Beirut ‘Radio Silence’ bridges between gated sectarianism embodied in Horsh Beirut public park. With B. Abi Habib, Z. Bekhaazi, S. BouMatar, M. Khouri, K. Madi. (2016).

This is an archive page for Beirut

Forthcoming dates for this school to be announced.


Things that are Fascinatingly Boring

Friday 28 June – Wednesday 10 July 2019

‘Things that are Fascinatingly Boring’ is an interdisciplinary workshop based in Beirut that explores new forms of collaboration. Participants from all backgrounds are invited to share their knowledge and expertise to develop an artistic critique towards Beirut’s current social and political status. 

Participants are invited to address places, languages, and objects whose materiality seems to escape the common discourse. Rather than working with a defined goal in mind the workshop focuses on the urban contentions experienced on a daily basis by citizens in Beirut, stretching beyond architecture to generate mix-media works such as public installations, performances and photography. To interrogate the power of objects and places as tools for socio-political expression, we’ll build site-specific installations throughout the city to observe the public response as well as involve people in the making. We’ll look at objects beyond their functionality and form, to break the city’s invisible and conventional boundaries.

Introducing objects to an urban context allows people to interact with them and, as a result, they become integral to their environment. A series of simple gestures and interventions will be conducted in Beirut with the aim of breaking invisible boundaries and involving people in the making. 

“Transformation may be viewed as a fundamental creative act, basic to expression and survival; transformation here being viewed simply as the taking of an object and altering its function, meaning and character, effectively making it into another object. As a consequence of transformation, the cultural system of references that surrounds the object is also changed into another system, related to its new meaning and function. The Transformer who makes these changes recognizes the psychological as well as physical possibilities inherent in an object; the resulting development in the object’s existence being a product of the Transformer’s imagination.”

Stephen Willats, “Transformers [1989]” in Antony Hudek (ed.), The Object (London: Whitechapel Gallery and Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 2014) 77.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed:

• Hands-on experience as you are given the opportunity to go beyond designing on papers
• Model making as a medium for thinking through your hands (love your ugly model!)
• Learn how to work with a limited budget as motivation for a more creative achievement
• Experiencing work on the ground and initiating a dialogue with the city dwellers
• Developing a comprehensive perception of a collaborative process by working in groups
• Direct interaction with the public through 1:1 scale installations


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. Please note, this Visiting School has a limited capacity of 15 and we require students to submit a CV and portfolio. 

The deadline for applications is 27 June 2019.

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.


2nd floor, Nomoyan Building.
Khalil Fatal Street, near Jisr El Watti, Sin El Fil. Beirut, Lebanon.
Tel: +961 01 492694

American University of Beirut Bliss Street P.O.Box 11-0236. Riyad El-Solh, Beirut 11072020.


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee. 

Early bird places are available. Please contact the Visiting School Office for a concession code:

Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but they include site visits. Should you require any help in finding suitable accommodation, please contact the office for information. There will be accommodation available at Saifi Gardens for an incredible price. For more information check: Students are encouraged to ALL book at Saifi Gardens. It has competitive prices and close to sights.

Students need to bring their own laptops. 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 students from various creative backgrounds (both undergraduates and graduates), architects, artists, writers, performers, photographers… ready for new experiences.


Rana Haddad, an AA graduate, is the co-founder  of 200Grs and currently an assistant professor at AUB. Her research workshop (1997) was setup with her practice with the aim of questioning  the ability of objects and places to become means of political expression. Soon after, these quests turned into installation works puncturing  the city grabbing  people’s attention  locally and internationally.  With her students and colleagues, Rana Haddad has produced  several public installations and performances in the Middle  East, Europe and United States. She has lectured and given workshops in many art and architecture international institutions. 

Pascal Hachem, is an artist / product  designer represented  by Selma Feriani Gallery in Tunis / London and Federica Schiavo Gallery in Milan / Rome. He is the co-founder  of 200Grs in Beirut. He won awards in different  competitions like Bang & Olufsen and the Boghossian prize, Brussels. His work is part of Nadour Collection  in Germany and Kamel Lazaar foundation  in Switzerland.  Hachem conceives each work as a discrete experience, through  processes that employ the visual. Working through performative  acts, interventions  into urban spaces, or by creating sculptural installations in gallery settings, he sets up compelling situations which ask or even demand that the viewer pause and concentrate.


Programme Head
Rana Haddad

Programme Coordinator
Pascal Hachem

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

Links & Downloads


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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