El Alto Crucero del Sur, El Alto Visiting School 2018

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El Alto

La Paz

Monday 22 July – Sunday 4 August 2019

The ‘Portable Cholets’ Visiting School will use Freddy Mamani’s spectacularly vivid cholets (brightly coloured mansions), along with the vibrant culture of the surrounding El Alto area, as inspiration for a piece of wearable performance architecture that will question notions of identity, folklore and contemporary rituals. In the streets of La Paz, the most ordinary routines are naturally transformed into unique spiritual happenings. Architecture offers a unique way of creatively tapping into and exploring this process.

Through using architectural tools, we will analyse El Alto’s diverse range of visual languages, as well as religious and cultural references, to extract design principles and spatial hierarchies. In particular, we will look at scale in relation to the human body, and investigate the costumes and choreography of a traditional Bolivian dance: the Diablada. We will then craft our own characters to construct a multi-layered performance piece that deals with popular myths.  This will build on our work last year, developing masks. Ultimately, the stunning buildings of Mamani and El Alto will be reimagined as costumes – wearable and portable cholets.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

Act 1: Sampling (with Patricio Crooker, Photographer)

During the first days we explore El Alto, the highest metropoli in the world, mapping selected cholets and the surrounding markets. Students will search for shooting locations based on their interest and investigation. We will sample precise architectural bits, record symbolic signs and pair them with daily found objects – recovering forgotten myths and looking for meaningful clashes.

Act 2: Crafting (with Freddy Mamani Silvestre, Architect)

The actual translation will then take place: the cholets will be dissected and recomposed into personified miniatures. We will work mainly with clay, understanding its properties and construction techniques. Earthy finishings will be combined with polished components, the masks will be conceived as open interfaces for additions of alternative material fragments.

Act 3: Performing (with Marcos Loayza, Film Director)

The architectural masks will become portable cholets: alive characters inhabited by the students. They will collectively build and record an urban performance, a collection of moments to embody a culturally generated spatial narrative. And, eventually, to represent a constructed accomplishment of another form of Andean syncretism: the physical convergence between architecture and its actors.


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  visitingschool@aaschool.ac.uk 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:  20 July 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.


The Studio - La Paz
Final Exhibition “Cupola de Adobe” - Parque Urbano Central, Roboré, Bolivia


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £860 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee.

Fees include tuition and private transportation around the city and to El alto. All museums entrances, workshop setup, materials and tools are provided. Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but accommodation options can be advised. 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. Software Requirements: Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino (SR7 or later)


Sabrina Morreale is an Architect and Illustrator based between Bangkok and London. She is collaborating with various magazines as Rivista Studio, Cartha Magazine and Elle as illustrator and with the RIBA as curator assistant. Her projects have always been related to the idea of fragmentation, using different media, enhancing the process of how things are made and assembled together. She constantly work with model making experimenting through casting, weaving and different fabrication techniques.

Lorenzo Perri graduated with Honours from the Architectural Association in 2016. He has taught as a consultant for Intermediate 7 and Diploma 8 at the Architectural Association, while participating to several competition with international firms (Amid. Cero9, Elemental). He is the co- founder of the research-based Plakat Platform and architectural practice Ecòl. Obsessed with geometry and aesthetics, precision and expression, before architecture he studied engineering and classical piano.

Lemonot is a design and research platform co-founded by Sabrina Morreale and Lorenzo Perri, who graduated together from the Architectural Association in London. Their work investigates architectural production and its implications on other disciplines. They use Architecture as a methodology to reach different outcomes: from toys to pastry tools, from tattoos to story-telling.

They taught at the AA Summer School since 2016, investigating gifs and kitbashing techniques. They are now Adjunct Professors at INDA International Program in Design and Architecture in Bangkok, Thailand


Programme Heads
Sabrina Morreale
Lorenzo Perri

Programme Tutor
Freddy Mamani Silvestre

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.