A Coruña, April 2018


We propose that the sheer volume of empty or underused sites, buildings and apartments in A Coruña, wrought in large part by the 2008 financial crisis, is directly compromising the urban quality of the city. We also propose that the formal systems that fuelled the expansion of contemporary private development have failed the interests of the majority of urban populations leaving a disconnect between how the city is made and how the city is lived.


At a time when most professional bodies, academia and politics are retreating from visible positions on the public good, emerging forms of critical design, applied research and multi-disciplinary practice are reinvigorated a new generation of urban thinkers and actors.

The summer school offers a timely appraisal of this movement and attempts to build upon the innovative spatial and organisational models emerging as feasible alternatives to the primacy of the status quo.

Summer school

The 10-day multi-disciplinary workshop will be aimed at a critical and creative investigation into the forces that make up the contemporary city. We are interested in revealing the current state of A Coruña through exploring and documentation, instigating new use through design and build intervention, interviewing inhabitants, and building visual representations of the networks that shape the city through: agency, object and process. We are interested in defining and identifying spatial needs and deficits, and through an open format engage with the positions from a diverse range of actors from financiers to activists, politicians to students, academics and developers.


The summer school aims to experiment with forms of critical analysis, making, collective drawing and representation. It aims to explore applied research as a practice of agency and to expose students to leading figures and methods that strive to diversify the discourse on spatial production. The goal is to develop a platform for students seeking strategies for engagement in shaping the built environment to favourable societal outcomes.


The summer school is built around a series of applied research and design-making exercises situated within a studio environment and selected abandoned spaces throughout A Coruña. Multi-disciplinary teams will be tasked to develop creative responses to briefs in various designated formats. These will include: design-build installation for a temporary work-exhibition space, large scale collective action network drawings, film interviews, and documented walks and mapping.

The format will include open work critiques, short presentations, design charrettes, interviews, writing and editing sessions, construction and partying.

Participation from leading actors in the form of lectures, critiques and commented walks will textualize the ideas and designs developed throughout the summer school.

A detailed guest list and summer school program will be made available and published in early August.


The working process and material form the exercises will be curated in a public exhibition on completion of the summer school. Text, references and visual documentation will be compiled and edited into an accompanying catalogue. Following the summer school, students will have the opportunity to contribute to a publication built from the documentation of the event.



The fee covers course administration costs. Refreshments and some communal dinner events will be covered.


29th of August – 8th of September


Students of Architecture, Urban Design, sociology, law, economy, engineering, politics or art are invited to apply with a short motivation letter and CV by July 20th. In case of Architecture, Art and Urban Design students please also include samples of work. Acceptance notice will be issued on the 25th of July.  


Students can claim 4 ECTS credits, or their home university equivalent, for their successful completion of the programme.


A Coruña, Galicia, Spain


English / Spanish / Galician