Learning by doing. Learning of the mistake

Learning by doing is the mantra who guides a way of understanding the education and also the exercise of any profession. In moments of redefinition of so many aspects of our company, the phrase can be interpreted in a way as flexible as let’s be ready to interpret both verbs, what do we learn? And what is to do nowadays?


What the pupil learns already has stopped being identified with what the teacher teaches, the pupil liabilities ‚Äď recipient already is not or it should not be in the educational methodology. The¬†process¬†gains points in a world that¬†it is not necessary to to analyze in statically, individual not unidirectionally, where the work has to leave his aim of final, conclusive result. The processes have been opened from always and the tests, the more or less bold tests have taken part of the project from his origins. On the other hand the learning process is a constant and vital process that concerns the whole professional life. Under these premises I accept Veredes‚Äôs invitation to inaugurate a series of texts/cases where the act of learning has made evolve across the mistake the knowledge in concrete fields or has ended for generating ‚Äúmasterpieces‚ÄĚ, modals on which to rest.


Tacoma Bridge¬†on the river Narrows in The United States, inaugurated on July 1, 1940 If a ranking popularity exists in the failures in the world of the technology, would be necessary to leave a position of honor to Tacoma‚Äôs bridge on the river Narrows in The United States. The gravity of the topic added to the visual documentation that has come to us, they have turned the case into viral motive that invades since then the universities with the structural failure. We travel 1940, the North American company in full exit of the Great Depression was longing the challenges and especially the optimism of the overcoming humanizes. The day of his inauguration the bridge ‚Äď carrousel nicknamed as Gallopin Gertie was occupying the p√≥dium of length of bridges suspended in the third worthy position, with a length of 1600 m and a light of 850 meters between supports. In his design the knowledge of the moment was applied, also the budgetary cuts of always, or maybe a bit more of the habitual thing. The original design belongs to the engineer¬†Clark Eldridge¬†entrusted also to find financing for the execution, and before the inability to reach the quantity estimated (at least evaluating the profitability of the future tolls), a review of the project is requested possessing¬†Leon Moisseiff‚Äės technical assistance who raised a solution capable of reducing the budget of 11 million dollars estimated initially to less than 6, all this possessing the opposition of the technical personnel of the department of roads of the condition of Washington. Despite everything the solution was accepted by the authorities. After the fatal one conclusion1¬†Eldridge accepted his part of guilt and his life ended for twisting when to fall down prisoner of the Japanese army during the World War II. For your part Moisseiff would lose great part of his reputation in the analysis and design of these structures. Nothing knows, nevertheless, of the future of the political authority that it endorsed this decision.


They have written to themselves all kinds of¬†articles, there have been opened groups of recovery of images of the construction, inauguration and collapse, the different videoes have been analyzed including the factor of correction of times due to the formats of recording to try to analyze the frequencies in the deformation, several exist¬†fan sites, enclosed groups in recollection of the only victim ‚ÄúTuddy‚ÄĚ2¬†a Spanish cocker of three legs ‚Ķ Is easy to trace the history, the references afoot of article include interesting links.


I would like to put nevertheless the area in one of the prominent figures interveners, this man that one walks for the structure in movement taking information, and to which we owe part of the images. Maybe the secondary one, a 45-year-old engineer who works for the university of Washington and who will receive the order, once inaugurated the bridge, of putting solution to the excessive movement of the same one.


It is a question of the teacher F.B. ‚ÄúBert‚ÄĚ Farquharson who already was enjoying professional prestige and it directs an equipment that it will realize models of the structure to scale 1:200 and 1:20 introducing the same ones in wind tunnels. Monitored the movements of the structure observe deformations in the model that they were not appreciating in the royal structure. The study generates a series of recommendations directed to improving the aerodynamic behavior of the board, some of the remedies as the installation of suspenders to the soil could join but others remained dependent on application.


The diagnosis and priest of the Gallopin Bridge3 kept him occupied during a few months of life of the structure and before the big deformations produced On November 7 it does not hesitate to approach the place to come out in photographs and to take information of what is happening. The teacher wanted to be present until the end as a doctor who treats his patient sick with birth, it knew about the weakness of the patient who was suffering from an excess of flexibility but was supporting the faith in which the structure was recovering his figure and was working out victorious of it her fights. It suffered directly seeing her to fight against his quakes up to his fatal conclusion.


