Summer School - Practice and Theory of Sustainable and Social Architecture, 30 July - 19 August 2018, Portugal


May 27, 2018

Event Date:

July 30, 2018 - August 19, 2018

Opportunity Cover Image - Summer School - Practice and Theory of Sustainable and Social Architecture, 30 July - 19 August 2018, Portugal

Practice and Theory of Sustainable and Social Architecture

The annual Summer school is a design/build educational format with a tangible social impact that is capable of filling the gap in architectural education, which is often being separated from construction. The crucial skills for architectural profession that Critical Concrete provides, is gained while improving housing conditions of local families in need. Critical Concrete reflects on a paradigmatic shift in the role of the architect in today’s society. Rather than contributing to autonomous building-making that often disregard the context of the architectural intervention, it promotes a position of a citizen with expertise, who acts from within the community.

International students gain a valuable hands-on experience by thinking through making, in the design/build tradition, while networking with other like-minded people and exchanging their skills and knowledge. Get inspired by the theoretical input given by recognized local and international mentors during the whole process of the project!

The summer school format itself was initiated with the aim of answering the question: how to refurbish a socially relevant place with no money and an enriching project for its participants? The activities designed at Critical Concrete aim to bring young students real-life challenges, giving them not only knowledge and experience in the field, but providing them with a unique and diverse set of skills.

The ambition is to provide an alternative way of teaching, learning and creating architecture, art and design. For that, we run workshops and summer school programs combining both theoretical and practical activities, fostering sustainability in all its levels. All of these actions happen in close collaboration with the communities using the tackled spaces. Students receive a certificate edited by the Fine Art School of Porto (FBAUP). The accreditation by your university is not guaranteed, nonetheless, the alumni got usually 2 ECTS when claiming convalidation to their respective universities. Participants will eat every working day around 1 pm. The food (vegetarian) will be cooked by Zita from the restaurant Marcel & Georges. The programme may be subject to last minute changes. The course will be held English.

Practical Workshops

Monitored by senior architects and designers, the students will build during the day, experimenting with the reality of a construction site that aims to be their conceptual playground. They will have the chance to discuss and argue the development of the building, through a participatory design process, and thus leave a tangible trace in their first construction experience. Each group of c.a. 10 students work with one practical mentor on a project and experiment with both traditional way of building and the sustainable techniques developed during the year in Critical Concrete’s Lab.

Theoretical Input

Late afternoons will be dedicated to discussions, lectures and presentations, screenings, complementing the practical activities. Some of these moments will be open to the public and will have thus a chance to engage with the surrounding communities. This theoretical input will take then the form of public events, such as public lectures and discussions so that the neighborhood and visiting students can benefit from each other’s presence.

Courses’ Aims

This social and sustainable architecture summer school is a design/build courses that aims to:

  • Participate in the refurbishment of places of social interest (one social housing configuration, a production space, public spaces)
  • Collectively design and build. Participatory processes in social architecture
  • Contribute to the neighborhood’s cultural life, by opening our doors for some theoretical courses, evening and screenings
  • Development of high-quality furniture and architecture with a small budget and restricted time.
  • Offer the students a new language of skills and techniques, both in community engagement and building strategies.
  • Offer the students a supportive network for their future project and their promotion, opening new professional perspectives.
  • Offer a good mix of practical work, monitored by international and local mentors, and theoretical work, all this working in the frame of a social work engagement.

Target Groups

  • Architecture and design professionals, graduates, students and PhD-students, engineers, makers, DIYers, builders, artists in their respective fields. People who want to engage in the practice and learn how to build and meet people with inspiring background and know-how.
  • People who want to get the first experience in building with a theoretical input, so to start their own projects, with the support of our network.
  • In general, all people interested in sustainable construction and social engagement.


There is no application fee, but places are limited. The earlier you apply the higher the chance to participate in the program. Please check the workshop fee in the next point.

Application requirements:

  • a full online application form
  • a comprehensive CV as PDF/Word/Openoffice document, maximum 2MB
  • if you have one, a portfolio in PDF format (only if you have one, please don’t spend 2 weeks doing a portfolio), maximum 5MB. If you can’t compress it, put a link to a downloadable file in the comment section.

Once you get accepted, you’ll be asked to pay a security deposit of 500€ within two weeks to secure your place in the course.

Note: your motivation is more important than your portfolio. The application is open to anyone over 18 y.o.

Fee structure

The fee for one the architecture program Practice & Theory of Sustainable and Social Architecture, for three weeks of courses and workshops, is 1190€.

This fee includes:

  • the theoretical and practical courses
  • the construction materials and availability of enough working tools. You’re also very welcome to bring your favorite cordless drills (and put your name on it)!!
  • lunch from Monday to Friday (vegetarian)

You will be suggested cheap hostel situation around the working sites (10-15€/night) to the summer program’s students.

For more information click "LINK TO ORIGINAL" below.

Eligible Countries
Host Country
Study Levels
Publish Date
April 25, 2018
Link To Original