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University of Puerto Rico

August 26, 2011

The UPR School of Architecture organized and co-hosted a Symposium titled Education of an Architect - 40 years later - John Hedjuk & the Cooper Union.  The Symposium celebrated the particular point of view and legacy of Hedjuk as Dean of the Cooper Union. The debates instigated a discourse on the evolution of architectural pedagogy from the first publication of Education of an Architect and the 1971 MoMA exhibition to the present. The guest speakers were Lebbeus Woods, Val Warke, Lance Jay Brown, David Gersten, Diane Lewis, Michael Kwartler, David Shapiro, Zubin Singh, Jim Williamson and Guido Zuliani.  The panels were moderated by Sotirios Kotoulas, Javier de Jesus and Francisco Javier Rodriguez.

In collaboration with the AIA-PR, the UPR released a publication on Contemporary Architecture in Puerto Rico: 1993-2010. The book was edited by Dean Francisco Javier Rodríguez, AIA and Prof. Darwin Marrero.

The UPR School of Architecture is celebrating its 45th anniversary. As part of the occasion, the School’s auditorium will be named after its founder, Jesús Eduardo Amaral (B.Acrh Cornell, 1951).

The UPR School of Architecture received a $100,000 grant to fund the installation of 100 solar panels that will save thousands of dollars on the electricity bill as well as over 100,000lbs of carbon emissions.  Together with other sustainable measures implemented by Profs. Crisitna Algaze, LEED AP, and Brenda Martínez, LEED AP, this project will allow the school to surpass the requirements for a LEED certification under the Existing Building Category.

Prof. Mayra Jiménez-Montano has been named Associate Dean, while Humberto Cavallín, Ph.D. and Prof. Anna Georas will direct the Undergraduate and Graduate programs respectively.

The Community Design Studio, directed by Prof. Elio Martínez-Joffre, is collaborating with the Ricky Martin Foundation to design a center for abused children in the municipality of Loíza.  The project is slated for construction in 2012.

For the 5th contiguous year the UPR participated of the AEC Global Teamwork studio, organized by Prof. Renate Fruchter at Stanford University.  The studio is locally coordinated by Prof. Humberto Cavallín, Ph.D.  Rebecca Diaz, and her team, won the Native Award Challenge, because of the sensitive use of local resources in their design project. This honor was awarded by Swinerton Incorporated.

The UPR School’s 2009 Solar Decathlon entry (CASH) was selected for the Ibero American Design Biennial (BID10) in Madrid, where it received the Design Development Prize.

Prof. Fernando Abruña, FAIA, received the Henry Klumb Award, the Puerto Rico College of Architects (CAAPPR) highest distinction for a practitioner.

The new General Studies Building for the UPR-Río Piedras campus designed by Prof. José Javier Toro, of the firm Toro Ferrer Architects, received AIA awards in both Florida and Puerto Rico and was recently published in Architectural Record.

Dean Francisco Javier Rodríguez, AIA, offered a lecture at Tulane University titled Three Short Stories Without an Ending.  He also received a FIPI grant to conduct research on the history of architectural pedagogy and was selected to participate on the Ibero American Design Biennial (BID10) in Madrid under the Industrial Design category.

Prof. Jorge Lizardi, Ph.D. finished his new book offering a critical view of public housing endeavors during the twentieth century titled Vivir y pensar la comunidad moderna. Together with Prof. Manuel Bermúdez, he is also facilitating a Graduate Studio project documenting Caribbean cities including Havana, Santo Domingo, Cartagena and San Juan.

Prof. Javier Isado edited the 5th edition of the School’s magazine (in)forma, dedicated to Digital Narratives, while Prof. Darwin Marrero edited the 6th edition on Hypertourism.

Profs. Fernando Lugo and Maria Rossi are offering a Graduate Joint Studio together with Oklahoma State University’s Profs. Awilda Rodríguez and Paolo Sanza.  Last year, Prof. Anna Georas offered a Graduate Joint Studio with PENN Design (W.Dubbeldam, F.Kolatan, R.Snooks) and the City College of New York (J. Salcedo), while Prof. Jorge Ramírez-Buxeda conducted a Joint Studio with the Pratt Institute (A. Barker).

The UPR School of Architecture is now offering a joint MArch-Juris Doctor degree with the UPR Law School, and is currently working on a joint MArch-MBA degree with the UPR Graduate School of Business Administration.

The work of Profs. Pedro Cardona, Jorge Ramírez-Buxeda, Nataniel Fúster, Eugenio Ramírez, Ernesto Rodríguez and Francisco Gutiérrez was recognized during the 2010 AIA-PR Chapter Awards Ceremony.


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