Xixinan, China Aerial photo of Xixinan Village, Anhui Province, China

This is an archive page for Xixinan, China

Forthcoming dates for this school to be announced.

Xixinan, China

New Ruralism

Friday 21 – Saturday 29 July 2017

Within the context of China’s massive urbanization, the residual status of Rural China is the theme of this first AAVS Xixinan. Hosted in an exceptionally beautiful heritage village, Xixinan, located near the Huangshan Mountains in Anhui Province, China, this experiment shuns nostalgia, sentimentality and the tendency to lament the perceived loss of the rural. A concerning tendency today is frustration with the course of urbanization, and thus leading to a retreat from urbanization, industrialisation and globalisation, endeavouring the resuscitation of an absent past no longer fully nor ubiquitously present. 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. As such, the verdict for culpability for the causes of the complex contemporary status of the rural does not point towards the technological apparatus of urbanization. This VS will immerse into sophisticated tools and methods, mostly untested and experimental, to investigate design potentials for a balance between urban and rural China In AAVS Xixinan, advanced sensing, simulation, data processing and design technologies will serve merely the agency with which to propose innovative alternatives to longstanding global problematics.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

• Hosted at Turenscape Academy, whose residential campus is located in Xixinan, a heritage village situated nearby to Huangshan City and the beautiful Huangshan Mountains (Yellow Mountains), in Anhui province. Set in a tranquil landscape setting, the unique attributes of Xixinan create an important opportunity for students to gain an understanding of the village’s local life, culture and ancient fabric, within a well-preserved ecological environment. Visiting Xixinan opens the possibility to explore and experience the nearby Yellow Mountains and vernacular Huizhou countryside, including two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, which are rich in architecture heritage, cultural landscapes, and natural beauty.
• The teaching team will bring expertise to a design studio setting, with which to confront complicated problems facing rural and urban china in novel and innovative ways.
• Skills will include Rhinoceros, Grasshopper and other plug-ins
• In a series of nightly lectures, Xixinan VS will expose students to the perspectives of varied professionals and academics engaged in rural and urban China.
• Students will gain an understanding of the urgent issues related to the repercussions of urbanisation in China.


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 20 July 2017.

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.


AA Visiting School requires a fee of £635 per participant, plus a £60 Standard Membership fee or £130 for an Extended Membership. Fees do not include flights or accommodation. By directly contacting Turenscape Academy, students can reserve accommodation, based on double occupancy, and full 3-meals per day board, for the cost of £38.50 GBP ($50 USD,) per day. Students will need to state whether they will require hotel and meals at the time of their application, or within 10 days prior to the start of 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)

Turenscape Academy
Xixinan, Huangshan
Anhui Province

Programme Head
Tom Verebes is the Provost of Turenscape Academy and Director of OCEAN CN, Hong Kong and Turenscape, Beijing. Programme Head of the AA Shanghai Summer School (2007-2017). Former roles include: Associate Dean for T&L (2011-2014), and Associate Professor at HKU (2009-2016); Co-Director of the AA DRL (1996 to 2009); Guest Professor at ABK Stuttgart (2004-2006). In 2016 he was Visiting Professor at University of Pennsylvania, RMIT, SUTD, and University of Tokyo. He has published over 150 publication, including books, chapters, articles and project features. He has exhibited in over 50 venues worldwide, and lectured extensively internationally.

Turenscape Academy


Programme Head
Tom Verebes

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

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