09 December 2019

Prestigious architects take part in CulturTalks, a series of conferences organised by the La Salle-URL School of Architecture and Building Engineering

The CulturTalks series of conferences, organised by the Department of Culture (Culturals) of the La Salle-URL School of Architecture and Building Engineering, aims to get architecture students exercising their critical spirit. The set of talks covers trends and explores real, tangible realities of the construction world thanks to the testimony of some of the most relevant professionals in the sector, who will help students cultivate their architectural outlook. “The aim of the events is to form a cultural body based around design, bringing together the whole School”, explains Josep Ferrando, professor at La Salle-URL and the person heading up this initiative. The event is just over halfway complete; four conferences have been held with another two to round up the series of six talks.

CulturTalks offers a comprehensive examination of the key elements of current architecture, and aims to prove the importance of taking a more horizontal, integral approach to the discipline. This is also one of the objectives of the Units, specialisation modules included in the architectural studies at La Salle-URL, which provide the framework for this cycle of conferences. As such, for each of the six Units, a corresponding talk has been organised to reinforce what students have learned in their lessons. These specialisation modules, which are taught in the second cycle of the Degree in Architecture Studies and the Degree in Technical Architecture and Building Engineering at La Salle-URL, allow students to develop their competences in those fields that interest them the most.

Xavier Ros in the third CulturTalks lecture

Units, training modules for La Salle-URL's Degrees in Architecture

Contemporary architecture demands professionals with a broad outlook who are experts in their field and capable of providing a global perspective of their discipline. The Units included in the Architectural and Building Engineering studies at La Salle-URL aim to achieve just that: to ensure our professionals can adapt to the needs of the sector, allowing them to specialise in a specific field while also recognising and understanding other architectural realities. “As well as training our students in technique, tools and the creative process, our aim is for students to be objective and critical of what they design,” explains Josep Ferrando. Here, the Units and the Culturtalks sessions both play a key role. Over the course of this academic year, six specialisation modules have been offered: the Visiting Unit, the Campus Unit, the Barcelona Unit, the International Unit, the Tectonics Unit and the Sustainability Unit.

The opening conference of CulturTalks, with La Societat Orgànica, was a part of the Sustainability Unit, which reflects on socially conscious construction in the 21st century. The working areas of cooperatives also served as a common thread throughout the presentation: consultancy, teaching and R+D+i in sustainability and ecological construction. The next talk, entitled Limits, was offered by the architect Jaume Avellaneda on 16 October. His talk was a part of the Tectonics Unit, in which the future architects of La Salle-URL take a practical look at the constructive coherence of architectural projects. As part of the framework of the International Unit, where the focus is on international initiatives that combine good architecture with good academia and good professionals, Xavier Ros appeared as the guest at CulturTalks. This renowned architect is a member of the H Arquitectes studio, winners of several international awards, and he offered his talk on 16 October.

The fourth presentation, which is part of the Barcelona Unit, took place on 4th December and was offered by the co-founder of La Col Eliseu Arrufat. Here the architect presented some of his projects and called for people to play a more active role in the transformation of our cities. “The Barcelona Unit aims to be a point of reference for academic research into real-life projects for public administration”, says Josep Ferrando. During this semester, the Barcelona Unit is studying the urban and architectural effects of the climate crisis at Marina del Prat Vermell.

Architect Alberto Veiga, from Barozzi Veiga studio, teaching the Visiting Unit

Esteve Bonell and Alberto Veiga bring this semester's CulturTalks to a close

The next conference, the fifth in the series, is entitled Housing, between thought and reality, and will be held on Wednesday 11 December by the architect Esteve Bonell. All of these talks are open to the general public and are held in the Undergraduate Degree Hall of the Sant Josep Building, with the exception of the final conference, which will take place in the Auditorium located in the same building. Esteve Bonell will focus his speech on concepts relating to the Campus Unit. This module aims to take advantage of the work synergies across La Salle-URL, where studies in Engineering, Management and Digital Arts are all taught.

The final conference, entitled All that is, will be offered by Alberto Veiga, a visiting professor this year at La Salle-URL, together with Fabrizio Barozzi. Both have been responsible for teaching the Visiting Unit, the most open specialisation module of them all: it does not have a specific backbone, but rather adapts to the specific area of experience and knowledge of the guest lecturers. This Unit has new teachers each semester, allowing La Salle-URL Architecture students to learn from some of the best active professionals in our Design Studio, a meeting point between students and teachers of all courses taught at the La Salle-URL School of Architecture and Building Engineering.

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