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Social Construction: A Glimpse into the Future

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Worker housing is the paradigm that illustrates the discourse of architecture and urbanism since the beginning of Modernity. With the aim of conducting a disciplinary analysis of its evolution, the Department of Architecture and Design and the Institute of History Studies held the first International 'Colonies and Worker Housing (18th-21st Centuries)’ Congress within the framework of the Cátedra Interuniversitaria CEU Silvestre Segarra Aragó de Historia de la Empresa.

The Congress was a journey from its origins to the present day, with a focus on the social construction of the territory, a transversal approach and a multidisciplinary contextualisation. It was also a projection towards the future and an examination of the challenges and possibilities presented by existing worker neighbourhoods and colonies, as well as the new dynamics and transformations of worker housing.

Over two days, various presentations were organised along three main axes: models and typologies throughout history, their transversal perspective, and the regeneration and future of worker neighbourhoods. They addressed the appearance and evolution in their historical context, and the development and comparison of architectural techniques and models, such as urban intervention strategies in the city or in the territory. They explained perspectives from the social construction of the territory to anthropological readings and contextual interpretations from sociology, economics, demography, or geography. They also presented future visions of worker housing and various challenges: socio-economic challenges in changing demographic environments on the outskirts of cities, technical challenges regarding the need for energy and construction rehabilitations, and urban challenges in contexts of urban transformation.

The University Rector, Rosa Visiedo, inaugurated the Congress together with the Porcelanosa advisor and promoter of the CEU Silvestre Segarra Aragó de Historia de la Empresa, Silvestre Segarra, the Director of the Institute of Technology, Santiago de Molina. The event featured experts such as professors Carlos Sambricio and Luis Moya, as well as architect Judith Ryser, a professor at University College London.

Palabras clave Architecture Colonies Worker housing Social construction Segarra