Past Program

Costa Rica: Building Community, Design-Build Studio in Costa Rica


Wintersession Travel Course
  • Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica
Winter 2009

Course Dates: Jan 5, 2009 — Feb 13, 2009

Open to RISD students, Brown University students
Academic Credits
  • Architecture
Course Numbers
  • ARCH W202 06

About this Travel Course

This course travelled to the village of Puerto Viejo, in Costa Rica's Caribbean coast, for a design-build project for the local community. Students experimented with bamboo and other natural materials such as palm leaf and local woods, and had the opportunity to study and understand the benefits of local building traditions (humid tropics) that rely exclusively on a full integration with the natural environment. The studio also benefited from the area's extraordinary biodiversity and natural life that extends into everyday support systems such as natural medicine and sustainable thinking. In Puerto Viejo, students identified project opportunities that would improve everyday conditions and make a difference in people’s lives. The course had a supply of bamboo and the possibility of using other construction materials. There were additional field trips around the area.

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