Chiloé Archipelago, Chile The tradition of La Minga in Chiloé – an old custom of floating houses in order to change their location across the archipelago.

This is an archive page for Chiloé Archipelago, Chile

Forthcoming dates for this school to be announced.

Chiloé Archipelago, Chile

A Collection of Explored Endemics

Tuesday 3 – Sunday 15 April 2018

Marking almost 200 years since Darwin's Voyage of the Beagle, we will journey to the Chiloé Archipelago in northern Patagonia and re-explore this remote area through fieldwork, relishing the opportunity to investigate an outdoor laboratory.

The region’s myriad of cultural and natural components will form the spine of our collection. We will delve deep into the archipelago's national parks, catalogue its world heritage-listed wooden churches as we listen to the legends of Trauco and other supernaturals, survey the topographical shifts of Andean volcanoes as they sink into the Pacific, observe the tides that helped mechanise the stilt houses, chronicle the politics of salmon farming crisis.
Once samples are collected, behaviours examined, witnesses interviewed, ecosystems monitored, measurements recorded and the archipelago strip-searched, our explorations will guide us to construct the ways we will tell these stories to others.

Prominent Features of the workshop/skills developed

  • We will meet in Santiago de Chile, 3rd April 2018, for group introduction and briefing. The next day we will begin our journey with a flight over 1000km south to Castro, the capital of Chiloé Island (main island in the archipelago). From there we will convoy to Isla Lebe, an isthmus with low tide, for our basecamp – Casa Rilán. The project was designed by our collaborating tutor and renowned Chilean architect Guillermo Acuña, who has a remarkable portfolio of work, has exhibited worldwide, including Maxxi in Rome and is an expert of this remote territory. The site itself is our other major asset with its strategic and captivating location in the heart of the archipelago. It will play an instrumental role as we set out on trajectories by land and sea for our collection of explored endemics.
  • By sea: we will sail a couple of days through the inner sea of the archipelago to witness the unique communities on the islands of Mechuque and Quehui, recording and documenting the fragmented territory against the backdrop of Northern Patagonia whilst questioning our relationship with extreme nature.
  • By land: we will journey to the Pacific side of Chiloé, a contrasting seascape of rough and exposed coastline, with large communities of wild life; penguins, whales and sea lions. Shorter trajectories will take us around the chain of wooden churches, the palafitos (stilt houses), local shipyards, and pursuits of other endemic cultures such as the minga - the tradition of moving houses by the sea, and finding out about the myths of various supernaturals that are deeply embedded in local traditions.
  • The nature of this Visiting School is very much about outdoor fieldwork rather than a cozy studio/workshop environment with Google as its main tool. Working as a team we will seek to collect and investigate as much first hand material as we can regarding the cultural and natural DNA of the Archipelago. In the evenings we will be exchanging and editing information about our findings and tailoring our trajectories for the next day, in order to maximize the wealth of our collection.
  • As we explore numerous fields of specific inquiries, we will begin to work on ways of communicating our collection, either borrowing from the great explorers or referencing contemporary media.


1) You can make an application by contacting the VS Office at

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. However a short bio/statement is required, highlighting the applicant’s background.

The deadline for applications is 23 March 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.

Casa Rilán, Isla Lebe, Peninsula de Rilán, Chiloé - Chile 5709001


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of 1.070.000 CLP (Chilean Pesos) per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee. The applicant is required to pay the equivalent amount in GBP on the day of the payment. Please contact the VS Office on if you wish to apply.

We will meet in Santiago de Chile, 3rd April 2018. Fees include ALL expenses for Chiloé: tuition, accommodation in Casa Rilan, a house designed by our collaborating tutor and renowned architect Guillermo Acuña, all meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner), and all transportation costs including the return flights Santiago – Chiloé. However, fees do not cover any costs in Santiago: accommodation and meal for one night as well as flights to Santiago.

Students need to bring their own laptops, cameras, and other recording 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, design, art/fine art, film, media and students from other creative disciplines, phd candidates and young professionals. Equipment Requirements: Cameras (D-SLR preferred with video recording), laptops, other recording and measuring tools deemed necessary by the applicant. Software Requirements: Adobe Creative Suite, CAD, video editing software.

Programme Heads
Selim Halulu
Juan E Subercaseaux

Chiloé Coordinator & Collaborating tutor
Guillermo Acuña

Selim Halulu trained at the AA (2007-14) and worked for Cloud 9 (Barcelona) and Metropolitan Workshop (London). After graduating he resumed his career in Santiago, Chile, where he practiced with Cecilia Puga, taught at Pontificia Universidad Católica, and travelled the otherworldly cultures and landscapes of South America. Selim recently won the 2017 Tallinn Architecture Biennale Competition and currently lives in London, working on a residential retrofitting project and teaches at Leicester School of Architecture. He has contributed to The Architectural Review, GA Houses, ArchDaily.

Juan E Subercaseaux had lived in London for 7 years where he studied and taught at the AA and worked for KPF as Associate Principal. Juan is now based in Chile with his own practice and teaches at Pontificia Universidad Católica, in Santiago. He holds degrees in both, Industrial Design (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso 1998) and Architecture (AA MArch EmTech 2006). This background supports his pursuit of a distinct architectural profile, convening articulated design processes and innovative construction methods.

Juan was Selim’s tutor at the AA back in 2008, First Year Technical Studies


Programme Heads
Selim Halulu
Juan E Subercaseaux

Chiloé Coordinator & Collaborating tutor
Guillermo Acuña

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

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