The video contributes an epic vision to the moment, the car stopped to half a way, the prominent figures trying to save the caught dog and to the time trying to realize a capture of information to support the scientific diagnosis of the happened. The crossed information, the faith in the hypothesis, the mistake, the innovation, the step in false, the reputation… It was not the only bridge in collapsing during those years but undoubtedly it is one of the most famous cases generating hundreds of studies, diagnoses and comments in the matter not exempt from polemic, at present the scientific community still discusses the final reason of the collapse debating between the thin line that separates the resonance and the aerodynamic autoexcitation.


The graphs that the press was reproducing with¬†Farquharson‚Äės recommendations aim at solutions in the aerodynamic behavior of the structure, be afraid nowadays already clearly assimilated in the design of these structures nevertheless of the images of the man in the video and his later declarations offer a lot of information to major, speak about the integrity of a person, about the passion of a professional for solving the order and do not stop affecting so much as the own deformation of the structure. He itself will be the manager of realizing the tests of the new model of bridge, a new attempt on the same brand, in 1950 another bridge will be inaugurated on the river Narrows that still today is kept in service and where the knowledge contributed by the first experience added to the restrictions of steel derived from the War will be fundamental in the definitive design but this it is already another history.





1. The toll of step was of .75 $ for cars and 10 cents for pedestrians, an authentic experience, bridge and roller coaster to the time…


2. Groups of support exist numerous to the dog expired in the collapse. Tuddy was a Cocker Espa√Īol of three legs according to the¬†information.


3. Gallopin Gertier’s nickname comes from a popular song of lounge that can be listened in the following link.



Los Dibujos del Arquitecto Incómodo

El arquitecto inc√≥modo es aquel que no es previsible, es el independiente, el que no se deja influir. He conocido a varios (no muchos), y reconozco que siento una especial atracci√≥n por este perfil de profesionales. Sin mencionar nombres quer√≠a hacer en este art√≠culo un homenaje a un gran maestro que encontr√≥ en el dibujo una estrategia social digna de an√°lisis psicol√≥gico. Se trata de Ricardo Aroca. Para muchos un desconocido pero para los arquitectos, especialmente los de cierta edad una autoridad en el mundo de la docencia y del c√°lculo de estructuras. Profesor, director de la ETSAM, decano del COAM‚Ķ Durante a√Īos ocup√≥ una gran cantidad de cargos que le obligaron a prolongadas reuniones. Reuniones que se alargan en el tiempo y que obligan a escuchas, r√©plicas y contrarr√©plicas, a negociaciones‚Ķ. En ocasiones, especialmente para ciertos esp√≠ritus de acci√≥n, esta parte asamblearia puede generar un estr√©s o frustraci√≥n ante la sensaci√≥n habitual de estar perdiendo el tiempo sobre todo en las reuniones de muchos integrantes. A estas reuniones se presentaba el bueno de Don Ricardo, hablo en pasado porque seg√ļn sus propias palabras ya no acude a tantas, su figura no dejaba indiferente con sus barbas largas y su siempre presente camisa llena de bol√≠grafos en el bolsillo. Reci√©n iniciado el encuentro sacaba sin mediar palabra su cartulina de cart√≥n reciclado y se sumerg√≠a en sus dibujos sin levantar la vista del cart√≥n. Sabiendo que su opini√≥n era generalmente fundamental en la decisi√≥n final, su actitud generaba un estado de tensi√≥n e incomodidad que iba en aumento. Quienes hemos vivido esta situaci√≥n podemos certificar ese estado que de una manera cristalina permit√≠a observar qui√©n estaba en su bando y qui√©n representaba su oposici√≥n, porque Don Ricardo no deja indiferente. Qui√©n m√°s y qui√©n menos lanzaba miradas de reojo m√°s o menos disimuladas tratando de adivinar qu√© era lo que tan absorto parec√≠a tener al dibujante. Lo que Aroca dibujaba eran series de figuras abstractas de car√°cter geom√©trico, donde se combinaban los colores sacados de su bol√≠grafo multicolor chino. Reconduc√≠a la t√≠pica t√©cnica de los dibujos inconscientes que garabateamos mientras hablamos por tel√©fono o hacemos otra actividad en paralelo, series de l√≠neas, c√≠rculos, espirales, con aspecto de cuerpos org√°nicos vistos a trav√©s del microsc√≥pio‚Ķ.

