Valparaíso’s 20th Architecture Biennial has started

The new edition of the Architecture Biennial will take place until November 6th at Valparaíso’s Cultural Park (former jail), which invites architects, academics, artists, activists and organizations from Chile and the world to participate, united by a passion for design and architecture, who will showcase their innovative proposals through open dialogues with the community and other free activities under the slogan “Critical dialogues”. 

Valparaíso celebrates its 40th anniversary with the new edition of the Architecture and Urban Planning Biennial. 210 exhibitors from 26 countries such as Spain, Chile, Mexico, Colombia, England, United States, among others, are participating in the event.

The initiative, organized by the Chilean Association of Architects in conjunction with architecture firms and the network of architecture and urban planning school in Chile, invites us to think about the territories outside the margins of society, areas that have been isolated and kept outside the urban and architectural context and therefore do not see their needs reflected in urban planning.

The biennial’s motto Critical dialogues, aims to launch a discussion about research and projects that are not only limited to the display of what already exists, but that detonates new challenges.


The event is organized around 7 thematic axes:

“Dialogues on the ordinary” focused on the democratic access and the sense of belonging to urban spaces.

“Dialogues on participation”, which seeks to discuss the involvement that people should have in the planning process of urban areas they will inhabit.

Dialogues on integration” addresses the subject of how the design of a city’s architecture can serve as an integration tool.

“Dialogues on the vulnerability” on how social and environmental crisis can lead to new architecture solutions.

“Dialogues on resources”, an analysis of the proper use of resources.

“Dialogues on identity” analyses future practices and the “new nature” of our identity, which is the starting point of the biennial’s entire theme.

“Dialogues on the future”,  which will be the closing axis of the biennial, with discussions that will address how we are advancing towards what’s next and how to reimagine the discipline for the future.

Rodrigo Tisi and Alfredo Jaar

The wide array of themes represents a great opportunity for Chilean and foreign students to understand how thinking about architecture and urban design can advance alongside social and demographic changes. For this reason, AAL compiled a list of some architecture and urban planning programs offered in Chile.

Degrees Offered

As part of the programs offered for foreign students in Chilean universities, there’s the possibility of taking architecture courses as part of the undergraduate programs in several universities such as the Universidad Autónoma, the Universidad del Desarrollo, the Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana, the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, the Universidad del Bío-Bío and the Universidad San Sebastián.

In addition to undergraduate courses, other institutions have Master’s degree programs focused on more specific areas of architecture and urban planning. The Universidad Tecnológica Metropolitana, for instance, offers a program entitled “Master’s in Energy Efficiency and Sustainability, specialized in construction.”

In a year in which architecture will be one of the main subjects of interest in the country, with national and foreign thematic influences, academic programs could be greatly enriched by this context.


October 27th

Critical dialogue on identity

Moderated by: Pola Mora

The biennial’s second day will be devoted to “identity” and have interesting activities such as the fourth edition of “Lucha Libre” in Latin America, an activity moderated by Supersudaca seeking to launch a debate about complicated issues with a dose of humor. Juan Pablo Corvalán (Santiago), Manuel de Rivero (Lima) and Max Zolkwer (Buenos Aires) will be the referees of 3 Rounds on a same subject and their two visions will fight one another. At 7:00 pm a discussion groups entitled “Mujeres en arquitectura” (Women in architecture) will be moderated by Pola Mora. Participants include Ines Moisset (Argentina), Ana Maria Durán (Ecuador), Elisa Silva (Venezuela), Cazú Zegers (Chile) and Sandra Iturriaga (Chile). The afternoon will end with a lecture by Edward Rojas, 2016 National Architecture Prize laureate.

October 28th

Critical dialogue on the ordinary

Moderated by: Miguel Cancino and Claudio Magrini

October 28th will be the day of the “ordinary”. A round table entitled Inhabiting together will be held with the participation of architect Miguel Lawner, historian Gabriel Salazar and the Committee of Young Architects in Chile, the Housing Policy Division of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning, the NGO Vivienda Local and the UKAMAU movement.

