We’re excited to announce the start of our masters program this year and welcome our new group of students for the 2012-13 term! This year marks the start of a series of significant changes and unique experiences both for our students and followers.

Various changes to the program include a renewed staff led by a new directorial team comprised by Carmen Mendoza and Sandra Bestraten, who specialize and have extensive experience in urban planning, housing, sustainable development, cooperation, developing contexts and social participation.

Bestraten, who was president of the NGO University without Borders (USF) for 10 years developing urban planning and social and educational facilities with social participation, is associate professor and co-director of the Cooperation Area of the Escuela Superior de Arquitectura (ESARQ) and also associate professor at Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Barcelona (ETSAB-UPC). About the course, she says:

The students that participate in this course demonstrate their personal commitment with social justice in the world. We hope to meet their expectations, offering the knowledge and tools to help strengthen that commitment and integrating their work in human settlement projects.

Here are this year’s highlights:

Consortium workshop – We are proud to host the first ever consortium workshop, which will bring together students from the three universities of the Mundus Urbano consortium–Technische Universität Darmstadt (Germany), Université Pierre Mendès Grenoble (France), and Universitá Tor Vergata Rome (Italy)–for a joint urban action and workshop. In groups, students will develop intervention proposals and deliver a joint presentation and urban action in response to the class module “Building the urban community of the Collserola neighbourhood: Ciutat Meridana”.

Field trip to Medellín – This year the fieldtrip will take place in Medellín Colombia, from March 1828th. Together with students of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia and the Graduate School of Planning and Architecture of the University of Columbia, NY, students will participate in the workshop “Rethinking the Urban Fringes in Medellín, Colombia: Land use strategies for the green metropolitan belt“.

Section of Green Metropolitan Belt. Alcaldia de Medellin.

Open Conference Jorgio Mario Jauregui – We previously hosted open conferences with Cameron Sinclair of Architecture for Humanity (2010-11) and on Rebuilding Japan (2011-12). This year we are proud to give the floor to our guest professor Jorge Mario Jáuregui, who will give a talk open to the public in early February. Jáuregui is an architect and urban designer best known for his work in urban areas and informal settlements, most notably his Favela-Bairro project in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Jorge Mario Jáuregui

Mendoza, whose work focuses on the physical and social regeneration of degraded neighborhoods in the Metropolitan Region of Barcelona and informal settlements in South America, has been busy planning the workshops (mentioned above) for this year’s class:

Our students this year are offered the opportunity of working on two diverse and challenging contexts: Medellín, Colombia, and the peripheral neighborhood of Ciutat Meridiana in Barcelona. In both studios, they will be developing comprehensive strategies and specific projects through a “hands on” community based methodology, where identity, culture and spatial strategies compliment each other.

We’ll be updating on these events over the next months, so stay tuned!



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