Davide Zampini and Oriol Carrasco discuss research as a field of opportunity for architecture at Foros 2022

The two speakers agree on the need to strengthen the conversation among architects, researchers and the industry in order to meet the future challenges faced by the sector

On 23 February, the UIC Barcelona Aula Magna lecture theatre hosted the second session of the series of lectures Foros 2022, organised by the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture. Under the title “The architect as researcher”, the event was led by Davide Zampini, director of the CEMEX Global R&D research centre based in Switzerland, and Oriol Carrasco, member of the Laboratory of Technological Innovation for Industrialised and Sustainable Construction (LITEIS) of UIC Barcelona. The session was moderated by architect David Masip Vilà.

During their presentations, both speakers agreed on the importance of research as an area of architectural activity and the value of collaboration among architects, researchers and industry to address future challenges facing the sector. Oriol Carrasco emphasised the importance of connectivity as a crucial element in the development of innovation processes. “Knowledge exchange is fundamental to the field of research. If architects collaborate with industry in the early stages of their project, they will gain access to necessary knowledge that they cannot otherwise obtain”, he said.

Along these same lines, Davide Zampini, who leads a multidisciplinary group of researchers and experts in Switzerland that develops pioneering projects based on the use of new technologies and their application in the field of construction materials, defended architects’ potential in the field of research. “Architects aren’t aware of the value they can bring to research projects. Many ideas and processes generated by students and teachers in architecture schools are eventually materialised by architects in real construction projects”, he said.

Both speakers also reflected on the concept of trial and error inherent in research. “The path of research is never linear. It is necessary to manage the errors that come up in the process”, said Oriol Carrasco. “Research involves taking risks, avoiding preconceived ideas, and making mistakes”, Davide Zampini said, in the same vein.

Foros 2022 is organised under the theme “The leap into the void”. This new series calls for self-awareness regarding architecture today in its different aspects and fields of application. As a new feature, the lecture series is introducing a new format based on a two-way dialogue between professionals from the sector who partake in sessions structured by themes linked to current architectural practice and the challenges facing the sector.

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