Director: Josep Muntañola Thornberg
The Department of Architectural Design organises the academic activities of a group of 140 teaching staff and 6 administrative staff. Of the teaching staff, 40% are full-time (including 32 PhDs focusing on research) and the other 60% are active professionals whose experience helps keep our educational programmes on the cutting edge.
The Department of Architectural Design is responsible for teaching students to complete architectural projects, as required by the various syllabuses of UPC’s two architecture schools: the School of Architecture of Barcelona (ETSAB) and the School of Architecture of the Vallès (ETSAV). Because these two schools have different educational and methodological structures, the Department is divided into two sections, with offices at each school.
In the first years of a degree programme, the Department’s teaching of the architectural design process stresses the need for synthesis in addressing multidisciplinary problems. In later years, instructors gradually introduce greater complexity, analyse new topics and require greater technical competence.
In the second cycle, we offer the Master in Theory and Practice of Architectural Design. This programme is divided into four specialisations, each corresponding to the focus of one of the Department’s research groups.
In the third cycle, we offer a doctorate programme featuring the participation of all of the Department’s teaching staff who hold PhDs.
The Department currently has three UPC-recognised research groups. Two of these are recognised as ‘Consolidated Research Groups’ by the Catalan Government’s Agency for Administration of University and Research Grants (AGAUR) and, as such, are authorised to conduct research that bridges the knowledge gap between universities and civil society.
The teaching staff who work in these three groups publish the results of their research in specialised journals. They apply the knowledge they acquire through research by working as consultants on technical and artistic matters, the restoration of architectural heritage, and the socio-cultural impact of architecture, as well as by publishing reports on regulations, design guidelines, etc. They also work on specific projects (in the fields of architecture, recovery/restoration of the natural and historical urban landscapes, urban design, interior design, and furniture design) under cooperation agreements and contracts signed with different national and international organisations (UNESCO, the European Community, government ministries, city and regional councils, professional associations, foundations, communities, associations, individuals and companies).
The Department is heavily involved in continuing education through its various unofficial postgraduate and master’s programmes managed by the Technical Foundation of Catalonia. It participates in local and international conferences in order to publicise its educational methods and research activities.
The Department hosts cultural events such as lecture series, exhibitions, seminars and round tables, and it helps organise similar events hosted by other schools or institutions. It also publishes the journals DPA and Arquitectònics, as well as a book series by the Modern Form research group.