Sunday, February 25, 2007

ARCHCAMP 2007 Field Report

Great experience! The event started Saturday morning with a keynote done by the main meeting's organizer, Hugo Batista, setting out the rules and agenda. After this, I did two presentations, on the past and future of GASP - the portuguese Architecture Group. Open presentations, with lots of space for discussion and exchange of ideas, it was extremely fruitful and a lot of valuable feedback was presented. Three things will be defined in the next few months: the group's Mission, Growth Model, and Objectives. The presentation also included IASA's 2.0 chapter model, and the big news: the creation of a chapter in the Center Region of Portugal, based around Coimbra/Leiria/Aveiro/Viseu. There will be news on this soon, and the leadership team was identified and participated in the ArchCamp.

After this, Nuno Costa presented ideas and criteria about a proposed system to measure and value the participation of each member in the community. More exchange of ideas ensued, and alternative or complementary ways of evolution were thought out. Some questions remain open, clearly, but several opinions were expressed that now gives us a more precise idea of where to go in terms of the group's future.

At the end of the day, 4 teams of 6 were formed and Mr Region President Tiago Pascoal, aided by his assistant Mr Hugo Ribeiro, presented a challenge to the groups, around the notion of a fictional regionalization happening in the country, and the need to provide local infrastructures and essentially support the region's economical growth. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this problem was the context, meaning that this is a problem being issued by the region's President, who is being roleplayed as a purely politic person. In this view, if the President is the one doing the selection, the way the solution is presented must take this in consideration, and technological detail must be limited.

I teamed up with Nuno Costa, Miguel Madeira, Denis H., Pedro Lopes and Ricardo Teixeira (of Coimbra), in the Penguin Team. :-)

The complete problem statement will be posted soon, and also all the solutions.

The teams worked for the rest of the Saturday and Sunday morning, and will each present their solutions/proposals to the President and his aid. There is a space for questions about each approach, and an open discussion at the end. Regardless of the proposals and their merits, this has been a valuable process, with lots of ideas and different points of view. As to Penguin Team's work, we decided to completely avoid technical terms (including terms in english and acronyms), and design a 20000 feet high level view, complemented with a series of structural projects surounding ours, to create a web of actions.

More details later.

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