Durante la defensa de mi tesis doctoral Aroca, en calidad de tutor, dibujaba sin parar en su cart√≥n como otras veces ya le hab√≠a visto, para m√≠ ya era algo habitual, y para √©l era la infinit√©sima vez que me escuchaba la misma historia‚Ķ. Cuando termin√© y ante la t√≠pica felicidad de un proceso terminado le ped√≠ que me regalara a modo de recuerdo la obra que a√ļn conservo en mi estudio y es √©sta que se reproduce en el art√≠culo. En la parte posterior apuntaba las reuniones y fecha en que se hab√≠a ido completando la obra, en este caso, se suced√≠an situaciones de lo m√°s dispar, la defensa compart√≠a cart√≥n con una seguramente aburrid√≠sima junta de escuela, una pol√©mica junta de compensaci√≥n, y una atrayente conferencia de Heymann. En los √ļltimos a√Īos hab√≠a dibujado m√°s de 300 de estas cuartillas fruto de m√°s de 7000 horas de reuniones. Recientemente se han podido ver gran parte de ellas simult√°neamente en una exposici√≥n y a m√≠ me ha hecho mucha ilusi√≥n porque m√°s all√° del valor art√≠stico de las mismas, el uso del dibujo como performance de presi√≥n en las reuniones siempre me ha parecido una genialidad propia de un maestro. Tambi√©n entiendo a qui√©n lo considere una falta de respeto pero pensar siempre es pensar contra alguien.

From the Great Kilo to the Castillian Yard

How much does your building weigh? It is the famous question with which Sir Norman Foster remember the clairvoyance of his master Bucky Fuller trying to make people think about the efficiency of architecture. This phrase came to my mind when I read the news about the International Bureau of Weights and Measures that this month has come together to change the definition of Kilo (also of ampere, Kelvin and mole). The scientific community does with these units what in its day they did with the meter, to establish definitions that do not depend on physical models. Because the physical models however stable they are (the Great Kilo guarded by the scientific community is a cylinder of iridium-platinum) at the end, vary their dimensions, either by the ambient conditions or by their repeated use.


Since Babylon, to agree on units of measure has been a bone of contention…Undoubtedly the anthropometric measures have been the basis of the first systems and those units have maintained their validity throughout the history even some of them last, especially in the British Imperial system, with their feet and their inches.


The foot, which comes from its direct identification with the human foot has been widely used by the different civilizations, the Roman foot was equivalent to 29,57 cm in front of the Carolingian foot whose relation is 9/8 of the Roman (33,27 cm). From these measurements their multiples were extrapolated so the decemped or Roman pole equivalent to 10 feet (2,957 m) and its version in area decempeda cuadrata (scripulum) established units for the calculation of areas.


Each civilization established a system more or less accepted as a basis for quantification and from there will stem all kinds of commercial, legal or of course architectural relations. Relations have clearly not been without controversy and measures are not accurate in all territories. The Galician ferrado is its maximum exponent, unit of land area, which varies from region to region with ostensible differences even between neighbors.


I remember conversations with Rosina Gomez Baeza when speaking about architecture and art she quotes Secundino Zuazo ‚Äúcurrent architects have serious scale problems, they should measure in castillian yards‚ÄĚ The Castilian foot, somewhat smaller than the Roman one (27,8635 cm) serves as a basis for the yard (three feet) that equals to 0,835905 meters, that‚Äôs it, something less than one meter, so Zuado pretended that the buildings shrank to adapt to a more appropriate scale.


Science helps us with the pattern but the proportion is still something difficult to control at least through the scientific method…




Architecture for Chilhood

Traditionally presented as a landscape architect, Lady Allen of Hurtwood (1897-1976) stood out in this field so related to aesthetic and perception. However she will be protagonist in a way of making architecture apparently far from that visual and romantic world of the landscape. She was related to action, recycling and waste. In particular, she identified childhood and play spaces as a target to study. Her studies quickly go to practice through her dirty parks, authentic ‚Äúurban laboratories‚ÄĚ, areas where she manage to experiment with topographies, with free play and with the self-construction, all seasoned with a good dose or risk. She provides children with materials, many of them informal, recycled pieces of remnants of constructions or demolitions, her old pictures unloading her private vehicle and taking out drums full of paint, brushes, and tools for children show her energy and conviction. The playgrounds that she executed/projected were authentic adventures, adventures where the participants were main actors who had part in the game but also in the execution, where ditches are excavated, tools are used or set on fire‚Ķ

In a triple somersault attempt and to make history even more difficult, her first prototypes were dedicate to children with reduced mobility, mutilated or people with reduced mobility. Precisely the forgotten, those who were completely away from the playground and any attraction were the protagonists of incredible parks with impossible ramps where children were launched in wooden carts built by themselves. Still far from the models of inclusion that currently are trying to be defended since the point of view of the pedagogy in the recreational and educational spaces, Lady Allen offered these spaces in the London where she had to live.

