Santiago 50 large-concrete panel systems. Pedro Ignacio Alonso and José Hernández


Concrete Panels: A Digital History

Saturday 1 – Tuesday 11 June 2019

Although largely marginal within accounts of modern architecture, during the second half of the twentieth century, the development of large concrete panel systems was central to debates about architecture’s modernization, industrialization and the provision of housing. Through this development, construction was transferred from the building site to the factory floor, and manual labour succeeded by automated mass production. Most importantly, these transfers created systems that went beyond national borders in producing more than 5 billion square meters of housing in 5 continents. By framing the design work within the idea of a digital history of panel systems, the 2019 AA Visiting School to Santiago will use digital tools to study the evolution and adaptation of these systems to various social, technical, geographical and cultural contexts, investigating their contemporary and future potential within 3D printing technologies, and discussing typological and economic strategies towards the production of collective housing on a global scale.

This 10-day workshop will be in collaboration with the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden - KTH - travelling to both Santiago and Stockholm (1 to 6 June in Stockholm; and 7 to 11 June in Santiago) to study the problem of the housing shortages in order to comparatively explore the design of 20,000 housing units in each city, taking advantage of the full digital models of over 50 panel systems already developed by the course team.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

- Theoretical and historical understanding
- Computational skills and deployment of digital tools (Rhinoceros)
- Lecture series in both Santiago and Stockholm.
- Field visits to concrete panel districts and to the industries.
- Professional awareness of housing shortages.


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: 1 March 2019.

All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required, and are advised to contact their home embassy early.


School of Architecture - PUC Catholic University.
Campus Lo Contador. El Comendador 1916, Providencia. Santiago. Postcode: 7520245

School of Architecture - KTH Royal Institute of Technology. KTH Arkitekturskolan. Osquars backe 5. 114 28 Stockholm, Sweden


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee, payable by all participants.
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: Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino (SR7 or later).


Pedro Ignacio Alonso is an architect and Msc from the Catholic University of Chile, and holds a Ph.D in histories and theories of architecture from the Architectural Association in London. His 2014 Chile Pavilion titled Monolith Controversies, co–curated with Hugo Palmarola, was awarded a Silver Lion during the 14th Venice Architecture Biennial. Together they are the authors of the books Panel (Architectural Association, 2014) and Monolith Controversies (Hatje Cantz, 2014). Alonso is associate professor at Catholic University of Chile in Santiago, visiting tutor at Architectural Association in London, and was Princeton-Mellon Fellow 2015-2016 at Princeton University.

Erik Stenberg is an architect and Associate Professor in Architecture at the KTH School of Architecture and the Built Environment in Stockholm, Sweden. He has been teaching studio and courses in Architecture since 1997, with a special affinity for the foundation level and design processes. He is currently the Assistant Director of KTH Center for a Sustainable Built Environment where he is building a Sustainable Homes Lab. Stenberg also serves on the Board of the Stockholm Chapter of Architects Sweden.

Helena Westerlind is a PhD Candidate at the KTH School of Architecture within the EU InnoChain training network. Her research investigates the morphology of concrete with the aid of computer controlled depositing technology. By eliminating the need of formwork in concrete construction the project seeks to examine ways of integrating material behaviour in newfound relationships between materiality and form. The project originates from a strong interest in the role of technology in exploring inherent potential in materialities and the notion of craftsmanship using digital tools. Helena studied architecture at the Architectural Association School Architecture before joining the art studio Factum Arte in 2012. 

José Hernández is an architect and MSc from the School of Architecture at the Catholic University of Chile. His research centres on history and theory of digital architecture and how novel technologies change the workflows of architecture production. His work applies digital technology to enhance and automate processes in a wide range of fields, including digital fabrication, urban planning, cost analysis, architectural visualisation and design. He currently is guest researcher at the KTH School of Architecture.  

Alvaro Arancibia is an architect graduate of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, holding an MPhil in Urban Design (Projective Cities Programme) and a PhD in Architectural Design from the Architectural Association. Since 2007 he has been undertaking research and practice on the problem of social housing and urban design in Santiago. As a researcher, he received the AA Graduate Prize for Research: Outstanding Work 2015-2016 for his PhD thesis ‘The Social Re-Signification of Housing: A Design Guide for Santiago de Chile’.


School of Architecture - PUC Catholic University. Chile.
School of Architecture - KTH Royal Institute of Technology. Sweden.


Programme Head
Pedro Ignacio Alonso

Programme Coordinators
Erik Stenberg (KTH Sweden)
Helena Westerlind (KTH Sweden)
José Hernández (PUC Chile)
Alvaro Arancibia (PUC Chile)

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

Links & Downloads



Visiting School Prospectus


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