Nanotourism Kakaʻako, a 600-acre waterfront district in downtown Honolulu, originated as coastal swamplands, where native Hawaiians fished, produced salt, launched their canoes and practiced religious rituals.

This is an archive page for Nanotourism

Forthcoming dates for this school to be announced.


Nanotourist Strategies for Honolulu

Friday 6 – Saturday 21 July 2018

Today, mass tourism is largely defining the way our society's travels and experiences the world. Many of its developments have deteriorated and largely homogenised the once diverse territories they have invaded, ultimately contributing to a superficial understanding of the specific conditions existing in its surrounding contexts.

AA Visiting School nanotourism focuses on the research and development of alternative, nanotourist strategies in various locations around the world. Through intensive courses, the aim is to propose site-specific projects, which function as either actions or built structures, operating as temporary or permanent interventions in their respective communities.
Nanotourism is a constructed term describing a creative critique to the current environmental, social and economic downsides of mainstream tourism, operating as a participatory, locally oriented, bottom-up alternative. It functions as a social tool to stimulate mutual interaction between provider and user by co-creation or exchange of knowledge. It is not about scale, but more a projected ability to construct responsible experiences using local material and social resources. Nanotourism is beyond tourism - it is an attitude to improve specific everyday environments and to open up new local economies.
This year we plan to research and develop the strategies of nanotourism in Honolulu, Hawai’i, a context defined by a mix of indigenous and contemporary cultures, operating in an environment globally famous for its industry of mass tourism. On an average day, Hawaii’s 1.4 million residents host 220,000 visitors and up to 35,000 people fly in and out of its airports. In 2017 more than 9.1 million tourists were projected to visit Hawai’i, with an expected rise to just over 9.5 million by 2020.
The intensive two-week, research-design-build programme will focus on Kakaʻako, an emerging and vibrant 600-acre waterfront district in downtown Honolulu. Through hands-on collaboration with local institutions, we will develop strategies and projects, that aim at challenging the existing notion of tourism by creating hyper site-specific interventions in 1:1 scale.

Prominent Features & Skills developed

  • waterfront location in downtown Honolulu
  • international & multi-disciplinary speakers at introductory lecture series
  • prominent international jury members
  • trips to local sites


  • theoretical / conceptual approach to architectural thinking
  • theoretical / critical studies in tourism
  • PAR (participatory action research)


  • user as a design tool’ approach to designs
  • site-specific design strategies
  • digital & analogue prototyping


  • hands-on, 1:1 construction of prototypes
  • learning by doing…and re-doing
  • working with locally sourced materials

Programme outcomes
Research, Design and Build course: site-specific strategies, site-specific 1:1 installations, temporary or permanent events, digital & analogue prototypes, digital presentations, animation and film making, exhibition design


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: 8 June 2018.

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.


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 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.

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.

The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, phd candidates and young professionals. Software Requirements: Adobe Creative Suite (Illustrator, Photoshop, Indesign), Rhino, video-editing software (iMovie / Premiere or After Effects)

Programme Heads

Aljoša Dekleva graduated at Faculty of Architecture in Ljubljana and Architectural Association DRL (M.Arch with distinction) in London (2002). At the AA co-founded +RAMTV. In 2003 he co-founded the architectural practice ‘dekleva gregoric architects’.

Karla Sierralta graduated at the Universidad del Zulia School of Architecture in Venezuela and at the University of Illinois at Chicago ( M. Arch, Fulbright Scholar). In 2007 she co-founded the design strategy and architectural practice Strawn + Sierralta. She has taught architecture studios since 2006 and is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa.

Brian Strawn graduated at the University of Illinois at Chicago (M. Arch) and Illinois Institute of Technology’s Institute of Design (Master of Design). In 2007 he co-founded the design strategy and architectural practice Strawn + Sierralta. He also leads research and strategy projects at the University of Hawaiʻi Community Design Center.

Programme Assistant

Jakob Travnik graduated in architecture from University of Applied Arts Vienna, Institute of Architecture (Mag. Arch. with distinction). Currently working on his PhD on the topic of nanotourism as well as teaching at TU Vienna.


Programme Head
Aljoša Dekleva

Programme Assistant
Jakob Travnik

Head of Visiting School

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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