The Architectural Association are at the beginning of the Second Space Age where humanity might not only survive but also thrive in space. The new chapter for space exploration differs from the First Age from a design perspective, with a shift from the one-off prototypical approach to reusable, automated, and scalable. This historical paradigm shift, led by champions of commercialization such as SpaceX, Blue Origin, Axiom, and Virgin Galactic is rapidly reshaping the whole space sector, disclosing the gates of a space-fairing future for humanity.
This Visiting School is a call for the same level of focused, collaborative ambition and operation of the space industry to be explored within the field of architecture. Always last to embrace innovation, the built environment is stuck in the every-day, top-down problem solving – depending on clients as true instigators of change. But what if we were to envision the design before this is even required? In this visiting school we offer an incubator structure, one to envision, test and discuss new ideas, using space as a case-study on idea development rather than a fixed site.
Encompassing myriad forms and agendas, the Visiting School courses and workshops are built around agenda-driven project briefs that are pursued and shaped by students working intensively in small groups led by AA tutors. Central to each is the idea that experimental, new and provocative forms of architecture are best learned by doing. The school promotes, tests and challenges global interests in architectural learning and exchange by embedding a diverse group of creative students and tutors in an array of unique rural, urban and international contexts. From continental Europe to the Middle East, Asia, Australia and the Americas, the AA Visiting School offers new and unexpected learning opportunities all over the world. Places on each course are limited, and anybody who would like to further their architectural knowledge and skills can apply.