“Ring of Fire” is an Architectural Association Visiting School program created and run by BASE studio.

A long-term nomadic design research program, which aims to explore the diversity and similarities of cultural, material, technological and identity features within the neighbouring settlements of the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire, as catalysts for building up a new kind of architectural activism.

There are 29 countries that have been constantly and historically exposed to natural disasters. The quantity and magnitude of such unpredictable events are largely explained by their geographical location at the brink of the Pacific Ocean’s “Ring of Fire”, which concentrates 75% of volcanoes, 80% of tsunamis, and 90% of earthquakes worldwide.

How can architecture become a vehicle for overcoming such issues? What is there for other Ring of Fire neighbouring countries that it can be learnt, tested and systematized in order to articulate a common approach to such global issues? How can architecture overcome the immediacy of shelter without compromising quality? How can architects design better infrastructures when means and resources are limited? These are some of the questions that the AAVS would pursue, by establishing a more proactive and less reactive attitude towards natural disasters. An attitude that take catastrophes and natural disasters as the catalyst for a new kind of architectural activism that is able to foresee and produce opportunities out of scarcity, shortage and resilience.


‘Ring of Fire’, aims to explore for innovative design systems and strategies that can feed, tackle and/or question the way in which architecture is responding to the impact of natural disasters over populated areas surrounding the Pacific Ocean’s Ring of Fire.

The diversity of technological, cultural and identity features will be investigated in order to develop an architectural response that examines what glocality means as an operational resource for handling better/smarter/faster with the aftermath of natural disasters.

The goal is to generate innovative solutions for adaptable/replicable architectural systems that are able to accommodate the need of shelter by incorporating simple/sensible fabrication logics, as a way of responding to contexts of scarce technology, material, tools and machinery resources; contributing to a more prototypical approach towards natural disasters reconstruction, with particular focus in Resilient Systems, Material Research and Experimental Design.


As the area of study is of planetary scale, the AAVS Ring of Fire takes place in a number of locations and cities within the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire; gathering institutions, professionals and people together, in order to build-up a global discussion on how of architecture should engage with the issues arising from natural disasters.

The Ring of Fire includes Chile, Argentina, Bolivia, Perú, Ecuador, Colombia, Panamá, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, México, United States and Canada, then turns up to the Aleutian Islands and down the coasts and islands of Russia, Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, East Timor, Brunei, Singapore, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Tuvalu and New Zealand.