19 February 2011

Caribbean Winter School

The Muenster School of Architecture, in cooperation with the Universitat Politèchnica de Catalyna (Barcelona) and University CUJAE (La Habana), are holding 'Caribbean Winter School' between February 21st and March 13th, 2011. I will be attending the programme in La Habana (Havana), Cuba with another representative of the Manchester School of Architecture (Carrie Bayley), and it promises to be a truly fascinating three weeks of intensive study. In total there are 29 students from various different institutions across Europe taking part.

"To many Cubans and students of development studies around the globe, Cuba was
going to provide a missing ingredient in Marx's incomplete theory of the state's role in
making a transition to socialism"
Havana: Two Faces of the Antillean Metropolis

The programme is entitled 'School +' and will look to examine the role of educational and cultural buildings. The forces of globalisation have started an irreversible process of structural change in cities and as such the role of cultural and educational facilities needs to be re-examined. A working program of the UIA (Union Internationale d´Architecture) took up these challenges in a series of conferences and seminars, discussing the possible new roles of educational and cultural buildings in a transformed city structure. The Winter School hopes to build upon these initial discussions and the results, along with other projects, will be presented at the UIA 24th World Congress in Tokyo 2011 (September 25th to October 1st, 2011).

Havana is currently in a period of transition and there is a large amount of urban renewal expected - this is in part the reason for the programme being held there. To answer Havana's challenges the programme proposes that schools should, besides their educational, cultural and social tasks, also be used as tools for controlling urban development and as generators of an independent civil society.

" visit La Habana, is to become addicted to urbanism." Andres Duany

The programme is being directing by Prof. Prof.h.c. Herbert Buehler (Muenster School of Architecture), Prof. Dr. Ruben Bancroft (Faculty of Architecture CUJAE, La Habana) and Prof. Dr. Fernando Ramos (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona), with patronage from the Athens-based architect Michail Yannis. Lectures will be given by Prof. Myriam Gautschi (HTWG, Konstanz), Prof. Gavriela Nussbaum (Technical University – Technion, Haifa / Tel Aviv), Prof. Jorge Pena (Faculty of Architecture CUJAE, La Habana), Prof. Barbara Schmidt (Muenster School of Architecture) and Prof. Jordi Sutrias (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona). Additionally Prof. Frid Buehler (Chairman ASAP, Berlin / Muenchen) and Prof. Zeev Druckman (Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem) will be acting as guest critics.

The results of the programme will, of course, be featured on this blog upon my return.