Project Little Dream + Vann Molyvann Project = AAVS Cambodia
The AA Visiting School (AAVS) is a global architecture programme and network comprising a myriad of forms and agendas, all of which contribute to the endless debate about how to educate an architect. Launched in Dubai in 2008, the AAVS has now hosted over 4,000 students in more than 100 different programmes held across ve continents.
Since 2009, the architecture team of Project Little Dream has designed and built 5 village schools in Takeo, Cambodia. This year, we will host our first design-led workshop that comprises of series of architectural investigations. The participants will take on visits to our schools and various journeys in Takeo. We will offer opportunities to engage with local forms of expertise, and address many of today’s most pressing architectural, technological, cultural, urban and social issues.
The AAVS is not permanent, full-time, exclusive, fixed or anything else that may limit its reach. Instead, the visiting school take our inspiration from the ‘non-architect’ Cedric Price and his Polyark project, which radically reimagined education by promoting flexible, mobile and temporary ways of learning.
Ever since we worked in Cambodia, we've always admired the work of Vann Molyvann. We got to know Vann Molyvann Project and their work through documenting and exhibiting one of the most crucial Khmer modernist projects designed by Vann Molyvann. The two research interests will collide in this summer school, offering the a unique perspective into Cambodian architectural history.
PLD and Vann Molyvann Project will use AAVS as a platform to take on the challenge of education and expand the pursuit of knowledge into a more in-depth and specialised audience. AAVS Cambodia will therefore be a unique experience for any architecture students alike that is interested in contemporary issues of development and its cultural implications.
Nelson Chen Architects
Mr. Ricky Cheng
Re-edge Architecture + Design
James Mak is the Founder and Chairperson of Project Little Dream (PLD), a charity founded in Hong Kong that designs, builds and runs primary schools in Cambodia since 2009. With a strong belief that architecture is a fundamental agent in a developing context, his research has been about vernacular architectural practices in post-conflict Cambodia. He is the author of Of Dreams and Spaces, and is a guest tutor in Diploma 1 of the Architectural Association. He has a background in human geography and architecture, and was educated in the London School of Economics and the AA where he obtained his BA(Hons) and AA Diploma.
Alison Cheng has seven years of experience working in Cambodia, with projects ranging from the design of libraries and sanitation facilities to local material testing and fabrication. She is an Executive Director for Project Little Dream (PLD) and recently completed PLD’s fifth school in Thnout village. Her interest in both traditional and Modern Khmer architecture has heavily influenced her as an architect and maker. Having worked at The Center for Architectural Heritage Research in Hong Kong and Atelier FCJZ in Beijing, she is interested in architecture as both a literary and material craft. Alison is educated at the Architectural Association and the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
Pagna is the Director of Vann Molyvann Project, a project that was founded in 2009 to survey, draw, document, archive, publish and raise awareness of modern architecture that are today threatened by decay and development by arguable the most important modern architect in Cambodia - Vann Molyvann. Pagna graduated in Royal University of Fine Arts of Cambodia and Parsons The New School of Design and has led multiple research initiatives such as the Genealogy of Bassac in conserving architectural heritage in Cambodia.
Timothy is a graduate from the Architectural Association and has since taught at National University of Singapore and Temasek Design School. He builds his research on the impact of material culture and its immediacy to urban continuity. Through conducting and participating in workshops, Timothy has worked on projects in Singapore, London, Dubai, Shanghai and Japan with conservation projects, private houses, sub-rural conversions and urban samplings.
Lee graduated from the Architectural Association and studied Industrial design(visual and product design) for two years in Sejong University in Seoul. She has also recently completed her studies in Traditional Korean Housing (Hanok) where she was trained in carpentry and realised a 1:1 traditional Korean pavilion.
Lee is particularly interested in the architectural aspect of banality that is revealed in everyday life. She has worked on projects in London, Shanghai, Japan and Korea with materiality and dissecting the city fabric.