Students on site, 2016

Irrigation Nation

Irrigation Nation is a two-week, experimental architecture course organised as a part of the Visiting School programme at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. The programme transports architectural design back to its origins, by tackling social-agricultural realities.


Students will design water catchment and management solutions for the local inhabitants of the Alpujarras. We will Work, Live, Swim, Drink, Question, Explore and Interact with this transparent fluid, vital to all forms of life, in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Unesco Biosphere Reserve, in the Alpujarras Granada, Spain.


The Granada Visiting School opens a platform for both local and international students to  explore and interact with water management and innovative design solutions for the local inhabitants of the Sierra Nevada Mountains at the micro scale and Europe as a nation at the macro scale.


2017 Granada Visiting School Experience




Only 3% of the planet’s water is fresh, of which 60% is concealed in glaciers and unavailable locations. Studying biomimicry, work alongside nature, to draw and soak up the limits of architectural possibilities vs reality. Water cycles ensure our ecosystems thrive and feed our growing population, however they have become severely stressed, polluted or are disappearing. Consume principles of art, architecture, politics and science, to evolve a holistic and progressive approach to responsive water capture, storage and distribution architecture.

Live, swim, drink, question and interact with fresh spring water of the Sierra Nevada mountain range (UNESCO Biosphere Reserve). Join us for Irrigation Nation, a continuation of Waterworks, to peel back architecture from the root up. Plant, grow and build your proposal, unearthing living architecture techniques using sustainable materials.

Burrow under the surface of ecosystems and bio-cycles, observing and absorbing the natural world to inspire water catchment and management design.

The course is open to varying fields and occupations; we accept students from varying backgrounds such as; engineering, graphic – artistic design, architecture, scientists, horticulturalists. Collaboration is key and the course seeks to involve a dynamic array of fields at varying levels of professional development.