In 1946, students at the Universidad de Chile’s school of architecture proposed a major curricular reform that remained in place until 1963. Student leaders were assisted by Hungarian architect Tibor Weiner who had been a postgraduate student at the Bauhaus while Hannes Meyer served as its director and who had worked as an architect in the Soviet Union from 1930 until 1933 when he moved to Switzerland, France and finally, in 1939, to Chile. The new study plan was a simplified version of Meyer’s Bauhaus study plan. Studies were organized in two cycles, analysis and synthesis, coinciding with the “Elemental Studio” (two years) and the “Core Studio” (three years). The final stage comprised a research seminar and the diploma (one year).

The classes were structured in four topic fields: techniques, plasticity, sociology, and philosophy. The overlaps with Meyer’s final Bauhaus curriculum of 1930 are obvious, but it should be noted that parts of this syllabus were never implemented since Meyer was dismissed from the Bauhaus that year. The parallels are at times due to subject-specific topics as in the classes of hygiene, sociology, or technology of materials, and there were additions like architecture history. The emblematic class of the reform was called architecture analysis that was originally taught by Weiner and included theory and design components. Analysis in this context meant scrutinizing an existing living environment or a site for a new project using a variety of methods for formulating an architectural problem such as written descriptions, architectural drawings, sketches, and scientific measurements.

Daniel Talesnik

is an architect who graduated from the Universidad Católica de Chile (2006) and holds a PhD in History and Theory of Architecture from Columbia University, New York. The title of his dissertation was The Itinerant Red Bauhaus, or The Third Emigration (2016). He currently works at the Technical University of Munich (TUM)’s Architekturmuseum (architecture museum), where he has curated “Access for All: São Paulo’s Architectural Infrastructures” (2019) and “Who’s Next? Homelessness, Architecture, and Cities” (2021/2022).

Curriculum at the Faculty of Architecture at the Universidad de Chile, 1946 © Dibam Archive and magazine Arquitectura y Construcción
Student work of Miguel Lawner © Miguel Lawner
Students and colleagues at Tibor Weiner's farewell at Los Cerrillos Airport, Santiago de Chile, 1948, Photo: unknown, Courtesy of Miguel Lawner
Student work from Tibor Weiner’s Architectural Analysis class, Miguel Lawner, circa 1946. Chronological development of activities. Courtesy and copyrights of Miguel Lawner.