Porto, Portugal

Practice & Theory of Sustainable and Social Architecture

when 5 August 2019 - 25 August 2019
language English
duration 3 weeks
fee EUR 990

The annual Summer school is a design/build educational format with tangible social impact that is capable of filling the gap in architectural education, which is often being separated from construction. The crucial skills for architectural profession that Critical Concrete provides, is gained while improving housing conditions of local families in need.

Critical Concrete reflects on a paradigmatic shift in the role of architect in today’s society. Rather than contributing to autonomous building-making that often disregard the context of the architectural intervention, it promotes a position of a citizen with expertise, who acts from within the community.

International students gain a valuable hands-on experience by thinking through making, in the design/build tradition, while networking with other like-minded people and exchanging their skills and knowledge. Get inspired by the theoretical input given by recognised local and international mentors during the whole process of the project!

The summer school format itself was initiated with the aim of answering the question: how to refurbish a socially relevant place with no money and an enriching project for its participants?

The activities designed at Critical Concrete aim to bring young students real life challenges, giving them not only knowledge and experience in the field, but providing them with a unique and diverse set of skills.

Our ambition is to provide an alternative way of teaching, learning and creating architecture, art and design. For that, we run workshops and summer school programs combining both theoretical and practical activities, fostering sustainability in all its levels. All of these actions happen in close collaboration with the communities using the tackled spaces.


Week 1 - design, feedback sessions & first working steps
Week 2/3 - building

The 140 hours course will consist of:

Monday-Friday 9am - 5pm

Monday-Friday 6pm - 7.30pm

Either on the first Saturday or Sunday, students have an architectural visit of the city (tour split in 2 groups)

Course leader

The course will be conducted by an international team of great teachers and Students receive a certificate edited by the Escola Superior Artística do Porto (ESAP), Architecture School in Porto.

Please visit our website for more information.

Target group

• Architecture and design professionals, graduates, students and PhD-students, engineers, makers, DIYers, builders, artists in their respective fields. People who want to engage with the practice and learn how to build and meet people with inspiring background and know-how.
• People who want to get a first experience in building with a theoretical input, so to start their own projects, with the support of our network.
• In general, all people interested in sustainable construction and social engagement.

Not sure to fit? Get in touch with us!

Course aim

This social and sustainable architecture summer school is a design/build courses that aims to:
1 - Participate in the refurbishment of places of social interest (one social housing configuration, a production space, public spaces)
2 - Collectively design and build. Participatory processes in social architecture
3 - Contribute to the neighbourhood’s cultural life, by opening our doors for some theoretical courses, evening and screenings
4 - Development of high quality furnitures and architecture with a small budget and restricted time.
5 - Offer the students a new language of skills and techniques, both in community engagement and building strategies.
6 - Offer the students a supportive network for their future project and their promotion, opening new professional perspectives.
7 - Offer a good mix of practical work, monitored by international and local mentors, and theoretical work, all this working in the frame of a social work engagement.

Credits info

The accreditation by universities is not guaranteed, nonetheless, our alumni got 2 ECTS when claiming convalidation to their respective universities.

Fee info

EUR 990: Early Bird - Until March 3rd
EUR 1190: Late Bird - After March 3rd