Each specialty seminar is coordinated by a technical director who lectures together with a group of teachers and specialists from all over the world. Specialty seminars have different teaching hours each, which can slightly vary from edition to edition. In any case, the approach is basically practical.
ENERGY & SUSTAINABILITY
This specialty explores the design opportunities which the field of thermodynamics and ecology is opening to architecture, and specifically to the field of collective housing. From a practical and project-oriented stand point, the module focuses on connecting thermodynamics and ecology to architecture with the objective of finding potential design strategies which bridge the void between quantitative and qualitative approaches. Contrary to current energy approaches to architecture which are based on quantitative analysis, the module bridges the gulf between energy and architecture, exploring those disciplinary parameters —such as spatial and material structure, program or perception— which are specifically connected to its material and atmospheric performativity.
Based on the historical context of the 20th century housing, this course will analyse the different solutions of each time, figuring out the elements to recognize an architecture that stands away from trends and becomes a reference because of its universality.
Participants will develop their critique skills on the most relevant projects in the recent history of multi-family housing, through research and debate. Likewise, critique methods will be studied deeply to avoid superficial analysis and to be able to recognize a reasonable architecture.
This specialty approaches the central issue of the course through the experience of professional architects that have made a significant contribution in the field of collective housing. The projects are explained regarding the intentions of the architect, as well as the conditions that determined the different paths taken from the genesis to the realization of the building.
Participants will also study the experience of several classic cases in the history of housing, explained by some of today’s greatest architects. There will be special emphasis on the architect’s role and the necessary tools to solve common problems in the residential building process. The debate will define the integrated strategies when facing this kind of projects.
CONSTRUCTION & TECHNOLOGY
The aim of this course is to analyse the building as a physical system within the technical and integration systems in the design process. The theory is focused on the description of the main solutions given by architects in their most relevant buildings and the analysis of the different technical systems that make up the building.
Highly experienced professionals in housing construction and design will transmit their experience and knowledge in these fields.
LEADERSHIP, PROCESSES & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
The knowledge of management tools is an important factor that determines the quality of the education that this course offers. By these means, the architect not only becomes the project designer, but also the economic manager.
Participants will learn basic concepts of management such as value, cost, price and time, which will help adding realism to their architecture proposals and enabling them to be part of the economic debate during the building process.
This specialty is enclosed in a context determined by globalization and deals with the experience of professional architects and companies that have spread their activity worldwide.
SOCIOLOGY, ECONOMY & POLITICS
This course, which is subdivided into three other specialties, deals with housing from the disciplines that complement the other architecture-related fields. The scope of work of the three disciplines is tightly related, overlapping each other in many cases.
Sociology will include the study of residential behaviour, housing demand and characteristics, evolution and changes in households, typology and land use development, among others.
Economy will study financing and valuation, the economic impact on housing production, house emancipation and youth housing, patrimony and investment, among others.
LOW COST & EMERGENCY HOUSING
Three fourths of the world’s dwellings have been built without the presence of an architect or under any normative rule. This specialty seminar analyses the essential shelter conditions under emergency conditions.
Based on a case study approach, customs and rules capable of generating an urban environment will be withdrawn. Likewise, a specific case will be developed under real circumstances.
Specialised researchers in the processes and architecture generated in these settlements will present their contributions in diverse locations during the last decades.
Alejandro de Miguel
Cities will attract 2.5 billion inhabitants by 2050 as stated in 2014 by the Population division of the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Thereby, cities will need an intensive housing development in the coming years. The key of this growth is being sustainable.
Cities are the natural ecosystem for architects but cities are a complex system difficult to be understood. This module provides the main tools to manage the complexity of the city backed by its twinned Master in City Sciences.
URBAN DESIGN & LANDSCAPE
José María Ezquiaga
The dwelling and the house: to speak and to think about what we could call "the dwelling discourse", is intimately and inevitably rooted in the deeper and more essential core of the architectural discipline.
Implicit within the dwelling/project, there are to try out full genomes. An explicit one: to optimise the domestic space, and what could be obtained in and from it; and an embedded one: to anticipate a city/project, and viceversa, to translate it in so far as the city/project sets up essential conditions for future dwelling/projects (often without saying or knowing it, and only occasionally in an explicit way).