Architectural Summer School: Projecting in times of scarcity
A teaching experience in a context of changes in the professional practices of architecture
Keywords:professional practices in architecture, architecture teaching, didactics of the architectural project
In the last few years, architects’ professional practices have gone through a transformation: along with the traditional model – architecture office cycle, project commission and building construction –, new architect intervention practices have arisen, ones that we will start off by calling ‘emerging practices’. A number of issues stem from this transformation, namely within the academic milieu, dealing with the fit of structures and contents of architecture teaching to these new professional configurations. In order to provide answers to these questions, an architecture teaching experiment was set up – a Summer School jointly co-ordinated by the Department of Architecture and Urbanism at ISCTE-IUL and the Faculty of Design and Technology Technische Universität Darmstadt. A few issues were further elaborated on in a Curricular Unit of the Integrated Masters in Architecture (Arquitetura V – 2014/15), where several questions were explored, in terms of rehabilitation and excessive tourism in urban historic centres. The fieldwork experience enabled a greater student awareness of the need to understand architectonic heritage appreciation in a broad and integrated fashion. Likewise, students grasped the importance of a greater involvement with the intervened contexts’ social reality, on behalf of architects, thereby fulfilling the attempt to foster a closer rapprochement between teaching and emerging professional practices. Aside from discussing reformation and project didactics fit necessities, as far as the new professional practice constraints are concerned, this article seeks to describe the experience of this summer school.
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