Visual Communication & Design Thinking

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    Vicente Guallart & 2A+P/A at the University of Miami: Lecture Recaps

    Joachim Perez
    Nov 11, '14 8:45 PM EST

    Three interesting architects came to lecture at the University of Miami School of Architecture last week: Vicente Guallart who is the chief architect of Barcelona City and of his own practice Guallart Architects, and Gianfranco Bombaci and Matteo Costanzo of 2A+P/A.  

    Guallart gave a lecture about Barcelona becoming a "Smart City", that is, a city that is infused with technology.  In his position as chief architect, it his responsibility to develop new strategies and long term strategic planning for the future growth of Barcelona.  His argument is that his vision for sustainability goes beyond putting solar panels on roof, but creating a digital infrastructure where vehicles and urban elements (street lamps) would communicate with each other and having a Wi Fi cloud over the entire city limits.  

    Bombaci and Costanzo are principals of an Italian firm, based in Rome, and collaborators with previous lecturer Matteo Ghidoni.  2A+P/A , whose name is based on a riser/run formula taught in architecture school, was part of the main lecture series A Call to Order being hosted this year at the SoA.  The firm spoke about a select group of their projects and how they are both influenced by the city they are in, and how their architecture, in return, can produce an impact on the city.  Suprisingly enough, it was one of their rural projects that was one of the more interesting ones during the lecture: The Maria Grazia Cutuli School located in Herat, Afghanistan.  The school is named for an Italian journalist killed in the region back in 2001, and is primary school for children in the area.  It is composed of 10 modules seemingly scattered within a rectangular boundary that creates spaces between the buildings.  In it's center is a double height library that serves as the heart of the school, but for now carries no books as there is fear by the community that it would lead to be a target of insurgents.  The colors of the building may seem out of place for the area, but after explanation, Bombaci and Costanzo specified they are indeed influenced by the region: the blue coming from elements found in the Blue Mosques, and red from the desert sand.  

    Photos from both lectures are found below:

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About this Blog

This blog gives a sneak peak into the architecture world at the University of Miami. What began as an experiment following one group of incoming graduate students through their first semester of design, has morphed into a window of the school of architecture through this professor's eyes. I will try to post as often as possible.

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