Critical Concrete – Summer School – Practice & Theory of Sustainable and Social Architecture | UniverWork

Critical Concrete – Summer School – Practice & Theory of Sustainable and Social Architecture

Deadline:  27 May 2018
Open to:  anyone over 18 y.o.
Venue: 30.07– 19.08 2018PortoPortugal


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 recognized 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.

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! (link —->


The fee for one the architecture program Practice & Theory of Sustainable and Social Architecture, for three weeks of courses and workshops, is 1190€.
This fee includes:
  • The theoretical and practical courses
  • The construction materials and availability of enough working tools. You’re also very welcome to bring your favorite cordless drills (and put your name on it)!!
  • Lunch from Monday to Friday (vegetarian)
  • Participate in the refurbishment of places of social interest (one social housing configuration, a production space, public spaces)
  • Collectively design and build. Participatory processes in social architecture
  • Contribute to the neighbourhood’s cultural life, by opening our doors for some theoretical courses, evening and screenings
  • Development of high quality furnitures and architecture with a small budget and restricted time.
  • Offer the students a new language of skills and techniques, both in community engagement and building strategies.
  • Offer the students a supportive network for their future project and their promotion, opening new professional perspectives.
  • 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.
We’ll suggest cheap hostel situation around the working sites (10-15€/night) to the summer program’s students.


There is no application fee, but places are limited. The earlier you apply the higher the chance to participate in the program. Please check the workshop fee in the next point.
Application requirements:
  • a full online application form
  • a comprehensive CV as PDF/Word/Openoffice document, maximum 2MB
  • if you have one, a portfolio in PDF format (only if you have one, please don’t spend 2 weeks doing a portfolio), maximum 5MB. If you can’t compress it, put a link to a downloadable file in the comment section.
  • Once you get accepted, you’ll be asked to pay a security deposit of 500€ within two weeks to secure your place in the course.
Application deadline 27/05/2018.
Note: your motivation is more important for us than your portfolio. The application is open to anyone over 18 y.o. Please see requirements below.