São Paulo Esparama Theatre Group Stage Façade on the Minhocão

São Paulo

High-Line São Paulo

Thursday 4 – Saturday 13 July 2019

The polemic elevated highway, the ‘minhocão’ (the ‘large worm’ in Portuguese), that winds its way through the São Paulo city centre was a result of misguided urbanism in the 1960’s, as it created a fracture in the urban fabric, leaving abandoned derelict buildings and dark precarious ground conditions along its path. While cities like Rio de Janeiro are tearing down their elevated highway systems, the minhocão remains a highly debated problem amongst politicians and urbanists in São Paulo. In contrast, when the Minhocão is closed to traffic on Sundays and on weekday evenings, it becomes a type of boardwalk, hosting a diversity of events from jogging and biking, to surreal theatre pieces performed from the windows of the neighboring buildings for spectators on the elevated highway.  The AA Visiting School São Paulo will explore ways to bring new urban connections and light to both surrounding buildings and the multiple grounds of the minhoão, working with a team of environmental design experts from London and São Paulo at local university FAU USP, to learn how to employ parametric environmental and structural design, as well as digital fabrication, to speculate on new environmental and cultural interconnections in this striated disconnected urban space.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

  • Teaching team: architects, environmental designers, and environmental engineers from London,  alongside environmental design professor Joana Carla Soares Gonçalves  of FAU USP and and architects from SUBdV architects, a pioneering Brasilian practice in the fields of parametric environmental design.  There will also be a team of local Computational Design and Digital Fabrication assistant tutors.
  • Facilities: the workshop will take place at University Architecture Studios and workshop at FAU USP, equipped with CNC router/miller and laser cutters.
  • Computational skills: students will learn to use Rhino and Grasshopper and specific environmental design and engineer scripts such as Ladybug, Honeybee, and Kangaroo.
  • Fabrication: students will learn to prepare files to be cut and milled by the CNC router/miller, and laser cutters ,
  • A series of Public Lectures will be given in the evenings by prominent London based Environmental Architects and Engineers.


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  visitingschool@aaschool.ac.uk 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  17 June 2019

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.


Faculdade de Arquitetura, University of São Paulo (FAU USP)
Rua do Lago, 876 - Butantã
São Paulo - SP, 05508-080


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: Adobe Creative Suite.


Franklin Lee and Anne Save de Beaurecueil have been directors of the AA Visiting Schools São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro since 2010 and have run a series of workshops that bring leading architects from around the world to rethink the Brazilian urban landscape through combining cutting-edge technology and critical theoretical exploration with local culture, material and labor sources. They are also design directors of SUBdV Architecture, using a mixture of high and low design technologies to generate socially and environmentally responsive geometries for architecture, furniture and urban design projects. They were AA Diploma Unit 2 Masters from 2005 to 2010 and taught at the Pratt Institute and Columbia University in New York, from where they both also received Master’s degrees. They have published, exhibited and lectured about their work worldwide.


Programme Heads
Anne Save de Beaurecueil
Franklin Lee

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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