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2013 Valparaiso Info Session

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2013 Valparaiso Studio / Information Session: Noon Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Room 601 / Texas Tech University College of Architecture / Lubbock, Texas

2013 Valparaiso Studio

study abroad studio led by:

Javier Gomez / Victoria McReynolds

Valparaiso, as a topographically folded, architecturally stacked, imaginatively rich and materially resourceful city is first understood by walking its streets. From the light inspired Benedictine Monastery to the wood and stone rich Cathedral of Santiago, architecture in Chile manifests both material and immaterial. This studio is based on the shared relationship of learning out in the city and back in the studio. To learn with the city, our studio project site will interrogate the Valparaiso plaza as it relates to the topography as the city transitions from the commercial flat sea port to the residential vertical neighborhood of the sky. Each student is equipped with tools to measure and draw their city site at the 1/2” scale. The detail of this scale requires the students to study the specificity of architectural materials and understand base ingredients of sound, material interface, spatial boundaries, and social exchange which construct Valparaiso’s built environment. Tools for exploring the city become the translator between body, architecture and city. Daily, we cycle between the exterior and interior, seeing and testing their seeing of social, acoustical, material and spatial elements. The distance between the residence and our project site is placed in close proximity so that roles of site and studio merge to encourage design and proposition out in situ and not just back at studio.

Chilean culture is further folded into the studio through Cultural Conversations and the participation of a local guest specialist instructor. Cultural conversation is a forum that invites brilliant, creative individuals to share their Valparaiso works with the students. These events underscore architecture as a practiced, discussed, debated, researched, and lived profession. Taking place in the studio setting, these conversations generally occur once a week in the afternoon, and consist of lecture and discussion by local architects, educators and activists speaking on their expertise.

for more information, contact Javier Gomez at or Victoria McReynolds at

Valparaiso studio estimated dates: 29 May - July 10 2013
Buenos Aires optional excursion estimated dates: 11 July - 17 July 2013