Open Lectures at UMA – November 2018

In November 2018, Umeå School of Architecture invites the public to three Wednesday Open Lectures with architects Josefin Wangel, Rocío Pina and Javier Sánchez Merina.

During the school semester a serie of wednesdays are scheduled for common lectures for all students and staff, which are also open to the public. In November we invite to the following lectures, which takes place in the Theater at Umeå School of Architecture, Östra Strandgatan 30C. 

Wednesday November 14th:  Josefin Wangel -  Interrogating the Sustainable City
Wednesday November 21st:  Rocío Pina - Flexibility or Death
Wednesday November 28th:  Javier Sánchez Merina -  Therapeutic Architecture 


Wednesday November 14th at 11.00:
Josefin Wangel 
Interrogating the Sustainable City

About the lecture: The last decades has seen an increasing emphasis on the role of cities and urban development to reach sustainability goals. Indeed, given the increasing proportion and numbers of global inhabitants living in cities and the fact that urban areas stand for a disproportionately large share of environmental impact, urban sustainability is and will continue to be pivotal for sustainable development at large. There is however a lack of conceptual clarity regarding what, more precisely, a sustainable city is, or should be, in terms of livability and environmental impact. In other words, there is a lack of definition of what level of performance a city should live up to in order to be considered sustainable. This in turn connects to more fundamental questions of the spatiality of impact and who sustainability is really for. In this lecture I will invite you to an interrogation of the sustainable city, with the aim of identifying key shortcomings and silences which need to be addressed for urban sustainability to materialise. 

Josefin Wangel

 About the lecturer:
Josefin Wangel is an un-disciplined     researcher and teacher on urban sustainbility with a passion for     socio-material systems thinking, critical theory and speculative   approaches, particularly to explore and address the   paradox/oxymoron of sustainable + urban. She is reader (docent)   in Landscape Architecture (2018) and holds a PhD in Planning and   Decision Analysis (2012). Josefin is also co-director for SLU Urban   Futures, a platform at SLU which aims to strengthen trans- and   interdisciplinary research and education on urban issues, focusing on spatial and socio-ecological sustainability perspectives on urban landscapes as habitats for humans and other-than-human beings as well as on urban-hinterland and urban-rural interactions. 

Wednesday November 21st at 16.30:
Rocío Pina
Flexibility or Death

About the lecture:  Our cities don't need anymore architects whose concern is for the cosmetic. Our cities urgently need architects who will train their spaces and resources if they are to continue evolving in to the future. I've been training spaces these last 10 years with Enorme Studio involving all kinds of agents and practices to encourage their intrinsic diversity.

Hypertube _01

About the lecturer:   Rocío Pina (Spain, 1984) Architect and urban designer, is co-founder at Enorme Studio and associate professor in several design schools. Her office is well known by their radical approach to architecture, city and people. They design and builds architecture projects based on industrial systems and typological innovation, as well as performs participation dynamics in the domain of space construction. Their aim is to foster alternative ways to examine urban issues and to motivate the creation of a proactive citizen culture. They design and apply tactical urbanism tools that transfer teamwork strategies and collective thinking dynamics into public and private space design and management. Their aim is to give the city back to citizens as an emotional, plural and relational space.

Wednesday November 28:th at 16.30:
Javier Sánchez Merina
Therapeutic Architecture

About the lecture: An interdisciplinary research of architecture is something that society demands from our profession. Furthermore, in many countries that are currently immersed in a recessive economic process, it is the only possible solution. In that context, it is urgent to clarify the scope of our projects: Those whose ultimate goal consists of going beyond the limits of other disciplines through the application of architecture. Starting with Architecture's capacity to learn from other disciplines and to follow their guidelines and techniques, we will build and offer new specific tools. With these new tools, our research will provide the opportunity to challenge and expand the boundaries of those original disciplines. Traditionally, architecture supported itself by various branches of knowledge to advance its proposals: Structural Knowledge, Artistic Trends, New Materials, Technological Advances, Economic Changes, Political positions and Conflicts, Environmental Crisis and Natural Catastrophes, Social organizations...While the resulting architectures are excellent examples of applying these areas of knowledge, our interest lies in the reverse process: how the discipline of architecture can cause changes in others. It is an applied research that extends its scope to a prior discourse that originated in the past. That is to say, becomes a Retroactive Research. An important consequence of this methodology is the imperative specialization. Whether it is serendipity, making a fortunate discovery by accident - or when both students and architects feel an urgent need to include an external expert in the process as an important link with reality. The argument of this article will be illustrated, among others, with this recent built example:

CASA LM+L, therapeutic architecture for autism. 
A commission for a dwelling for a family with a child with severe autism gave us the opportunity to make an Agreement of Investigation between the University of Alicante and ASTRADE (Association for Individuals with Autism in Murcia Region). An opportunity that turned into a creation of an architecture that went beyond building a mere house with the functional requirements to accommodate Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We had the ambition to create therapeutic architecture, that is to say, the house itself would serve the child to develop and mature.

Javier Sanchez Merina Centro -alzehimur _1294748023

About the lecturer:  Javier Sánchez Merina is Associate Professor of Architectural Design Studio at the University of Alicante. For the last 20 years, he has been teaching Architecture Design in institutions which include Kingston University in London, Carleton University Ottawa and directing workshops around the world. He is a winner of the Region of Murcia Award for Architecture, Nomination Award Mies van der Rohe, Referent for Therapeutic Architecture of the American National Alzheimer Plan, co-author of the series of articles "Stories of Houses", published in ABC Cultural, Morgunblaðið (Iceland) and La Verdad in Murcia, and written chapters in the books Fresh Air in my Face. Enabling people with Dementia to reconnect with Nature, An Architect's Guide to Fame and Kristín Guðmundsdóttir, Interior Designer. His classes, writings and built work show a commitment to establish important relationships between teaching, research and profession. Recently, Javier coordinated the international EURAU congress held in September 2018 in Alicante: RETROACTIVE RESEARCH on architecture's ability to question and extend the limits of other disciplines.