo located within the Aranzadi Park. A project completed in 2013 by AldayJover which formalizes the interaction between fluvial dynamics, the progressive human occupation with agriculture and public space
  • Participants will visit Navarre peculiars towns for food production of protected designation of origin to learn their cycles and roles in shaping the landscape as well as influencing the local architecture. Selected food-tasting will complement this experience providing the opportunity to meet with local producers, professionals and stakeholders
  • Being within just an hour’ drive from Pamplona, excursions will include a visit to San Sebastian, famous for its gastronomy and high concentration of Michelin stars chefs and one of the world’s finest dining experiences city and testimony of the Basque culinary capital
  • The workshop will conclude with the most famous Spanish Running of the Bulls, the opening of the nine-day festival of Sanfermines
  • Upon completion of the programme, participants will receive a certificate from the Architectural Association


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.

The deadline for applications is: 16 June 2018.

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.

Calle Universidad, B33, 31009 Pamplona, Navarra, Spain


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant or £795 for professionals which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee.

Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but accommodation options can be advised. 

Early-bird concessions 

If you apply before 1 May 2018, students and professionals will receive a concession of £100 off the course fees (including £60 membership).

Early bird fees for students:  £595 including membership

Early bird fees for professionals: £695 including membership

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.

All participants are reponsible for their own insurance including travel and health insurance. All participants also need to ensure that any equipment and valuable items such as laptops are covered by their own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen.

The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, phd candidates and young professionals. We welcome students and young professionals of diverse backgrounds such as engineering, geography, anthropology, as well as architecture and urbanism/planning. The eligibility of applicants who do not have a design-related background will be assessed on an individual basis by the Programme Head/s.
Software Requirements: Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino (SR7 or later). No previous knowledge of the softwares are required, as they will be taught on the course.

Programme Heads

Elena Longhin is an architect, landscape urbanist and researcher. She has worked throughout Europe and South America with several practices such as Secchi-Viganò and OMA. She has taught the Intermediate 15 Unit at the Architectural Association in 2015/16 as well as the AA Visiting School in Pyongyang, DPRK, in Myanmar and Spain. Her recent works, including exhibits at the 15th and 14th Venice Biennale, have been published in both printed and digital media, and most recently showcased in Japan, Chile and Hong Kong. She is a Phd candidate at the IUAV where she received her MArch in Architecture and Urbanism, and a graduate of the Landscape Urbanism programme of the AA.

Silvia Ribot is a Spanish architect and landscape urbanist. She has been a tutor at the AA Visiting School in Mexico City and previously has taught within the Landscape Urbanism Programme. She has lectured in UK and Spain and works between large-scale research projects and practice, collaborating with several established offices in the field of landscape architecture among which GroundLab and AECOM in the last year. She studied architecture in Madrid and Sao Paulo and gained her MA in Landscape Urbanism at the Architectural Association. 



DroneMadrid, Universidad de Navarra


Programme Head/s
Elena Longhin
Silvia Ribot

Visiting School Director

Christopher Pierce

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

Links & Downloads


Programme site

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Visiting School Prospectus


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