Artifex logo
Banco de Imágenes Demos Dibujo Técnicas Illes Balears Historia del Arte Castellano Català English
Artifex workshop 2009
Artifex - © 2003-9
Ir a la sección



The intersection between the natural and the creative is subject of profound debate. This places production at the crossroads of a pending reconfiguration that will invariably transform the way we formulate reproducible ideas, if giving consideration to material, cultural and environmental economies is that which can no longer be ignored.
Specific, collaborative revisions of existing productive practices may lead to visual and mechanical innovations that may foster these reconfigurations along.
This workshop will convene a transversal selection of experts from various fields and institutions including Cambridge University, ETSAM and MIT who will provide its participants an experimental, multidisciplinary platform of lectures and exercises combining stonemasonry, mediterranean building techniques, and bioclimatic
construction filtered through the lens of contemporary design.

Artifexbalear, a promising stonemasonry and bioclimatic design school of Inca, Mallorca, founded and directed by Miguel Ramis, master stonemason, researcher and sculptor will serve as site for this two-week event.

The workshop’s objectives are:

- To survey stonemasonry and brickvaulting as re-emerging alternatives for innovative, costeffective,
ecological design;

- To review a range of stonemasonry building solutions, that, through discussions and collaborative
research, will lead to the design and construction of a full-scale prototype;

- To introduce the Artifex Workshop as an annual summer initiative directed and coordinated
by Luis Berríos-Negrón, Michael Ramage and Miguel Ramis to spur continued contemporary
dialogues between architecture, construction and the creative practices.

The workshop will offer lectures from specialists at different stone-related aspects, including the rare opportunity of meeting a selection of local experts and artisans that will offer first-hand building site feedback and the artisan & builder’s voice to the designing process:

To apply for the 16 available spaces please send a statement of interest (no more than 250words) and CV (PDF or Text no more than 2MB) to:

Frequently asked questions............Accomodation........... Poster of the workshop...........Schedule..........Resume




Miguel Ramis is the founder and director of the Artifexbalear, an ongoing project for the restoration and innovation of the construction and stonemasonry arts. Initially a Sales & Marketing Manager of Barceló Hotels, has been involved in web-based projects since the 1980's. In 1997 he leaves the hotel industry in order to jump-start the educational project known today as Artifex In the meantime, as freelance internet designer, he develops the website for Mallorca's Chamber of Commerce and various other private commissions. Simultaneously Ramis also positions Artifex as a web-based endeavor where the design, development and management of becomes the foundational structure, becoming a resource considered to be the largest data-base of continuing education dedicated to the construction and masonry arts with over 2,500 pages and multimedia tools. Prize of the Commerce Chamber to the most innovative Crafts project.

The Artifex School is rooted in his stonemason apprenticeship bestowed to him by his own father. After several years of doing work side by side, at the age of 22, Ramis and his father alone together built the house he, to this day, lives in.

As a stonemasonry curator, he has been commissioned see through the restoration of sections of the Cathedral of Palma "La Seu", the Episcopal Palace, the Santa Margarita Church, the Sacred Heart Convent of Palma, that among several other patrimony sites and private residences in Mallorca. As classical sculptor he has created a replica of the roman statue of La Rambla for the Municipal House of Palma, has repaired several vandalized municipal monuments and is sole author of other sculptures and architectural projects for private clients. As independent researcher of construction history and of bioclimatic building strategies, he has published articles and given lectures on a variety of forums in Spain, France, USA, Argentina and Greece

For more info ( in spanish)
Majorcan Stone Walls (Stonexus Magazine)


Michael Ramage is a University Lecturer in the Department of Architecture at Cambridge University. His specialties include designing and building structural masonry spans using traditional techniques and new materials. Ramage collaborates in a building practice that includes the structural design, analysis, and construction of the tile-vaulted domes.

Recent projects are the Pines Calyx in Dover, England, and at Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa. He recently held a fellowship in the engineering firm of Conzett Bronzini Gartmann AG, Chur, Switzerland. Mr. Ramage has led workshops on timbrel vault building techniques at MIT and the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada. While at MIT, he was a research assistant with and the Aga Khan Trust for Culture to catalogue important Islamic buildings in Anatolia.

