It’s not easy to study Architecture and at the same time do other activities. A lot of hours working in the School, where we share classes, projects, sorrows and joys. But when you are going to be in the same place for such a long time, you can’t have only this kind of experiences but you must try to leave a part of you there, something to make the School better than when you arrived three, four or five years ago.
The path I chosen in order to contribute to the School of Architecture of Alcalá was Alcalá Students Assotiation. For me the best description for the Association is the word team. When people coming from different courses and years gather to work daily for the School, to defend students rights and to organize activities for all the students in a altruistic way, a team is generated. And this team is translated to the other students in the school, acting as his engine. When this engine is running big things can happen, and I have no doubt that the most important is Alcalá Architectural Week. An event organized by students for students, in which the whole community helps in order to get a successful result. For five days, theoretical classes are changed by other kind of activities, which allow people to live architecture directly and from different points of view.
This week makes us able to research and to learn new ways to understand architecture, different from the traditional ones, and claim for new study plans. With this idea Alcalá Architectural Week arises in 2009, through Alcalá Students Association. What in the first edition were just some lectures has been changing into a think tank with students collaboration in which lectures have been combined with workshops, related with both architectural and social topics. Last edition, the fifth one, took part last March. During five days, students, and everyone who wanted to come by,could enjoy street art workshops, cinema, wood construction or lighting, and learn from the experience of other architects such like Alberto Campo Baeza, Emilio Tuñón o María Langarita.
In addition, we tried to bring architecture to the city. During the week some students went to schools all around Alcalá to just architecture to children and generated urban furniture which could be shown in public space, looking for the most social face of architecture. This brings life to the School. The whole building smells of wood,varnish and paint. When you enter in the School you start hearing the students drills and saws working with wood with their own hands. Every room or corridor could be converted into a film set for the cinema workshop.
But the most important thing is partnership. Every student in the school, it doesn’t mind the courses they are studying, work together to develop a project,a idea which is part of everyone. A feeling of belonging is created in the School, and it’s renovated each year during this week.
Behind all of this there is a very hard work done by students of the Association, which while studying and doing their normal life, they work for thw association without any economic compensation. Everything is done in order to improve the school situation, try to make it grow day to day. It doesn’t matter if the change is minimal, what is really important is trying to do it, try to leave things better than we found them. Just for us to look at the past and feel proud of what we did and of the people we worked with. Because the greatest reward is a honest gratitude coming from a colleague, this is the highest goal we can achieve, the illusion for a simple “thank you”.
Diego Martín de Torres