“These workshops give our students the opportunity to explore unconventional ways to engage in architecture. Our aim is to bring outstanding talent from around the world to help broaden the horizons of architectural production in the form of a short, intense workshop, this edition’s guest architects address material, social and historical innovations.”
IE University invited architects Abdelkader Damani, Tomeu Ramis and Elisa Silva to participate in a new edition of the Design Entrepreneurship Workshops, organized by IE School of Architecture and Design. Recognized for their international prestige, the three professionals spent a week between Segovia and Madrid to work alongside architecture students from IE University and teach them their insights of the discipline.
These workshops, which have now become a tradition at the school, allow students to work directly with leading architects who are enthusiastic about teaching, committed to their profession, strive for excellence in their work and are currently spearheading innovative projects around the world.
“These workshops give our students the opportunity to explore unconventional ways to engage in architecture. Our aim is to bring outstanding talent from around the world to help broaden the horizons of architectural production in the form of a short, intense workshop, this edition’s guest architects address material, social and historical innovations.”David Goodman, associate dean of IE School of Architecture and Design
Algerian architect Abdelkader Damani has served as the director of Frac Centre-Val de Loire since 2015. Completing his architectural training in Organ, Algeria, he moved to France to study art history and philosophy at Université Lumière Lyon 2 and Université Jean Moulin Lyon 3. After directing the art and architecture programs at the Centre Culturel de Rencontre de la Tourette, Abdelkader Damani led the platform “VEDUTA” at the Lyon Contemporary Art Biennale from 2007 to 2015. In 2014, he was co-curator of the Dakar Biennale, as well as the Oujda Festival of Contemporary Art. As the director of the Frac Centre-Val de Loire, he created the first Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans. In 2019, he served as the exhibitions curator at the first Rabat Biennale and created the second edition of the Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans. In 2022, he directed the third edition of the Biennale d’Architecture d’Orléans.
With professor Abdelkader Damani, IE University students explored the Atti Fondamentali (Fundamental Acts) exhibition, designed by the Italian avant-garde group Superstudio. In groups, students reflected on the Superstudio exhibition, which was made up of videos and photos, and were then asked to create a “narrative in the form of a video and a critical object in the form of a piece of furniture.”
Elisa Silva is an American-Venezuelan architect with a Master of Architecture from Harvard GSD. She graduated from Emory University (1994-1998) with a degree in chemistry and art history. With this scientific and humanitarian background, at the age of 23 she decided to study architecture at Harvard (1998-2002). While there, she earned the Alpha Rho Chi Medal and graduated with honors. She later went on to obtain the Wheelwright Fellowship award in 2011. In 2007, Silva settled in Caracas where she founded her own architecture studio, Enlace Arquitectura, with which she has won numerous awards and competitions. Silva is also the editor of the pivotal book, CABA Cartografía de los barrios de Caracas (translated in English as cartography of the neighborhoods of Caracas) (Enlace Arquitectura, 2015).
To that end, the workshop Silva worked on with the IE University students was focused on the most popular enclaves of Segovia, the San Lorenzo neighborhood, located near the Santa Cruz la Real campus. This workshop examined how both the drawing and projecting techniques available to architects have historically played a discursive role. To that end, students visited Segovia’s San Lorenzo neighborhood to investigate everything that moves in this populated center, deciphering the traces of time in its streets and squares and on its buildings. Following the investigation, students worked in groups to design a narrative about the neighborhood in the form of a drawing. They had to select and produce a single or series of drawings based on the axonometric projection or perspective to frame the selected narrative content.
Mallorca-native Tomeu Ramis, an architect from the ETSAB Barcelona School of Architecture (UPC), is the co-founder and co-director of FLEXOARQUITECTURA—a studio based in Barcelona whose work has received important recognition both nationally and internationally. Tomeu Ramis has led projects at the BAU College of Arts & Design, Vallès School of Architecture (ETSAV) and ETSAB, at the Salle-Ramon LLull, at the ETH in Zurich and at the ESARQ School of Architecture.
The workshop Tomeu gave in Segovia was titled Celebrating Membrane. It explored “the extension of skin as an architectural device that ensures environmental exchange and a social interface.” Students were tasked to make different clothes with materials such as paper or cardboard based on their constructive knowledge. “Celebrating Membrane investigates the conditions of a body membrane in external circumstances with the capacity to be extensible to define an intimate space for two.”
The three architects who participated in the 2023 edition of the Design Entrepreneurship Workshops had the support of Cem Kayatekin, Romina Canna and Marcela Aragüez, professors at IE School of Architecture and Design.