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The Wadi Rum Desert, on the southern edge of Jordan, bears a remarkable resemblance to the ecology of Mars. The desert served as a set for Ridley Scott’s recent film ‘The Martian’ starring Matt Damon, where minimal edits were needed to the landscape to represent Mars.


As the AA’s second design-research programme in Jordan focusing on Mars, participants will research the natural ecology of the Red Planet and speculate on the design of future interventions that couple cutting-edge technology with research into natural morphologies and phenomena on Mars.  Algorithmic and computational design methods will unveil material, spatial to urban potential in design.


The ten-day programme will bring together a network of distinguished international faculty, experts and guests to offer design-research units, specialist software tutorials and a series of lectures and talks. The programme will be primarily based in Amman, and will include an exclusive visit to the UNESCO world-heritage sites of the Wadi Rum desert and Petra.

Prominent Features of the Programme:


- Computational design methodologies
- Exclusive visit to UNESCO world heritage sites of the Wadi Rum Desert and Petra
- International team including emerging designers and educators
- A series of lectures from world-renowned guests (past speakers included Ross Lovegrove, Rob Mueller (NASA) Ben Aranda, Mark Foster Gage, Julia Koerner among others)
- Specialist seminars in cutting edge technical software (including: Rhino Python Scripting, Grasshopper,   Processing, Autodesk Maya)
- Access to digital fabrication facilities 
- Public Exhibition



Martian Lanscapes:

Image Credits: NASA/JPL Caltech/Univ. of Arizona

Wadi Rum Desert Landscape

2020 Programme Dates: July 4th to July 13th

The Jordan Visiting School requires a fee of £895.


The fees includes access to core workshop events:
- Design studio units
- Specialist software seminars
- Lecture series and guest programme

The fees also include:
- Private bus transportation to the Wadi Rum Desert and Petra
- Two days accommodation
- Site visits and access fees


The AAVS in Jordan is largely attended by international participants, therefore shared Hotel Accommodation in Amman will be arranged at a discounted rate for participants joining from abroad. Fees do not include flights.

We accept a diverse range of participants with interest and expertise in Architecture, Engineering, Art and Design disciplines. The programme is open to students at undergraduate and graduate levels, PhD candidates and young professionals alike.