Architectural Collaboration between Spain and Punjab Unveils Transformative Insights

by Dr. Jasneet Bedi

In a fusion of architectural minds transcending borders, the School of Architecture & Design (LSAD) at Lovely Professional University (LPU) recently hosted the groundbreaking Architectural Linguistics of Education (ALECS-2024) program in collaboration with the University of Alcalá (UAH), Madrid, Spain. This innovative initiative aimed to delve into the intricate creation and interpretation of educational buildings in Chandigarh, Punjab, and Spain, marking a transformative journey for all involved.

The program brought together 36 Spanish students alongside 7 faculty members from UAH, collaborating seamlessly with 35 LSAD students and 8 professors. Through this union of academic prowess, the participants embarked on a journey to explore the architectural connections between Spain and Punjab, with a particular focus on Chandigarh, navigating the complexities of real-world projects and refining creative processes within the domain of architecture.

At its core, ALECS-2024 underscored the vital significance of collaboration within architectural pedagogy. Beyond the acquisition of technical skills, students were encouraged to cultivate attributes such as teamwork and effective communication, laying the foundation for engaging in constructive debates essential for their future endeavors.

The University of Alcalá, with its rich history dating back to 1499, stands as a testament to academic excellence globally, revered for its architectural beauty and cultural significance. Designated as a ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO, UAH serves as an epitome of architectural emulation across Europe and America.

Under the visionary leadership of Dr. Ar. Atul Kumar Singla, LSAD endeavored to establish a new benchmark in architectural pedagogy, with ALECS serving as a testament to this commitment. Through intensive observation and night studio sessions, students immersed themselves in architectural principles, fostering a deeper understanding of design intricacies.

The inaugural session, graced virtually by His Excellency Jose Maria Ridao Dominguez, the Ambassador of Spain to India, highlighted the importance of international collaboration in architectural education. H.E. Mr. Dinesh K Patnaik, the Indian Ambassador in Spain, echoed this sentiment, emphasizing the significance of such global partnerships in shaping the architects of tomorrow.

Founder Chancellor of LPU and Member of Parliament, Dr. Ashok Kumar Mittal, reiterated the importance of collaboration within architectural pedagogy. He emphasized that structuring design studios around collaborative principles prepares students to tackle real-world projects, understand diverse perspectives, and refine their creative processes.

The program culminated in an exhibition showcasing the collaborative works of Spanish and Indian students, followed by a cultural showcase by both universities. LPU’s Pro Chancellor Mrs. Rashmi Mittal, alongside architectural luminaries like Ar. Kapil Setia and Dr. Navdeep Asija, inaugurated the exhibition, showcasing the diverse talents and cultural exchange fostered through ALECS-2024.

Visiting Spanish students marveled at LPU’s architectural prowess, renowned for its ‘Brutalist’ architecture and bold urban statement. Dr. Ar. Atul Singla expressed delight at LPU serving as an inspiring example for the visiting participants, underscoring the success of the collaborative endeavor.

As the curtains drew on ALECS-2024, the participants celebrated with a vibrant Indian festival-Holi, organized by LPU’s Division of Student Welfare, further fostering cultural exchange and camaraderie. With plans underway for the second edition of ALECS, and a visit to the Golden Temple, Amritsar, the Spanish delegation departed, leaving behind a legacy of transformative collaboration in architectural education.

Dr. Jasneet Bedi

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