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Introduction to Workshops

Throughout 2017 the AA Bamboo Lab will be hosting groups at our campus in Haiti. Each workshop will focus on one typology of building and one structural system and these can be attended in 7, 5 or weekend formats. From the basis of a suggested structural system, each workshop will see participants design and build challenging participants to model and test on the computer before seeing the implications of design decisions, on the construction site. These structures are to be built on the Wynne Farm Ecological Reserve, in Kenscoff in Haiti. Our partnership with this institution allows us to merge the AA’s research in sustainable design and construction with the Reserve’s ecological and reforestation projects. 10 structures will be built over the 7 months that the workshops will take place design and construction. Each of these will exemplify a structural possibility from bamboo as a future reference, and be utilised for the purposes of promoting ecological restoration.

Construction Knowledge

There will be intensive lectures on the material of bamboo, learning their characteristics as both a plant and a construction material. You will learn the difference between a Paquimorfus and a Leptomorfus and learn why you should not use green bamboo and why bigger, is not always better. You will be lectured on a series of bamboo joints as part of a comprehensive introduction to building with bamboo. From fish mouth joints to ear-joints, these will be incorporated into your design work and then you will learn how to produce such joints in real-life utilising our array of tools and the many species of bamboo that are available to us, including Makinoi and Guadua Angustifolia.

Cutting

We will wake up at 3am to go and cut bamboo as it sleeps. In the dead of night in the Haitian mountains we will use saws and machetes to cut bamboo to see why it is important to do this before the Sun rises. Depending on the time of the month, participants will be able to clearly see the effect of the full Moon on the bamboo.

Treatment

We will learn about the reasons why it is important to treat the bamboo. Will we explain the differing processes and use a boucherie to treat bamboo with environmentally friendly processes such as borax/boric acid and learn about how this solution can still be used following the treatment of bamboo.

Tools

You will be using heavy construction tools which are required for working with bamboo. Including: drill bits for fish mouth joints; the mitre saw; and machetes.

Adobe Construction

As well as bamboo, we will also be utilising the red earth of this area of Haiti and mixing this with river sand and vetiver grass to make strong adobe mixtures. Participants will learn how this material can be produced and applied to buildings and the properties this material has to make strong secure, warm housing.

Fees

The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £340 per participant + £60 AA membership, which includes airport/coach terminal transfers, accommodation and meals.

Fees do not include flights. 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.

Prominent Features of the AA BambooLab

International and local professionals: The teaching staff consists of artisans, horticulturalists, engineers, architects and graduates of all levels of the AA School whom have worked for some of the largest and most articulate design practices in the world. Including Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster and Partners, MAD China, Farshid Moussavi Architecture and Gensler. This highly motivated group bring a comprehensive structural and material knowledge to the classroom and the building site. With a high tutor to student ratio throughout all stages of the course, students will have the opportunity to closely engage with the knowledge and passions of professionals from all over the world.

Software exposure: Throughout the course we will be teaching with Rhinoceros 3D, Grasshopper. We will be applying wind testing to these models through Autodesk Flow, finite element analysis through Karamba, and using V ray and Adobe Creative Suite to diagram, render and present your projects.

Bamboo material knowledge: There will be intensive lectures on the material of bamboo, learning their characteristics as both a plant and a construction material. You will learn the difference between a Paquimorfus and a Leptomorfus and learn why you should not use green bamboo and why bigger, is not always better. You will be lectured on a series of bamboo joints as part of a comprehensive introduction to building with bamboo. From fish mouth joints to ear-joints, these will be incorporated into your design work and then you will learn how to produce such joints in real-life utilising our array of tools and the many species of bamboo that are available to us, including Makinoi and Guadua Angustifolia.

Cutting, treatments and tools: We will wake up at 3am to go and cut bamboo as it sleeps. In the dead of night we will use saws and machetes to cut bamboo to see why it is important to do this before the Sun rises. Depending on the time of the month, participants will be able to clearly see the effect of the full Moon on the bamboo. We will learn about the reasons why it is important to treat the bamboo. Will we explain the differing processes and use a boucherie to treat bamboo with environmentally friendly processes such as borax/boric acid and learn about how this solution can still be used following the treatment of bamboo. You will be using heavy construction tools which are required for working with bamboo. Including: drill bits for fish mouth joints; the mitre saw; and machetes.

Adobe construction: As well as bamboo, we will also be utilising adobe mixtures. Participants will learn how this material can be produced and applied to buildings and the properties this material has to make strong secure, warm housing.

Lecture series: To supplement the workshop, a wide array of architectural and cultural lectures will be delivered by local professionals and tutors. This aims to bolster the student work with an architectural knowledge of bamboo and the local vernacular, as well as the history of this uniquely vibrant location and culture.

Community spirit: Accommodation will be provided as part of all courses. A group of local and international students, we will all be living and working in close proximity. As we have seen in previous years this fosters a community spirit and creates a very open learning atmosphere.

Replicable design: The legacy of these courses are designs and structural systems which can remain in minds long after. We will be visited by local craftsmen, artisans and carpenters, requiring students to play an integral role in the knowledge transfer to make sure these skills remain locally around these workshops for the long term.

 

RIBA CPD: All curricula are delivered in a way to make sure that: tutorials; tutor to participant contact time; lectures; physical construction; and group discussions will tackle RIBA CPD Core Curriculum topics and surpass the required contact time. For more information visit: http://haiti.aaschool.ac.uk/information-for-professionals/