1 Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (SPAIN)
2 Universidad Politécnica de Cartagena (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2016 Proceedings
Publication year: 2016
Pages: 1684-1689
ISBN: 978-84-608-5617-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
doi: 10.21125/inted.2016.1354
Conference name: 10th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 7-9 March, 2016
Location: Valencia, Spain
Active learning of the construction techniques constitutes a fundamental moment on the architectural education. Learning by doing is much more important, if possible, in the field of traditional architecture, since knowing first-hand the materials and constructive techniques improves their understanding. In the present case we are talking about teaching a constructive technique that is falling into desuetude (construction of gypsum pavements), so this kind of active education allows to bring knowledge, facilitating the survival of the technique and its valorisation, as well as the transmission of a disappearing know-how.

On September 2015 a practical workshop took place at Rincón de Ademuz (Valencia, Spain) on gypsum as material and its traditional use, both as mortar and plaster, but mainly as pavement. The workshop was aimed not only at professionals (considering architecture students, architects, quantity surveyors or construction workers), but also at anyone, whatever their profile, interested on the subject, and so the profile of the student body turned out to be interestingly mixed. Ages, places of provenance and motivation to attend the workshop were very different, which contributed to enrich the experience: the student body was multidisciplinary and so were their curiosities and interests, so all kind of questions were answered.

The workshop was structured in three parts. The first one consisted on a theoretical vision of gypsum as material, its traditional and current production systems, its traditional use and validity on construction, where the first questions of the students were answered. During the second part of the workshop a series of technical visits to traditional constructions of the area built using gypsum both on structural elements (floors and pillars) and coating (horizontal or vertical) were made. Some of the buildings remained on their original state and some had been intervened, and in this case the students were able to see first-hand the use of gypsum also in restoration and the suitability of the material was emphasized, being the most compatible material for this interventions since it was the one originally used. At last, the major part of the workshop was devoted to practice the use of gypsum thanks to the directions of two foremen who shared their experience and knowledge. The students experimented and learned how to make mortar, they built the gypsum pavement of one of the rooms of the buildings used as space for experimentation, they also coated interior walls of the same buildings, always supervised and directed by the foremen, so they had a complete experience of knowledge of the material and its traditional application. All the results of those works remain on site on the building, a real structure not an artificial base, so their behaviour along time can be studied and observed in a real situation, also by students of future workshops.
Learning by Doing, Traditional Constructive Techniques, Gypsum Pavements.