Assistant professor Pedro Pacheco
Assistant professor Pedro Pacheco
AIMS AND EXPECTATIONS
Current educational models require a different perspective considering that the built environment is becoming more complex, that the numbers of urban poor are growing, and that natural calamities are becoming less predictable. We are failing to keep pace with these changes in design education and could benefit from producing designers as system thinkers to address these complex phenomena in collaboration with others. Design disciplines have often missed the main purpose of their existence, to serve the public, perhaps because the uncertainties and the contradictions inherent in wicked problems have discouraged them, or perhaps because designers have historically depended upon the arrival of a paying client with well-defined projects. But, regardless the explanation for past inaction, design professions today appear to be awakening to their potential, through collaborative and trans-disciplinary partnerships to address real problems.
I am interested in developing services, products and strategies that influence public policies to improve the well-being of all dwellers and natural systems. I am most interested, however, in developing pedagogical environments where hands-on strategies become the pattern of learning and proposition, and eventually the mode of professional service. Pedagogical models in which the constant ethical question should be whether a problem should or should not be addressed considering the realities of vulnerable groups and natural systems.
For the past 20 years Pedro Pacheco has worked in developing pedagogical models to help bachelor and graduate students connect theory and practice related to housing and community problems of low-income neighborhoods using participatory-design-build strategies. This pedagogical models evolved into a service-learning program that architecture students use to comply with 480 mandatory hours of social service.
Since 1994 Pedro Pacheco has also provided consultancy and advice for private and public organization on projects ranging from housing prototypes to community centers and a botanical garden. In all projects, two of the constant preoccupations are the systemic approach to problems solving and participatory strategies to planning, design and construction using appropriate materials.
In 2013, Pedro Pacheco created T-Kio, a firm dedicated to community planning, design and construction to expand his services and integrate other professionals in the consultancy work. Through this firm, he coordinates the service of professionals from other disciplines to offer integrative solutions to housing and community problems. T-Kio is constantly exploring alternative ways of planning, design and construction where the “reduce, re-use and re-source pattern is implemented.”
Pedro Pacheco combines theory and practice by involving students either as interns or as service providers. He has used the service-learning methodology as a tool to connect students with the realities of site and clients. This strategy has proven its effectiveness over the years as former students later in their professional careers recognize the opportunity of having worked in real problems. The constant feedback from theory to practice and to the theory again has allowed the pedagogical model to evolve into something that is becoming attractive for former students who wish to have a second opportunity to participate.
Since 1994 Pedro Pacheco has authored and co-authored pedagogical programs to create alternative scenarios for learning. Most programs have been created as extra-curricular activities for students to enrich their formal educational program. These programs have also been created with the intention of putting students in the context of the Mexican problems and make them aware that the real challenges of designers reside within the wicked problems of Latin America.