International Design Workshop



Information for the International Design Workshop

Santiago, Chile – University Mayor

August 9-17, 2012

Susan Conger-Austin – Professor –


If you are interested in attending an international design workshop to be held at the University Mayor in Santiago, Chile, from August 9-17, 2012, here is the tentative information:

The main objective of the workshop is to create an experience of international teamwork and development based around a particular architectonic theme. The goal will be to generate interesting and relevant proposals influenced by unique perspectives and experiences. In the past 2 workshops, the students worked on:

  • A master plan to provide housing and civic amenities to one of the coastal towns devastated by the earthquake and tsunami of 2010.
  • Analyzing and developing strategies on how to integrate the Mapocho River  – which runs through most of Santiago – into urban public spaces to be used by all.

I will be the IIT faculty member participating with the following schools (one faculty member and up to 5 students from each university):


  • Universidad de Palermo; Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Universidad de Chile; Santiago, Chile
  • Universidad la Republica; Montevideo, Uruguay
  • ETSAB; Barcelona, Spain
  • IIT; Chicago, USA
  • Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia, Italy
  • Escola de Ciudade, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Universidad Iberoamericana, Mexico City
  • Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá, Colombia
  • Pontificia Universidad Católica, Santiago, Chile


There is no requirement to speak Spanish but the workshop will be held in Spanish and English. All the students want to practice English – as do many of the Professors, but it is advisable to have some knowledge of the language –

I will send a one page description of the workshop once it has been sent to me. (mid May is what the University has stated)

The cost of the workshop is the following:

  • Students must pay for their transportation down to Santiago (cost is approximately $1100-1900)
  • There is a $100 visa charge at the airport when entering Chile
  • Room is approximately $25/night, – last year a new and nicely furnished apartment hotel within walking distance to the university was provided for the students – up to 2 people lived together, and all the university students lived within the same complex.
  • Meals – lunch is provided for the students at the university each day – cost of meals is similar to Chicago – there is a wide range of options – from fast food to sit down at nice restaurants
  • There is no charge to attend the workshop – that is provided as well.

If you are interested in attending please contact me as soon as possible at – if you have any questions/concerns.  After the group is formed, we will meet to discuss the expectations of the workshop.

Susan Conger-Austin

closing remarks….

I wanted to pass along to everyone that last Friday during the End of Year Show, Dean Robertson approached me to say that the work on display was as good as the best she could remember from Third Year.  It was a nice complement that she didn’t need to pay us, and I think it speaks to the success we’ve had as a community this past year.

The work on display last Friday was indeed impressive.   The studio downstairs was bustling all night and we took great satisfaction in upper level students and professors asking questions about and commenting on the quality of the drawings.   Thank you for all the hard work and congratulations on your success.

Also –  A very appreciative and huge ‘thank you’ to those of you who extended portions of your day last Thursday and Friday to assist with the set-up.   We absolutely could not set up as comprehensive a display without your significant contributions.

Any models not selected for inclusion are still in the West Studio and they can and should be removed immediately.  The models in the East Studio can be left in place until after graduation at which point they all need to be removed.  All models still on the tables on May 16th will be discarded as the building is cleared.  If you would still like your model, but are not in town to collect it, please let me know by email, and I will set it aside for you.  Please do not remove the drawings.  We will do so and save them, as most of them were pulled from our portfolios of your work.

It’s been a really enjoyable year for all of us, and again, we thank you for your efforts.  The conversations we had this year, and the depths that many of you were able to take your designs to in this second semester were exceptional.  It was great fun.  Have a safe and enjoyable summer. Enjoy the break from school, but don’t let your brain take the summer off with regards to your education.  This profession doesn’t allow it, and you should begin to train yourself to that reality.  You are constantly surrounded by environments that you can and should be learning from, and you are now able to do that on your own.  Be critical.  Be smart.  Don’t pass up an opportunity for your thinking or your work to improve.   Make a list of quality regional buildings you haven’t seen and go see some of them this summer.  In fact, there is already one opportunity to travel to Chile that I’ll make a separate blog post about.

Or maybe just write that blog post that you still owe us…. :)

We look forward to seeing you in the halls come August.  Don’t be strangers.