El pasado 26 de febrero tuvo lugar la apertura de la nueva edición del ciclo Foros UIC Barcelona School of Architecture. Alejandro Haiek, arquitecto venezolano referente en el ámbito de la arquitectura colaborativa y social, fue presentado en el Aula Magna de la universidad ante más de un centenar de asistentes por Miquel Lacasta, que este año ejerce como comisario del ciclo junto a sus compañeros Marc Chalamanch y Carmen Santana, los tres integrantes del estudio de arquitectura Archikubik. … Foros 2018: Alejandro Haiek: hacia una estética de la imprecisión
Hoy ha muerto Jorge Wagensberg. Admirado y querido, tuvo el detalle de protagonizar la presentación del primer libro de nuestro Grupo de Investigación y Máster, “Genetic Architectures / Arquitecturas Genéticas”, el 9 de octubre del 2003. Tiempo después le invitamos también a conferenciar en la School of Architecture, en el Aula Magna de UIC Barcelona. Desde ese día dejé de tomar fruta que no fuese de temporada pues, con segundas intenciones, le pregunté qué podíamos hacer para evitar la proliferación de medusas en el Mediterráneo, ya que me gustaba bañarme en el mar. Y me contestó con terceras: “no comas cerezas en Navidad”. Ya acompañándole a la salida de UIC Barcelona, le introduje la conversación sobre la posible existencia de universos paralelos, que fuimos comentando, pues como físico no podía descartarla. Quede tal cuestión para su propia esperanza científica.
Alberto T. Estévez, Barcelona, 3 de marzo del 2018
This year, the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture is celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Vertical Workshop, one of the School’s most unique events, which has been held during the first week of every academic year since its creation. Over the course of seven day
s, the students from the School of Architecture are divided into teams led by prestigious architects and charged with carrying out a project that, in each edition, revolves around a specific topic and is evaluated by a jury of professionals.
This Friday 9 March, to commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the Vertical Workshop, the School will inaugurate an exhibition entitled 20 Years of the Vertical Workshop: 20 Years Committed to Architecture, curated by Manuel Arenas, Marta Delgado and Sergi Viñals. The exhibition, which consists of 25 A0-size posters and a panel that serves as a compendium of all editions, will remain on display until 16 March at the Rei Marti Water Deposit (Carrer Bellesguard, 14). According to exhibition curator and School lecturer Manuel Arenas, “The purpose of the exhibit is to revisit and underscore the educational and experimental value of the Vertical Workshop. Over the past 20 years, we have been privileged enough to have worked at the School alongside internationally renowned figures such as Winny Maas, Duncan Lewis, Dennis Dollens and Karl Chu; and nationally renowned figures such as José Luis Mateo, Carmen Pinós, Carlos Ferrater and Tuñón-Mansilla”.
Since the beginning, the School of Architecture has sought to use the Vertical Workshop as a means of communication, dissemination and discussion. During that week, the School transforms into a massive experimental laboratory, in which the teams compete among each other to produce results that must then be presented before a final jury.
The success of the workshop has been magnified thanks to the involvement of internationally renowned architects, who have taken on the role of directors of the various editions, all of which have revolved around topical issues of contemporary interest, with the purpose of examining new, strategic and cross-disciplinary aspects of Architecture. Datascape, Energy, Human Catastrophes, Water, Street Action, Emotional City and Urban Making are just some of the names borne by previous editions of the Vertical Workshop, all of which have been committed to current issues and global social and political phenomena.
The exhibition is scheduled to re-open in the spring at the seat of the Association of Architects of Catalonia (COAC).
For yet another year, students from the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture will be involved in a project submitted as part of the Llum BCN festival. The event, organised by the Barcelona City Council, will take place on 16, 17 and 18 February. With the eighth edition, the festival will have a change of scenery. It will leave behind the Old Quarter’s streets and courtyards and light up the district of Poblenou, “a neighbourhood”, according to the festival organisers, “with an industrial legacy that has undergone an intense process of transformation and become the district for technology, innovation and creation”.
With this initiative, held at the same time as the city’s winter festivities, the Barcelona City Council aims to bathe the city in light with lights shows and creations by renowned artists, as well as collaborations with 150 students from a dozen architecture and design schools in Barcelona, including the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture.
This year, eight students from the School have taken part in the initiative with a project entitled “Llums silvestres” [Wild Lights], which will be set up at number 83, Carrer de Tànger. The project interprets and lends value to the plant life that grows wild in the abandoned or half-built lots of Poblenou’s island blocks. Green areas that seem haphazard compared to the district’s current process of transformation. “Luces silvestres” imitates this chaotic vegetation using balls of light that “grow” forming wild contours. “In terms of assembly, we used metal rods, screws and plastic balls measuring 10 cm in diameter. We spray-painted the plastic balls blue and, together with the rods, used them to create a labyrinth with different heights and positions. The process consisted of cutting the rods, painting and setting the balls. Altogether there are 1,500 balls, 1,500 metal rods and 3,000 screws”, explains one of the students who participate in the project.
This luminous garden will be accompanied by music in sync with the rhythm of nature. The project was supervised by Iñaki Baquero, Maria Barcina, Roser Estelrich and Marta García-Orte.
This year, Llum BCN Poblenou has invited Monique Savoie, a video artist and creator from Quebec, who is also the founder of the prestigious Society for Arts and Technology of Montreal (SAT), to participate as guest artist. The SAT is a trailblazing foundation in art and new technologies and will bring to Barcelona a selection of the best immersive 360º videos.
The Barcelona City Council has also emphasised the fact that this edition will showcase twice the number of shows and art installations. As in previous years, the festival will underscore its commitment to the innovative means of working with light and space employed by, among others, students from the School of Architecture. To do so, the organisers of this edition will hand out an award for best student collaboration, which will be decided by a jury made up of a number of exhibiting artists.
UIC Barcelona and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) have entered into an agreement whereby students from the School of Architecture may earn extension certificates from this North American university. Thanks to this agreement, students from the School will also receive a 15% discount on these certificate programmes.
The agreement offers a number of advantages. In addition to the reduced cost, the students will also benefit from the programmes’ unique possibilities and gain professional experience in the United States. On the one hand, the agreement opens the door for internships in the US for the duration of the programme. On the other, students may apply for a 12-month work permit at the end of the academic programme and stay on working in the United States.
According to School lecturer Carmen Mendoza Arroyo, “the agreement with UCLA offers graduates from our university the chance to further their education at the 17th best university for Architecture in the world. Our students will be able to extend their studies in areas that complement their training, earn a specialisation from this prestigious university and gain work experience at big-name studios”.