The Architecture program is committed with the teaching of a discipline of high social responsibility, which demands a teaching of excellence in the areas that make up the production of architecture and the city.
Since 1997, the Architecture program drew the objectives ratified in the curricular reform of 2009.
The undergraduate program is oriented by skills and seeks to meet the following intentions:
- Guarantee the understanding of architecture as an integral discipline.
- Establishing three propaedeutic stages, clearly characterized in their academic objectives and methods.
- Determine the adequate didactic and methodological instruments for each area and stage of the programme.
- Focus the progression of the curriculum on the direct experience and experimentation with architecture and the city.
- Articulate the liaison of the programme with that of the University.
- Integrate the graduate programme with the structure of investigation and the Master’s Degree.
The curriculum’s core aims imparts the basic understanding of the discipline and the possibility of amplifying or expanding such knowledge. The programme is oriented by skills that are developed through different activities, systems of evaluation and recordkeeping of the academic output and the levels of development suggested for each cycle. These skills define the profile of an Architect form the Universidad de Los Andes.
The training in architecture is structured around three cycles. From these, the first two, the Basic and the Formative, are made up from both compulsory and elective courses which cover the basic knowledge: Studio (Proyecto), understood as the instrument of analysis and construction of habitable space; History, Theory and Criticism(Historia, Teoría y Crítica), which defines the conceptual frameworks or foundations, as well as the specific instruments for the analysis and construction of architectural discourse: City( Ciudad), which establishes the links between habitable space and environment, both built and natural; Technics (Técnica) develops the relationship between the built environment and the physical phenomena with the objective of materializing the architectural project.
The third cycle, known as the Complementary Cycle, allows the deepening and development of the skills developed in the first two cycles by means of courses organized in thematic units.
Basic Cycle (Semester 1 & 2).
In this cycle, the foundations, context and specific tools of architectural practice are put together. Seeing is applied as a general method and the activities contents are horizontally structured. This cycle includes the courses of Composition, City, Technics, History (Composición, Ciudad, Técnica, Historia). These courses evaluate the development of skills with integrating exercises that link the four areas in intensive and horizontal workshops. The courses are of a compulsory, sequential and simultaneous character.
In addition to these mandatory courses, two courses on mediums of representation are imparted. These seek to develop abilities in the means of representation relevant to architecture and offers the possibility of enriching these by allowing students to take courses offered by the Arts, Design or Mechanical Engineering departments.
This cycle includes the fulfilment of University requisites through the enrolment of courses that satisfy the compulsory Spanish Language Requisite (Requisito en Español) and courses offered as part of the Basic University Cycle – CBU or Ciclo Básico Uniandino.
Formative Cycle (Semesters 3, 4 & 5).
In this cycle the epistemological structures needed to comprehend the practice of architecture are built from within the areas of Studio, City, History, Technics (Proyecto, Historia, Ciudad, Técnica). Included, are the methods and ways of seeing related to the project in the contexts of technics and the city, from which instrumental skills are learned applicable in the Studio. The theory courses expand upon the question of the origin of architecture as well as the notion of the classical and the modern in architecture.
The courses have mandatory, but non-sequential and non-simultaneous character. The cycle is complemented by a large offer of CBU courses and elective courses in Sciences.
Complementary Cycle (Semesters 6, 7, 8, 9).
This cycle's contents are organized around the different investigation lines and their integration to the undergraduate degree through the formulation of intermediate subject units that connect the project with theory and analysis while focused from the different visions and proposed themes. The last unit - Advanced Unit - (Unidad Avanzada) evaluates the totality of skills that characterize a graduate student from Architecture.
Among the intermediate units the limits within areas are erased by means of transversal courses centred on investigation subjects such as form, urban project, technique, sustainability, Bogota, renovation and intervention in developed contexts, among others. From this offer of intermediate units, students are able to choose from three to develop during semesters six, seven and eight. During semester nine (The final semester), the Advanced Unit course is taken, during which the skills demanded by the architecture programme verified. In this sense, the Advanced Unit constitutes a form of final evaluation.
The units are complemented by courses of free choosing (electives) from the Architecture programme and form other departments, which can include courses from an undergraduate level or a Masters level.
