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AA_Winter Architecture School

  1. 1. VISITING SCHOOL Participation in the academic life of the AA is not limited to full-time enrolment. Several shorter Visiting School Programmes attract those who want to participate in and contribute to the AA’s lively architectural culture. Each school has a programme tailored to a different length of study, topic and focus, offering a full range of academic and professional possibilities for experiencing the AA School both in London and abroad. The One-Year Visiting Students Programme in the AA’s Undergraduate School units and Complementary Studies courses offers the equivalent of a full year of academic credit while the Spring Visiting Students Programme attracts architecture students who wish to pursue a semester-long course of study. The Summer Architecture School is a three-week programme for those who are contemplating a career in architecture or a change from existing careers; the Winter Architecture School in Dubai is a ten-day intensive design workshop organised in collaboration with The Third Line and the American University of Sharjah. The Summer D-Lab is designed to attract advanced students and mid-career professionals looking for an intensive immersion in today’s most advanced design software, hardware and production systems. Running throughout next spring and summer will also be a series of shorter workshops introducing design projects and the AA’s teaching methodology to cities across the world. A summer Visiting Teachers programme welcomes groups of teachers sent by their universities for a short course exposing them to the full academic life of the AA; and finally, AA Abroad Workshops offer overseas schools the opportunity to arrange events featuring AA students and staff, where they can experience AA teaching and learning within their own venues. VISITING SCHOOL.qxd:Layout 1 20/9/07 15:12 Page 109
  2. 2. 113 In collaboration with The Third Line and the American University of Sharjah 4 January to 13 January 2008 Learning From Dubai The recycling of the Disney fatwa says more about the stagnation of Western critical imagination than it does about the Gulf cities. Rem Koolhaas, Al Manakh This year, for the first time, the AA is offering a nine-day international visiting programme in Dubai. Combining the AA’s unit system with local intelligence, it will run a design-based curriculum that unites radical criticism with the rigorous production of ideas. Each tutor-led unit will investigate different aspects of the emerging spatial realities of the Gulf region, from workers’ housing to urban infrastructure, with a local focus on Dubai. Based on a relentless belief in architecture as a tool for modernisation, the spatial ambitions of Dubai are unprecedented. The city is constantly churning out superlatives, ranging from the world’s tallest structure to the largest shopping mall. Large- scale developments such as Business Bay or the Dubai Waterfront (which will be seven times the size of Manhattan) are some of the many sites targeted to attract international investment, high- end labour-migration and package-tourism. But what are the (often hidden) infrastructures that enable such change? There is an urgent need to understand the Gulf’s transformation in a different light; not with the goggles of pessimism, but to take seriously what is often being ridiculed. Rather than delivering a mere critique, we will start a critical practice of involvement. We will not pretend to deliver expertise from the outside, but will strategically unite key practitioners and theorists from the wider region. We understand practice as a means of critical engagement: to be political outside the realm of politics or – as curator Anselm Franke says – ‘to break the image while expanding the narrative’. The workshop will take place at The Third Line, the Emirates’ most prominent contemporary art gallery. Tutors will include some of the most challenging practitioners in architecture, urbanism, criticism and curatorial practices. Lecturers will include Rem Koolhaas (OMA), George Katodrytis (American University of Sharjah), Antonia Carver (Bidoun magazine), Shumon Basar (AA) and Sunny Rahbar (The Third Line). The course is an intensive studio-based programme and requires full-time participation. The deadline for applications is 31 November 2007, although late applications will be considered if space is available. An AA certificate will be awarded upon completion of this programme. Fees for the 2008 workshop will be £695. A one-day trip prior to the start of the workshop will visit some of Dubai’s major sites of change as well as the nearby Hajjar Mountains. A package deal with a major hotel-chain and a number of accommodation alternatives will be offered to those who do not have local accommodation available. For further information please contact: Sandra Sanna t. +44 (0)207 887 4014 f. +44 (0)207 414 0782 Coordinator Markus Miessen ( is a London-based architect, researcher, and writer, editor of The Violence of Participation (Sternberg Press, forthcoming), co-editor of With/Without (Bidoun, with Basar and Carver) and Did Someone Say Participate (MIT/Revolver, with Basar), and co-author of Spaces of Uncertainty (Müller+Busmann, with Cupers). As a spatial consultant, he works with the European Kunsthalle and the Serpentine Gallery’s Public Programmes. At the AA, he teaches as Unit Master of Intermediate 7 with Matthew Murphy. He has been a visiting lecturer at Columbia University, Cooper Union and the Royal College of Art, and is currently working on the setting up of a cultural institution in the Middle East. Photo Markus Miessen WINTER SCHOOL Markus Miessen VISITING SCHOOL.qxd:Layout 1 20/9/07 15:12 Page 113