Bridging Continents through Architecture: Spanish and Indian Universities Collaborate

by Dr. Jasneet Bedi

In a groundbreaking initiative fostering cross-cultural exchange and architectural exploration, Spain’s University of Alcala (UAH) and Lovely Professional University (LPU) from Punjab joined hands. A cohort of 43 Spanish students and faculty embarked on a transformative journey to delve into architectural connections between Spain and the Punjab, specifically Chandigarh.

Dubbed as ‘ALECS-2024’ (Architectural Linguistics of Education in COLLABStudio), the event facilitated an educational bridge between the two regions, focusing on the creation and interpretation of educational buildings. This collaboration between two esteemed architectural institutions aimed to navigate the complexities of real-world projects and refine creative processes within the domain of architecture.

The University of Alcalá, founded in 1499, stands as a beacon of academic excellence, recognized globally for its architectural beauty and richness. Designated as a ‘World Heritage Site’ by UNESCO, it serves as a model to be emulated across Europe and America.

The collaborative studio, hosted at LPU’s School of Architecture & Design (LSAD), witnessed the enthusiastic participation of nearly 90 students and faculty members from both UAH and LPU. Through intensive observation and night studio sessions, students immersed themselves in architectural principles, fostering a deeper understanding of design intricacies.

The journey commenced with an immersive experience for the delegates from Alcala University, including a tour of educational infrastructure designed by architectural luminaries such as Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret. Additionally, visits to the iconic Panjab University in Chandigarh provided invaluable insights into architectural design and interpretation.

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

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

During their visit, the Spanish students marveled at the architectural prowess of LPU’s campus, renowned for its ‘Brutalist’ architecture and bold urban statement. Dr. Ar Atul Singla, Chief Architect & Head of LSAD, expressed delight at LPU serving as an inspiring example for the visiting participants.

The collaboration between UAH and LPU stands as a testament to the transformative power of international partnerships in shaping the future of architectural education. Through shared experiences and collaborative learning, students from diverse cultural backgrounds forged connections, enriching their understanding of architecture and fostering a global perspective in their practice.

Dr. Jasneet Bedi

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