summer architecture school
Visiting School

12–30 July 2010

The three-week, full time AA Summer Architecture School presented a challenging programme of design studios,
field study, seminars and lectures that emphasised the importance of both practice and theory in contemporary
architecture. Based on the AA’s unit system, it offered participants a selection of varying design approaches, agendas and techniques, and represented a uniquely intensive and intimate environment that aimed to expand formal and intellectual resources.             

Based in London, each of the school’s units creatively used the city’s surroundings as its focus of research. Past themes for the Summer Architecture School have included speed, visions of the future, disaster and, most recently, modest micro-strategies for difficult financial times.     

Tutors, lecturers and critics included past and present AA unit masters as well as professionals pooled from disciplines as diverse as fashion, art, graphics, industrial design, urbanism and film. Dynamic group work was encouraged, with over 80 students working in distinct groups hailing from over 35 countries. Numerous techniques of working were promoted that included both analogue fabrication as well as digital production.        

The course is aimed at undergraduate architectural students who would like to experience the AA environment and/or those who are considering a change of school; and newcomers to architecture, both recent school leavers and those considering a career change.

Natasha Sandmeier is an architect and partner of Big Picture Studio. She is Unit Master of Diploma 9 and co-directs the AA Summer School. She was project architect for the Seattle Public Library at OMA, and at other offices in the US.

Shumon Basar is co-director of the AA Summer School
and director of the AA’s Cultural Programme (AACP).
Recent books include Cities from Zero and The World of
Madelon Vriesendorp.