Tomorrow September 21st we welcome our new group of students for the 2018-19 academic year, who come from no less than 19 countries(!): Algeria, Australia, Brazil, China, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Greece, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Spain, Syria, Turkey, UK, Uruguay, USA, and Yemen. Though our course always focuses on the role of architecture and urban planning in the fields of emergency and development, each year the curriculum evolves and brings something new to the program. These are the highlights for this year:
1. Emergency Shelter Study
Our IFRC-approved course on Humanitarian Shelter and Settlements, which trains students with the protocols and expertise of IFRC and The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) for post-disaster and post-conflict scenarios, will involve conducting a study for local company Gaptech on the performance and lifecycle of its shelter design. Other professors throughout the three-week course include seasoned professionals from organizations including IFRC, AECID and Médicos sin Fronteras.
2. Returning professors
After several years away from our program, Alejandro de Castro will return this year as guest professor. De Castro coordinated GSAPP’s Latin Lab from 2010 to 2016 and is now a post-doctoral researcher at the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development. From September 20-22, he is participating in Slums: New Visions for an Enduring Global Phenomenon, which he co-organized with Rahul Mehrotra, Enrique Silva and Chris Herbert at Harvard and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.
We also welcome back participatory planning pioneer Nabeel Hamdi of Oxford Brookes University, who we also missed having last year. Author of landmark books like Small Change, Housing without Houses, and the Spacemaker’s Guide to Big Change, Hamdi has been with us since 2013. You can watch a livestream of one of his lectures here.
3. Returning Alumni
Alumni Rosanna Poblet (class of 2010-11) will be back with us as a guest professor, talking about reducing vulnerability through ecological infrastructure.
Lisa Smyth (class of 2015-16) will also return as guest lecturer. Lisa, who is currently employed by Catholic Relief Services, will be shareing her previous experiences in WASH projects in post-hurricane Haiti.
4. IFOU Congress
Our participation in the 11th edition of the annual conference of the International Forum of Urbanism (IfoU), will involve keynote speeches by our leadership and a report by our students that gathers the outputs of the congress. Titled Reframing Urban Resilience Implementation: Aligning Sustainability and Resilience, the conference will take place from 10-12 December 2018, and is organized by our university UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, UN-HABITAT and the Urban Resilience Research Network.
5. 10-year Anniversary!
This year marks the 10th anniversary of our program, of which we are immensely proud. The academic year will end with a 10-year celebration bash that will feature talks from special guests that include alumni, professors and invited speakers. Stay tuned for more details!
6. Field Trip and Local Workshop
Details about our field trip and local workshop are still under wraps. Check some of our previous trips to Ecuador, India, and Medellín and our local workshops in Ciutat Meridiana, Torre Baró and Casa Bloc in Barcelona.