Open City – Thinking while building

Exhibition from September 18 until December 7, 2013

17 September 2013
Inaugural lecture
Ivan Ivelic & David Jolly, professors Ead PUCV
Carlos Covarrubias, professor Ead PUCV (Poetical act)
Ricardo Lang, professor Ead PUCV (Celebration)Introductions by Cyril Veillon and Patricia Guaita29 October 2013
Beatriz Colomina, professor, history and theory of architecture, Princeton University, USA20 November 2013
Udo Thönnissen, architect, ETH Zürich26 November 2013
Patrick Bouchain, architect and scenographer, Paris

Since its creation in the 1950s, the Chilean school Escuela de arquitectura y diseño, pontificia universidad católica de Valparaíso (Ead PUCV) favours community-based learning, cultivates experimentation at the 1:1 scale, and dedicates itself to promoting artisanal building techniques.

The founders of the school of Valparaíso base their architectural thought on poetry, with the poem Amereida acting as a guide. Poetry expresses and architecture creates. Thinking and building are not two autonomous acts that follow one another. There, poetic reflection and material experimentation meld.

Ephemeral construction is also one of the approaches taught by the university. Architecture is not imposed on its users and will last only if its users accept it, thus remaining open to appropriation and transformation. At the community’s service, these architectural works arising from poetic interpretation are first and foremost the fruit of a collective endeavour.

Every ten years, the Valparaiso school organises an event in which it presents its curriculum and specific approach. There have been six exhibitions since its creation, the first of which centred on history and memories of the school. The latest one celebrated the school’s sixty years and moved away from such focuses, instead concentrating on consolidating links between Latin America and other continents. Titled World, the relationship with others, it adopted as its guide such terms as “openness” and “hospitality”.

To understand these reflections, a taller* lasting two weeks is organised for Swiss and Chilean students by the EPFL in collaboration with PUCV and the ETH in Zurich. The exhibition will present installations and ephemeral constructions created during this exchange to the public. It will provide the opportunity to discover and understand the richness and philosophy behind such work, as well as the Ead PUCV’s specific teaching and style of construction. The exhibition and related events will provide viewers with moments during which they can debate and reflect on the role of architecture and our relationship with our built environment.

*Spanish translation of the English term “workshop”


An exhibition produced with the School of Architecture and Design of the Catholic University of Valparaiso in Chile (Ead PUCV).


Patricia Guaita, EPFL, responsible of the taller
Cyril Veillon, director Archizoom, responsible of the exhibition

Production and direction assistant
Eduardo Baumann, architect licence, Ead PUCV, Chile

Invited for the taller
David Jolly, Ivan Ivelic, Ricardo Lang and the poet Carlos Covarrubias, professors Ead PUCV
Oscar Andrade, Eduardo Retamales and Alvaro Mercado, assistants of the taller Ead PUCV

Exhibition graphic design
Sylvia Arriagada, professor Ead PUCV

Publication, coordination and writings

Cornelia Tapparelli, dr. sc. EPFL
Aurélie Buisson, architect and jornalist

Udo Thönnissen, architect, ETH Zürich

Photograph and video
Sebastián Milla, architect Ead PUCV

Image ©Archivo Histórico José Vial Armstrong Ead / PUCV

Exhibition views