Her publication Adventure Playgrounds, fruit of her experience replicating more than 500 game ‚Äúlaboratories‚ÄĚ is today a guide full of modernity and completely valid since a pedagogical point of view, the risk remains a fundamental factor in the development of childhood and its management a delicate topic of discussion.

What Lady Allen offers us in her work is not a project, nor a catalogue of game elements, it is rather a guide of good practices, an approach to face the game space in a universal way, an architecture that allows to be educational, funny and liberating.




(Espa√Īol) Ciudad Mutante

Casa de la Moneda. Fisher Pavilion
Segovia 2018

Ayuntamiento de Segovia
IE University of Architeture and Design
COTEC Fundation
Escuela de Arquitectura y Educación (EAE)

Ie University of Architecture and Design Director
David Goodman

Segovia City Council
Claudia de Santos
Eduardo S√°nchez
Vanessa Pérez

Fermín Blanco

Didactic Support
Santiago Atrio
Sistema Lupo

“Load Testing”
Alumnos colegio CEIP Domingo de Soto. Segovia
Profesor Juan Alonso


Info & Pictures

Ciudad Mutante is the new proposal of the Ying Yang project, a didactic and experimental project based on the use of wood as a constructive material. It takes place every year in Segovia under the direction of the architect and educator Fermín G. Blanco in collaboration with IE School of Architecture and Design, the IE University School of Architecture, and the City of Segovia.

A small city, made with pieces of wood in an abstract way, is the original assembly designed by students of Architecture of IE University, with which you can interact and that has been raised in the Fishing Pavilion of the Casa de la Moneda de Segovia .

The students have designed and assembled this installation where the dynamics of the design, the project, the execution and above all the collaborative work are mixed, but in this case a new ingredient has been introduced that makes the experience even more interesting, work with and for childhood.

Ciudad Mutante is “an educational project based on the power of the city as educational material”. In this sixth edition of the Ying Yang project, IE students have explored the structural and constructive possibilities of the city and have created a project aimed especially at young people.

Through an active didactics, the students of Architecture have proposed and built a playful installation designed with potential educator in order to propose a series of abstract structures that will give rise to different topographies generated by the participants themselves, also proposing different spaces where experience the different cities within the same city; the high and low density, the historic city, the widening or the informal city that in this case is represented by a mountain of blocks like Central Park from which children can obtain the necessary material to continue completing their mutant city.

The elementary school students of the CEIP Domingo de Soto will be in charge of doing the first “load test” during the days 17 and 19 of October in the Fishing Pavilion of the Casa de la Moneda.

Apart from this, “Ciudad Mutante” may be contemplated in the segoviana mint until its transfer to Madrid next month, where it will participate in the festival on innovation # Imperdible_03, to be held on 23 and 24 November. This festival, organized by the COTEC Foundation, will celebrate twenty activities that will focus on the great challenges of 21st century cities. A meeting where the main educational innovation projects will be made visible and where architecture will be very present in virtue of the theme that will be the focus of the meeting; cities and innovation.

# Imperdible_03 aims to demonstrate that cities are living and innovative organisms. Its objective is that citizens can fix their attention and feel the transformations of cities, focusing on innovation and how it can contribute to making cities more human.




Elena Ceribelli, Ka Wah Francis Cheung, Mathew Sean Conrad, Gonzalo Coronado Maceda, Jan Danielle D¬īCruz, Tomomi Dambara, Ana Corina de la Fuente Blanco, Anita de Rosa, Hoang Do Xuan, Derin Evcim, Mikhail Frantsuzov, Neha Goel, Ujal Gorchu, Camila Harasic, Aaron Joseph Nicolai Hesse, Abla Kharroubi, Ngai Lam Ellen Lau, Paula L√≥pez Vallespir, Gauravkumar Nawalgaria, Ruchi A Patel, Adri√°n Paz Sanz, Manuela Pel√°ez Hern√°ndez, Norma P√©rez Castilla, Deveshree Sandeep Sawant, Nouhaila Zergane, Claudia Nicole Pitti, Santiago Otero.

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