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Ring of Fire AAVS Ring of Fire 2019: Inflatable Crafted Mould Prototype, Pamela Cortez.

Ring of Fire


Saturday 12 – Monday 21 December 2020

The ‘Ring of Fire’ Visiting School will explore innovative ways of designing shelters to respond to natural disasters in a 40,000 km area of the Pacific Ocean, known as the Ring of Fire. Stretching across multiple countries, from Chile, to Mexico, to Japan, to Antarctica, the Ring of Fire is responsible from 90 percent of the world’s earthquakes and the majority of the world’s largest volcano eruptions. To help tackle the huge effects this has on local people and their homes, we will use architectural methods to create new, adaptable and replicable forms of shelters that are able to be adapted for use in multiple locations. These will use simple fabrication methods to address the challenges of scarce technology, materials, tools and resources in many of the areas where they are needed most.  Our aim is to offer a smarter and faster form of reconstruction, with a particular focus on resilient systems, material research and experimental design. Our work will conclude with the construction of a 1:1 scale multi-use prototype that will have the potential to be easily scaled and replicated in multiple locations in the ‘Ring of Fire’.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

  • Lectures on post-catastrophe architecture
  • Architectural systems design methods
  • Material research
  • Resilient systems
  • Experimental design
  • 3D modelling in Rhino
  • 1:1 prototype fabrication
  • Installation
  • Sensible design criteria
  • Design and fabrication with low resources


1) You can make an application by completing the online application found on this webpage. If you are not able to make an online application, please contact the Visiting School Office for instructions to pay by bank transfer or by telephone.

2) Once you complete the online application and make a full payment, you are registered onto the programme. Please note that a deposit payment holds your place on the course but does not confirm it. A CV or portfolio is not required.

The deadline for applications is 1 October 2020.


The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, PhD candidates and young professionals. Software Requirements: Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino


As the area of study is of planetary scale, the AAVS is proposed to be developed as a long-term nomadic programme that will take place in a number of locations and cities within the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire; gathering institutions, professionals and people together, in order to build up a global discussion on how architecture should engage with issues arising from natural disasters.


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £760 per participant, which includes a £60 Digital Membership fee, payable by all participants.

Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but accommodation options can be advised. Students need to bring their own laptops, digital equipment and model making tools.


All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required, and are advised to contact their home embassy early. After full payment of course fees, the AA School can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop.


All participants are responsible for securing their own travel and health insurance. Please ensure that your travel insurance also covers your personal belongings i.e. laptop, equipment, tools, passport etc. The AA takes no responsibility for lost/ stolen property.


Barbara Barreda is an architect and gained her Master in Architecture Emergent Technologies and Design (EmTech) at the AA. Barbara is Co-Founder and Partner at BASE studio. She has been co-director at Ciudad Emergente and collaborated with architecture offices in Santiago and London, working on projects for America, Europe and Asia. Bárbara has been professor at Diego Portales and UDD Universities Architecture Schools in Chile, teachng architectural design courses focused on experimental and generative design.

Felipe Sepulveda is an architect and Master in Architecture & Urbanism Design Research Lab (DRL) at the AA. Felipe is Co-Founder and Partner at BASE studio. He worked at Urban Systems Office, has been coordinator of the Digital Prototyping Lab and invited jury at the Architectural Association. Currently, besides directing BASE, Felipe is also an architectural design professor, researcher and head of the Technological Transference Department at UDD Architecture Faculty in Santiago, Chile.


Programme Heads
Bárbara Barreda
Felipe Sepulveda

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

Links & Downloads


Programme site

Social Media


Visiting School Prospectus


The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.