London - Summer School Summer School 2017 - Unit 2 student work - Hyperscape

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London - Summer School

Bits, Bytes, Fragments in 2018

Monday 2 – Friday 20 July 2018

Bits, Bytes, Fragments, Scraps, Shards and Moments.

I guess I’m just hopelessly fascinated by the realities that you can assemble out of connected fragments.    - Junot Diaz

It’s like this puzzle.  You spend ages putting things together – things that weren’t meant to fit together, disjointed things, things no one would ever think you could put together…It’s like you’re building your own little world.    - Tom Rowlands (Chemical Brothers)

We consume bits of our friends’ lives as we scroll through social media pics on our mobile phones.  We hear snippets of conversations on the bus on the way into town, or in a restaurant, imagining the lives of the people surrounding us.  Ancient vases are reassembled from fragments found beneath the ground, while archaeologists and historians recreate the narratives of the people and culture that created it. A film stiches together a single and coherent narrative from hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of multi-second shots.

Our days and worlds are built around accumulated experiences, interactions, and the paraphernalia of daily life.  The only constant that stitches them all together is you and the measure of time.  This also means that the simple insertion of new or different elements can radically shift the narrative.  It enables all of us to be the director of our experience and the architect of our domain.

This summer we will look at London as though through a kaleidoscope.  Summer School 2018 will act as a Director, a Surgeon, a Detective, a Master Builder and a Storyteller.  The director will assemble a single continuity from isolated shots. The surgeon will cut, reassemble, stich and sew a new architectural body together.  The detective will examine real and fictional evidence and build hypotheses.  The master builder will assemble existing and invented materials while the storyteller assembles narratives from both real and fantastical inspiration.  Our design units will work through digital and physical models, filmmaking, drawing, animation and installations as we discover what it means to think, make and design through an endless rearrangement of fragments.

This full-time three-week course presents a challenging programme of design studios, field study, seminars and lectures. It offers participants a range of diverse design approaches, agendas and techniques, and represents a uniquely intensive and intimate environment that aims to expand formal and intellectual resources. Current students, recent graduates, architects, designers, career changers and other creative minds are all welcome. Based in London, each of the school’s units creatively uses the city’s surroundings as the focus of research and design. Tutors, lecturers and critics include past and present AA unit masters as well as professionals pooled from disciplines as diverse as graphics, art, fashion, industrial design, urbanism and film.  


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 and for full payment is 1 July 2018


The course is aimed creative minds. Undergraduate architectural students who would like to experience the AA environment, students who are considering a change of school, newcomers to architecture, recent school leavers and those considering a career change are all welcome to explore and innovate at the AA’s Summer School.


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £1950 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee and a deposit of £350 which is deducted from the total fee. The deposit will reserve your place, but the full fee is required to participate.  Full fees need to be paid by 21st June 2018. 

This fee also includes lunch Mon-Fri in the AA Restaurant.
If you are already a member, the total fee will be reduced automatically by £60 by the online payment system. 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.

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.

All participants are reponsible for their own insurance including travel and health insurance. All participants also need to ensure that any equipment and valuable items such as laptops are covered by their own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen.

For students from the European Union
If you are a student from another country in the European Union, here for less than six months, you will require a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC, previously called E111) which must be obtained from your home country.
The card is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to your home country, or lost or stolen property. Therefore it is important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy. Some insurers now insist that you hold an EHIC, and many will waive the excess if you have one.

For students from non-European Union countries, ie international students
If you are here for less than six months, please note you are not covered for National Health Service treatment in the UK.  You are therefore required to obtain travel/health insurance from your own country.

Programme Head
Natasha Sandmeier is a Unit Master of AA Diploma Unit 9. Since 2001 her year-long unit design agendas have re-examined defining concepts of modern architecture culture. She runs the AA Summer School held in Bedford Square every July. She is a registered architect and has worked in architectural offices in Boston, London, Athens and in Rotterdam at OMA where she was the Project Architect for the Seattle Public Library. She is the author of the AA Agendas title, Little worlds (AA Publications 2014)


Programme Head
Natasha Sandmeier

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

Links & Downloads

Programme site

Summer School Agenda



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