Some weeks after finishing MCH'2018, our MCH participants are already working for relevant architecture offices around the world: Spain, Austria, Switzerland, The Netherlands,... Some others have decided to go back to their origin countries to implement there the strategies learnt at MCH. We are really proud of this improvement of their professional careers and wish them all the best for the future
After meeting Jacob van Rijs, founding partner of MVRDV, at the MCH, Prajakta decided to apply for a position in this worldwide known office. MVRDV is for sure one of the top 3 offices in the Netherlands, with projects in India, where Prajakta comes from, and many other countries in the world. With more than 200 architects hired, MVRDV is a reference for innovative constructive systems, conceptually strong proposals and unique housing solutions.
Prajakta's opinion about the MCH experience:
"I believe MCH course is a challenging course for the participants as it helps in the development of a holistic awareness of the topics concerning housing. I feel that it has fulfilled me as it has trained me to self-evaluate my design and trained with critical analysis of my decisions in bringing out the best deliverable.
The workshops push us to be practical and make decisions for producing the required amount of work within a time crunch. It also trains us to work in teams of 2 -4 that trains us for the professional world.
One of the best parts of MCH is that I have learnt a great deal from my colleagues. My colleagues come from various backgrounds but we have managed to find common ground and produce work and deliver. I am happiest and grateful to MCH for having given me the opportunity to learn from such a motivated group.
The international workshops have met my expectations of quality as they have given us a more global approach to housing.
The atmosphere at MCH is very amicable and inspirational. It has a very healthy competitive spirit which makes it more exciting and pushes one harder to achieve better results.
The study trip to Zurich was a thorough educational experience one could expect in a short time. The number of projects, architects and short lectures that we were introduced was extremely helpful and informative in terms of housing. I would give the trip a 10/10.
My personal favorite highlight would be my time in workshops working with different people at different times and getting to understand each other’s thought process to come up with ideas and brainstorm through the project to deliver it well on time."
Before coming back to Australia, where Francisco lives and works since 2011, Baumschlager Eberle Architekten offered him a stage at their Lustenau office, in Austria, to join their competition team and deepen in their working methodology. Francisco’s proposal for Dietmar Eberle’s workshop was rated as one of the best of the class, both by professors and colleagues.
Francisco's opinion about the MCH experience:
“The Master of Architecture in Collective Housing, MCH, is a design-minded and Project-based postgraduate program with integrated disciplines and theoretical issues where we have been exposed to the most influential residential-expertise professionals.
The richness of the program relies on the intensive curriculum counting site visits, lectures, studio-work, one-week workshops and study trips. All of them integrated through practice-orientated dynamic and supported by brilliant Architects, educators, and colleagues.
During the international workshops, our skills, design decisions and conceptual coherence, as a few to mention, have been tested in an inclusive way were a critic dialog with professors and colleagues occur. Therefore, it has been truly beneficial for me to explore different methodologies and approaches from different international Architects to further develop in the future.
A strong sense of belonging and an intimate atmosphere has arisen during this time due to the knowledge sharing of the student group.
Moreover, our study trip to Zurich was exceptional, we had the opportunity to meet the best local residential architects and go over their work in situ, from essence to detail, then we were welcomed to their studio to discover their modus-operandi. It was a discovery trip for the group.
If you are thinking to further expand your knowledge in collective housing there is no better program to enroll. “
In this case, Carlos and Luis were selected to participate in a masterplan competition in Xiongan, China RBTA Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura reinforced their competition team with this two brilliant architects, who are giving their best to contribute to the office’s success. RBTA Office is already in the second stage of the competition, together with other international offices as Foster&Partners, SOM and ARUP.
Carlos's opinion about the MCH experience:
"MCH program is one of the most important postgraduate programs, which is totally tested when we are here. The prestige is because, MCH have together the best professors in our disposition for different times. As a student, the program requires a personal maturity and humility to go deep and take advantage of this knowledge.
MCH is exceeding my expectations, because it is a practical program, that gives me synthesis capacity to develop different types of projects under the guide of the masters in the field of housing. And in the same line, the complement of this professors is the relation and the feedback that I have with my colleagues. The double discipline is an important issue with my colleagues, because we discussed the academic content outside the university, in a camaraderie environment.
In my opinion, MCH has two highlights:
- The first are the International Workshops, where we have the opportunity to develop a project only in a week in different topics, which is very difficult when we have the weight of the bureaucracy, but the training gives us the capacity to take decisions and be consistent with them. Sometimes we would like more days to develop the project in a deep way, because as architects we want to have everything under control, but like in real life, the architecture is about decisions and knowledge.
- The second is the study trip to Zurich, whose purpose is to learn while we are visiting and testing the most important housing buildings. The abstraction of knowledge takes form and meeting the authors of those projects is the best way to close the circle. In Switzerland and its surroundings we could find the most important examples (showcases), not only for housing but also for architecture.
For these reasons, I think MCH will be a turning point in my life, not only as an architect but also as a person."
