ASF CONFERENCE

ABOUT THE CONFERENCE

Arquitectos Sem Fronteiras Portugal, invite you to the Architecture Sans Frontieres International Conference "The teaching of architecture in the development process".
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto, Porto, Portugal, 13th April 2013.

 

At the same time of the conference event and in the same place (FAUP) we will show an exhibition called "Architecture sans frontiere international", with works of some members of Asf-international.

 

Recurrently, the role of architecture schools and teaching processes is rightly questioned. Traditional debate included the contrast between a ‘visual-based only’ approach and that of a so-called building culture. That is the creation of spaces to live versus the creation of objects in space. Recently, this debate has crossed the relatively self-centred boundaries of academia and practice and reached a far wider audience through a diversity of media forms and range like the World Wide Web or our local newspaper. For once, the question is raised from a social point of view – or, to all intents and purposes – from the acknowledgment of a failing political-economy model, at least in Western countries. Suddenly we’ve all became too familiar with the financial implications of the sub prime crisis, credit halt, international interest rates, soaring unemployment rates or the virtues and limitations of austerity plans. In architecture, such swirl manifests itself in a brisk stop of investment (either public or private), lack of work, closing practices, unemployment and emigration.


Nothing can perhaps express better such state of affairs as the situation in Southern European Countries, traditionally with economic growth hand in hand with the development of the construction cluster and, until recently, boasting with promises of generous revenues from the real estate sector: preceded by the sub prime crisis, the bubble burst and left countless building investments half done or empty, investors empty handed and architects without work. Socially, the situation also wavers dangerously as more families are denied credit, evicted from their homes and engrossing unemployment lines. With no new commissions and without future perspectives, what should architects do? Many, of course, emigrate: to places where a capitalist model for society still pervades or to the new busting petro-economies. Others cling to their personal fame (or charm) and find themselves a prestigious academic seat, a least for as long as the crisis lasts. But the question lingers: what should be the role of architecture schools, and of architecture, in such a changing world? Why do many still focus on issues of authorial work and off reality exercises, while the number of the needing increases, not only in the so far ‘traditional’ lower-income countries, but worryingly so in the until now affluent nations? On the field, many architects and practices have already moved forward. Examples range from working with communities: for example, by providing means and tools to implement more sustainable practices on energy consumption, promote community interaction through creating urban vegetable-gardens, or to surf the legal maze and be able to occupy empty urban voids. The objective is to create a focus on rehabilitation and the teaching of a maintenance culture, and to encourage a “do-it-yourself” experimental attitude in building environmentally conscious dwellings. These approaches add to the existing awareness of teaching development processes and help communities throughout the world. The difference is, for once, the idea is spreading to a broader audience that is keen in distancing itself from a consumer based society model and from a world of architecture that is fashion based, consumer tailored, and that promotes a self-centred attitude to design.

 

Are times ripe for such a paradigm change? In the venue associated to Architects Sans Frontiers International General Aassembly, to be held in Oporto in April, 2013, such questions will be discussed and possible routes for the futures sought for, within themes such as:


• Schools, and training centres in the development process (THEME 1)
• Human habitat life quality (THEME 2)
• Teaching, training and research (THEME 3)
• Science and technology projects (THEME 4)
• Programs, policies and funding projects (THEME 5)
• Affordable housing (THEME 6)
• Built environment refurbishing (THEME 7)
• Sustainable technologies, building systems and materials (THEME 8)

 

PROGRAM | 13.04

09:30 OPENING
Session 1
10:30 FROM FORMAL EDUCATION TO INFORMAL CITY. CHANGES AND UPDATES OF DESIGN PRACTICES - Maria Neto
10:50 ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION IN COLOMBIA, APPROACHES AND PERSPECTIVES IN SOCIAL AND
ENVIRONMENTAL COMMITMENTS -
Alvaro Alvarez
11:10 AN ARCHITECTURAL EDUCATION BEYOND FRONTIERES - Peter Newton
11:30 Poster presentation
12:00 COFFEE BREAK
Session 2
12:30 ARCHITECTURE AS EPISTEMOLOGY CONSTRUCTION OF COMPLEXITY TOWARDS A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
Andrea Monteiro Vicente
12:50 TEACHING ARCHITECTURE FOR OUR COMMON URBAN FUTURE
Teresa Marat - Mendes
13:10 TRAINING THE MOST DISADVANTAGED YOUNG PEOPLE IN ENERGY MANAGEMENT
Patricia Benchenna
13:30 LUNCH
Session 3
15:00 NAVIGATING THROUGH DESTINATIONS AND JOURNEYS OF ACTION LEARNING PRACTICES - Alexandre Apsan Frediani
15:20 LEARNING IN ACTION: REFLECTIONS - Melissa Kinnear
15:40 URBANDUCTS: REDESIGNING THE URBAN COHESION - Nuno Grande
16:00 Poster presentation
16:30 COFFEE BREAK
Session 4
17:00 MOVING BEYOND YELLOW PAPER DREAMINGS: TOWARDS A WALKING THE TALK MODEL OF COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT IN DESIGN EDUCATION - Esther Charlesworth
17:20 HOW TO TEACH ARCHITECTURE FOR DEVELOPMENT? - Dick Urban Vestbro
17:40

TRAINING IN ‘BASIC HABITABILITY’ (BHa) TO BOOST HUMAN DEVELOPMENT IN THE AREA OF HOUSING: THE CASE OF
MOZAMBIQUE - Julián Salas

18:00

ROUNDTABLE (Chair - Nuno Grande)
Álvaro Domingues e Jordi Balari.

19:00 CLOSING
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