Little Maps, A Cartography

Little Maps is a pedagogical adventure, where we cultivate, reflect and share our own questions and experience in learning to architecture, in a constant dialogue with older and younger generations, with what's lost and what's yet to be thought.


A cartography

Little Maps is a project focused in sharing with younger learners an understanding about architects potential positive transforming role in the ecosystems they are a part of, developing a dynamic cartography which helps them to reflect on and improve their disciplinary knowledge and techniques, through rigorous intuitive and technical solutions for the constant and new challenges of our societies and global climate. A comprehensive effort, that integrates reflection and hands-on action; speculative, critical and pragmatical thinking; research and practice; fieldwork and online engagement; scientific method and character.

Online learning is a complement to a direct dialogue with an older learner or your peers. Learning the skills of the trade is only a complement to actually building something, so that hopefully you can build it better. Academic learning is manufactured to help you develop your critical thinking. Little Maps is aimed as a self-assesment cartography that can hopefully be useful to architects and self-builders of all ages and contexts, covering the vast ground among these three distinct poles.


-If at most architecture schools no design methodology is explained, is it possible to make one from direct experience?

-Yes. Unfortunately methodology is a word that carries some snobbish meaning, and that sometimes is used as an excuse to validate dubious ways of doing. We prefer to make a cartography that presents and locates torches, wells, steps, stages, stretches, breadcrumbs -call it what you may- and some clues on how to make your way from one to the next, step by step.

When one starts exploring new territories, a map comes in handy. As you get to know and understand a place, a trade, you start making your own mental map. You embody the knowledge and skills that you acquire.

-Why do you call it a cartography?

-Cartography is the study and practice of making maps. These steps are not meant to give absolute answers, or unveil the ultimate truth about architecture -there is not such thing. They are just a humble exercise of clarifying and helping architects who are young and on a journey, so they can start finding their own questions, their own way.

Most architects goals are dubious. The design process is overrated. What is really important is its outcome, what it provokes. Yet the steps towards this outcome are seldom really truthfully explained or reflected on. This is a common paradox in learning to architecture.  In the end, everyone finds its own way, depending on its environment and character. It’s just that most ways provoke destruction and not construction. Building is not so difficult; on the other hand, building without destroying has become a huge challenge today.

 


SELECTED STUDENT WORK

Publications

Interior Designer. China Architecture & Building Press. #59. Taliesin West Shelters. 2016. ISBN: 978-7-112-19621-0

Pasajes de Arquitectura. #141. Taliesin West Shelters. 2016.

Archdaily. Taliesin West shelters. 2016. Online.

tectonicablog. Taliesin West shelters. 2016. Online.

DesignBoom. Taliesin West shelters. 2016. Online.

Publications

Divisare. Taliesin West shelters. 2016. Online.

Curbed. Taliesin West shelters. 2016. Online.

HIC Arquitectura. Taliesin West shelters. 2016. Online.

Architect magazine. Taliesin West shelters. USA. 2015. Online.

Exhibitions

Urban heritage projects. Undergraduate architectural design and sustainable design studio. ear (Escola Tècnica Superior d’arquitectura de Reus, URV). Vic Municipality, Catalonia. 2016.

Winery for a rural community. Postgraduate architectural design and building technologies studio. Cabacés Town Hall, Catalonia. 2010.

arquitectures sense lloc. Centre d’Art Santa Mònica. Barcelona, Spain. 2008.

NEXT LITTLE MAPS

How do I know if I'm doing it right?

TEACHING, Little Map

What can architects do?

Which kind of information do we harvest in this initial stage? Where and when to stop? Where to look for knowledge?