• 03 July / 09 July 2016
  • Santander, Spain
Workshop Email

Society teaches us how to use a product, education instructs us on how to design it, and our imagination pushes us to innovate, but who teaches us how to manufacture? What does making involve in the twenty-first century? What is the meaning of craftsmanship in the Digital Age?

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The Architectural Model as a Key Part of the Design Process

Far from being overshadowed by the digital era, physical models reclaim, today more than ever, their place as a key element during the architectural process: from urban to interior design, public consultations and exhibitions, and even for interaction with the visually impaired. Utilised throughout all the phases of the design, from the early stages to final 1:1 scale mock-ups, physical models help us to visualise ideas, explain concepts, foresee problems and investigate solutions. Understood as an element on the borderline between craftsmanship and digital production, architectural models combine art and technical skills, reaching a result which is not a mere reproduction of the idea, but a unique creation itself. This workshop is an introduction to the world of Model Making, embracing its different applications, scales, materials and techniques, while encouraging the research and discovery of new ways of making and representing the architectural model through a combination of fine arts and digital production.

Craftsmanship of the Digital ObjectSummer Workshop_Model Making In the Digital Age_MMDA-16 (1)

The impact of an information society, presumably dehumanised, makes us reconsider the role of craftsmanship as a human action. To what extent can the process of making help us confront the lack of identity and increasing dehumanisation of modern production? In the Digital Era, the everyday object is masked behind a technological veil, which places the product in a world foreign to our own, transforming the object into a standardised catalogue option to be used and discarded without us being part of the making process. To preserve the essence of objects, it seems necessary to understand the process behind them. It is learning from this process, and not the end result, which provides us with the necessary tools to comprehend the “why” and “how” of production techniques, allowing us to choose, recreate and improve the learnt method in our future practice.

Workshop Method

The course is taught across a series of short exercises combining theory and practice, through which students are challenged to solve a given brief by means of making. Varying in scale and duration, the exercises will be conducted through direct experimentation and manufacturing, and will include techniques such as embossing, etching, carving, moulding, and casting, making the students aware of the production time and process.

Workshop Objectives
  1. Investigating different techniques, tools and materials to produce architectural models, mock-ups and prototypes.
  2. Connecting the creation methods of architecture and art with digital design and automated production.
  3. Exploring the border between architecture, fine arts and product design, while encouraging work in the overlapping areas.
  4. Enabling a sensorial experience through direct contact with materials, tools and handling.
  5. Encouraging the exchange of ideas and experiences between students from different backgrounds, in an open-minded research environment.
Facilities and Equipment

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The Workshop is separated into three different areas: the working space, where all the handling equipment is located; the research area, with access to computers, Wi-Fi and the library; and the resting area, with sleeping and cooking facilities. In addition, certain activities take place in the garden surrounding the Workshop.

Throughout the course, the equipment and materials are always available to participants. Use of machinery is subject to previous induction, and health and safety measures are fundamental to the use of the Workshop.

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The Workshop facilities include:

  • Carpentry and wood workshop
  • Ceramic, clay and plaster workshop
  • Slip casting workshop
  • Metal melting and casting workshop
  • Mould-making and resin-casting workshop
  • Photography and cyanotype workshop
  • Engraving and press printing workshop
  • Glass workshop
  • Vacuum-forming workshop
  • Laser cutting studio
  • 3d printing studio


The Workshop takes advantage of its unique location at the centre of Dunas de Liencres Natural Park, the largest protected natural area on the north coast of Spain. A mix of green and blue landscapes, it has five different beaches located within 10 minutes’ walking distance of the Workshop: Somocuevas, Valdearenas, Canallave, La Arnía and El Madero. The River Pas estuary, the Liencres Pine Tree forest, the Quebrada Coast area and the Picota Hill area are also located within the Natural Park, all within walking distance. In the evenings, different activities and trips provide the opportunity to discover this special location.

In parallel, part of the Workshop exercises take part in the surrounding areas, using materials collected from the forest and beaches and through direct interaction with the landscape.



About the Workshop

Atelier La Juntana, in collaboration with IEREK, the Architecture Official College of Cantabria and the Polytechnic University of Madrid, are organising the second edition of the summer workshop ‘Model Making in the Digital Age’ for architects (both students and professionals) willing to investigate and discover different techniques and materials, while developing an architectural model. The workshop will particularly observe the relationship between traditional craft and digital design.

Led by architects Armor and Nertos Gutiérrez Rivas, along with interdisciplinary artist Daniel Gutiérrez Adán, the next workshop will take place at Atelier La Juntana, located in Santander, from 11th to 17th July 2016. Both beginners with little prior experience and those with specific professional interests are invited to participate.

The workshop is a full-time course, starting at 09.30am and finishing at 5.30pm each day, with a total of 56 learning hours. Each participant will have his or her own working space; access to Wi-Fi and the library, printer and plotter; a resting area in the garden; and access to a small kitchen. Accommodation (bed and breakfast) in the surroundings of the workshop can also be provided upon request.

The course is recognised by the Polytechnic Architecture University of Madrid as part of the University Programme, and students are granted 2 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) upon completion.

