Costa Rica Workshop ADU_2020

o Started: 8th of September 2013
o Ended: 18th of September 2013
o Location: San José, Costa Rica
Ten lecturers were invited to the workshop:

• William Lievens (K.U. Leuven)
• Adriana Sansão (U. Federal do Rio de Janeiro)
• Macarena Cortés (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
• Juan Carlos Aguilera (U. Nacional de Colombia)
• Ignacio de Teresa (U. Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil)
• Walter Aguilar (U. de San Carlos de Guatemala)
• Diana Ríos (U. de Panamá)
• Carlos Rivera (U. de Sevilla)
• Derek Hill (U. of Strathclyde
• Víctor Sánchez (U. Central de Venezuela)

The workshop´s central idea was to deal with a problematic situation, in this specific case, it was the contradiction between the image that Costa Rica sells internationally and the urban reality of San José. Costa Rica markets itself as a touristic destiny, linked to a tropical and green nature. However, San Jose, the capital of the country doesn´t seem to have such attractions, it works as a connection place for that part of the world.

The workshop intended to approach this problem freely, in which each invited lecturer, together with a local teacher, discussed in what ways this situation could be solved. In this manner, the task was to exercise “Design Thinking” or “Creative Thinking”, approach that intends to analyze each problem in an unprejudiced way and without a given solution. Thus, each teacher had the freedom to make their own diagnosis in order to work with the students.

Eight work groups were organized between the teachers. Generally speaking, two different working approaches were followed. The first one consisted in reflecting what the Costa Rican identity means and how could you take advantage of it in order to create better urban areas in San Jose. In this way, an intensive analysis was carried out based on cultural studies and the inhabitants imaginary.

The second approach considered San Jose´s urban weaknesses directly and, from specific sites or areas, they worked on diverse strategies for the development of the city.

In consequence, 8 different approaches with a common problem were achieved. The processes and results can be seen in the Workshop section of ADU´s web page (