Universitat Internacional de Catalunya

Cooperation I

Cooperation I
First semester
Project Planning Module
Cooperación 1
Main language of instruction: English

Other languages of instruction: Spanish

Teaching staff


Architecture can be a very useful tool in developing countries; it is in these areas where we find the highest urbanization ratios in the world. Construction and planning are therefore essential.

A fundamental element of this work lies in understanding the conditions and characteristics of the country or region; building in Europe is a very different thing from building in South America or South-East Asia – it is not just a question of climate but also of culture, sociology and economics.

When building without resources, architecture is transformed into its very essence as it is obliged to work with local materials and at low cost; you need to economize on building systems and think up solutions that will work with the local climate.

There is a need to develop research in this field and to work in the sphere of development cooperation to prevent growing social inequalities. The aim is to equip students with the knowledge and tools necessary to work in this field and create a space for thinking about the social content of this work.

In the development of this course we have benefited from the collaboration of one of the most well-known NGOs in Spain, the Vicente Ferrer Foundation (RDT), whose work is centred on eradicating poverty in one of the poorest parts of India, the Anantapur district.

Pre-course requirements



 The main objective of this course is to develop architectural projects in the context of cooperation. These projects will be defined by the needs explained to us by the Vicente Ferrer Foundation and we will be working with real-life scenarios that the Foundation believes are essential to carry out its work.

Another objective is to generate a core of research based on cooperation projects, working on aspects such as the architecture and culture of the place in question, vernacular architecture, sustainable human development, sustainable construction and environmentally-friendly, low-cost building solutions.

It also aims to raise awareness and give thought to the need for architects in the context of cooperation, galvanizing social commitment and channelling energies and work to projects that have a positive impact on the development of the most disadvantaged social groups.


  • 34-T - Ability to design, practice and develop basic and execution projects, sketches and blueprints.
  • 35-T - Ability to conceive, put into practice and develop urban projects
  • 51 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the study methods of social needs, quality of life, habitability and basic housing programmes
  • 52 - To acquire adequate knowlege of the environment, sustainability and the principles of conserving energy and environmental resources.
  • 55 - To acquire adequate knowledge of the relationship between cultural patterns and the social responsibilities of the architect
  • 57 - To acquire adequate knowledge of urban sociology, theory, economy and history.


-Architectural projects for development cooperation

-Basic aspects of cooperation: cooperation phases, the agents involved (NGOs, institutions and agencies) and the role of the architect

-Social needs, quality of life, habitability and basic housing programmes

-Environment, sustainability and the conservation principles of energy and environmental resources in architectural projects

-The relationship between cultural patterns and the social responsibilities of architects in architectural projects

-Vernacular architecture and architectural projects

Teaching and learning activities

In person

During the semester, students will develop an architectural project that addresses the needs outlined by the Vicente Ferrer Foundation before the course.

For the project to be developed correctly it will be necessary to tackle various different subjects and generate research related to them, such as:

·The architecture and projects undertaken by the Vicente Ferrer Foundation: programmes, purposes, who they are aimed at, etc.

·Local construction in India, especially in the area of Anantapur

·Examples of good practices in development cooperation projects

·Learning about the Indian culture and way of life

·Efficient, environmentally-friendly, sustainable and low-cost materials and building systems suitable for the case of Anantapur

Class exhibition
34-T 35-T 51 52 55 57 0,36
Class participation
34-T 35-T 51 52 55 57 0,36
Clase practice
34-T 35-T 51 52 55 57 0,39
34-T 35-T 51 52 55 57 0,39
Individual or group study
34-T 35-T 51 52 55 57 1,50

Evaluation systems and criteria

In person

Evaluation will be continuous – “every week counts” – and students will be assessed on their active participation in class, attendance level and interest shown, as well as their creativity, critical depth, capacity for analysis, professionalism and presentation.

Work in class and on the course project will also be evaluated; the course project will be monitored weekly as well as in the final presentation. The course project is 70% of the final grade.

The remaining 30% comes from the exercises.


Bibliography and resources

Fundación Vicente Ferrer:

-          El encuentro con la realidad, ed. Planeta. Vicente FERRER

-          Vicente Ferrer: la revolución, ed. Planeta. Alberto OLIVERAS

-          Un pacto de amor, mi vida junto a Vicente Ferrer, ed. Espasa. Anna FERRER


Arquitectura social:

-          Design for the other 90%, ed. Assouline. Cynthia E. SMITH, AÑO 2007

-          El tiempo construye!: el proyecto experimental de vivienda de Lima: génesis y desenlace, ed. Gustavo Gili. Fernando GARCIA-HUIDOBRO, Diego TORRES TORRITI, Nicolas TUGAS, año 2008

-          Un techo para vivir: tecnologías para viviendas de producción social en América Latina Ed. Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya. Año 2005

-          Contra el hambre de vivienda: soluciones tecnológicas latinoamericanas, ed. Escala. Julian SALAS SERRANO, año 1992

-          Arquitectura sin arquitectos, ed. Buenos Aires, Editorial Universitaria. Bernard RUDOFSKY, año 1965

-          Extreme architecture, building for challenging enviroments, ed. Lauren King Publishing, London. Ruth SLAVID, año 2009

-          Designing the sustainable school, ed. Images pub. Alain FORD, año 2007


Referencias arquitectos

-          Diébédo Francis Kéré, arquitecto de Burkina Faso establecido en Berlín

-          Anna Heringer, arquitecta establecida en Austria.

-          SISA, Social Impact Sustainable Archietcture

-          Julian Salas, arquitecto, Madrid.