Course Description

40 508 SCS: Public Events Space: Ecuador 428, Valparaiso


Students who register for this course MUST ALSO ENROLL IN THE ELECTIVE COURSE “Architecture: Where from?”, because the schedule for the studio and this course are synchronized to allow for the 5 weeks the studio will spend away from Oslo.

Exceptions are made for students who are doing their diploma program or who would like to take a self-programmed (selvprogrammering) elective course.

Maximum number of students 12

We do not encourage students to take SCS studios for more than one semester

Course content

The focus of The Scarcity and Creativity Studio is to design and build a Public Events Space in Ecuador 428, Valparaiso, Chile. For more information see

Sitio Eriazo, our client, is a collective whose aim is to recover empty, abandoned, urban spaces in the city of Valparaiso, Chile, which are currently used as rubbish dumps and attract vermin and delinquents. The members of the group are recent graduates from theater, art and architecture schools. The activities of the group rely on self-motivation, mutual support and a non-hierarchical organisation; they work to recover and make available to the community the urban patrimony of the city of Valparaiso which was declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2003.

“The colonial city of Valparaíso presents an excellent example of late 19th-century urban and architectural development in Latin America. In its natural amphitheatre-like setting, the city is characterized by a vernacular urban fabric adapted to the hillsides that are dotted with a great variety of church spires. It contrasts with the geometrical layout utilized in the plain. The city has well preserved its interesting early industrial infrastructures, such as the numerous ‘elevators’ on the steep hillsides.” (

Sitio Eriazo begins its activities in 2012 by recovering an abandoned urban site in Escalera Becker, a site which was converted into a space for the diffusion of arts & crafts and which facilitates activities such as urban agriculture, theater, carpentry, and other self-sustaining undertakings. In 2014 Sitio Eriazo obtains legal status as an organization and move to an empty site in Ecuador 428 which it is currently developing.

Sitio Eriazo recycles the wastes produced by society in order to generate tools of resistance, transformed into architecture, theatre, music, circus, painting, crafts and orchards, to help us build alternative modes of working and learning which will alter our relationship with the environment.

The objectives of Sitio Eriazo can be summed up as follows:
• To recover Valparaiso’s heritage and make it available to the community.
• To promote arts and crafts as tools for work and learning.
• Generate meeting and reflection spaces for the neighborhood.
• To promote art and culture activities through open workshops.
• Develop self-sustaining construction techniques through recycling.
• Develop self-awareness of the local identity of places together within the community.

The project:

Sitio Eriazo has invited the Scarcity and Creativity Studio to help it to consolidate its activities in the Ecuador 428 site.
At the moment Sitio Eriazo has cleared the site of all rubbish, has secured it by building provisional closures in its four points of access from the street, and has built provisional facilities to enable it to carry out its activities.
The activities which Sitio Eriazo plans for the site are:
A flexible events space, to accommodate theater, circus, and music performances. At present up to 100 people have attended Sitio Eriazo’s performances.
A café, to prepare and serve food to those attending the organised events. The events which Sitio Eriazo organizes are free, but they do charge for food. At present they have built an adobe pizza oven and BBQ grill which they use for all the cooking.
Two workshop spaces, which will be the places where arts and crafts are taught and where the community can come to realize their projects.
Toilets for those attending the events.
A vegetable garden, where Sitio Eriazo can plant vegetables and herbs to be used in the kitchen.

The current state of the Ecuador 428 initiative:
• Sitio Eriazo are currently negotiating with the owner of the site and are near signing a lease which would allow them to use the site for five years rent free.
• Sitio Eriazo have secured water supply into the site and are negotiating an electricity supply. The old sewer seems to be working and currently has one toilet connected to it.
• The neighbors in the vicinity of Ecuador 428 are delighted that Sitio Eriazo has cleaned the site and rid it of the illegal activities, such as drugs and rough sleepers, for which it was previously used.
• The Municipality of Valparaiso gives moral support to the activities of Sitio Eriazo but due to the fact that Ecuador 428 is private property they cannot get involved in the project.

Sitio Eriazo is currently building facilities which make their activities possible. As they lack the funds to buy building materials they mostly rely on recycling what they can scavenge. When The Scarcity and Creativity Studio (SCS) develop a proposal for the site some of the facilities in place may remain while others will be taken down to be replaced by those designed by SCS. This will be the subject of a discussion and agreement between Sitio Eriazo and SCS shortly before the building work begins.

