ToSCA, a workshop on architectural building solutions: changing the way building product innovation is taught


  • Joan-Lluís Zamora i Mestre



Innovation is humans' way to find new solutions to new problems. To make innovation a reality, new ideas must take shape and be tried out. Most polytechnic university students' daily focus on solving technical problems by applying existing and verified solutions: a repertoire of technical construction solutions typified by good practice and approved by the regulatory framework. But today there are some boundary conditions in the building industry that bring about changes in the way we educated on construction technology: - New requirements for sustainable technical development. - Social, production and climate changes that are affecting the entire planet - New forms of production management and technical knowledge. - New professional roles. All these changes are developing quickly and causing the obsolescence of the current production range of industrial construction model: - Characteristics of existing building products are no longer suited to current needs. - Professional services that are currently provided no longer reflect social dynamics. - Current flows of extraction, manufacturing and transportation of building products, construction, maintenance and demolition is not in line with biosphere cycles. One response to these challenges has been to introduce the ToSCA workshop, which is an academic space for building product innovation. The aim of this optional subject is to open the minds of architecture students. Annual ToSCA exercises can be consulted at: and also at the next web issue.