Rome Metaball_diagrid by Arturo Tedeschi



Dates to be confirmed.

Michelangelo Buonarroti said  'I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free'. Through the use of material he could represent at least three immaterial substances: his subconscious, the negative mass surrounding the sculpture and a parallel world where material is forbidden.

Has Architects' engagement with virtual space meant a vanishing sensitivity towards material and other immaterial realms?

The AA Rome Visiting School 10 day workshop encourages the observation of material elements and their use in the design of architecture featuring subconscious experiences, spatial voids and virtual communities.  Students will investigate modern materials and their digital fabrication by direct experience. They will work with algorithms and sensors able to recognise and respond to human feelings and attitudes. Students will feed novel expressions of void spaces into the Roman tradition featuring examples like the ancient catacombs and the Nolli map. Through augmented reality design the projects will open a window into an digital virtual world.

By the end of the workshop students will unveil their interpretation of the material/immaterial form hidden in the real matter.

The workshop is structured into three main stages with the aim of achieving innovative solutions to the many design themes proposed by the tutors:
  • STAGE #1_DIGITAL TOOLS: Initially the workshop will introduce parametric modelling (Rhino and Grasshopper among others). The software induction will build the necessary skills for addressing the technical challenges of the workshop;
  • STAGE #2_MATERIALIZATION OF THE VOID (IMMATERIAL): Students will be split into groups in order to develop projects assigned by the tutors. This stage will be dedicated to digital and physical model making. Several software (Rhino, Grasshopper, Photoshop) and various fabrication techniques, including laser cutting and 3D printing, will be used. Students will focus on the idea of “immaterial substance” and their research will be supported by a series of lecture on architectural precedents and cutting-edge researches;
  • STAGE #3_MATERIALIZATION OF THE MASS (MATERIAL): This stage is dedicated to the fabrication of a 1:1-scale structure relying on digital techniques.


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.

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. Please ensure this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen at the workshop. 


The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, phd candidates and young professionals. Software Requirements: basic knowledge of Rhinoceros or other 3D modeling software. 


Venue of workshop: Galleria “Come Se”, via dei Bruzi 4, 00185 Roma, Italy




Programme Director
Lorenzo Vianello
Arturo Tedeschi 

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

Links & Downloads

Programme site

Social Media


Visiting School Prospectus


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