Moulding Matters

Thursday 20 – Saturday 29 September 2018

Naples Visiting School will revisit the ‘ornamental’ in architecture through the production of 1:1 plaster mouldings. From the grammatically-correct Classicism of a 19th century ceiling rose to the geometric abstractions of a Modernist fireplace, from fragments of Pompei’s remains to the grand excesses of a Baroque cornice, we will reconsider a breadth of historical precedents to generate our own formal grammar.

The workshop will take place within the recently-restored church of Santa Maria della Misericordiella, a sixteenth and seventeenth century cult building, made of two churches one on top of the other. The students will have selected pieces from a selection of more than 500 original plaster moulds dating from the 1950’s to today from which to start their investigations. We will learn directly from a master craftsman’s expertise, reworking traditional forms that will then be reinterpreted and ornamentally questioned. Each student will develop and construct a series of their own moulds from which to cast their formal experiments and ultimately a site specific installation within the complex.

The raw material for our experiments will be found in Naples and its rich tradition of stuccowork and plaster moulding. Students will develop their projects through empirical observation as much as obsessive sketching and measured hand-drawing. Other than the daily workshop activities, the Visiting School will include lectures and special arranged site visits throughout the Naples’ Old Town. The project will conclude with the collective design of a public exhibition featuring the participants’ work.

The project will be undertaken with the local association ‘SMMAVE’.

We will start with a lecture concerning the theory and application of mouldings and case studies on how to create our own formal grammar.

Following a workshop from a local moulding expert artisan showing us how to recreate some of his collections. Introduction to casting and mould making in plaster, each student will then be able to work with a chosen mould and recreate there own as a formal base to further investigate. Extensive on site plaster modelling, we have total freedom to work on several details of the entire complex.

Visits to selected buildings in Naples with on site observational sketching and drawing.

Presentation and argumentation skills for the development of a project. Exhibition layout and design for our final day.


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.

The deadline for applications is 15 August 2018

For more information and inquiries in regards to this programme, contact

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.


The AA Visiting School requires a course fee of £695.
Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but accommodation options can be organised. Students need to bring their own laptops, digital equipment and model making tools. 

The Visiting School offers concessions to group applications, for more information please contact

A brief statement of why you are interested is required.We accept students and professionals, in the fields of art, history, architecture, and design. Art historians and model makers are encouraged.

Complesso della Misericordiella, Via Fuori Porta San Gennaro 15, 80137, Napoli, Italia

Programme Head

Jessica Virginia Pappalardo graduated from the Architectural Association London in 2013. Worked in Sao Paulo for Landscape Architect Orsini, redesigning jungle features around homes, she also collaborated with Oficina Sao Joaò on the making of several furniture pieces and film sets for Brazilian TV. Currently working on a house in Seven Sisters for a Japanese TV producer, a 17th century apartment flat in Historical Naples, and aiming to bring international students to learn from Neapolitan stucco experts with the AAVS ‘ Made in Cloister ’. She taught at the AA in Foundation and First Year, several briefs concerning the City and its phenomena. Published articles for several design magazines, such as Hong Kong magazine Hinge and the Scandinavian. Works in between Naples and London where she splits her office.

Programme Tutor

Lingxiu Chong graduated from the Architectural Association in 2015 and is presently based in San Francisco. Her work in architectural design, conservation and academia pursues new interpretations and interventions for historic structures and environments. She is now practicing with Page & Turnbull as designer and preservation architect on various restoration projects in California, and previously worked as project consultant with OMA and building administrator for All Soul's Church in London. Her independent projects combine research with outreach and performance, and she has presented and published work in London and Singapore and has been involved with organising several events such as the AA XX 100 research initiative and AA Independent Radio.

Jonathan Foote, Ph.D. is a researcher and associate professor of history and theory at the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. His research concerns the architectural translation between ideas and materials and the significance of historical building practices as a site for imagination. He has published research on the drawings and workshop practices of various architects, including Michelangelo Buonarroti, Francesco Borromini, and Sigurd Lewerentz. In addition to his academic work, Jonathan runs a small design research studio, Atelier U:W, which partners locally and internationally on special projects in design and fabrication.

Antonio Donofrio, artisan and expert of Traditional Mould Making, he owns a collection of more than 500 moulds dating from the 1920’s to today, from which we will start our formal and conceptual experimentations. His workshop located in the heart of the Lanificio is one of the city’s most popular. In his grand collection you can find details from the most famous museums, villas, and palaces of the city and its surroundings. Ceiling roses, columns, fire place cornices, door details, skirting’s are just some of the numerous moulding possibilities his workshop has to offer.

Jenya Andersson graduated from the Architectural Association in 2015 and currently working at PLP Architecture in London. After working in architecture both in Moscow and in London, her passion for materials led her into the world of model making.The essence of her independent work is the subtle combination of cutting edge technology with traditional craftsmanship. Jenya's projects vary from jewelry to large-scale installations. Her oil paintings have been exhibited multiple times in Tretyakov Gallery/CDH in Moscow and recently she commissioned a pop up installation for MOY atelier in Harvey Nichols in London.

Federico Letizia studied architecture in Naples, Venice, Milan and Shanghai. Seeking for an ideal balance between education and profession, during these years he worked for Antón García-Abril / Ensamble studio (Madrid), Michele De Lucchi (Milan) and OMA (Hong Kong), while also pursuing personal projects and participating in design competitions. His works include a high-rise building in Shenzhen, a government facility in Georgia, a slaughterhouse reused as a library in Madrid, an underground theatre in Mexico City, the exhibition Balancing Act for Sejima's 2010 Venice Biennale and the awarded lamp design Tuke. He is currently carrying out his Ph.D. research in Venice, while lecturing in design studios and summer workshops at Iuav, where he is also responsible for the new-born prototyping lab Proteo.


Programme Head
Jessica Pappalardo

Programme Tutors
Lingxiu Chong
Jonathan Foote
Antonio Donofrio
Evgenia Andersson
Rem Semb

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

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