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Cuban architect, urban designer, critic speaks on Havana architecture Nov. 16

Mario Coyula
Mario Coyula sculpture

Architect/urban designer Mario Coyula and his sculpture "Mausoleo 13 Marzo"

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(Nov. 10, 2011) -- Cuban architect, urban designer and critic Mario Coyula will speak on "The Many Centers of Havana," at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 16 in the Buena Vista Street Building Aula Canaria (1.328) on the UTSA Main Campus. The talk is free and open to the public.

As the third speaker in the UTSA College of Architecture Fall Lecture Series, Coyula will challenge the conventional wisdom of Havana as a monocentric city, examining it instead as a polycentric structure created around a system of squares rather than a single main square.

A noted authority on the history and preservation of Havana, Coyula has been directly involved in issues of urban planning, government and design in the capital city for many years. Presently, he is a visiting scholar at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University.

In his second stint as a Harvard visiting professor, Coyula was a Robert F. Kennedy Visiting Professor from 2002 to 2003 at the Graduate School of Design. Currently, Coyula is researching old master plans of Havana contained in Harvard's archives. Access to the plans previously not accessible to Coyula will heighten his scholarly work regarding the intentions of the master planners and the decisions they made concerning Havana.

Though Havana's unique political history has stunted infrastructure growth, it also helped to create the unique, vibrant metropolis with incredible neighborhoods and buildings dating to the 16th century. Coyula will discuss how newer centers began to appear west of the original center by the bay and how they survived with divergent inhabitants.

The traditional centers have suffered from the loss of function, disinvestment, disrepair and partial marginalization as many stores were closed or changed into makeshift dwellings to shelter homeless people. At the same time, vacant mansions in formerly upscale neighborhoods were abandoned by wealthy residents and turned into stores, dwellings and hotbeds of activity for the poor and lower middle class.

A man of college age during the Revolution -- he was 24 years old in 1959 -- Coyula was an active participant in the affairs of his time. One of his most significant commissions is "Panteón del 13 de Marzo," a memorial installation in the Colón Cemetery that is dedicated to the revolutionaries, his peers, killed in the attack on the Presidential Palace on March 13, 1957.

In addition to being the 2001 recipient of the National Prize of Architecture, he is the former director of the Ciudad Universitaria José Antonio Echeverría School of Architecture and the Architecture and Urban Planning Department of Havana, as well as the Group for the Integral Development in Havana. Coyula is the co-author of "Havana: Two Faces of the Antillean Metropolis" with Roberto Segre and Joseph L. Scarpaci.

"Mario's research on urban planning and 20th-century development in Havana is highly significant because he has lived and practiced there for his entire career, and there is no more notable or highly regarded Cuban author publishing on this topic," said William Dupont, UTSA San Antonio Conservation Society Endowed Professor and director of the Center for Cultural Sustainability. "Mario's depth of professional experience, coupled with his straightforward explanations, provides an excellent history of Havana's growth and change, also offering keen insight into the current urban situations in all parts of the city."


For more information, email Nicole Chavez.



Oct. 2, 7:15 p.m.

First Friday Stargazing

Visit the Curtis Vaughan Observatory and see the wonders of the sky over San Antonio with experienced astronomers.
4th floor, Flawn Science Building, Main Campus

Oct. 3, 6:30 p.m.

Where Ink Does Not Show: A Celebration of the New State Poet Laureate

A fun and festive evening featuring Corridos from Texas and Northern Mexico sung by AZUL and a reading of new and classic works by Carmen Tafolla, the new State Poet Laureate.
Buena Vista Theater (1.326), Downtown Campus

Oct. 5, 1:30 p.m.

Campus Carry Listening Session

Listening session will seek input on the places, events and special circumstances that should be considered in determining whether concealed handguns may be prohibited.
John Peace Library, Faculty Center Assembly Room (JPL 4.04.22), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
University Center Denman Room (2.01.28), Main Campus

Oct. 5, 6 p.m.

Film Screening: The Head of Joaquin Murrieta by John Valadez

The Mexican American Studies Program will host a screening of this irreverent, entertaining and often disturbing tale that uses both fiction and documentary story telling devices to tear open a painful and long ignored history: the lynching of Mexican Americans in the southwest.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 6, 3 p.m.

State of the University

Join President Ricardo Romo as he gives his address to the UTSA community.
H-E-B University Center Ballroom (UC 1.104), Main Campus

Oct. 8, 10 a.m.

Graduate Fair

Graduate School representatives from across the country will provide information on options after earning a bachelor's degree. Students, alumni and community members are welcome.
University Center Retama Galleria, Main Campus

Oct. 9, 8 a.m.

College of Sciences Research Conference

The day-long research conference will include a keynote address, faculty and student oral presentations, poster sessions, and an awards ceremony. Lunch will be provided for those who register. Abstract submission deadline is September 20, 2015. Event registration deadline is October 4, 2015.
H-E-B University Center, Main Campus

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UTSA writes the book on all-digital libraries

As touch screens and e-books demand more and more attention from both casual readers and scholars, many people say the handwriting is on the wall for the printed page.

At UTSA, the handwriting is on the wall for a library that doesn't have any printed books.

Since March 2010, the bookless library in the Applied Engineering and Technology Building has given UTSA students an innovative way to read, research and work with each other to solve problems.

With ultra-modern furniture and a décor featuring desktop computers, scanners and LCD screens, the AET Library is designed to engage students in an online format. But it also offers group study niches and study rooms with whiteboards and glass walls on which students can write. The space encourages teamwork, communications and problem solving for the next generation of scientists and professional engineers.

Did you know? The UTSA AET Library is the nation's first completely bookless library on a college or university campus. It served as a model for Bexar County's first-in-the-nation public bookless library system and one of its branches, the Dr. Ricardo Romo BiblioTech.

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