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AA Rome Visiting School

Rome, Italy 16-25 January 2014

Michelangelo Buonarroti said ’I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free’. Through the use of material he could represent at least three immaterial substances: his subconscious, the negative mass surrounding the sculpture and a parallel world where material is forbidden. Has architects’ engagement with virtual space meant a vanishing sensitivity towards material and other immaterial realms?   The AA Rome Visiting School-10 day workshop encourages the observation of material elements and their use in the design of architecture featuring subconscious experiences, spatial voids and virtual communities. Students will investigate modern materials and their digital fabrication by direct experience. They will work with algorithms and sensors able to recognise and respond to human feelings and attitudes. Students will feed novel expressions of void spaces into the Roman tradition featuring examples like the ancient catacombs and the Nolli map. Through augmented reality design the projects will open a window into an digital virtual world. By the end of the workshop students will unveil their interpretation of the material/immaterial form hidden in the real matter.   ProgrammeThe workshop is structured into three main stages with the aim of achieving innovative solutions to the many design themes proposed by the tutors:

  • STAGE #1_DIGITAL TOOLS: Initially the workshop will introduce parametric modelling (Rhino and Grasshopper among others). The software induction will build the necessary skills for addressing the technical challenges of the workshop;
  • STAGE #2_MATERIALIZATION OF THE VOID (IMMATERIAL): Students will be split into groups in order to develop projects assigned by the tutors. This stage will be dedicated to digital and physical model making. Several software (Rhino, Grasshopper, Photoshop) and various fabrication techniques, including laser cutting and 3D printing, will be used. Students will focus on the idea of “immaterial substance” and their research will be supported by a series of lecture on architectural precedents and cutting-edge researches;
  • STAGE #3_MATERIALIZATION OF THE MASS (MATERIAL): This stage is dedicated to the fabrication of a 1:1-scale structure relying on digital techniques.

Eligibility The workshop is open to architecture, engineering and design students and professionals worldwide. No previous experience in computational design, digital fabrication and robotics is needed; the workshop will offer both introductory instruction for beginners and advanced instruction for experienced users.   Applications 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. 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 application deadline is 2 January 2014, but places are limited. Therefore the registrations may close at earlier time.   Fees 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.   Teaching staff The programme is directed by Lorenzo Vianello, design tutor at Oxford Brookes University, and Arturo Tedeschi, architect and independent researcher. The workshop will be held by the two directors with Lawrence Friesen, design unit leader at Oxford Brookes University, and Ferdinand Fritz, tutor at University of Innsbruck.   Architectural Association (AA)Unique, dynamic, independent and international, the Architectural Association School of Architecture was originally set up in 1847 as a public forum and learned society, in/famously founded by ‘a pack of troublesome students’. The AA is much more than the UK’s oldest school of architecture; the school is the nexus of a global conglomeration of contemporary architectural culture, as well as its pasts. The AA’s incarnations include:

  • a professional association;
  • a vibrant membership organisation comprising more than 4500 members;
  • a registered charity;
  • AA Publications, publisher of books and journals;
  • AA Bookshop, one of London’s leading architectural booksellers; and
  • a high-profile public events programme, including a wealth of exhibitions, lectures, symposia, seminars, conversations, research clusters and visits.

Venue Galleria di architettura “Come Se” via dei Bruzi 4 00185 Rome Italy   Websites and email address   Lorenzo Vianello and Arturo Tedeschi, AA Rome Visiting School programme directors:

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