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DLAB Cone-formation Created using Computational Design Tools and Robotic Fabrication Techniques, DLAB 2019.



Monday 20 July – Friday 7 August 2020

DLAB couples advanced computational design and analysis with large-scale prototyping techniques in order to create innovative, new forms of architecture. It’s a three-week full-time course (including weekends) that takes place in the unique atmosphere at the AA. Here, in the historic buildings of Bedford Square, we will use computational methods to carry out design, analysis and fabrication to investigate correlations between form, material and structure. We will also create custom-made architectural processes, through a mix of conventional and contemporary approaches. The design phase will be followed by a period of physical experimentation and the creation of a 1:1 scale prototype, created using robotic fabrication techniques. Our aim is to integrate form-finding, material computation and structural performance to explore the possibilities of cutting edge twenty-first century architectural methods. In particular, we will focus on exploring how to integrate geometrical, structural and material properties with robotic metal forming processes.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

  • Teaching team: DLAB tutors are selected from recent graduates / current tutors at the AA and the small student ratio (5:1) allows for personalised tutorials and debates
  • Facilities: AA's cutting-edge facilities used for the fabrication of physical outputs and prototypes on a 1:1 scale. Digital Prototyping Lab (DPL) offers laser cutting, CNC milling, and 3d printing facilities, and two KUKA robotic arms
  • Computational skills: The toolset of DLAB includes but is not limited to Rhinoceros, Processing, Grasshopper and various analysis tools
  • Theoretical understanding: Dissemination of fundamental design techniques and relevant critical thinking methodologies through theoretical sessions and seminars
  • Professional awareness: DLAB performs as a simulation of the professional environment due the priority given to team-based design approach. Participants range from 2nd year students to PhD candidates and full-time professionals
  • Robotic Fabrication: According to the specific agenda of each year, scaled working models are produced via advanced digital machining tools, followed by the fabrication of 1:1 scale prototypes with the use of KUKA KR60 and KR30 robots
  • Lecture series: A serie of lectures conveying the diverse expertise of professionals from some of the world’s leading practices in the areas of digital design and fabrication 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.

The deadline for applications is 6 July 2020.


The workshop is open to current architecture and design students, PhD candidates and young professionals. Software Requirements: Adobe Creative Suite, Rhino 6. No prior knowledge of software tools is required for eligibility.


Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES
United Kingdom


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £1950 per participant, which includes a £60 Digital Membership fee. A non-refundable deposit of £350 is required when applying with the remaining balance due to be paid by the deadline of 6 July 2020.

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.


All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required, and are advised to contact their home embassy early. After full payment of course fees, the AA School can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop.


All participants are responsible for securing their own travel and health insurance. Please ensure that your travel insurance also covers your personal belongings i.e. laptop, equipment, tools, passport etc. The AA takes no responsibility for lost/ stolen property.


Elif Erdine is an architect, designer, and researcher. She is the Director at the Architectural Association (AA) Emergent Technologies and Design Graduate Programme. She is also the Programme Director of AA DLAB Visiting School and AA Istanbul Visiting School. She has previously worked for Zaha Hadid Architects. She received her B.Arch. degree from Istanbul Technical University in 2003 (High Honors), and M.Arch. degree from the AA Design Research Lab (AA DRL) in 2006 (Project Distinction), and her PhD degree from the AA (2015). Her projects have been printed widely in international and national architecture publications.


Programme Head
Elif Erdine

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

Links & Downloads


Social Media


Visiting School Prospectus


The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

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The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Diploma), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.