Summer 2022

ARC W561R (70440) and ARC W696 (70490)

Studio Brief:
The general topic of this Advanced Architectural Design Studio is sustainable architectural construction in the Galapagos. The design (actually a real project) to be undertaken is for a school facility (primary and secondary) in the cloud forest region of San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos, an area in which the endemic forest was cut down for agriculture purposes. That land, in turn, has now been left fallow – most food is imported to the islands – and this area of the islands poses a tremendous dilemma: how should it be inhabited, reclaimed, or used? The site is owned by the University of San Francisco Quito. It has a small stand of native Scalesia trees, and the assumption is that the new school will be associated with a research facility for USFQ and other visiting scientists working on the biological problems of sustainable agriculture and native re-forestation.
The format of the studio is the reverse of most advanced studios, in that in the first half you will work on and test modular sectional possibilities, concentrating on systems of construction, and material and environmental performance (considered across the entire life cycle, not just the operational phase, paying attention to embodied energy and other hidden impacts…), set against generalized programmatic requirements for inhabitation. We will then travel to Quito and the Galapagos in the first week of July for field and site research. During the second session, back in Austin, you will complete designs for the campus.
During the first summer session, you will be coordinating/collaborating virtually with advanced architecture students at the University of San Francisco Quito (which oversees all research in the Galapagos) working with Professor Marisa Paz [the specific nature of this collaboration is still to be determined: the primary goal is for you to have a chance to work with others who have a more specific knowledge of cultural conditions in Ecuador].
You will also be working with input from engineers at Buro Happold, which is working on a student version of its energy and environmental impact modelling software for us. You will also be working directly with engineers at Buro Happold on technical and performance aspects, and with many other collaborators here, in Quito, and in the Galapagos on other factors [see collaborator list below]. For this class, the School of Architecture is funding a Research Assistant [atypical for studios].