This is an archive page for Shenzhen

Forthcoming dates for this school to be announced.


New Ruralism

Friday 20 – Saturday 28 July 2018

Within the context of China’s unrelenting urbanization, the residual, peripheral, vanishing and often contaminated status of Rural China is the theme of AAVS Shenzhen. This 9-day workshop, and its lecture series and symposium, are hosted at and partnered with the newly launched Design Society in Shenzhen, the pre-eminent design institution in Shenzhen, designed by Fumihiko Maki, and curated by Ole Bouman. As a thematic experiment, NEW RURALISM shuns nostalgia, sentimentality and the tendency to lament the perceived loss of the rural. The propensity to retreat from urbanization, industrialisation and globalisation, endeavouring the resuscitation of an absent past no longer fully nor ubiquitously present. Shenzhen This 9-day workshop takes on the urgency of issues within an increasingly Urban China, which effect the entire country as much as the whole world: Migration, social change, inequity; food and energy supply; agriculture, industry and habitation; and, ecological resilience and sustainability. Perhaps no other city in China, nor the world, has transited so quickly from a village to an industrial city, to a postindustrial financial, cultural and technological megacity, more than Shenzhen has in the past 40 years. The focus of this programme is on the unique territories of Shenzhen, in which urbanization, industrialization and rural agricultural land are mixed in toxic concoctions.  As such, the verdict for culpability for the root causes of the complex contemporary status of the rural lies not singly with the application of the technological apparatus of urbanization. In AAVS Shenzhen, tools and technologies such as advanced photogammetric sensing and capturing with drones; simulation and data processing with Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and 3D modeling software (Rhinoceros & plug-ins), will serve merely the agency with which to propose innovative alternatives to longstanding global problematics.


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 19 July 2018.


AA Visiting School requires a fee of £635 per participant, plus a £60 Standard Membership fee or £130 for an advanced Membership. 

For further information, contact, or for instructions to pay by bank transfer. 

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 Design Society, Shenzhen, China.


Tom Verebes is the Provost of Turenscape Academy and the Director of OCEAN CN, based in Hong Kong and Beijing. In 2016, he had held Visiting Professor roles at University of Pennsylvania, RMIT, Singapore University of Technology & Design and University of Tokyo. Former roles include: Associate Dean (2011-2014), and Associate Professor at The University of Hong Kong (2009-2016); Co-Director of the DRL at the AA, where he had taught from 1996 to 2009; and, Guest Professor at Akademie der Buildenden Künste ABK Stuttgart (2004-2006). Verebes has published over 150 books, chapters, articles and project features; has exhibited in over 50 venues worldwide, and has lectured extensively in Asia, Europe, North America, Africa and the Middle East.


Programme Head
Tom Verebes

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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