UIC Barcelona School of Architecture launches the Foros 2024 conference series: "Landing", a look at the future of architecture

The 2024 edition of the Foros conference series, organised by the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, begins on 1 February. Foros is a curricular subject offered by the UIC Barcelona School of Architecture, and it has become a benchmark event for the academic and professional architecture community. 

Through talks given by prestigious invited speakers from both Spain and abroad, Foros aims to tackle questions related to current issues, as well as spark discussions on aspects that are vitally important for architects.

In 2024, Foros will be held under the tagline “Landing”. The tagline alludes to the current situation in architecture: now is the time to spark new ideas and create a new paradigm, adapting our perspective to the new model of architecture that is arising. The conference series is led by Felipe Pich-Aguilera and Juan Trias de Bes and coordinated by Jaime Batlle Cañellas and Marta García Orte; all of whom are both architects and professors.

The six conferences will feature analysis of avant-garde architectural works that represent how the discipline is responding to the demands and needs of current society, by the architects who designed them. A second speaker will offer a complementary vision; a different perspective from the same approach, with the aim of creating debate. Through Foros 2024: “Landing”, we gain a window into the architecture of the future.

Conferences are free to attend with prior registration, until they reach capacity. 

“Understanding the architectural game of a skyscraper”. Torre Reforma.

By Benjamín Romano, with Santi Mercadé

1 February 2024, 6.30 p.m.

IESE Business School - Barcelona Campus Norte - Aula Magna: C/ Arnús i Garí 7, 08034 Barcelona

Mexican architect Benjamín Romano (LBR&A Arquitectos) uncovers the secrets of Torre Reforma, a skyscraper that has become a new icon on the Mexico City skyline. The architect will explain the project from an architectural point of view, based on flow efficiency, human comfort and the urban context. It also takes a look at how the project breaks away from an entire generation of skyscrapers, which are traditionally designed with glazed façades. Santi Mercadé, CEO of the real estate company Layetana Real Estate, will share his perspective on the role of the development and real estate sector in promoting architectural projects that transcend construction.

“New times, new lives, new cities. Zero gravity urbanism and other (not so) revolutionary techniques”

By Albert Civit and Pablo Molina

15 February 2024, 6.30 p.m.

IESE Business School - Barcelona Campus Norte - Aula Magna: C/ Arnús i Garí 7, 08034 Barcelona

Barcelona architect Albert Civit, former head of the Institut Català del Sòl, and Pablo Molina, leagl expert in urban law and partner at the firm Garrigues, share their perspective on how the cities of the future will be designed. “Zero gravity urbanism” is an approach that aims to provide solutions to social and environmental challenges, aiming at achieving a balance between nature, conservation, habitability and sustainable human progress. New multidisciplinary work methods have been combined to design new cities. In contrast to the urban development of the last century, this type of urbanism provides a model that responds to the world's most pressing environmental and urban challenges, while addressing the need to accommodate a rapidly growing urban population. 

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“2226 and the future of architecture”

By Dietmar Eberle and Hugo Herrera, with Ignacio Fernández Solla

29 February 2024, 6.30 p.m.

IESE Business School - Barcelona Campus Norte - Aula Magna: C/ Arnús i Garí 7, 08034 Barcelona

Dietmar Eberle is the founder of Baumschlager Eberle Architekten, a studio that has won more than 150 international competitions and numerous awards. The studio’s 2226 building has become a paradigm for a new approach to construction, in which innovation and research use traditional design principles as a basis for energy-efficient buildings. Dietmar Eberle has spearheaded an industry that allows these systems to be implemented in new constructions. Ignacio Fernández Solla is an engineer at ARUP consultancy, which designs façades for architectural projects around the world that integrate the latest technology to achieve efficient and sustainable buildings.

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“High-tech and low-tech solutions in architecture”

By Stefan Behnisch and Ana Mercadé, with Lara Pellegrini

14 March 2024, 6.30 p.m.

IESE Business School - Barcelona Campus Norte - Aula Magna: C/ Arnús i Garí 7, 08034 Barcelona

Behnisch Architekten is a firm with offices in a number of cities in Germany and the United States that has worked on projects all over the world. Stefan Behnisch and Ana Mercadé share the construction details of one of their most iconic and interesting works, the Science and Engineering Complex at Harvard University. The complex sets a new paradigm for research: it is designed to inspire learning and scientific discovery, while having a focus sustainability, and applies engineering to explore and provide solutions to the problems facing the world. Lara Pellegrini, general director of Cities, Building, Energy and Environment at SOCOTEC consultancy, is an expert in structural calculations and a leading voice on the role of engineering in the architectural field.

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“Rethinking the limits of architecture”. Fundación Ría

By David Chipperfield and Manuel Rodríguez, with Josep Bohigas

18 April 2024, 6.30 p.m.

UIC Barcelona Aula Magna. C/ de la Immaculada, 22, 08017 Barcelona

David Chipperfield, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2023, and Manuel Rodríguez, director of Fundación RIA, explain the focus and impact of the foundation, an independent think tank that contributes to analysis, reflection and strategic territorial planning. With a bottom-up model that works closely with the local area and social entities, they study proposals and criteria and establish links between public and private stakeholders. The foundation works towards a decentralised urbanism that is aligned with environmental, economic and social sustainability. Architect Josep Bohigas was director of the public urban development agency Barcelona Regional between 2016 and 2023. The agency led major transformative projects in the Barcelona metropolitan area, with an approach that combines aspects of urban planning, infrastructure and the environment.

“Within nature”

By Kengo Kuma and Jordi Viñals, with Lorenzo Chelleri

17 May 2024, 6.00 p.m.

UIC Barcelona Aula Magna. C/ de la Immaculada, 22, 08017 Barcelona

Kengo Kuma & Associates (KKAA) is an internationally renowned architecture firm with offices in Tokyo, Paris, Beijing and Shanghai. Its founder, Kengo Kuma, is well-known for his philosophy, with an approach that seeks to recover Japanese building traditions and reinterpret them to create 21st century architecture. The firm’s buildings are integrated into nature, with projects that combine natural materials, respect for the environment, and love for the landscape. Lorenzo Chelleri is a researcher at UIC Barcelona, and director of the international master's degree in City Resilience Design and Management at the university. He is president of the Urban Resilience Research Network (URNet).