Architecture alumni raise funds for the construction of a preschool in the most underdeveloped South Africa

A group of alumni of La Salle-URL along with other young architects are the creators of Uncedo, an NGO working in underdeveloped areas of South Africa from more than two years.

These young architects believe in architecture as a tool for social transformation and work with the most disadvantaged communities at risk of social exclusion, making efforts to promote social change and advance the management of construction quality and safety that these areas much needed.

They are currently in the process of building an elementary school in the township of Joe Slovo (South Africa). The poverty of the area and the lack of structure and means impede a universal right to children: the right to basic education. Its goal is to build a preschool with capacity for all children in the district and to provide them with health, safety and optimal study conditions.

The township of Joe Slovo is located on the outskirts of the city of Port Elizabeth (South Africa) and has an approximate population of 9,000 inhabitants. A township is an underdeveloped urban area that was created during apartheid to house and control the non-white community. This group has long been facing various social problems due to lack of resources and social exclusion.

The construction in this district is not regulated by the government, who gives the land but does not manage urban development, causing that the houses do not follow an order and that the access to basic services such as potable water, electricity or wastewater management is very limited. The child population of this community is who suffers more directly these shortcomings.

The school will consist of a space with 3 separate classrooms, a bathhouse with running water and waste management and an office where teachers will be able to prepare their classes and attend parents. They also want to provide the project with a school canteen in order to facilitate the necessary food to each of the district’s children.

They started the foundation and work on the structure last December but still lack financial resources to achieve the goal of building a proper school for children. The NGO needs 2,000 € to complete the construction and equip with school supplies and furniture.

From Uncedo they believe in the power of architecture as a tool to social improvement, and that a small gesture can achieve great goals. That’s why all the contributions from 40 € will receive a solidarity fabric bag that has been designed especially for this occasion.

If you want to participate in this project and manage to build a school where these children at risk of social exclusion have access to education, you can make your donation through this link.

Alumni Elena Gimeno Bayés has won the CSCAE logo design contest

We congratulate Elena Gimeno Bayés, a former student of Architecture at La Salle-URL, for being the winner of the CSCAE logo design contest to create the new corporate image of the Superior Council of Colleges of Architects of Spain (CSCAE).

The proposal was developed along with Enrique Pareira, graphic designer and Elena’s partner at V&BA, an architectural design and graphic communication studio. Before submitting the project they worked hard to present a flexible and adaptable proposal. Studio’s aim was to create a common space to offer sensitive and creative solutions to spatial and visual communication problematics. Their idea was to adapt to the needs of customers a clear, direct and precise language. Their first works were mainly in web and graphic communication, while currently beginning to emerge works directly related to the field of architecture.

In this profession projects presented by men are more recognized rather than the ones presented by women, and Elena Gimeno wanted to reflect on this issue. She believes the passion that women architect have about their profession should be spread, since generally the work of male architects is more recognized. Presence of women architects in the educational and professional fields has to be promoted in order to guarantee their representation in nowadays society, she said.

In her interview with the CSCAE she says that to improve the current situation architecture should be brought over society, so employment opportunities could be boosted. She believes that not only the work of the architect should be valued, but also should be communicated what is it for. We wish good luck to Elena Gimeno Bayés, a great architect involved with what she does.

“You have to be passionate, because it is a trade that does not know about days or hours, you have to work hard and stay motivated”

Carole Hart studied La Salle-URL’s MDPM (Master in Design and Multimedia Content Production). Since then, her life has changed and is now a successful entrepreneur who has managed to pull forward a family business: an advertising agency in the Dominican Republic that bears her surname, Hart. She is currently its managing director.

Carole told us she decided to study in Barcelona because his father had studied in the city and told her how interesting was. In addition, she researched on her own and became fascinated by its cultural richness. As for La Salle, she was doing internet searches and discovered it offered programs that interested her and that in addition it had prestige.

Personally and professionally to study in Barcelona was an experience that marked a turning point in her life. It was her window to the world: she met people from different countries, made friendships that still retains today all over the planet. She learned to live alone, but above all was a source of inspiration and knowledge that prompted her to create her own business in her country. Hart says that Barcelona is second home to her, and La Salle a very special place where she started the foundation of her professional life.

Carole opted for Europe and not Latin America not just because she wanted to discover the world, leaving the known, besides thinking in Europe as an ideal place, with a lot of history and great art.
At work she learned many things in La Salle and in Europe were implemented but not yet in her country, so it was for her a great advantage that opened opportunities.

A year after arriving at Barcelona and after had been working in a large multinational company established in her country, she decided to undertake and create the ‘Hart agency’ in association with her family. It is now 13 years working together.

As an entrepreneur initially had to perform multiple functions, but with hard work, a clear vision of where she was going, and the adequate preparation, the company started to grow, and found excellent collaborators who began joining the team. Bringing her talent in key areas has allowed her to evolve organically into a more focused position in leadership and general supervision, while maintaining a commitment to be updated to guide and inspire the team to get its best version on each project.