While SCS tries to make sure that the proposed studio subject will be available as a design/build task, the fact that this is a real project, thus dependent on factors beyond our control, means that our client could pull out of the project. In such a case SCS will endeavor to replace the project with another one which gives the studio a comparable experience.


As part of the studio you will spend 4 or 5 weeks in Valparaiso, Chile.
If you are a Norwegian student the Lønekasse will give you a grant which in the past has covered the flights and accommodation. If you are an exchange student you will have to pay for the costs of travel and subsistence in Chile from your own funds.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge, skills and competences:
On completing the course, the student:

• know about, and develop skills and competences about building design of a public urban space for a diversity of events and performances.
• know about, and develop skills and competences about detailing and specifications of a public urban space
• know about, and develop skills and competences about building regulations regarding a public urban space
• know about, and develop skills and competences about building costs and budget management during construction
• know about, and develop skills and competences about the design and build of a public urban space.
• will have acquired the skill of using manual tools for building
• will have acquired the skill of using mechanical tools for building
• know about, and develop skills and competences about designing and building in conditions of scarcity and specific climatic conditions.

Working and learning activities

Working and learning activities:
The development of the work during the semester will follow a pre-determined path which has been thought out in order to provide the pace and logistics which the studio needs to follow if it is to fulfill its aims.

We will work as if we were one architectural studio fulfilling a commission, some of the work will be individual, mostly architectural design, but most of the work will be done in groups. Everyone is expected to contribute to this joint effort performing those tasks which are for the benefit of the whole studio. Except for the start of the semester the studio will focus on joint production rather than individual expression. In the end the chosen project which is built will be the product of all of the members of the studio, regardless of the individual roles each may have played. This set-up very much reflects the way in which contemporary architecture is produced.

Step one: Each student will develop individual proposals for the project.
Review one: review of the individual projects and choice of projects which continue. Individual contributions must meet minimum design development standards that one would expect for an AHO graduate student.
Step two: Students will form teams of two or three. The composition of the teams will be based on similar/compatible/complementary characteristics of the individual projects delivered in Step One. Each of these teams will develop one joint design initiated by others, which will bring together characteristics of the individual designs.
Review 2: Review of the team projects and choice of projects which continue.
Step three: The Studio will choose one project to build for which it will develop a complete set of architectural drawings, a detailed list of all materials required for the construction, assembly instructions, and costs.
Review 3: Review of the mock-ups, lists of materials, cutting schedules, assemblies, and construction phasing with a view to discussing construction difficulties which may arise during the construction period.
Step Four: Construction, period of four or five weeks.
Step Five: Preparing the work for the AHO WORKS exhibition.
Final Review: Final examination/review to assess the work of the semester will occur during the last week of the semester. The exact date will be determined further on, but please do not plan to leave Oslo prior to the end of the semester.

Teaching methods:

The studio will be based mainly on one-to-one and group discussion of student work supplemented by discussions, demonstrations, and lectures.
Students who join this studio will have to also enroll in the Architecture: Where from? Course because its contents and scheduling are linked to the studio program development.
It is a requirement of the course that students spend the time needed to construct the building in Valparaiso. Although it is difficult at this stage to determine the length of the period of construction our estimation is four to five weeks. During this time students will have to pay for their own food and accommodation. Students must also pay for all travel to and from the site and take out insurance that covers them while traveling and during the construction period.


The assessment will be on the basis of submissions, performance and participation in the studio.
Students will be asked for specific submissions during the semester. These submissions are part of the development of the project for a Public Events Space. As much of the work is done in groups, participation is of the utmost importance.
The final assessment will be made by the sensor and will be based on:
1. The individual submission for stage one of the project.
2. The level of participation and contribution to the collective work.
3. The assessment of the work achieved by the studio as a whole.
The minimum attendance to the studio activities is 80% of organised events.
The final decision as to the performance of each student will be taken by the external examiner (sensor) on the basis of both group performance, the report on individual participation done by the teachers, and a portfolio showing the extent of individual and collective contributions to the studio. The assessment of participation and contribution of each student to the studio will count for 60% of the final mark while the submission of the group and individual work will count for 40%.


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Professor in charge

Christian Hermansen