Sri Lanka, Columbo ‘Hindus have called it moksha, the absolute freedom. There is nothing like it. The whole prison is shattered. You are simply under the infinite sky. Fear grips you; you want to go back to your home, cosy, walled, fenced. The infinite is not there, you are not afraid.’ – B.S. Rajneesh

This is an archive page for Sri Lanka, Columbo

Forthcoming dates for this school to be announced.

Sri Lanka, Columbo


Sunday 27 August – Sunday 10 September 2017

“[we] … find ourselves in an environment that promises us adventure, power, joy, growth, transformation of ourselves and our world - and at the same time, that threatens to destroy everything we have, everything we know, everything we are…” – Marshall Berman

We felt as if the late Marshall Berman was speaking to us as we uncovered hidden stories of Saigon last year. Today many ‘developing’ tropical regions find themselves transforming more rapidly than ever before in a torrent of converging forces which promise empowerment and freedom but also bring unforeseen loss, complexity and struggle.
Tropicality invites you to join our group of nomads as we construct architectural stories of dwelling and the domestic space in enigmatic tropical places. For the past two years we explored urbanising Costa Rica and Vietnam, this year we will journey to the southern Indian Ocean. Both a sense of urgency in our own work, and a hope for an interesting future compel us to search beneath the towers, suburbs and slums and to de-mystify the nostalgic and exotic.
Using selected writings, and through discussions of cinema, critical history and architecture, we will assume the role of forensic investigators, heightening our sense of suspicion, sharpening our gaze. We will use interviews and material evidence to reveal personal stories of uncertainty, conflict, power and independence behind progress, economic growth, changing habits and routines. Based on close-readings of personal stories of the house and searches for dwelling you will then build a narrative, thesis, film and diagram which together become a vision: both as a way of seeing and projecting.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed
This is a crash course on contemporary theories on dwelling, home and domesticity. Critical thinking and writing as well as jury and critique sessions. You will learn cinematographic language and cinema theory as well as sound and film editing software.


We have limited places, if you are interested or have questions drop us a line to or send us a message through our Facebook site:
1)Secure your place 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 eg: 25 August 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.

Colombo, Sri Lanka further information on location to be forthcoming


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £760 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee.
Group discounts and payment options are available please ask the course coordinator at or send us a message through our Facebook site:
Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but accommodation options can be advised. Students need to bring their own laptops and storage devices. Please ensure this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen at the workshop.

The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, phd candidates and young professionals of several disciplines including, history, sociology, film, media, architecture and design.

Brendon Carlin has been a Unit Master at the Architectural Association since 2010, is currently a PhD candidate with the AA’s PhD by Design programme, contributor to The City as a Project and Director at Urban Systems. Brendon has practiced and taught extensively in practices and institutions worldwide including numerous AA Visiting School Programmes globally.

Maria Paez Gonzalez is a practicing architect, an associate with Foster + Partners and a leading member in the design and construction of Apple Campus, the new Apple headquarters. She has tutored workshops in the Architectural Association and Veritas University. She is also the founding member of Fundacion HCGB which works to preserve the architectural heritage of Coro, Venezuela a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Andrew Houston is a film theory scholar and currently lectures on the development of film expression, contemporary global cinema, Italian Neo-Realism and French New Wave cinema in addition to tutoring post production studio at the prestigious Colorado Film School. Andrew has won several awards as a short filmmaker and is releasing his first feature length film this year.

Waseda University
AA School



Programme Head
Brendon Carlin
Maria Paez Gonzalez

Programme Tutors
Andrew Houston

Visiting School Director

Christopher Pierce

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

Links & Downloads

Publicity card

Programme site



Share |

Visiting School Prospectus


The Architectural Association, Inc. is a Registered Charity Incorporated as a Company limited by guarantee. Registered in England No.171402. Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

Click here to read the AA’s latest review report.

Click here to read the AA’s latest action plan.