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09/15/2023 — 01/31/2024

Building Schools___Public Spaces: Art & Architecture Competition

To think up and foster different ways of designing schools from the creative interaction with local environments, La Escuela___ launches a call for “Construir Escuelas___Espacios Públicos” (Building Schools___Public Spaces). This competition is an invitation to explore art-architecture-education relationships as a strategy to improve common urban living conditions. The call is aimed at architects, artists, and communities across Latin America and the Caribbean. It entails conceptualizing, designing, and constructing a public space conceived as a learning environment.

The projects are expected to be permanent site-specific interventions, designed with a macro vision and impact in their locality, aiming at social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Each team shall propose a public-access site. Applicant teams may be composed of artist(s), architect(s), and/or urban planner(s)—based in Latin America or abroad—together with a community and local entity. The proposal should materialize their reflections on the idea of the school as a public space and the public space as a school. From an art and architecture perspective, the project’s goal and reflections shall intend to dynamize and contribute to the positive transformation of the place proposed for the work. The construction and subsequent operation of this educational space should be understood as part of an innovative ecosystem on a neighborhood scale.

Miguel Braceli: "Biblioteca Abierta" [Free Library] (2016). Public space intervention with books in the Pajaritos neighborhood, Chacao, Caracas, Venezuela. Courtesy: Miguel Braceli.

The "Construir Escuelas___Espacios Públicos" competition is part of the Classrooms program of La Escuela___. This artist-run platform seeks to approach art as education, and education as collective learning in public spaces. The Classrooms are on-site formative projects developed by artists and/or architects in collaboration with educational and cultural institutions and communities in public spaces of Latin American cities and rural areas. The program aims to address specific places' social, political, and ecological challenges through context-based practices.

Applicant teams may enroll in the competition from September 15 through December 15, 2023 via the registration form. Project submissions for “Construir Escuelas___Espacios Públicos” will be received until January 31, 2024. The registration and submission of projects are strictly digital; print documents will not be accepted. Participating in the competition is free of charge. The evaluation criteria will acknowledge both the quality of the proposed final work and the design and strategies involved in the process to achieve it. The jury is composed of Al Borde (Architecture Studio), Elisa Silva (Enlace Arquitectura), Javier Vera Cubas (urban architect FAUA-UNI and main researcher at CONURB-PUCP), Zaida Muxí (full professor in the Department of Urban Planning of UPC-ETSAB), Fernanda Canales (architect), Miguel Braceli (La Escuela___), and Joachim Gerstmeier (Siemens Stiftung). The verdict will be announced in April 2024 through La Escuela___’s digital media. The winning project will receive financial support and accompaniment during the process. The local entity participating in the team shall assume the legal and organizational responsibilities required. The project must be completed within six months in 2024.

Read the competition guidelines and enroll your team by filling the registration form.

The joint founders of La Escuela___ are the artist and educator Miguel Braceli and the international nonprofit foundation Siemens Stiftung. It is based on Siemens Stiftung’s experience with co-creation programs and artistic interventions across Latin America and the artistic and educational works of Miguel Braceli in public spaces.

To learn more about “Construir Escuelas___Espacios Públicos” and upcoming programs and publications of La Escuela___, subscribe to the monthly newsletter.