Las Pozas Las Pozas Visiting School 2016

Las Pozas

Montem - Beton Machine

SUMMER 2018 - Dates TBC

The Las Pozas Visiting School will be studying modern precedents of abstract architecture and produce a series of concrete pieces and interventions in the Mexican jungle. Based in Edward James’ surrealist garden in Las Pozas, participants in the workshop will explore the formwork techniques devised by James and his workers on the site before going on to develop their own techniques.

Drawing on the vast legacy of Mexican modernism, we will work on a series of landscape interventions and land art proposals - with a particular focus on concrete experimentation - with potential sites around Mexico. Departing from a study of the intricate wooden formworks, we will develop casting methods by rescaling as well as defragmenting and collaging the formworks and casts, while experimenting with a variety of aggregates and incorporating new techniques. The workshop will end with an exhibition of the projects in Mexico City.

Prominent Features of the workshop / skills developed

The workshop will take place inside the Surrealist Garden of Las Pozas in the Mexican Jungle where we will also stay in the gardens in constructions that were initially built for the builders who built Las Pozas. We will use Edward James’ Carpenter’s Workshop in the garden to develop models and our first abstract studies as well as bringing contemporary tools and form finding techniques in this initial stage.

In a second stage, an open workshop will be set up in La Era site in the jungle to perform our concrete experimentations, which we have refined over the years and allows the full production of any kind of pieces we require. This will allow us to be in direct contact with the materials, aggregates, textures and casting techniques that will inform the direction of our concrete intervention.

The Las Pozas VS focuses on abstract form and the relation between positive and negative, mould and form. While our briefs are often inspired by different art forms, they are always reinterpreted through the contemporary lens of the AA.


1) Before submitting your online application you should contact AAVS Las Pozas at with a personal statement telling us why you wish to join the Las Pozas VS and some work samples or images. We are intererested in people from different artistic backgrounds and we have previously accepted sculptors, architects and designers as well as students or professionals from non-architectural fields.

2) After your place in the workshop has been confirmed by AAVS Las Pozas Programme Heads, you can make an application by completing the online application found under ‘Links and Downloads’ on the AA Visiting School page or by following the links below. If you are not able to make an online application, email for instructions on how to pay by bank transfer.

3) Once you complete the online application and make a full payment, you are registered on the programme.
Deadline for application is yet TBC, however we do suggest applying early as places for the workshop are limited to 12 participants.


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £1200 per participant, which includes a £60 visiting membership fee. For details of Visiting Member benefits please click here. If you are already a member, the total fee will be reduced automatically by £60 by the online payment system.
Fees include tuition, private transportation around the city and to Xilitla, workshop setup, materials and tools. Accommodation and food is not included but we are negotiating cheap group prices in Mexico City and in the Gardens.
Flights to Mexico City are not included.

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.

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.

Las Pozas Garden, Xilitla, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.

Programme Heads

Umberto Bellardi Ricci
Lucas Cantu
Kanto Iwamura
Carlos H Matos


Programme Heads

Umberto Bellardi Ricci
Lucas Cantu
Kanto Iwamura
Carlos H Matos

Visiting School Director

Christopher Pierce

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

Links & Downloads

Programme site


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Visiting School Prospectus


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