Theater Architecture Studio to Cuba
We are a diverse and multi-disciplinary student cohort drawn from Architecture, Drama, and Arts Management. The Theater Architecture Studio is designed to discover the critical elements of Theater Architecture Design, Typology and Occupancy. These elements are being explored through a project situated on the site of the Cuban National Art Schools, a partially completed campus built on a golf course previously serving the pre-revolutionary aristocracy in Havana, Cuba. The site is a microcosm of the socio-political struggles that have plagued Cuba since its colonization.
Cuba is experiencing a critical political and social transition, opening to the United States after a half century of relative isolation. This studio is exploring the historic aspirations that led to the construction of the National Art Schools complex and how they may be preserved, reinterpreted, adapted, and further developed to serve the needs for the people of Cuba today and in the future.
This semester-long project will involve a holistic exploration of how theater design could have a transformative impact on the evolving culture in Cuba through redevelopment scenarios for the three unfinished schools - The School of Ballet, The School of Music, and The School of Dramatic Arts. These schools were left in a state of incompletion and disrepair as a result of the political constraints in place throughout the design of the campus. As a result, there is a lack of documentation on the campus, making it difficult to make meaningful and informed design decisions.
In order to obtain more insight into the culture and experience of the area, to engage with the people affected by the Art Schools, and to make a comprehensive study of the current state of the campus, the studio has planned a week-long trip during their Spring Break (March 4 - March 11,2016).
There are numerous travel expenses, however, the 15 students must satisfy to participate in this trip. This includes Transportation, Accommodations, Visa Applications, Meals, and Incidental Expenses, totaling an estimated $37,125. A breakdown of the specific costs are outlined below.
This crowdfunding campaign will ideally help cover the costs for accommodations and meals for all of the students. With your help, we can significantly reduce the students’ financial burdens pertaining to this trip. Any and all donations are welcome!
To read more about the CMU Theater Architecture program and some of our existing sponsors that have helped us get this far, click here.