• Design-Build Studios in Latin America: Teaching through a Social Agenda
    Gustavo Diéguez, Felipe Mesa, and Ana Valderrama
    David Barragán, Marcelo Barrale, Esteban Benavides, Lorena Burbano, Marcelo Danza, Lukas Fúster, Fabrizio Gallanti, Pascual Gangotena, Andrés Garcés Alzamora, Alfonso Garduño, Lucas Gilardi, Alejandro Haiek, Alejandro Hernán Borrachia, Carlos Hernández, Sergio Ibarra, Ivan Ivelic Yanes, José Luis Uribe, María Luisa Borja, Guido Martínez, Miguel Mesa, Sebastián Oviedo, Juan Pablo Corvalán, Marcelo Staricco, Julio Suárez Leandro Cappeto, and Antonio Yemail
    Fionn Petch
    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 documents the work carried out by fourteen design-build Studios in Latin America over the past twenty years, compiling a total of thirty-nine projects that emphasize teaching with a social agenda and the impact that the construction experience has on students and communities. In contrast to architecture teaching around the world that places the emphasis on individual work, competition, and representation, these studios stimulate collaborative work and produce small-format buildings with flexible programs that have an immediate impact on their context. While global architecture often feels remote from people, the courses that take this approach manage resources sustainably and build projects with a high intensity of use. In the context of the most unequal region on the planet, this kind of studio enables students to interact positively in response to social, environmental, and architectural constraints.
design-build studios in Latin America asks questions about what matters in the present-day training and practice of architecture if we want our discipline to play a leading role in the ecological and social challenges of our time.

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).