This is an archive page for Lyon

Forthcoming dates for this school to be announced.


Chocolate and Other Powders. Earth and Digital Ongoing Research

Thursday 25 June – Saturday 4 July 2015

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, there is a rapture on the lonely shore, there is society, where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar: I love not man the less, but Nature more.

-- George Gordon, Lord Byron

For the 3rd edition of our Mud & Digital AA Visiting School, We will keep on cutting our way through the pathless woods and work together as an experimental lab, to define new structures that never were before.
We will embark on Experiments using our body, letting our inner child go free and get dirty, and our natural tendency to enjoy touching the material when it is paste, when it is powder, when it is sprayed, when it is stretched. We’ll define new verbs together.

We’ll continue our quest for the Holy Grail to lead on using the CNC machine as a giant 3 D printer for earth.
We will use Elvis the small robot to pour and spray mixes of earth, fibres, sand, olive oil, washing liquid.
We’ll define new ingredients to improve the taste of our recipe together.
Using fabric as a formwork to establish thin earthen shells of different geometries and morphologies has reached new paradigms for us.
We’ll maintain the intensity and develop this field.

Finally, using earth to fabricate prefabs is a domain that has been rarely investigated.
We’re proud of continuing the 1m earthen tiles we’ve started last year to reach manufacturing perfection and patents potential.
Our energy will be deployed to re-invent new social realities, and to explore new alternatives in Emergen(t)cy sustainable housing.

Les Grands Ateliers de L’Isle d’Abeau
Impasse du Pont, 38090 Villefontaine, France


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. A CV or a portfolio is not required.

The deadline for applications is 23rd June 2015.

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.

Link to Riau Island Visiting School


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant. The fee includes a £60 Visiting membership fee. If you wish to enhance your membership, a Subscribing Membership is available at an additional £70 (£130 in total), full details of which can be found at:

Fees do not include flights or accommodation. There is an option for accommodation next to the GA for £13/night.

Here is a list of hotels who work often with the Grands Ateliers and where you can ask a significant discount as we have special rates for our workshop participants.

Village Hotel
University sharing accommodation. Please contact us for this one
Mercure Isle D’Abeau
La Bicyclette Fleurie
Hotel Ibis Isle D’Abeau

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.

Workshop/ Skills developed

Our past talks include Martin Rauch, Marta Male Alemany, Philippe Block, Christopher Pierce, Rowland Keable Keng Hua chua.
Talks 2015 to be announced soon.
Regular local collaborator: Patrice Doat Director of CRATerre Unesco, Wilfredo Carazas and Philippe Liveneau.


The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, phd candidates and young professionals. Software Requirements: Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino (SR7 or later)

Call for “AA Student Ambassador Student” for AA Lyon and Riau Island.
Please get in touch to know more about the conditions.

Directors Bios:

Stéphanie Chaltiel graduated from France in 2005. She worked in Madrid, Mexico, French Guiana, Paris, New York, London and was recently teaching at SUTD (Singapore University of Technologies & Design) in Singapore. After working for Bernard Tschumi, OMA and Zaha Hadid, she completed her Emergent Technologies & Design Master at the AA in 2010. She currently teaches in various universities in the UK and runs her own practice using Digital Crafts for furniture manufacturing: CaliSSon DeSign
Marie-Perrine Placais holds Masters from École d’Architecture Paris-Malaquais (2000) and Sciences Po-Paris (Urban Planning, 2001). She joined Zaha Hadid Architects in 2008 after working in Paris, Rouen and Shanghai. Her experience has ranged in scale from large urban design projects to hand-made prototypes and includes competitions, workshops and design juries in France (Europan 6, Grand Projet de Ville de Rouen), China (Shanghai Tongji University) and Brazil (Architecture sans Frontières).


Programme Directors
Stephanie Chaltiel
Marie-Perrine Placais

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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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.