Among the functions of Hart as managing director of the agency, in which she is also a partner, the general supervision of projects and processes of the agency are to ensure customer satisfaction and profitability. In addition she is also responsible for developing key strategies and guidelines for the creative department. Finally, she is also responsible for business opportunities and devise action plans.

Now sees a clear need to update to new technologies and tools applied in the area of communication. Likewise she also thinks there is a lack of understanding of the new consumer trends, which is necessary to organize and draw good business strategies.

Hart also gives a number of tips that should be taken into account when someone with entrepreneurial concerns embarks on the adventure:
Never skimp on knowledge and constant training, always keep learning. It should also be noted that in this business the most valuable thing is the people and must be cared for, motivated and supported, so that they can develop and deliver the large company results.

Finally you have to feel passion, because it is a trade that does not have days or hours, you have to work hard and stay motivated… and that, only it is only achieved when you love what you do.

 

Alumni of La Salle-URL Mar González Franco, Microsoft HoloLens’ project researcher

Spanish newspaper ‘El País’ posted last January 10 an article about Mar González Franco, alumni who studied Computer Science and Multimedia Engineering at La Salle Campus Barcelona-URL.

In the article the current project in which González works as a researcher at Microsoft is explained: HoloLens spectacles. HoloLens combine virtual and augmented reality, fields in which the alumni is specialized, and aims to revolutionize the world with its next deployment in Windows 10, to be launched this year.

Windows holographic aims to take out the operating system from the screen to the real world as 3D objects changing the way users and things interact. Thanks to products related to this new technology user will be able to move between video screens that are not on the wall or will be able to draw 3D objects with traditional Microsoft’s Paint program.

In the interview, González talks about her career: after graduating in La Salle-URL (prize for best academic record), she studied a master degree between University of Barcelona and Tsinghua University, the innovative center of China. On her return she began her PhD studies. Later she managed to reach the MIT MediaLab, Boston’s pioneer in new media formats and techniques of expression.

She began to Microsoft as a summer intern in 2013 and after returning to Barcelona for a while she got the call of Zhenyou Zhang, Microsoft innovation leader, to join his team.

Since then González is part of one of the world most important teams specialized in virtual reality and works with other elite professionals to change people live.

 

 

Pablo Pantaleoni: “Health Care industry will have a very significant growth in 3-5 years”

On Thursday May 26 Pablo Pantaleoni, entrepreneur and founder of Medtep, gave a lecture in La Salle-URL, entitled “Opportunities and challenges in health technologies”, where he explained the work done from his startup and how the business idea came while pursuing a Master in Creating Internet Business in La Salle-URL. Earlier this year, Pablo Pantaleoni entered the Forbes magazine list 30 under 30  where 30 personalities from under 30 years are collected to be followed in different social spheres.

Pantaleoni explained that they created the company in 2011 and began with a traditional model of organic, positive but very modest growth, and was in late 2014 that changed their mind and moved the company to the US to continue to grow. The company currently has offices in Barcelona, San Francisco and Mexico and employs more than 30 people.

During the conference, Pantaleoni noted that the pharmaceutical industry is moving from company to company product services, which opens up many possibilities for startups. In addition, important changes in the health sector, especially in digital health which is very different in the American and European markets. Pantaleoni predicted that “in 3-5 years Health Care sector will have very significant growth”.

Medtep is a technology startup, created by Pantaleoni with Jacob Suñol, which takes validated medical and clinical protocols and convert them to personalized health plans easily understandable and implementable by patients.This allows users to perform a more efficient treatment and improve their quality of life. According Pantaleoni, it is “the optimization of resources in treating patients.”

Another of the highlights was the important role of Big Data, which can help customize the treatment of patients based on their standard of living, improving decision-making. Pantaleoni said that “we help patients have a better quality of life, and that’s what drives us forward” and stressed that what is important is the result of the application and run the tool, not the number of users or the profits of the company.

Finally, Pablo Pantaleoni also recalled his role as an entrepreneur and gave some advice in this regard: “Come out to the street, explain your idea, meet people, do not give false expectations and be transparent”.

 

La Salle Alumni has set a new record this course

Networking-300x300The Alumni Association of La Salle Campus Barcelona, which was founded in 1977 with the mission to promote and care for the professional development of the University’s Alumni, has beaten its own record this year by achieving 927 members. La Salle Alumni is a space for the exchange of knowledge and experiences based on networking and professional growth. These traits define our group of associates, who are committed with their times and at a service of a responsible society, ethical and sustainable.

The success of La Salle Campus Barcelona’s placement service is confirmed with the data achieved this course: 67% of the professional profiles managed have found a new job, from which approximately 514 received personalized advice, 359 of them for the first time. These results would not be possible without La Salle Alumni‘s Career Services Department, which this year dedicated an average of 3 hours per person, managed 3,613 offers and dealt with 737 companies. La Salle Alumni also offers help in preparing for different job interviews and how to write and send your CV, reaching a total of 5,467 curriculums sent and 616 self presentations managed.