Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Straight out of Bilbao...

From the White Night festival...a performance involving three guys beating the life out of this car. No joke.

Monday, June 7, 2010

the one, the other, the amazing

Very few things produce the same emotion more than once. The discovery of the unknown has always the advantage of being the first encounter with the unexpected, but the Great Mosque of Cordoba defies that rule to become an endless discovery.

We were immersed today in its complexity, and after a more than two hour-long visit, we shared a great conversation based on the idea of how two different systems met and the effects that this overlap produced.

We had 13 pairs of eyes looking at different aspects of it, and when we left we all saw much more than what we saw a few moments before.

Drawings are starting to appear as tools of thinking rather than just representation, and with that each one of us is finally traveling.

Friday, June 4, 2010

the Rottery

San Lorenzo de El Escorial is more than a palace, cathedral, and monastery; it is also the resting place of the kings and queens of Spain. After the death of a monarch, they are not immediately placed in the crypt. Instead, they are moved to the waiting room (or "rottery" -david goodman) where they stay for 40 years. yum.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

"Don't show the limit of your knowledge or the bottom of your pockets" - said the architect that we visited today in Toledo. You can take a lot out of these words.. For me architecture stands on the edge between clarity and ambiguity, transparency and mystery. The more I learn about architecture the more I understand that it is not simply design. It is a very deep and thorough study of the site, history, human expectations, and the needs for the building. It has to be approachable, but it should surprise at the same time; it has to create a sequence, a procession; finally, it has to create an emotion. What kind of emotion do we want a building to create? For me this is the hardest question. The archive building we went to today created a feeling of stability, serenity, embrace of the past... The architect seemed to have a strong passion for his work and the deep understanding the past, the site and the culture of the town...


wow. today we traveled to Toledo by high speed train (only 30 min away). We were all scoping out rental properties in hopes that we could someday live there. A beautiful mix of architecture, landscape, and willingness of drivers to let timid touring teenagers :) cross the road has made Toledo a 'muy bueno' experience.

HIGHLIGHT: met Ignacio Mendaro Corsini, architect of the Archivo Municipal de Toledo (archive building). I loved listening to him describe his project, even though I don't speak spanish. It seems architecture IS a language of its own.

HIGHLIGHT # 2: the El Transparente (skylight in the middle of the Toledo Cathedral). I've never seen anything like it. If you're reading this now, you need to go see it...really, right now.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The day started smoothly with a cafe con leche in the Circulo de Bellas Artes.

By 9:00pm we were all feeling that that steamy, milky coffee was a couple of days ago.

The day was full and exhausting, Caixa Forum, Museo Reina Sofia (...Guernica...), Atocha Station, Parque del Buen Retiro, and a long, endless walk for some, through the new and old city.

The high point of the day, an outstanding, Tim Burton's fantasy Spider Man in the Plaza Mayor, trying to convince one of our students to proudly take his place... We will keep you posted with the latest news about this concern.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

We are in Madrid for the week! It is such a European city! People are dining out at any time day and night. Just sitting outside or inside having a drink or a cup of coffee. The city creates a very relaxed and chill vibe. Some of the interesting things I found are all the mimos posing along the streets. There are people dressed as torreodors, gorillas and all other random things. There are lots of magicians, street artists and entertainers along the streets! Pretty fun! Watch out for pickpocketers though. The guy on the picture is seemingly without a head! And he is posing for my camera and giving me sums up! haha
Some other interesting things: eggs is a dinner food and bar food apparently (how odd!); there is no drinking water available in most places! You have to pay for water even at a restaurant; the symbol of Madrid is a bear sniffing a tree! The first day we got here we were clueless why there was a statue of a bear and a tree on the main plaza Puerta de Sol! haha :) Alright, back to having an amazing time here :))

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Cutredad madrileña

There is a unstranslatable word that superbly describes Madrid: "cutre".

The word, enchanting and even mysterious, can't even be translated to other "spanishes": if you are from another spanish-speaking country you have no way to understand it other than to come here and let yourself live the experience... Suddenly, you feel initiated and fully capable of understanding not just the word, but a must deeper essence of what Madrid is, and what makes it in a strange way, beautiful.

Figure: calamari sandwich (bocadillo de calamares) defying the concept of a sandwich and fully embracing the essence of Spain's capital.

See you on Monday!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Our last meeting before LEAVING!!!

Final countdown! We are about to leave.

Please meet us at Crown, Lower Core, this Wed. 5th at 6:00pm to refine some details and see if you guys have any additional questions. We will talk about where to meet, what time and so on...

Please be sure you have ALL YOUR PAPERWORK DONE! we don't want to have surprises! And be sure you have your ISIC student ID, it will give you great benefits.

Ok... see you in a few days!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010


The summer is getting close! and we have to get ready.

On Friday, March 5th at 6:30 in Lower Core we’re having a group meeting to discuss details about the summer class, registration, and other preparations.

Please confirm you can attend this session and come with questions if you have any.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Application deadline is here!

Tomorrow, Feb. 24th is the deadline for the applications!

If you have any doubts, email us. The application forms are online and you can download them.
Please forward all the info with it: Letter of recommendation, a simple but thoughtful 3 pages maximum portfolio and the letter of intention, explaining why you are interested on going to Spain (well... it's so obvious!)

We are looking forward to traveling around Spain with you.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

ETSAB WORKSHOP -15 days of intense work and enjoyment

As we announced in our presentation, the Workshop in Barcelona is a way of extending the trip for 15 more days.

The workshop will be held at the ETSAB, the school or Architecture in Barcelona from July 8th to July 22nd, and this year, the participants for this edition will be:

- Universidade FUMEC - Faculdade de Engenharia e Arquitetura (FEA), Belo Horizonte, Brasil
- Cork Center for Architectural Education, Cork, Ireland
- Tongji University, School of Architecture, Shanghai, China
- Western Switzerland University of Applied Sciences, Geneva, Switzerland
- ETSAB - Escola Tecnica d'Arquitectura de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

and of course, us!

Each school brings between one or two professors and from 5 to 10 students and rather than staying with our well known classmates, we will mingle with the other students making interschool groups to propose a design.

The workshops are centered on the urban scale, in part because of the large tradition of the school of Barcelona mastering this topic and also, because Barcelona is one of the cradles of the urban design of the XIX century with the Cerda plan that still guides the development of the city.

During the past editions, the topics were the following:

2008 - FIGUERES, THE GATE TO EUROPE-Infrastructure / city edge / tourism / renewable energies / landscape

As you might see, the topics are HOT!

Sharpen your pencils!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How To Apply

If you're interested in applying to the Spain/Portugal 2010 Program, the application forms are available at the below links. You'll need to submit an application form, work samples, essay and recommendation no later than the 24th of February.


For more information about the itinerary and course budget, please click here.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Photos from 2009 Trip

We've put together a brief slideshow of the photos from last year's trip. Many of these were taken by one of our students, Matt Renfree. You can also check out some of the work done by the students during the trip, and some photos of the exhibition of student work that we put together in the fall. To view the images, click on the preview to the left.