• Design-Build Studios in Latin America: Teaching through a Social Agenda
    Gustavo Diéguez, Felipe Mesa, and Ana Valderrama
    ORO Editions, 2023
    Gustavo Diéguez, Felipe Mesa & Ana Valderrama

Student Shelter, "PAAF Studio (Programa Académico de Asistencia Federal), project: Borrachia (thesis director), and students, Alvarez, Brautigam, Guerra, Iannaci, Lagues, Pinheiro, Tomalino, Velazquez, Escuela Superior de Arquitectura y Diseño, Universidad de Morón," 2017 (Design-Build studio project in San Miguel de los Colorados, Jujuy, Argentina). Photo: UM ESAD

This publication tracks the work that 12 Latin American design-build studios carried out in the last 20 years and groups together 24 projects, emphasizing teaching through social engagement and the impact that construction has on students and users. In contrast to the standard in global architectural education that emphasizes individual work, competition, and representation, these studios stimulate collaborative work and construct buildings with flexible programs and immediate impact on their contexts. Where standard architectural education is often delivered without direct contact with users, budgets, or sustainable practices, these courses raise funds and build sustainable and site-specific projects with a high intensity of use. In the context of the most inequitable region on the planet, these studios allow students to contact social, economic, and architectural constraints actively. This book raises questions about what is relevant today in architectural education and practice if there is interest in the discipline having a leading role in the face of growing social and environmental challenges.

Gustavo Diéguez is an architect. He is a founding member of the a77 architecture team. They work with ideas of DIY construction and the reuse of industrial remains and recycling applied to experimental housing, the creation of temporary institutions, the activation of social dynamics in public spaces, and the self-management of cultural spaces. He is Professor of Urban and Architectural Projects and Design Research Projects at Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Urbanismo of the Universidad de Buenos Aires (FADU-UBA). He is professor at the Project Experimentation Workshop and the Technological Experimentation Laboratory at Instituto de Arquitectura y Urbanismo of the Universidad Nacional de San Martín (IA-UNSAM). Diéguez is a founding member of IF/ Investigaciones del Futuro, a civil organization and unspecific institution focused on problems of culture and territory. He is the author of several articles and papers on urban planning and architecture. His constructions have taken place in Buenos Aires, Barcelona, and New York, and have been shown at multiple international exhibitions.

Felipe Mesa is a founding member and principal in PLAN: B Architects, a design practice based in Medellin, Colombia. He has built more than forty buildings with different programs and scales. Mesa is an assistant professor in The Design School at Arizona State University. Before this appointment, he was an assistant professor in: Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana, Medellin, Colombia; Pontificia Universidad Javeriana and Universidad de Los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia. Mesa was Ivan Smith Eminent Visiting Professor at the University of Florida School of Architecture. His projects and research topics related to the practice and teaching of architecture have been published in six books: Acuerdos Parciales (Mesaestandar Editors, 2005), Awaiting Architecture (Mesaestandar, 2007), Permeability (Mesaestandar, 2013), Nubes de Madera (Mesaestandar, 2017), Architecture in Reverse (Mesaestandar, 2017), and 12 Projects in 120 Constraints (AR+D Publishing, 2021).

Ana Valderrama is an architect, landscape architect, and doctoral student at the Department of Landscape Architecture of University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). She is cofounder member and principal of Matéricos Periféricos Group, a civil organization for spatial and social justice with base in Rosario, Argentina. She is full professor and head of the Master of Landscape Architecture Program at Universidad Nacional del Rosario (UNR), Argentina. She has served as associate dean of the School of Architecture of the same University in the period 2015–19. Valderrama has a long-lasting professional experience in public and community-based architecture, landscape architecture and urban planning. he has been visiting professor at Arizona State University, and has been invited to reviews and workshops at Universidad Politecnica de Catalunia, IUAV, SCI-Arc, Pratt, Pratt, UIUC, IUAV, and Universidad Politécnica de Catalunya, among others. She is author of several publications, including the books Poéticas Colectivas (Bismanediciones, 2019) and Matéricos Periféricos 15 “Diez Años del Taller Valderrama.” (UNR Editora, 2021).