Architectural Association Haiti Visiting School 2015


AAHAITI_vis-school-poster_webFor the second year, January 2015 sees the Architectural Association return to the unique terrain of Haiti to push students to experiment, design and speculate on the future of bamboo in this Caribbean nation. This time we will be embedding ourselves, and our projects, deep in the indefatigable heart of Haiti’s capital. Though four years have passed since the destruction of the 2010 earthquake many buildings still lay in ruins. If bamboo is to be shown as the versatile material in Haitian construction, then it is the city where this need is most acute, but most challenging.

The past century has seen the eradication of all but 2% of Haiti’s trees. This has resulted in ecological disaster as well as the removal of lightweight materials from the Haitian construction sector, the consequences of which were seen in the disproportionate devastation of the 2010 earthquake. Bamboo is being increasingly grown as a solution not just in binding the exposed hillsides, but also as the basis of new economies and as a source of low cost, lightweight, and flexible material for construction.

Based at Quisqueya University, in the centre of Port au Prince, students will be working in the most energetic of Caribbean capitals. The brief will be to form a building proposal, however the challenge will be to present a vision for bamboo to meet the programmatic needs of this Haitian metropolis. Past student projects have used the material properties of bamboo to create a wide spectrum of possibilities. From using the flexibility to develop a woven form, to using the symmetry of the inverted pole to produce bamboo bricks.

Over the course of the eleven day workshop students will be taught 3D modelling and parametric programs, as well as software to test aerodynamics. This will allow students to experiment and respond to the extreme seismic and climatic context of the site.

Students will also be taught representation and rendering programs so, at the end of the course, they will be able to present their proposals in a competition format to a panel made up of local designers, international architects and the local community.

The teaching staff will comprise of both local and international architects, engineers, artists and horticulturists. It will form a formidable base of knowledge of local culture, bamboo material characteristics and 3D design software.

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. 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.

For more information and applications please visit