Architects and students from Oxford Brookes worked to the same brief as students from Santiago University Catholica on a series of sites belonging to Santiago Metro. Peter Bishop of UCL was in Chile facilitating and organising the students there, and video conferencing technology enabled the participants to exchange design ideas and suggestions for community and stakeholders’ involvement.
The UK architectural practices taking part have experience of working on similar sites for TFL and Network Rail in London and elsewhere, and were able to share their knowledge of the design issues and political processes.
This is an important component of the RIBA’s plan to become a global membership organisation. The RIBA currently validates many University courses throughout the world but has very little engagement with them. Five of these courses are in Chile and this first charrette will link the students and young architects with the RIBA and also with RIBA chartered practices for the first time. Once these links have been made we can build a global community; exactly as the 1834 Royal Charter envisaged.
There is a similar charrette planned in Hong Kong in the summer and others in the pipeline for Africa, India and the USA. It is hoped to involve the RIBA regions, utilising facilities at RIBA North for example.
Chris Williamson said: "The technology worked and we had an intensive four hour, fantastic, collaborative session, which we all got a lot out of. I can't wait for the next one."
A snapshot of the charrette is available to view here.