Luis's opinion about the MCH experience:
Before coming back to her home country, where she co-founded Hilada Arquitectos with her partner Eduardo Ochoa, Laura worked with professor Carmen Espegel and her team for an urban competition of collective housing and complementary uses building in Bogotá, Colombia, where they were invited to participate.
Laura's opinion about the MCH experience:
"MCH for me has been a great opportunity to meet colleagues from all over the world, with different cultures, backgrounds and points of views. This way, the knowledge I have acquired from the masters itself, has been enriched by their knowledge and their positions toward the different issues and topics being explored. Its been also a space to create friendship bonds with possible collaborators or partners in the future.
On the other hand, due to the fact that the masters an intensive program, we have been trained to deliver a lot of work in very short periods of time, this way acquiring skills of efficiency and effectivity that can be easily applied in the working fields of competitions.
Finally, the program has also been an opportunity to learn and work from some of the best architects in Europe side by side. As we are a small group of students and the classes are workshop based, we have a direct communication with them, taking the most out of the intensive weeks we have with them."
Rosario, who had already been working in Basel before coming to MCH, decided to help this young studio called Gruner&Skrein in a competition to build the New Sports Arena in Olympia Park, in Munich. Switzerland is a reference for architects, because of the high building standards and qualitative results.
Rosario's opinion about the MCH experience:
"After these past months, I must say that the MCH academic experience is highly challenging and I like that.
First of all, it is extremely interesting and formative to interact with teachers and classmates in such a close way. To listen to different experiences, to think together, share conclusions and review what was developed in class.
Furthermore, the design of the projects in a short time, sharing different visions in different working groups, and then exposing the result with the expectation of qualified comments from the professors and colleagues was great training.
MCH is a real-time academic-labor experience. I think it places us at a level of growth in line with each of our potentials, allowing the group to offer the best of itself to achieve the proposed goal.
The trip to Zurich was very inspiring because in addition to seeing very interesting architecture we were able to visit renowned architects' studios.
I feel lucky to have participated in this edition of the MCH that has also given me the opportunity to connect and live with architects from other cultures. Each and every one has contributed to my learning as a professional and as a person. Especially with some of them, that have now become not only colleagues but also good friends.
I will never forget the time that we spent together, the enjoyable dinners, lunches and shared breakfasts."
After finishing the Master in 2018, Candelaria Caceres went back to her country and start working with Estudio Montevideo. It is a young architecture and interior design office that was born in Cordoba, Argentina in 2015. Throughout these years they have developed more than 60 projects in Argentina, Chile, Spain, Belgium and France among others. In 2018 Estudio Montevideo opened a new office in Madrid, with the aim of expanding their ideas in the world.
Candelaria's opinion about the MCH experience:
"Thinking about these last six months I can say that having chosen the MCH was an excellent decision. The esteemed professors and architects have conducted classes and workshops, but the relationship and the dialogue with them will be most valued. We had the opportunity not only to share work environments, but relaxed talks and dinners, which made the connection with them reach the maximum. The MCH is a tool that opens many doors in the international work environment.
Elena Congiu, from Italy, has joined the team of Adamo-Faiden Arquitectos in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Elena was looking for a new job experience and she found the right one in this talented office in Buenos Aires, which has built really interesting housing projects in Argentina, Uruguay, and others.
Elena's opinion about the MCH experience:
"The master meets my expectations of being able to approach the issue of collective housing in a satisfactory manner. The little time to deepen the many themes studied leaves, sometimes, questions in suspense. Therefore, at the same time, it spark the curiosity and the willingness to continue a personal research of those themes that captured my attention the most.
The master has proved to be both practical and open to theoretical debates. It is able to combine in a single program research, study and application of the acquired knowledge.
The close relationship between colleagues is always put to the test by the challenges of working in groups with different people. This process strengthens individual skills at the professional and moreover at the personal level. We learn to distinguish friendship from work and to find the right balance in every circumstance. Beyond the master, the bond that unites us is as strong as a family relation, mutual trust and esteem are the basis of our friendship.
The workshops are always challenges against time, concentrated and intense, both in content and performance. The classes, in which each leader workshop proposes a different method of teaching and a different topic, are high level. All this enriches our architectural aptitudes. Furthermore, at the end of each workshop, we haven’t only increase our knowledge, but above all we have developed an effective critical sense towards our projects and the methods we learned.
The atmosphere that you breathe changes day by day depending on the challenge that is proposed. However, even when we are in an intense period, the good relationship that we have in the classroom helps us to get out of moments of difficulty more easily. Specially, the direct relationship that we have with the professors and the good communication that they establish during the lessons helps to create an atmosphere where learning is a pleasure.
The trip to zurich has been fundamental to our education. it has increased our ambition and broadened our horizons. Seeing how architecture is deepened and detailed, having a good professional and creative point of reference has certainly increased our awareness.
The thinking flexibility and the mind elasticity that we acquire thanks to a constant question that we are asked is invaluable. The close and direct relationship we have with professional architects makes us aware of our capabilities and constantly motivated. Although the workshops are of short duration, their intensity makes them the best time to learn."