Past Program

Costa Rica: Design/Build Travel Studio

The Rhode Island School of Design has been engaged, since 2007, in collaborative studios with EHAVC University, the world’s foremost school of sustainable agriculture. The Wintersession 2013 studio was the culmination of a year of research and design study on the development of a prototype classroom – off the grid, hi-tech/low-tech – for rural schools in the dry tropical region of Costa Rica.

At-A-Glance

What
Wintersession Travel Course
Where
  • San José, Costa Rica
When
Winter 2013

Course Dates: Jan 7, 2013 — Feb 8, 2013

Who
Open to RISD students, Brown University students
Faculty
Academic Credits
6
Department
  • Landscape Architecture
Course Numbers
  • LDAR-W202
Cost
$2760

Includes accommodation, field trips, local transportation, all meals, museum entrances, health and travel insurance.

Full Course Description

The Rhode Island School of Design has been engaged, since 2007, in collaborative studios with EHAVC University, the world’s foremost school of sustainable agriculture. The Wintersession 2013 studio was the culmination of a year of research and design study on the development of a prototype classroom – off the grid, hi-tech/low-tech – for rural schools in the dry tropical region of Costa Rica. In the field the students, along with EHAVC University, finalized a selected design from this Fall’s RISD Innovation Studio. They built the classroom and its landscape at the La Flor Campus of EHAVC University.


Goal - Students designed and built a classroom prototype that exhibited sustainable building practices in the dry tropics.

Design Principles - Students used affordable materials and labor for construction and developed methods for utilizing local resources and building practices. Students implemented replicable and understandable construction technology and employed energy efficient and environmentally responsible strategies for locating the building on the site and for controlling the interior environment. Ultimately, the classroom, with its inside/outside learning environments, demonstrated how integrating curriculum, teaching, energy and hi-tech systems, landscape and space contributed to a transformative learning experience.

Outline Schedule:

  • ½ week gathering in Providence, travel to Costa Rica
  • 4+ weeks working on the Design/Build Project with weekend
  • excursions investigating sustainability in the dry tropics
  • ½ week return to Providence, summary presentation
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