Almudena de Benito · Education | Chiquitectos

Almudena de Benito | Photography: Luis Díaz Díaz

Chiquitectos is Almudena de Benito’s project, which decided to materialize this idea assembling this way his interest for the architecture and for the education. The project was born due to the existing need to educate the children and young women in an area of great importance, which is not in the habit of forming a part of the programs of the educational Spanish centers, the knowledge and the implication with that one that surrounds us: the constructed environment and the environment.

Chiquitectos possesses a multidisciplinary equipment, not only architects, but also other collaborators from the world of the design and of the arts. In addition, they possess the support of a psicopedagogía for the production of programs and activities.

Almudena Bustos collaborates with Chiquitectos, Ana Alonso, Paul Albaladejo, Marina Cariño, Javier Cuervo, Cristina García and Marta de las Heras

Which has been your formation and professional path before Chiquitectos?

I studied architecture in the ETSAM and now I am writing the doctoral thesis.

Did you appear in some moment, present, past or future, to look for work abroad?

Certainly, I believe that to work or to study abroad is one of the best experiences that one can have in the life, they are very transformadoras .. or at least for they my it have been…

I was of Erasmus in Venice and then, once finished the career I me went when Leonardo worked to Vienna with a scholarship, where I collaborated in three very different studies. It was very wealth-producing, so much at the personal level as professional. One sees and experiences other manners of doing architecture. Undoubtedly it would repeat or prove other countries.

What did you lead to starting this project?

There were joined a series of personal and professional circumstances. After losing my pregnant work, a year I wanted to take again the activity as arquitecta – as and since it was going doing since he was studying in the school – and it had just exploited the real-estate bubble … we were in the beginning of the crisis … a moment very complicated for the architects that, for a long time, we have constructed to the margin of the company, of his needs and his desires. Chiquitectos is born at the time as critical to an established system and with the intention of implying the children with the world that they makes a detour and waking his interest up for the constructed environment and the sustainable development.

Did you meet many difficulties in his putting in march?

The difficulties as the effort are relative things, which some can consider to be big, others include it as part of the process … I imagine that we all have same, provoked for the present time economically in that we are: the lack of investment, of helps .. in our case the cuts in the area of the education … etc and many, many reversed working hours that for fortune, begin to give his fruits a time later. It is necessary to be a patient and not give up before the reality, though it is not so clear as we would like it.

Are you satisfied with the reached aims?

The truth is that at the moment if. Very grateful and growing little by little. I believe that the key is in not having a few too high expectations but not for it stop strengthening and take illusion as your project.

Do you believe that the architects in Spain we should continue opening new routes of work to go out of the “most “traditional” cabin of projecting given the current situation of the construction in our country?

Certainly. I think that it is something that already is happening. Numerous groups exist doing ” other architectures ” a social fundamental work, of recovery of the public space, of empoderamiento of the citizen … of education across the architecture in other values … the architecture as we knew her till now it has come to his end. Option does not stay any more that to explore this panorama that we have ahead, the company sues other things us and to must listen to her.

What do you think of those that they have been going to work abroad?

Many friends, us alone architects, have left, to Berlin, to Montreal, some of them are living in Dubai, Qatar, China, Chile, Brazil … for all sides … up to in Indonesia!. I believe that they do well. Of not having thrown chiquitectos, also I had left …

Almudena de Benito · Education | Chiquitectos

July 2013

Interview realized by Ana Barreiro Blanco and Alberto Alonso Oro. Be grateful for Almudena his time and predisposition with this small space.

Alberto Alonso Oro

Arquitecto y editor en veredes, arquitectura y divulgación. Invernalia es un buen lugar. A veces escribo en Fundacion Arquia.

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