a walking architecture unschool

b. Matter: Dwelling


-If architects were not compulsory by law, how would they be necessary?

-An architect is useful when researching on, and accomplishing the synergy of these four matters: DWELLING (the action), TECHNIQUE,  RESOURCES (ENERGY AND MATERIAL) and LEARNING.


-Architecture is an animal's act of inhabiting the earth, by adapting and transforming a particular environment. Most animals use their habilities to turn their physiological limitations into an advantage. Builders are the members of the human species who are responsible to make the environment inhabitable, by developing, gathering and sharing specific knowledge, for the maximum number of people and generations possible.

-If mankind didn’t have these habilities, our species would have become extinct. If mankind didn’t have these limitations, we wouldn’t need to build.

-If we don’t change our ways of doing right away, the only hope for survival will be through genetic modification of our bodies, so we become more resistant to cold, heat and maladies. Then we won’t need to build more separations between our bodies and their environment.


-Builders are the experts in all this. When we design, we need to research on how to improve these habilities and limitations. Therefore, we’ll also start from the needs of the dweller, the possibilities and constraints of its physiology and psychology.

-Is the role of the architect to build buildings?

-His role is to make human habitats possible, using construction techniques to improve the dweller’s -and all other people involved in the process- health and happiness.

-Is a building architecture?

-Architects have built some of the most extraordinary places to live in. But architecture is the act of dwelling, otherwise it’s just stones.

-Is architecture a noun or a verb?

-I'm not sure if architecture is a noun or a verb -most likely it is neither of these. But I'm quite certain that it is not singular but plural. It is not about you or me. It is about us. If there is no us (including our fellow animals, plants, minerals and atmospheric elements), there is no architecture.

-From ‘a house’ to ‘at ‘home’.  Before, the program organised some fixed actions, times, contents and relations. Now we must include the factors that will make people feel at home.

-From programs to possibilities. We live in a world in constant transformation. We need to think the future actions that a construction might host in the most open way possible, allowing unforeseen uses and all kinds of changes. At the same time, they must adjust with precision -as a clock- to the expected uses. 

-Any program should become a home with the minimum changes.

-We need not only a better understanding of uncertainty, but to incorporate it, working with open and adaptative systems, that not only accept changes and accidents, but that improve from these. We change from minimizing uncertainty to maximising the alternatives, foreseeing them.

-How can we plan and construct our own home? On selfbuild. Coming soon...


-How to make a post-consumerist living environment? On enoughness. Coming soon...


-How can we make places that help us feel good?
After home.
Coming soon...


LITTLE PATHS (Case studies):

  • Le petit cabanon (case study #1). Living, dwelling, planning and self-build. Architect's help for the XXIInd BC and XXIInd century.

CROSSROADS (Short exercises for young builders while on a journey):

  • Map how the environment you are thinking about helps people to live as they need/want, and which unexpected possibilities does it add.