Workshop Program
  1. Day 01: Sunday 03rd July, 2016

    09.30: Welcome and Workshop Induction / Techniques and Materials / Lecture “ALJ works and practice”

    13.30: International Shared Lunch

    15.00: Wood Workshop / Silicon Moulds / Casting Polyester Resin | samples

    18.00: Discovering workshop surroundings

  2. Day 02: Monday 04th July, 2016

    09.30: Ceramic and Glass | moulds / Slip Casting

    13.30: Lunch

    15.00: Ceramic and Glass | oven

    18.00: Free time

  3. Day 03: Tuesday 05th July, 2016

    Photo Etching and Cyanotype

    13.30: Lunch

    15.00: Soft Ground Engraving / Press printing in paper

    18.00: Free time

  4. Day 04: Wednesday 06th July, 2016

    09.30: Embossing and Tactile Paper / Plastic Thermoforming

    13.30: Lunch

    15.00: Individual work | tutorials

    17.00: Sand houses, Liencres beach

  5. Day 05: Thursday 07th July, 2016

    09.30: Unmoulding and resin casting

    13.30: Lunch

    15.00: Aluminum and Glass Casting | idea / Individual work | tutorials

    18.00: Guided trip Santander City Center

  6. Day 06: Friday 08th July, 2016

    09.30: Aluminum and Glass Casting | Moulding / Individual work | tutorials

    13.30: Lunch

    15.00: Aluminum and Glass Casting | Melting / Individual work | tutorials

    18.00: Open house evening and barbecue

  7. Day 07: Saturday 09th July, 2016

    09.30: Ceramic Firing / Ceramic Glazing

    13.30: Lunch

    15.00: Precast Concrete Elements / Lecture “ModelMaking in the Digital Age”

    17.00: Exhibition and final event.

Bibliography and References

Bilbliography & recommended reading

Sennet, Richard.
The Craftsman – London: Penguin Group, 2008.

Dunn, Nick.
Architectural Modelmaking – London: Laurence King, 2010.

Universidad de Salamanca – Campus de Excelencia Internacional –
Massachussets Institute of Techonology (MIT) – Open Course Ware.

Arts Council England – Barbican Centre – Walead Besthy Studio
Walead Besthy Studio Exhibition, The Curve, Barbican Centre

Fundación Helga de Alvear, Publicaciones.


Studio Chad Wright


Tectónica online library


Arquitectura Viva – Mass is More – Thermal Inercia and Sustainability. No 168 11/2014

Ignacio Paricio, La obsesión por la tersura

Punta della Dogana

Materia Prima Exhibition, Punta della Dogana, Venice 2014.

Holly Morrison – VCU Center for Teaching Excellence – Small Grant Program


Summer School Fees

The total cost of the workshop is €600 (euros), which covers:

  • 56 learning hours of the workshop. The Polytechnic Architecture University of Madrid as part of the University Programme, will grant 2 ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) upon completion of the 56 learning hours.
  • All practical materials, tools and machinery required.
  • An instructional publication.
  • Final Exhibition at Architecture Official College of Cantabria.
  • Pick up service from and to the main station in Liencres.
  • Mid-workshop barbecue.
  • Insurance for all the students.
  • Visa Letter to the Spanish Embassy in your Country

For an additional 250€ (euros) we are providing accommodation for the duration of the workshop:
Accommodation in bed and breakfast in a shared apartment for the 7 days of the workshop duration.

Additionally if you are interested we could provide with lunch service on the workshop for an additional 150€ (euros) per person for 7 days.

Otherwise students have access to cooking facilities and can bring their own food to the workshop.

Registration € 50
Summer School Participation € 550
Accommodation (Reccommended) / 7 Days € 250
Lunch Service / 7 Days (Optional) € 150
Refund Policy

Please notice that we will endeavor to assist you in obtaining a visa (if needed), by sending an invitation letter, but the responsibility is yours and the decision rests solely with the appropriate Embassy.

Delegates in any event (conference, workshop, summer school, or any others activities) who cancel their registration due to special circumstances or due to visa rejection for any reason and they do not have a paper published in the proceedings will receive a complete refund minus a €100 administration charges, and the bank commissions. If the proceedings book has already been published or any of the events, where a refund is requested, has started, the fees cannot be refunded.


Important Dates
Date From Date To Notes
Payment Deadline May 31, 2016
How to Apply

To apply in the summer school please send us us your CV and Portofolio in addition to the following:

– Forename (As in passport) .
– Surname (As in passport) .
– Date of Birth .
– Nationality .
– Passport Number .
– Passport-Date of Expiry .
– University .
– Program of study .
– Level of study (year) .
– GPA .
– Country of residence .
– Home Address .
– Contact number (Mobile/ Landline) .
– Email address .
– Emergency Contact number .

More information

For more information about the Workshop please visit:


and the following video shows an introduction for the Summer School Workshop and some of Previous works:

Workshop Booklet

Kindly click on the following link to download the workshop booklet including all the details about the Summer School and some works from the previous versions.

Click here to download!!