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Chengdu AAVS 2019 Completed pavilion with students at Luxe Lakes, Chengdu, China.


Marking the City

Wednesday 8 – Friday 17 July 2020

Today, Chengdu is one of the most rapidly growing cities in China. Entire residential compounds the size of typical European small towns are being envisioned and built within the city from scratch, creating enclaves within the larger urban environment.

As part of this year’s workshop we will look at the public life of the city of Chengdu and question the role public spaces play within the context of the city’s expanding periphery & renewed residential enclaves.

We will examine existing public spaces, such as the People’s Park, and their role in the daily life of the city’s residents. We will look at social activities and how these spaces are intended to accommodate, or are adapted to, traditional activities such as dancing, tea drinking, or calligraphy, among others.

As part of this 10 day workshop we will have an opportunity to question whether traditional activities are given the opportunity to exist within new contexts, and whether urban expansion calls for new typologies when it comes to public space.  

We will conduct research, design and build a pavilion as part of the growing Luxelakes development in Chengdu.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

1. The teaching team consist of AA Tutors, former AA students, global and local architects and educators.

2. The course consist of a lecture program, design and prototyping workshops, and fabrication of a full size pavilion in a major location in the city of Chengdu.


1) You can make an application by completing the online application found under ‘Links and Downloads’ on the right-hand column of 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.

3) A limited number of full merit-based scholarships are available. If you are interested in applying, please send your portfolio (10 pages max) and a short biography to the Visiting School Office. A portfolio/short biography is only required if you are applying for a scholarship.

4) Historically this program program has filled up very quickly and is restricted to a maximum of 40 applicants. The deadline for applications is 1 May 2020.


The workshop is open to prospective and current architecture students, recent graduates and young architecture professionals.


Chengdu Luxelakes Eco-city, Southern Section of Tianfu Road, Tianfu New District, Chengdu.


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £60 Digital Membership fee, payable by all participants.

Fees do not include flights or accommodation. Students need to bring their own laptops.


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.


Stewart Dodd studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture he has combined practice and teaching for over 20 years; he has taught as a Unit Master at the Bartlett School, University College London and at the Architectural Association, London. He is member of ARB, the RIBA and the RIBA Education Board. He has been an external examiner at the Bartlett School of Architecture, the University of Salford, University of Ulster, University of Brighton and the University for the Creative Arts. He has over the past 5 years spoken extensively at many universities in China and judged several architecture competitions including the Qionglai Wenmaixiang City Renovation and Architecture Design Competition and the International Architectural Design Competition of Jincheng Park.

Anya Martsenko is an architectural designer living and working in London. She graduated from the Architectural Association (RIBA/ARB Part II, AADipl). She has worked for a number of leading London-based practices including Universal Design Studio and currently EBBA Architects. She has been part of the AAVS Chengdu teaching team since 2016.

Ray Lu studied at the Architectural Association, he has combined practice and teaching for over 10 years . He is currently the coordinator of AAVS Chengdu and the Chief Creative Officer of Sichuan Architectural Design Institute (SADI). He is also the director of THE BRIDGE group and a guest professor at Sichuan University. In 2016 he acted as curator and was a TED* keynote speaker.


Luxe Lakes / Chengdu Wide Horizon Limited


Programme Heads
Stewart Dodd
Anya Martsenko

Programme Coordinator
Ray Lu

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

Links & Downloads



Visiting School Prospectus


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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.