here and now, by ignacio montaldo

Here, Now and to the Future. A Reflexion on Argentine Bicentenary.
A Look At The Future Challenges For Our University.
By Ignacio Montaldo,
Regular Adjunct Professor. Buenos Aires University.

I understand Architecture as a cultural practice on the physical world, whose means of work is the manipulation of matter and energy, to create living spaces for people, in a certain place, constituting a poetic fact.
The ultimate goal of architecture is the construction of the city, the most significant of all human creations, and the place to develop life between free and equal beings. The city and the public space are a right, the public space is the place of representation and collective expression of society, it is more important a good city than a good house, and the challenge of our university and the collective that conform it is power To think about the city that we must project for the 21st century. We have, as architects, the obligation to think of a more just, democratic and habitable world; As well as participating in the construction of the culture of our city, our continent and our world.
How to think our Latin American cities in the context of globalization?
The urban population grows by leaps and bounds and we must think about how to generate cities denser, public, fair, local, connected, global. We cant continue to afford a city that grows infinitely over the territory, conurbating, gentrificating and occupying everything. Cities must grow, and we have an obligation to think how to density them, with environmental quality, rational management of resources and energy, understand the construction of the city as part of an ecosystem on a world scale.
Faced with the problem of finiteness of resources we have to think of the city from architecture, understanding the potential of densification within the framework of energy consumption problems, population growth, mobility of people, destruction of territory that produces the expansion of the city on the periphery and the economic difficulty of sustaining an expanded and dense city. Density is the possibility of concentrating rational, more efficient and economic infrastructures, the possibility of resolving mobility with clean means of transport, etc. But the ultimate goal of the dense city is to promote a more integrated and fair city, accessible and democratic. It is to think of a model of a city of coexistence, with high quality of the public space and that provides a collective care of the whole society against the current segregation produced by the retirement to the walled periphery of the upper class private neighborhoods and segregation to The periphery without urban planning of the most unprotected layers of society.
How to train the architects who are going to build the city and the architectural culture of the 21st century? Our young students are connected, temporal space relationships are transformed, their neighborhood is the world, but sometimes the periphery is far away; Then, how to balance, in this context, the inequalities that young people face in our current reality? We have to educate architects who can understand and operate on our cities, Argentine and Latin American, from a local and universal perspective. We have to connect to the outside and the deep interior of our cities.
This global formation forces us to think about internationalizing the curriculum, incorporating ourselves into the dynamics of connectivity, generating flows of exchange with other universities, other realities and other ways of seeing the world. Adjusting programs, validations, promote the exchange of students and teachers, stays abroad, with more visitors in our classrooms, generating shared programs, physical and virtual networks in which to complex our programs of study.
The role of the university is not only to transmit knowledge but has the obligation to produce it. The field of research is the main form of knowledge production that we have in the university, and we must encourage its growth, and as mentioned before, promote a public and open research, that does not close in itself, that is linked with the Workshops of degree, with the workshops of project, with the society, with the industry and the production, local and global. The question also arises of How can research be done from the project? How to find the mode of project research remains a debate not closed and that we owe as a community.
Finally, I think we need to rethink the relationship between technique and architectural design. The project is a technical activity, ranging from project techniques to construction techniques, Luis Fernández Galeano argues that “the contemporary fragmentation of knowledge in autonomous disciplines has made many specialists but none as noticeable and conceited as the one usually called designer and Which has replaced the old generalist ambition with narcissistic fixation in the plastic domain. Faced with this contemporary variety of architects of art and essay, we are interested in promoting the old line of architects of technique and craft, knowing that this profession feeds on tradition and experiment, logic and memory, geometry and construction. ” Fragment of the presentation of Luis Fernández Galiano of the book The Construction of the Architecture, Vol. 3 The Composition, The Structure; Of the Architect Ignacio Paricio.
The architectural project cannot be considered without the technical-productive conditions that make it possible, both design techniques and construction techniques. We have the obligation to rethink the technique in the ambit of the architectural project. The historical separation between projective and technical subjects in our house of study cannot be sustained. We must equip students with certain knowledge but fundamentally a way of thinking and dealing with technical problems with an integrative view of the discipline. Understanding matter and constructive problems not as isolated facts, but as an integral part of the architectural project.
I am interested in understanding technique as the essence of that “Homo Faber” that builds what does not exist and transforms the real into a new reality.
“It was not reason, but a man-made apparatus, the telescope, which changed the view of the physical world; It was not contemplation, observation, and speculation that led to new knowledge, but rather the active intervention of Homo Faber, his ability to manufacture. “Arendt, H. (2003). The Human Condition. Buenos Aires. Ed. Paidos State and Society. P. 302).