Relationship of Juan Herreros with Education and the Diffusion of Architecture

Juan Herreros has devoted more than thirty uninterrupted years to teaching Architecture. He began in 1980 as an assistant in the Construction Department of the Madrid School of Architecture (ETSAM) when he was still a student, and then became a Lecturer of the subject until in 1987 he obtained his first place as Associate Professor of the Department of Architectural Projects, where he earned his Doctorate with a grade A Cum Laude in 1994 with his thesis on “Mutations in Contemporary Spaces” and he obtained the place of Full Professor in 1995 with a paper on “Eames’s, Smithson’s, Sota: three models to work”. At present, he holds the function of Academic Head of the Graduation Class at the same school and since 2010 he is Professor of Architectural Projects. In 1996, he began his academic experience abroad, which took him to Columbia University, where he was a researcher at the Buell Center and a Visiting Professor; and from there to several Latin American schools in Colombia, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay (1996-2000) and other European ones such as the Lausanne Polytechnic (1998), Architectural Association of London (1999-2002), returning to the USA as Professor Labatour at Princeton University School of Architecture (2003-2006), Morgenstern Chair Professor at the IIT in Chicago (2007) and Columbia again since 2008, where he currently holds the function of Full Professor. Other collaborations with the universities of Alicante (where he directed the Master of Architecture and Nature), Ljubljana (where he landed with his ETSAM teaching unit to deliver a course on “home delivery” projects), Instituto de Empresa (with whom he maintains an open line of work on the application of strategic resources of design processes to drive enterprising businesses), Master of Collective Housing in Madrid (where he led an Unit based on experimental housing for its nine editions), etc., merely reflect his tireless efforts in this field.

Since the beginning, Juan Herreros has combined his academic and teaching activities with those of research, turning the learning units he has led into true laboratories of project experimentation in terms of teaching and designing methods and techniques. The outcome of this endeavour are the many publications covering the programmes carried out, especially by the legendary Unidad Q which produced his well-known papers on the effects of tourism on the Azores Islands (Change+Energy+Information: Palaces of Fun at the Island of San Miguel) and on the relationship between geography, energy and architecture in the island of Majorca (Island-City: Architecture and Energy in Majorca).

Juan Herreros has also studied the practices and pedagogical methods associated to the teaching of architecture with texts such as “Sobre talleres” (On Workshops) “Tópicos, obviedades y otras cosas siempre olvidadas” (Trite and obvious things and others always forgotten), and “Transferencias por un pensar técnico” (Transfers on technical thinking), that culminated in the organization of the Congress on the teaching of projects “Project Parade: Seminar on Project Pedagogy” directed in 2003 at the University of Alicante. Nowadays , he is developing a documentation and research work which under the title “Archive of Names and Places” aims to compile the pedagogical experiences related to teaching in architecture from the postwar years to the current moment.

Throughout his career, Juan Herreros has delivered around 300 lectures in all kinds of Forums, given over 40 interviews to the general media and led a considerable number of seminars and workshops. Work topics such as the relationship between Technique and Architecture, New Configurations of Domestic Space, the necessary renewal of Tools for Designing Cities, the rise of Environmental Awareness, etc., have comprised his academic, intellectual and communications agendas, helping spread his theoretical approach through publications such as “Vivienda y espacio doméstico del siglo XXI” (Housing and domestic space in the 21st Century) (Casa Encendida publications). In 2010, he directed a monographic course under “The Author and his Work” at the Menéndez Pelayo International University entitled “Three conflicts and two journeys”.

He has also shown an interest in the work of his colleagues: he was the curator of thePotteriesThinkBelt exhibition in 2000 and in charge of the first publication on Cedric Price in Spain, as well as introducing the work of Toyo Ito with various texts in his first Spanish monograph (El Croquis) and with the introduction to the monographic exhibition organized by Casa Asia in Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca, together with texts on architects such as Andrés Jaque, José María Torres Nadal, Josep Llinás, Buckminster Fuller, Eladio Dieste Architects, Adamo-Faiden, etc.

For all of this, Juan Herreros is considered globally a reference continuously cited by his colleagues and especially by the new generations, as has been notes in Uriel Fogué’s article “081128: JH efectual History” published in Summa +, Nº 99. 2009.