Disciplinary questions will be another activity highlighting 3 important issues: “Why hold biennials?” with José Llano Loyola and Nahuel Jose Quiroga; “Provisional archive” with Fernando Portal, Fernando Carvajal, Pedro Correa Fernández and Rayna Razmilic; and “The speech of Chilean contemporary architecture, four fundamental debates”, with Macarena Cortes, Hugo Mondragón, Umberto Bonomo and Pedro Alonso.

October 29th

Critical Dialogue: Vulnerability

Moderated by: Jeannette Sordi

The fourth day will be devoted to “vulnerability” with a round table entitled Visions: Designing for a vulnerable planet with the participation of Iñaki Ábalos + Sentkiewicz (Harvard University), Alexandros Tsamis (Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez), Elisa Cattaneo (Milan Polytechnic) and David Gouverneur (University of Pennsylvania). The day will end with the discussion group “Infra-verde: Respuestas a la vulnerabilidad” (Infra-Green: Answers to the vulnerability) which will bring together Amy Chester (Rebuild by Design), Alfredo Ramírez and Gustavo Romanillos (Landscape Urban Planning, AA, UK), Flavio Janches (BJC, University of Buenos Aires), Dominique Mashini (Inter-American Development Bank) and Jaime Daroca, José Mayoral and José Ramón Sierra (PRÁCTICA).

October 30th

Day for the Chilean Association of Architects

10:00-12:00 _ Technology Committee Seminar Architecture ignites.

A discussion on the issue of fires in a tall building. The current laws on design will be reviewed, addressing both theory and practical exercises.

Participants: Ricardo Lenam, Architect, MINVU Division for Urban Development; Rodrigo Aravena, Manager of Engineering Unit for Fire Protection, DICTUC; and Edith Pacci, Architect, Technology Committee of the Association of Architects. For further information, click here

12:00-1:30 _ Technology Committee Durable Heritage Committee

Experiences on the recovery of heritage and this heritage remains relevant through the learning from the past and using current technologies.

Participants: Amanda Rivera, Architect at School of on Land Construction (ECOT); Natalia Jorquera, Architect and Academic at University of Chile; Alvaro Riquelme, FLESAN and Xiloscopio Restauraciones; and Camilo Giribas, Architect at FLESAN Restauraciones and the Association of on Land Construction (ECOT). For further information, click here

3:00 – 5:00 _ Technology Committee, Seminar on Architecture and Innovation: A way to industrialization

Different points of view around industrialization and pre-manufacturing within everybody’s reach. A chance to learn about the local strategies on industrialization first hand.

Participants Oscar Zaccarelli, Architect and Professor at E.A. UCEN and USACH, Past President of COMTEC; Marcos Brito, Manager of Construye2025; Frane Zilic, Director Pole Madera UdeC; Jorge Calderón, Industrial Designer UCV, CRULAMM. For further information, click here

3:00-4:00 _ Human Rights Committee – Discussion group on human rights and memory

A conversation with architect Miguel Lawner, arrested and later exiled during the dictatorship in Chile and Carmen Hertz, lawyer, linked to human right causes in Chile. The dialogue will be built upon three axes; the right to the memory, the right to collective restoration and guarantees of non-repetition. For further information, click here

4:00-5:00 _ BIM Committee, Exhibition of university degree projects Construye 2025, BIM FORUM Contest for college students

6:30-8:00 _ Committee of habitat and housing “Right to the city and new Constitution:” Human dignity in the territory and the city”(more info about the campaign)

8:00-9:00 _ Young Architects Committee: Creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurship in architecture

Experiences and testimonies around architecture and entrepreneurship (More info)

October 31st

Day for the Chilean Association of Architects

10:00 – 1:30 _ The Commission of Universal Accessibility comprised by the Committee of Sport-related Architecture and Parks, the Committee of Laws and Norms and the National Service of Disability (SENADIS).

During the day, two discussion groups will be held with the community, as well as five technical work tables to address several interesting topics surrounding accessibility, with the participation of several social sectors.  Architecture and more. (More info)

3:00 – 7:00 Commission of Universal Accessibility and SENADIS- Technical Workshop (More info)

Participants: Pedro Correa Maturana (National Coordinator of Accessibility at SENADIS); María Soledad Cisternas (Lawyer, Professor and UN Special Rapporteur on Disability and Accessibility); Daniel Concha Gamboa (Head of the National Service of the Disability); Luis Eduardo Bresciani Lecanelier (President of the National Council of Urban Development); Marcela Heads Keller (National Director of the National Service of Tourism); Fernando Aizman Seville (General Manager Protected Wild Areas, CONAF); Cecilia Leiva (Coordinator of the Commission of Universal Accessibility and President of the Committee of Sport-related Architecture and Parks) and others.

