2nd RMB Conference & Workshop: Teaching Through Design
6th - 7th April 2018, Santa Clara a Nova Convent, Coimbra, Portugal
DATE: 6/4/2018
The 2nd RMB Conference and Workshop 2018 was held in Coimbra, within the framework of the Colloquium ‘Teaching through Design´, organized by the Department of Architecture and the Centre for Social Studies of the University of Coimbra, since 2012.

The RMB Conference, and Workshop, is an activity of the European Erasmus Project “Reuse of Modernist Buildings – Design tools for sustainable transformations”, under Hochschule Ostwestfalen-Lippe (Detmold, Germany) coordination, along with the University of Coimbra, the University of Antwerp, the Instituto Superior Técnico Lisboa, the Technical University of Istanbul and Docomomo.

The conference was composed by four sessions – tools, methods, interdisciplinary, research– focusing on the fundaments and on the advanced issues of the design process related to the Reuse of Modernist Buildings (RMB).

“Architecture education is facing new challenges due to crises of the globalization and climate change, that has strong impacts on the role of the architect today. The profession is changing and therefore different ways of training architects are demanded. This question is especially relevant for the renovation of those urban areas where modernist buildings from the second part of the 20th century are waiting for strategic interventions – to be repaired, to be renewed, to be reconstructed or to be demolished.
The architect needs new tools because just drawing is not enough anymore to understand neither the building nor the people who live there. The methodologies are more complex because they have to integrate not only the technical and spatial dimension but also the social one. This inclusive approach demands not only for new tools but also needs the dialogue with other disciplines, promoting an effective interdisciplinarity. Considering these topics, the architecture classroom is becoming more lab than a workshop, where new tools and methods are researched and explored, developing hypotheses that are tested in the design studios.” In RMB website

For the Workshop a total of 40 Master students was selected, eight from each university, forming five different working groups. Each group was constituted by students from the five partner universities of RMB project and tutors, in order to support the team work. The topic was “Reuse of Modernist Buildings: Coimbra Modern City today – from functional buildings to community spaces” and each group focused on the following themes:

- Triunfo Factory (Pedrulha) – facilities for Ano Zero Art Bienal 2018
- SAAL Neighbourhood (Pedrulha) – community areas for SAAL Relvinha
- SOLUM Neighbourhood (Calhabé) – “Fourth” Tower, design the missing link
- Bairro Norton de Matos Neighbourhood (Calhabé) – Community School
- Fernão Magalhães Neighbourhood – Urban Block (housing, commercial)

More details: website