The University's general formation programme is completed through various requisites and institutional proposals:
- Spanish Requisite: It is compulsory for every student admitted after the first semester of 2011 to pass a course in Spanish course (cannot be validated against the score of the SABER 11 (ICFES) Tests. The requisite must be completed before enrolling in any of the courses of the Formative Cycle. This course equates to three credits and its grade is numerical. To fulfil this requisite he must enrol in one of the following courses: Español; code: LENG-1501, offered by the Languages Department, or Español; code: LITE-1611, offered by the Humanities and Literature Department.
- Type-E Courses: Students admitted to the University after the first semester of 2011, must take two intensive courses in academic writing (labelled E-Courses), that can correspond to Basic University Cycle (CBU) courses, or any other course offered by the university. The E Courses have a strong component in academic writing and argumentative skills and are explicitly incorporated into the production of the course's written assignments, with the aim of bettering the student's writing abilities.
- Sciences Elective Courses: All students belonging to the architecture programme must present a test to evaluate their knowledge in mathematics, in order for the student to identify the adequate level for the choice of two elective courses in sciences. These courses must be passed before furthering into the third level and must be chosen according to the student's particular interests and benefits if he is undertaking the study of other Majors or Minors degrees.
- Foreign Language: The undergraduate programs of the Universidad de los Andes demand a basic level of reading in English (LENG-2999, mid-programme requisite) and the mastery of any second (LENG-3999, graduation requisite). For this end, the university offers a series of zero-credit courses or allows the fulfilment of this requisite through the presentation of international exams that prove the knowledge of such language.
- Basic University Cycle (Ciclo Básico Uniandino - CBU): Students must fulfil the requisites regarding the Basic University Cycle (CBU), an ensemble of courses that constitutes one of the tenets of education at the Universidad de Los Andes. The CBU rises from the idea that a person must have a minimum of academic contact with the basic areas of knowledge such as Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Science and Technology.
- Constitution and Democracy: The course in Constitution and Democracy (Constitucion y Democracia DERE-1300) is mandatory for all graduate students of the Universidad de los Andes. The course is centred on the teaching of Colombian Constitution and passing this course is a necessary requisite for graduation.
- Free-election courses: Two courses of three credits each, which can be chosen from any undergraduate program as long as the students fulfils its enrolment prerequisites.
Students may also enrol in Double Major programmes, minor degrees and student exchanges with national and international universities. For the taking of these decisions, students are able to consult the academic counsellorship headed by the professors of the department.
Research or Concentration Areas
The commitment to investigation is reflected in the work undertaken by the groups leading the research in various areas of the discipline. The Department of Architecture has established six specific lines of investigation that attend academic needs as well as those of the country:
- Line 1: Analysis and ordering directions directions for the region, the city and the project.
- Line 2: Theory of the project given by analysis of form.
- Line 3: History of the city and architecture as a tool for interdisciplinary understanding and interpretation.
- Line 4: Design and innovation and housing policies.
- Line 5: Technical and environmental development of the habitat.
- Line 6: Concepts and methods of the teaching and learning of architecture and the city.
A graduate student from the Universidad de los Andes Architecture programme has the following capacities.
- Integration of knowledge: Confronting an architectural or urban problem through the valuation and integration of physical, social, economic and cultural variables into the human activity (the programme) with the adequate use of techniques.
- Ethical and Aesthetic thinking: Understanding the interdependence between ethics and aesthetics in order to approach any cultural manifestation with a critical understanding.
- Analytical and Purposeful thinking: Identifies and understanding a problematical situation in order to understand and put forward different approaches and alternatives that can give feedback to analysis and proposals.
- Spatial Thinking: Ordering, arranging and measuring the elements that compose space in its different scales in search of optimal conditions of habitability.
- Technical Thinking: Articulating the constructive processes, materials and natural elements to give meaning to architecture and the city from an ethical and environmental perspective.
- Logic and analogous thinking: Establish connections between notions, images and ideas from diverse ambits in order to organize the analysis and project under a strong argument.
- Public/Private Thinking: Understanding the relationships between the private and the public in configuring space, taking into account the systems and models that structure it as well as the society that intervenes it.
- Oral, graphic and written communication: Expressing verbally, graphically or in written form the proposal and analyses with the adequate instruments to communicate ideas in a logical and well-reasoned manner.
- Collaborative work and learning networks: Exchanging knowledge, skills and abilities for the resolution of common problems in diverse contexts, between groups and individuals that identify with the same necessities or problems and organize themselves to articulate their capabilities.