Barcelona exploratory study trip, a SUCCESS!

Barcelona Exploratory Study Trip (BEST) was a one-week urban experience in one of the most sustainable cities in Europe. It constitutes a regular initiative organised annually by the WSA.

Allison Dutoit (First Year Chair) and Dr. Cristian Suau (Tutor year) initiated the preliminary drafts on September 2007, by collecting and selecting previous trips. We took into account high-quality places, with strong design conceptualisation; innovative construction and sense of urbanity.

We understood the journey as an on-site workshop, an attitude where everyone could capture and interpret the city as a lab in motion. The on-site sketches were our main design tool.

This year this activity was lead by the first year staff: Dr. Cristian Suau (main leader), Chris Wilkins, Kevin Hong, Rob Thomas and John Carter. The expedition consisted of 75 members, both students and tutors. Luckily we had excellent climatic conditions (really extraordinary!) and also a pretty packed schedule; which was organised according to paradigmatic urban patterns such as Eixample, Gothic area, MontJuic hill, the Olympic waterfront and Diagonal Mar (Forum).

Apart from this, we established a strong networking with Catalan institutions by visiting consolidated and emerging local practices; universities; architectural/art exhibits and several lectures. The last session we went to Girona city invited by the School of Architecture, University of Girona. We had a master lecture on the historical evolution of Girona and its new urban transformations, made by Dr. Nadia Fava. Afterwards, we went for a walk inside the old fabric in groups.

For further details, please visit the study trip's album and also download our study trip guide (pdf file).

In name of the WSA, we wish to acknowledge the following Catalan institutions and architects who made possible this study trip:

  • Association of Catalan Architects in Barcelona (COAC)
  • Caixa Forum, administration
  • Biblioteca del Pavelló de la Republica, administration
  • University of Girona, Dr. Nadia Fava
  • Ferrater studio, Borja Ferrater
  • X-Ref studio, Carmelo, Massimo, Esther and Nacho
  • Nicolas Markuerkiaga, architect