Ateliervivo is a design-build education program established in 2015 in the city of Recife in the Northeast of Brazil and is coordinated by Lula Marcondes, Michael Phillips and Natan Nigro together with the architecture office O Norte - Oficina de Criação. Ateliervivo offers educational experiences through a unique "construction site pedagogy” that is delivered through the creation of projects that benefit local communities and social organisations.

The workshops offered provide opportunities to examine how each stage of the creative process contributes towards creating high quality outcomes and solutions that are tailored to the unique conditions of the context. Our goal is to create meaningful experiences in the way architecture and construction are taught, as well as to bring people together through the shared act of making.


Construction site Pedagogy involves participants from different backgrounds being immersed in the real issues and challenges present on the construction site in the creation of design and architecture. The pedagogy is delivered through engaging in designing and building activities followed by reflection on the consequences of each step.

The approach welcomes a diverse range of participants (students, professionals) and values the ​​contributions made to both the generation of ideas as well as creating the outcome. The design-build process empowers participants through an experience of the entire creative process from conception (design) to reality (construction).



Design: Limited resources call for the essence of design.

Design is inseparable from construction and vice versa. There is a ceaseless search for impactful, innovative, durable, adaptable solutions, that are connected with users and easy to execute, because in design-build construction is not outsourced.


Collaboration: Revision of the architect’s role in the community leadership.

The workshops allow for intense interaction between the participants, create bonds of friendship and trust resulting in a deeper understanding of the material and immaterial context of the project site. Interactivity is a fundamental tool to reach a level of acuteness and create a collective learning environment. Our pedagogy seeks to strike a balance between the educational opportunities and objectives of the outcome within each project. 


Autonomy: Encouraging participation and empowerment between all involved.

The workshops are designed to allow for an exchange of knowledge between students / professionals as well as onlookers in the areas of architecture, design, arts and others. The workshops respect the different levels of experience of the participants and permit  autonomy to tackle the challenges that are involved in the process.


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©2020 by Ateliervivo