In addition to an MArch from MIT, Ramage has a B.A. in Geology from Carleton College. He held a Fulbright fellowship to Turkey in 1995-96, and was recently the recipient of MIT's Marvin E. Goody award and a Boston Society of Architects research grant. He is a member of Sigma Xi, the scientific research society

Zero Carbon home unveiled in Kent

University of Cambridge: current research


Luis Berríos-Negrón holds a Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Parsons School of Design. His academic & professional trajectory focuses on mass customization techniques, material economies, visual arts and sustainable practices all through the lens of architecture. He has received various awards, including the Parsons-Kalil Award for Smart Design and the MIT-Schnitzer Award for the Visual Arts. Thereafter, he has had solo and group exhibitions, installations and architectural design projects in over 10 countries.

Since 2004, he has participated in workshops led Bill Mitchell (Gehry/GM car design) and Mark Goulthorpe (Sinthome Sculpture Workshop), was a co-designer of the built Tsunami Safe(r) House in Sri Lanka by Carlo Ratti, was invited as community group leader at the Ostersund at Large public art workshop coordinated by Fargfabriken, Sweden, and conducted a public art and architecture workshop at the CCAA in Kabul, Afghanistan. While at Parsons/NYC he was teaching assistant to Silvia Kolbowski and Jean Garner. While at MIT he was teaching assistant to Joan Jonas and Krzrystof Wodiczko. He has been in art and architecture residencies in Germany, Afghanistan, Japan. He currently lives between Madrid, collaborating with Juan Herreros, and Berlin, making art, digital fabrication, and architectural production.

(more info:





Lluis Amengual is an environmental expert graduated at the Girona University. Also holds masters in Instrumentation and Process Control at the Higher education institution of Energy (Madrid) dependant on the Repsol-YPF Foundation, a Master’s degree at the University of Barcelona, Deusto and Mutua Universal:
Advanced technician in Occupational Risks Prevention . and Master’s Degree in Business Management: Quality and the Environment. University of the Balearic Islands.

He has been attended a International Semester in Environmental Construction Engineering at the Engineering College of Ärhus
(Denmark). Final project: Integrated Wastewater Management in Solbjerg village, Denmark.

Luís has worked with the Balearic Govermement in several projects at degraded areas. He curates the environmental supplement at the Diario de Mallorca newspaper.

See Lectures


Tatiana Bilbao a former researcher for Mexico City's Urban Housing and Development Department, in 1999, she launches an architecture firm, LCM, with a friend returning from practicing in the Netherlands. Then, in 2004, she formed her own practice, Tatiana Bilbao/mx.a, and with three other architects, set up a separate collaborative urban research studio to continue her interests in urbanism.

An exhibition pavilion in 2007 for the Jinhua Architecture Park in China ,a master plan for a botanical garden in Culiacan Sinaloa, Mexico, or a mixed-use residential, commercial, and arts center in an old factory in Guadalajara are some of her works.

In 2008 received the commision of the Mexican government's pavilion for the Water conservation expo in Zaragoza,Spain.

See Lectures



Philippe Block focuses on structural design and form-finding, mechanics of materials and structures, graphical analysis and design methods, architectural design, masonry mechanics, history of the theory of structures, and assessment of historic structures. He is currently a candidate for Ph.D. from the Department of Architecture, Building Technology Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where his disertation is described as - "Develop an innovative three-dimensional equilibrium approach for structural analysis and design,"advisor: Professor. John A. Ochsendorf.

He has been Visiting Researcher at the Institute for Lightweight Structures and Conceptual Design (ILEK) at the University of Stuttgart, has been a Research Fellow at the School of Architecture, Center for Information Technology and Architecture (CITA) at the Danish Royal Academy of Arts, Copenhagen, already holds a Master of Science in Architectural Studies from the Department of Architecture, Design & Computation Group, MIT, and graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master of Science in Engineering Sciences - Architecture, Department of Architecture of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.

