Ronda: Architectural education and practice from the construction of a milieu in common: The PUCV School of Architecture and Design and Ciudad Abierta, Chile

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

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The focus of this research is on architectural education and practice as a collective experience, examining the specific case of the PUCV School of Architecture and Design and Ciudad Abierta in Chile. The research asks whether the culture of collectivity that characterises the school has served as a supporting structure for its artistic and pedagogical project and if so, what elements configure the collective ways of studying and practising at this school. The research delves into these questions by following the trail of a concept that crystallises the school’s collective ethos: The Ronda. The notion of Ronda refers to a collective working format practised by the school members. However, this dissertation argues that this concept conveys a much more complex and profound sense of collectivity, related to a disposition to live, work, and study together. Accordingly, the main objective of this research is to trace and analyse the aspects that have nurtured the notion of Ronda, and from there, to identify how have they contributed towards shaping the collective approach to architectural education and practice conceived within the PUCV School of Architecture and Design and Ciudad Abierta. The first phase of the research involved a comprehensive review of the existing literature mapping the presence of the notion of Ronda and identifying the fundamental elements shaping the collective realm that characterises the school. The literature review allowed to distinguish nine communities that have articulated the school as objects of study, which circumscribed areas of inquiry and enabled to look upon the collective dimension of the school’s history from a variety of perspectives. The research strategy was to address the examination of these nine communities by engaging a triangulation of methods that included archival research, interviews, and participant observation. Each of these methods helped to complete the complex landscape of ideas and practices articulating the school’s collective realm that contributed towards nurturing the notion of Ronda and its educational project. The research concludes that the PUCV School of Architecture and Design sets the conditions for the formative experience by constructing a creative milieu in common, understood as a specific environment that is shaped by the school community. The conclusions set forth four perspectives to depict the school’s creative milieu in 10 Ronda common and assert findings concerning the Ronda, proposing it as the invention of a way of interacting through which the school members can give course to their fundamental proposals and understand the school as a collective project. This dissertation enriches the existing literature on the PUCV School of Architecture and Design and Ciudad Abierta by adding an examination of the fundamental notion of the Ronda, which was lacking until now. The research narrows the knowledge gap regarding the Ronda by locating its historical formulation, identifying the elements that converged in its ideation, presenting its characteristics and dynamics in the working process, and explaining the importance it has in the present for the school. The dissertation also participates in the broader debate on architectural education, providing insights on how architectural training can diversify its practices, spaces, and frameworks in new configurations by comprehending a school as an expanded network of communities beyond the academic realm and complementary to university institutions.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Havik, K.M., Supervisor
  • Avermaete, T.P.L., Supervisor, External person
Award date29 Nov 2021
Print ISBNs978-94-6366-475-2
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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