Our workshops and studios. Outlines.
All our workshops and studios share the same approach and organisation. The commission given to the young learners varies according to the particular environment, climate, time, duration and availabilities where each workshop and studio is held.
Pedagogical approach (from propaedeutics to synchrodeutics). Learn by sheltering:
Help someone and some place: A meaningful experience.
Our studios explore the potential of each individual talent to learn and share knowledge with a specific community and biotope, in order to help transforming its environment into a better place to live. It is our duty to give younger generations the tools to establish a true collective collaboration, a generous attitude, so we can work together to make a better world.
Instead of letting young learners energy melt into thin air for five years, we see all Higher Education periods as a key moment in their lives, where they can learn while collaborating to improve their physical and social ecosystems.
So we get in touch with a local community or individual, with whom we work to improve their habitat, embracing the whole design and materialization process -from innovative ideas to hands-on constructions.
Our goal is to share with learners a comprehensive experience where plan and construct, research and practice, reflection and action, come together. When making architecture there is a necessary synergy between these apparently opposite poles. What’s interesting and useful for younger architects is to learn to think and make with both worlds. A synergy of learning by doing, learning by thinking and learning by living.
The commission for the group of learners is to design and build three different inhabitable environments for this specific community. The first one is made using only resources found on site (including materials and tools), where design’s anticipatory process and building questions are almost synchronic. It’s a three-week practical example that advances parallel to propedeutical and methodological questions presented to and shared by our group. This shelter will leave no print on the site, it won’t become a ruin. For the second one, we’ll use bricoleur tools and materials at hand, developing a recipe book so anyone can build and improve it, exploring the relations between architects and self-build culture. In the third one, a critical revision and evolution of the former two, we’ll develop a new open construction system that can be patented and totally prefabricated. These seasonal shelters are aimed to last as long as possible, though they can be easily disassembled and moved from one place to another.
Sharing discovery and innovation.
Design as a collective effort.
In order to be really useful, it is important to know how others have done it before you. But it is equally crucial to be able to see for yourself, to search and to discover.
These discoveries are the beginning of innovation paths, which we address in every commission exercise. In each workshop or studio we develop a Search Manual, that contains the main questions, discoveries and innovative solutions we have developed. We share this document with the local community so they can evolve it by themselves, and globally through creative commons.
The whole experience will be documented in a short film and a blog. This online journal will present the ongoing design and build process, and each learner’s own critical view on these debates themes.
Balanced efforts. Calendar and organisation.
The older learner -normally known as the professor- devotes just as much time and energy to the studio as the young learners.
The studio is nurtured with a series of 12 debates: Mapology; 12 case studies: Little paths; 12 short exercises for students: Excursions; and 12 brief texts critical approach: Little texts. Each debate is presented with simple cartoons. Each case study offers a specific example where ideas are explained through the critical reconstruction of a built work that is relevant on a step of the plan+construct process. Short exercises are focused on raising each student’s design method to a series of conscious, precise and explainable actions, which they can share with their companions. In most of the exercises, the format is free (writing, drawing...), in some there is a clear constraint. The debates will be held during the first two weeks, followed by two weeks of case study presentations. From then on, each member of the group will present its own perspective on one debate and one case study.
Pedagogical organisation (from a methodology to a mapology):
Mapology (Debate series):
2. Matter: To dwell.
3. Matter: Resources.
4. Matter: Technique.
5. Matter: To learn.
6. Abilities and tools.
7. A cartography: Data collection.
8. A cartography: Diagnose.
9. A cartography: The whole equation.
10. A cartography: To forelive, to foresee, to forebuild.
11. A cartography: Worst case scenario.
12. A cartography: With site.
Little paths (Case studies):
Most Little paths are custom made for each studio theme. The following is an example presented in one of our studios:
1. Other architectures. Sense.
2. Le petit cabanon. To dwell: Living, dwelling, planning and self-build. Ivan Illich and architect’s help for the XXIInd century.
3. Part 1:Manmade weathers. Climate change, seasonal living, atmospheric dreams and dynamic weather systems.
Part 2: Degrowing and commons. Crafting energy and transforming matter: no waste and low energy organisms.
4. Part 1: Learning to fly. On the invention of flight techniques. Science, methodology and accidents. Or why there are only a few architects working at NASA.
Part 2: Dynamic maximum tension. On traction and flection systems, and what the XXth century could have been.
5. The Wrights at Fäviken. To think and to make. Post-industrial logics for endogenous living, learning and building.
6. After Maxéville / easy does it. From the failed dream of industrialization to post-industrial possibilities.
7. Aboriginal architecture. Know your territory so you can build less.
8. Dersú Uzala in Ocatillo. Setting camp. Survival and enjoyment.
9. The maison Prouvé in Nancy part 1. To plan.
10. The maison Prouvé in Nancy part 2. To forelive, to foresee, to forebuild.
11. Worst case scenarios. Ways of ending the world.
12. the campboards and Serra Alta. With site.
Excursions (Short exercises):
1. Map what you think of when beginning this shelter. List.
2. Map how people will live in this shelter. List and ideograms.
3. Map the resources at hand in the nearby territory (including craftsmen, industries...). List.
4. Map the existing techniques available in the nearby territory of this shelter. List.
5. Map the working conditions, tools and production methods available. List.
6. Set up the team you’ll need, and where, when and how you’ll work. List.
7. Visit the site at least three times, under different weather conditions, in different times of the day, under different humours. Make a list of all the initial data. Don’t forget anything. List.
8. Make a clear and synthetic diagnose of what is/are the specific needs/s of the project. Don’t add anything of your dreams and ideas yet. Diagrams or ideograms.
9. Which are your goals? Make a clear and synthetic plan that will help you reach them. Diagrams or ideograms.
10. Forelive, foresee and forebuild this shelter. Anticipate its life and death. Diagrams, ideograms, sketches, models, technical drawings.
11. Check out all possible worst case scenarios. Diagrams, ideograms, sketches, models.
12. Prepare the building process. Check all possible unforeseen accidents. List.
Critical reconstruction of twelve chosen texts fragments, each one dealing with a Debate series idea.