More info
Equilibrium Vaults

See Lectures

Carson Chan is an architecture writer and curator. Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell University, and a Masters in Design Studies in the History and Theory of Architecture from Harvard University. He has work at Barkow Leibinger Architects and at the Neue Nationalgalerie’s architecture department, Berlin.

Carson is a regular writer for cultural publications like West East Magazine (Hong Kong) and 032c (Berlin), where he is also a contributing editor. Carson has served as a guest design critic at various institutions including the summer design programs at Harvard and Cornell Universities, and at the New York Institute of Technology.

In 2005, he taught design studio at the Boston Architecture Center. An active advisor to several cultural institutions including the Museums of Contemporary Art China (Hong Kong) and DLD ’08 (Munich), he recently organized an evening of panel discussions at the Neue National galerie (Berlin) with leading artists, architects and curators to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Mies van der Rohe building.

See Lectures


Lukas Feireiss is a curator, lecturer, writer and teacher (Freie Universität Berlin, Delf University of Technology, Holland, Cottbus University of Technology) living in Berlin and working with Architecture, Art and Media beyond disciplinary boundaries

Among others, he is autor of the book: he is author of the books 'Game Set & Match' (with Kas Oosterhuis), 'Space Craft', and 'Architecture of Change: Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment.',Strike a Pose!: Eccentric Architecture and Spectacular Spaces ,"Spacecraft 2. More Fleeting Architecture and Hideouts" and "Introduction" : Beyond Architecture. Imaginative Buildings and Fictional Cities.

See Lectures


Juan Herreros holds a doctoral degree in architecture, is Senior Professor, Head of the Thesis Program at the ETSAM School of Architecture of Madrid and is Visiting Professor of Architecture at Columbia University. His visiting professor posts also include Princeton, and ChicagoIIT, all spanning through over 20 years of numerous lectures, classes and international seminars as well as research workshops around the world. Together with Iñaki Abalos he founded Abalos&Herreros in 1984.

Since 2006, he operates under the name Herreros Arquitectos, a structure that develops collaborative projects in Spain, Uruguay, Mexico, Panama and the Netherlands, Norway, and the USA. Herreros was recently awarded with the 2oo9 International Fellowship of the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).

Herreros Arquitectos just received the first prize for the Munch Museum Area Competition in Oslo

Herreros Arquitectos

See Lectures


Yung Ho Chang is a Dr Architect, current Head of Departament of Architecture of the Massatchussetts Institute of Technology ( MIT).

He received degrees in environmental design and architecture from U.S. colleges including the University of California, Berkeley. Returning to China in 1993, he established China's first private architectural firm, Atelier FCJZ. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2000 UNESCO Prize for the Promotion of the Arts. In 2002 and 2003, he held the Kenzo Tange Chair at Harvard University's Graduate School of Design. He also received an Academy Award in Architecture from the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2006.

FCJZ projects range from private residences to large- and small-scale museums, government buildings, urban planning projects, and installations at the Venice Biennale and Centre Pompidou in Paris, as well as experimentation in furniture and graphic design.

In 1999 he set up the Graduate Center of Architecture at Peking University, which he has headed ever since. He also lectures at several schools in the U.S. and travels frequently through Asia, Europe, and North America.

See Lectures


Santiago Huerta Prof.-Dr.-Arch. Santiago Huerta
Professor of Structural design in the School of Architecture Polytechnic University of Madrid ( ETSAM) and President of the Spanish Society of Construction History (SEdHC)

In the last twenty years has work as consultor for Historical Constructions (35 expertises on buildings, vaults and bridges of different part of Spain.

Publications (among others; articles and short monographies can be downloaded in and ):

Since 1995 Editor of the Series "Texts on the Theory and History of Constructions". So far, 23 titles, among them, modern editions of Choisy, Viollet-le-Duc, Guastavino, etc., works by Jacques Heyman and the Proceedings of the Spanish Congresses on Construction History (I to V) Published by the Instituto Juan de Herrera.