November 2nd

Critical dialogue on integration

Moderated by: Pablo Navarrete

This day will have a must-go-to debate that will include representatives of the candidates for the next presidential election, to discuss the different strategies of integration in the country’s urban agenda (2018-2022) and which will be moderated by curator Paul Navarrete and Marcelo Ruiz, Metropolitica Corporation. The panel “Cross Dialogue” will be moderated by Rodrigo Guendelman and participants will include Luis Eduardo Bresciani (President of the National Council of Urban Development), Mauricio Varela (President of the Association of Real Estate Developers – ADI), Pablo Jordán (Head of the Association of Architecture Firms – AOA) and María Elena Ducci (President of Ciudad Viva).

November 3rd

Critical dialogue on participation

Moderated by: Miguel Cancino and Claudio Magrini

The “participation” day will focus on the work of “civic activism” organizations such as Aldea, Fundación Mi Parque, Fundación Urbanismo Social, Junto al Barrio, Plan Cerro, Quiero Mi Barrio, Ciudad Emergente, Espacio Lúdico, Espacio Santa Ana+Crac Valparaíso, etc. Hoping to reimagine community life in cities through different participation strategies, several “new challenges” will be proposed during the day.  The day will end  with a conversation between Gehl Architects (Denmark) and Pedro Henrique de Cristo (Brazil) and José Luis Vallejo (through video conference), from Ecosistema Urbano (Spain).

November 4th

Critical Dialogue on resources

Moderated by: José Mayoral

“Resources” is another of the themes that will be addressed in this biennial. Curator José Mayoral; Felipe Vera, the curator of the biennial; Rodrigo Perez de Arce, architect and professor of the Catholic University, and Hashim Sarkis, dean of the Faculty of Architecture at MIT and founding partner of Hashim Sarkis Studios (HSS). The day will close with the round table: “Recursos del Sur” (Resources from the South), a conversation that will gather four great figures of contemporary South American architecture: Jean Pierre Crousse + Sandra Barclay (Barclay & Crousse, Lima-Peru) and Solano Benítez + Gloria Cabral (Gabinete de Arquitectura, Asunción-Paraguay).

The Habitat and Housing Committee of the Association of Architects will lead a political debate around the launch of the Spanish version of the book “War of places” (2015) by Raquel Rolnik (USP, Brazil)

November 5th

Critical dialogue on the future

Moderated by: Rodrigo Tisi

The last thematic axis is “the future”, a day in which the Creative Director of the Biennial, Rodrigo Tisi, will inaugurate a presentation on the ambitious agenda for infrastructure, development and inclusion Chile 30/30, promoted by the Ministry of Public Works.  A conference related to future infrastructures will be held by Sergio Rebelo, head of and partner of FR-EE NY (Fernando Romero Enterprise), in addition to a lecture by Laura Kurgan to explain the EXIT project designed by Diller, Scofidio + Renfro. In this context, artist Michael Wang will also be present (“Extinct in the Wild”, New York), as well as researcher Yankee Lee (Enable Foundation, Hong Kong).

November 6th

Day for the Chilean Association of Architects

10:00 – 12:00 – Sustainability and Energy Committee: Sustainable architecture

12:00 – 2:00 – Independent Reviser Committee: ROUND TABLE: The review of projects in construction

2:00-3:00 – ASATCH: Professional appraising exercise/ Academic and skill training/Presentation of a real estate pricing course

6:00 -8:00 – Committee of Architectonic and Environmental Heritage “3X3 = 10, Let’s about today’s heritage”

6:00-7:30 CA Educational Committee The quality of teaching-learning in the training of new architects

The quality of the teaching-learning in the training of new architects in Chile. Participants: Universidad de Bío-Bío; Universidad de Concepción; Universidad Católica del Norte; Universidad de Valparaíso and UNIACC. Special guest of Concepción’s Association of Architects.

For further information, please click here

You might also be interested in:

Los imperdibles en arte y diseño que trae Puerto de Ideas 2017