A Travelling Architecture School

Have you heard of a travelling architecture school? Although it is very old, it is on the verge of acquiring a self-conscience. The school currently has no name, it has no building, no steady campus and no fancy libraries. It is not career oriented or an institution. Some may even consider it as part of a deschooling society.

So what is it and how does it function? The travelling architecture school is always on the move, unseen but not hidden, unheard but not silent. It has no form, it is shapeless. It is hard working and hard thinking. The school encourages easy living and is based on the will to improve, empathetic and a constant collaboration.

You might see the travelling architecture school as a secret transnational agency, with its proper undercover agents, struggling to help younger generation to innovate from the core of architecture’s discipline. Some might say it is more of an ever-changing body of knowledge, constantly feeding from situational environmental discourse. Searching and researching for low energy forms of life, adaptive ways of living, and simultaneously using the wildest intuitions and the most precise scientific methods. Fighting for survival and dignity while training for self-criticism and the ability to see, understand, manage and work with and within nature’s processes. Moving in uncharted territories, from campuses to campsites.


The extensive human body associated with the travelling architecture school is formed by builders who move as agile acrobats, patient and foreseeing trapezists, storytelling tramps and at ease technicians. Most of them don’t know each other. Their natural environment is not a class, a meeting room, a congress hall or the director’s office. The travelling architecture school is often situated in the open field, under a tree, or on a hot as hell desert, in ramshackle barns, hidden orchards, camping sites, carpenter’s workshops, or just the road and the speaking land. These builders walk a lot, travel lightly, and take part in intense debates, with no teachers and no students, just learners who are willing to share their experience while posing new questions.

A few weeks ago, while sitting under a tree by a clean and well-organized construction site, we found a set of documents. They were hand drawn and remnant of a comic. Little maps that the members of the travelling architecture school drew, while debating diverse ways of learning how to make architecture. A cartography not in Vladímir Arséniev’s ways but rather in the guise of Lieutenant J.M.Wordie’s chart of the drift of Shackleton’s endurance.


This travelling population of guest professors, fellows in residence and exiled minds, are planning to gather once a year to share knowledge while setting camp in their temporary scholar residencies. They would build a camp with what is at hand, feeding their communal spirit. Just imagine what could happen when we bring together this knowledge in one place if only for a few hours.


A campsite where everybody could unlearn and relearn, while sharing diverse ways of thinking and making architecture. It is by nature very different from any existing school of architecture.

Think about a moment when everybody tried to share and explain in an honest and clear way, how they understand and make architecture.

Thank you to David Tapias, PhD architect and founder of for sharing his incredible work and thoughts. I would love to hear your opinion on a travelling architecture school in the comment section below.


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