(editor) Las bóvedas de Guastavino en América (Guastavino vaults in America). Madrid: Instituto Juan de Herrera, CEHOPU, COAC, UPV, Avery Library, 2001.

(editor) Proceedings of the First International Congress on Construction History (Madrid January 2003). Madrid: Instituto Juan de Herrera, 2003. 3 vols. (2,157 pp.)

Arcos, bóvedas y cúpulas. Geometría y equilibrio en el cálculo tradicional de estructuras de fábrica (Arches, vaults and domes. Geometry and equilibrium in the traditional design of masonry structures). Madrid: Instituto Juan de Herrera, 2004 (623 pp.)

Construction History in Spain: Some notes on its current state, historical origins and future perspectives. In: Construction History: Research perspectives in Europe. A. Becchi, F. Foce, M. Corradi y O. Pedemonte (eds).Firenze: Kim Williams Books, 2004. pp. 43B59.

Essays in the History of the Theory of Structures, in honour of Jacques Heyman. Madrid: Instituto Juan de Herrera, CEHOPU, 2005 (450 pp.).

More info

See Lectures


Robert Lopéz Hilton, ( is a former antiquarian retrained into traditional houses restaurator. His beautiful stone and lime mortared houses, after years of oblivion, recover all the timeless cosy atmosphere, and remail ready for the next 100 years.


See Lectures


Toni Marin is founder and director of EcoHabitar, a spanish magazine dedicated to bioclimatical construction, permaculture and sustainable issues.

The EcoHabitar Institute offers specialized education in practical bioclimatical techniques and permaculture.

From his privileged position as social activist and editor, he will offer his viewpoint of the present situation of the alternative movement and the possibilites left to young professionals.

See Lectures


Joan Mestre was the owner of Unicmall, the last lime kiln of the Island. Some years after taking the decision of rowing upstream, his kiln is still burning lime, but this time for a range of lime products.

Joan is also promoter of the Forum iberico de la Cal, an association dedicated to the recovery of the lime culture.

See Lectures

Enrique Rabasa is a Dr. Architect, Professor of the ETSAM of Architecture of Madrid, is director of the Graphic Architectonical Design Department and expert on stereotomy of stone. His book "De la cantería medieval a la esterotomía del siglo XIX" is a must to anyone that wants to get involved in this recovered art.

Enrique also runs a stonecutting workshop at the ETSAM and is director of the Research on history of descriptive geometry and construction, especially stereotomy and stone-cutting craft and techniques.
Colaboration with the Centro de los Oficios de León (stonecutters school in León, Spain). Expertises on historical constructions.
Selected publications:
* Forma y construcción en piedra: de la cantería medieval a la estereotomía del siglo XIX. Madrid, 2000.
* Guía práctica de la estereotomía de la piedra. León, 2007.

More info

See Lectures



Alfonso Ramirez Ponce is a Mexican architect who has explored for many years and in depth several low-cost and sustainable construction techniques through the use of regional materials such as clay brick, in projects built through out Latin America.

He currently lectures in the "Autonoma University of Mexico" (UNAM), and has been an invited professor Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Panama, Uruguay, Singapore, Italy and Spain. He is the author and co-author of more than 200 articles and several books on Architecture.

His research and several of his projects have won diverse awards, including the "Armando Mestre Medal" in Cuba, and also the first prize in the "Competition for the Technology Transfer for Popular habitat" organized by CYTED. He is also a member of the "Academia Nacional de Arquitectura", and the "National System of Art and Culture Creators" of México.

More info

See Lectures


Eduardo Ramos is a young ecobuilder applying geobiology and sacred geometry criteria to the design process of his restored or new houses. Sustainability, natural materials are other of the elements of a search for a balanced atmosphere. A house is ok; a home is better.

Ecocreamos ( plse visit spanish pages)

See Lectures

Inscriptions: See Lectures
More info:
Questions and suggestions:


The Artifex Workshop has been made possible by the following sponsors:

Govern Balear ( Government of the Balearic Isles: Labour ; Innovation+Development; Turism/ Consell de Mallorca: Environmental Department / Inca Local Council