16th Edition of ESARQ Vertical Workshop Kicks Off

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Under the guidance of Catalan artist Eugènia Balcells, students and teachers will conduct a series of studies on material, light and shape in the Platonic structure of the cube as essential elements in architecture.

16th Edition of ESARQ Vertical Workshop Kicks Off

This year’s edition of the workshop is titled “Essential Architecture” and was launched on Thursday, 5 September 2013, with a lecture by the artist herself.

During the talk, Balcells encouraged the students to try to see reality from another perspective, to play and to surprise themselves. She also explained some of her work using a series of videos that helped the students put the project into context. A dialogue between the artist and the students took place after the talk.

The project will be carried out over the course of a week in the interior and exterior spaces of the UIC’s Barcelona campus. The students will work on a total of three cubes, each with a different concept. They will have to present a symbolic cube, a cosmic cube and an anthropological cube. The students will submit the project in two parts: models to 1:10 scale, followed by full-scale prototypes. The construction of the models will be made possible thanks to the Vertical Workshop’s links with companies in the industry such as Onducart SA, Mecalux SA and LQ-LUX.

During the opening of the workshop, Pere Vall, the director of the ESARQ School of Architecture, said that this year’s edition would help develop the five elements that make up the mind of the architect and characterize the ESARQ’s teaching approach: a “disciplined mind” to help students acquire the systematic method and approach to learning that are so important; a “resourceful mind” to help them work with precision and choose their actions carefully; a “creative mind” to allow them to think beyond known questions and solutions; a “respectful mind” to make them more open to the numerous ways of understanding and experiencing architecture; and, lastly, an “ethical mind” to help them acquire the capacity to provide a service for a common good or collective purpose.

The Vertical Workshop was launched when the ESARQ School of Architecture was first founded 15 years ago, and from the outset it has benefited from the involvement of world-renowned architects, including Carlos Ferrater, Carme Pinós, Emilio Tuñón, Luis Moreno Mansilla, Winy Maas, Karl Chu, Bernard Cache, Mike Weinstock and Dennis Dollens.