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Mexico City Planetary Urbanisation by AA Ground LAB for a project commissioned by the Inter American Development Bank

Mexico City

Metropolitan Landscapes

Friday 21 August – Saturday 21 November 2020

Metropolitan Landscapes is a joint Post Graduate Diploma Programme with a duration of six months run by Tec de Monterrey (Tec) in Mexico and the Architectural Association (AA) in London. The programme offers weekend sessions on campus in various cities across Mexico (Mexico City, Guadalajara, Monterrey) by Tec de Monterrey and weekend online sessions by the AA with a weeklong fieldtrip to London, UK.  It combines Tec’s entrepreneurial culture with the experimental tradition of the AA and looks at the emerging planetary role of metropolitan regions while challenging the notion of a ‘so called’ urban age and tackling the climate emergency.

Metropolitan Landscapes looks critically at the the historical relation between society and nature through the intricate and interdepend relation between urban dense environments and the landscapes (productive, operative, logistical, extractive, etc.) necessary for it to thrive. It focuses on the role new design methodologies can play in creating alternative and innovative visions for metropolitan regions at a planetary, regional and local scale in close connection with a variety of disciplines: economy, science, planning, geography, etc. The programme aims to incorporate the design profession into wider disciplinary conversations to influence policy making, transform governance structures and convert the management of metropolitan regions into a creative, innovative and visionary practice to deliver sustainable and resilient models of urbanisation fit for the XXI century.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

  • Learn the latest and most relevant theoretical concepts and methods related to urbanisation processes and the metropolitan discipline.
  • Reflect and critically address the problems, issues, challenges and consequences of contemporary urbanisation and the existing and potential alternatives to it.
  • Practice punctual exercises that apply new technologies to understand the way they can shape the metropolitan discipline.
  • Meet and discuss with practicing professionals and academics in Mexico and UK involved in the development of the discipline.
  • Understand the crucial role of design and designers as part of an emergent metropolitan discipline and of multidisciplinary teams
  • Understand Landscape and Ecology models as part of metropolitan disciplines and professions.
  • Incorporate new technologies on cartographic practices (GIS interactive mapping,) and simulation of metropolitan dynamics (landforms and urban flows simulations).

Integrate economic concepts and policy making into innovative design practices.


1) Please contact the Visiting School Office for instructions to pay by bank transfer or by telephone.

2) Once you complete the registration form from the Visiting School Office 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. A CV or a portfolio is not required.

The deadline for applications is: 1 June 2020


This semester programme is open to current architecture and design students, PhD candidates and young professionals. It requires part time dedication and weekend sessions attendance. It is designed to allow flexibility for practicing professionals from the private or public sphere and combines, theory, practice and research sessions that includes a visit to London and live online conferences and seminars by the AA.


Mexico Visiting School 2020 is an online course from London and presential in Mexico campuses:

  • Guadalajara: Avenida General Ramón Corona 2514 Nuevo México, 45138 Zapopan, Jal.
  • Monterrey: Av. Eugenio Garza Sada 2501 Sur, Tecnológico, 64849 Monterrey, N.L.
  • Ciudad de México: Av de los Poetas 100, Santa Fe, La Loma, 01389 Ciudad de México, CDMX
  • Online sessions will take place through the Architectural Association's website.


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of $69,900 MXN (£2,900 GBP) per participant and a fee of £60 AA 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.

London travel expenses are not included in the fees.


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.


Jose Alfredo Ramirez is an architect director of Groundlab and Co-Director of the Landscape Urbanism MArch/MSc at the Architectural Association. Jose Alfredo has worked and developed projects at the junction of architecture, landscape and urbanism in a variety of contexts such as Argentina, China, Mexico, Spain, Russia, Chile among others and has published books (Critical Territories) as well as given workshops and lectured on the topic of Landscape Urbanism and the work of Groundlab worldwide.

Tec de Monterrey, Mexico


Programme Head
Jose Alfredo Ramirez (AA School)

Programme Coordinator
Alfredo Hidalgo (Tec de Monterrey)
Rossana Valdivia (Tec de Monterrey)

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

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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.