The Mies van der Rohe Foundation has asked this question to the architects who have won its prize. These are some of the concepts that answer the question: Awareness with its contexts, great diversity in a small area, reflection of our culture, tradition, history and continuity, overlap reality, local condition, collage of identities, experimental, innovation… qualities or sensibilities that point towards the future and we would like to live with. Studio 5 is part of a series of specialisation in Architecture as Comparative Studies. They are courses that are also based on ‘the trip’ as an experience that consolidates the specialisation:

Architecture and Landscape: Destination Iceland

Architecture and Gender: Destination Istanbul

Architecture and Time: Destination Naples

Architecture and Democracy: Destination Athens

Architecture and Hybrid: Destination Marseille

Architecture and Referent: Destination Stockholm


This year we have a DOUBLE DESTINATION!

Architecture and Identity: Destination Madrid + Istanbul


• CONTENT “Urban commoning neither simply “happens” in urban space, nor does it simply produces urban space as a commodity to be distributed. Urban commoning treats and establishes urban space as a medium through which institutions of commoning take shape” Stavros Stavrides, On Urban Commoning Look at/study the competition for London 2015 DESIGNING THE URBAN COMMONS: It consisted of re-imagining spaces in London as places for collaboration, sharing and collective ownership. A competition inspired by the rights to the commons. When Maria Langarita was interviewed by the Mies van der Rohe Foundation, she listed Campo de Cebada in Madrid as an example of a European identity. We value her remarks on the use of public space with the knowledge how to use it. Campo de Cebada is an urban experiment to make it visible, a risky approach to architecture with a formalisation that was not to be predictable by its authors or its users. First Zuloark, along Basurama, designed a very clear strategy that answers the same questions made by DESIGNING THE URBAN COMMONS:

What is the role of design?

Who is it for?

To whom does it benefit?

What are the resources?




In Studio 5 we will work from the local culture, mapping existing values, connecting actors, designing exchange services as well as shaping social innovation labs in order to generate and identify new situations in the city. We begin a journey into the following public aspects:

- To detect new social and organizational forms, from linking production to consumption and to recognize how the different items are made, from its raw material to the final product.

- To be aware towards sustainability: to develop territorial concepts established by social and environmental qualities of consumption.


Instead of a rigid architecture, the course proposes a new architecture from a research on designs based on social actions. Energy, cultural events and civil participation will also be our building materials, shaping structures that have to be able to be calculated and drawn with technical details. Therefore the results will be a common investigation with other subjects of the course (structures, building construction, theory and urban planning).



The approach to Reality will be through workshops where we will build with new materials and structures, and with journeys that involve different phases. First, you create the expectation, followed by the experience of the emotional impact, to reach finally the project that is driven by the emotional memory. Studio 5 starts with a workshop on Instant Architecture directed by Santiago Pérez, building a pavilion scale 1/1 in our courtyard. Then we will travel to Madrid, to Campo de Cebada, where we will learn the strategies designed by the architects Zuloark and Basurama. In Madrid we will also participate in the construction of La Escuela Crece (ESDM), by Cirugeda. Another action will be realised with students from Istanbul, ITU, where we are invited to develop our projects in mid April. Both in Madrid and Istanbul, we will revise the city, with the intention to elaborate a retroactive manifesto (see Delirious NY, by Rem Koolhaas). These are trips that will bring out a real need to learn from the local, its technology and social culture. In so doing, it will help us to adopt the relationship, Architecture and Identity, and understood it as future possibilities. The students will be organized in groups of 3, incorporating Erasmus students from different countries in each of them. An exchange of information is encouraged, establishing a basis for a stimulating architectural production. The weblog of our class will collect all exercises, plus crossed comments made by each student of the work of their peers.

Note: Teaching language is English.



- Santiago Pérez, Assistant Professor of Architecture (University of Arkansas)

- Aslıhan Senel, Associate Professor of Architecture (Istanbul Technical University)

- Santiago Cirugeda, Architect (Recetas Urbanas)

- Zuloark - Basurama

- Jose Miguel de Prada Poole, Architect


• SCHEDULE Studio 5 begins on the 29/01/16 and finishes on the 20/05/16.


01-05/02/16. Workshop ELASTIC BOUNDARIES, directed by Santiago Pérez.

08-12/02/16. Madrid: CAMPO DE CEBADA + ESDM.

01-05/03/16. Workshop in ALICANTE.

12-17/04/16. Workshop in ISTANBUL.


The student’s goal is to learn and find opportunities for the coursework. Members of the Schools of Architecture both in Madrid and in Istanbul will guide us. Once we return to Alicante, the students will work with the travelling results and details, reinventing the social structure defined by uses and materials.


• EVALUATION Evaluation is continuous, with a weekly assessment of the works by the teacher and fellow students (80% of the final grade) and a final course portfolio (20% of the grade).



- Mongrel Rapture: The Architecture of Ashton Raggatt McDougall. ARM Architecture et al.

- Ezio Manzini (2015) Design, When Everybody Designs. An Introduction to Design for Social Innovation. Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press.



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Elastic Boundaries

Santiago Pérez

Workshop Alicante, Spain 01- 05 Feb 2016

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