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Jeddah Makkah captured by Madani Sindi

This is an archive page for Jeddah

Forthcoming dates for this school to be announced.


Makkah vs Makkah

Sunday 17 – Wednesday 27 March 2019

The ‘Makkah vs Makkah’ Visiting School will explore the conflict surrounding the future of the city of Mecca (‘Makkah’ in Arabic), where the Holy Mosque is rapidly being surrounded by skyscrapers. Challenging the notion of what constitutes a sacred boundary, we will trek into the unknown to explore the daily lives of the city’s inhabitants and pilgrims, along with the contrasts and contradictions that exist between them.  As Makkah undergoes its most dramatic period of transformation, we will create an alternative reading of the city that casts a critical eye on its present, acknowledges its past and reimagines its future. Through deciphering blueprints of the area, we will work to bridge the gap between visible and invisible landscapes, and debate the classification of public, private and holy spaces. Our findings will be disseminated in an archival book and vignettes, which will contribute the ongoing debate surrounding this the future of this unique, spiritual and increasingly popular destination. 


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 applicants should check their visa entry status into Saudi Arabia. All applicants must notify the AA of their travel arrangements upon applying for the visiting school, in order to arrange visa issuance with the Ministry of Interior. 

All participants are reponsible for their own insurance including travel and health insurance. All participants also need to ensure that any equipment and valuable items such as laptops are covered by their own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen.

Effat University
P.O.BOX 34689
Jeddah 21478
Saudi Arabia


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £850 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee.
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. 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) / or an equivalent CAD Drafting software.


Hussam Dakkak is an architect based in London working for Squire and Partner. Hussam is a co-founder of Studio Bound working research on projects between Europe, and the Gulf. 

Basmah Kaki is an architect based between London and Jeddah. She received her Diploma in Architecture from the AA. She was awarded the RIBA Bronze President’s Medal, the SOM Foundation Travelling Fellowship and the Design Council award. Basmah has worked in London with Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and Sir Peter Cook. She is Programme Head of the AA Jeddah Visiting School and is also co founder and partner at Studio Bound, a multidisciplinary design and research studio based between Jeddah, London and Kuwait.

Hessa Al Bader is an architect based between London and Kuwait. She earned her architectural degree from the AA, where her final thesis was awarded an honourable mention in the Dennis Sharp writing prize. She is currently working with Wafra Real Estate in Kuwait, her previous experience includes working with AGi (Kuwait) and BDP (London). Hessa also serves as Programme Head of the AA Jeddah Visiting School and is also co-founder and partner at Studio Bound, a multidisciplinary design and research studio based between Jeddah, London and Kuwait.


Programme Heads
Hussam Dakkak
Basmah Kaki
Hessa Al Bader

Visiting School Coordinator
Jolene Malek

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

Links & Downloads

Publicity card

Programme site

Social Media


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.