S+Academy | More room to grow

A pioneering platform that fosters knowledge and innovation, open to society and rooted in the audacious mindset of S+A.


João Estopa • S+Academy

In 2022 Saraiva+Associados launched S+Academy, a learning & development platform designed to respond to a constant demand for knowledge and skill update. For some time, the CEO and Founder Miguel Saraiva, had a plan in mind to gather knowledge and experience that would translate into talent improvement and personal growth for the studio’s staff. Furthermore, sharing this resource with a community of partners and society, proved to be a right and differentiating choice.

The purpose of S+Academy expanded to carry out a content program inspired by trends and innovations, environmental matters, and social transformations. Throughout the year, the programming takes the form of training sessions, master classes, talks, seminars, and an annual international conference. With these, S+Academy is addressing multidisciplinary matters that put architecture and urban design in perspective with environmental sustainability, technology, economic and social issues, in collaboration with renowned specialists as well as many experienced professionals at S+A.

S+Academy is establishing bridges between universities and the practice, for which several collaborations with architecture schools are already on track. The point is to connect with students at an early stage, raising awareness to career demands, opportunities, and market trends.
For new graduates, S+A offers a 12-month Internship Program focused on the development and retention of new talent – a vital investment in gifted young architects willing to be more creative, highly skilled, and fully prepared to overcome professional challenges. The Internship is based on team integration and qualified practical learning. Additionally, S+Academy boosts the internship with training sessions, lectures, and master classes.

S+Academy is taking up social responsibility through the award of the S+A Merit Scholarships, a contribution to the financial stability of architecture students, providing better conditions to achieve the best possible academic results and, therefore, a fast entree into professional life. The amount awarded is managed by the students themselves, who can use it to satisfy academic or personal needs.

Under the label S+Academy World Talks, this annual international conference welcomes world leading architects who share their experience and insights on how architecture can act for ourselves, our cities, and the environment. Architects Daniel Libeskind and, the Pritzker Awarded, Alejandro Aravena were the speakers in the first two events, giving truly inspiring lectures. The talks caught the attention of the media, resulting in extensive articles about the conferences and their guests.

Within the scope of S+Academy, the LAB@S+A encourages research and critical analysis on the role of architecture in the sustainable development of cities and communities. On a regular basis, S+A architects bring case studies for debate, raising awareness to environmental issues in architecture and urban planning. The LAB@S+A subscribes to the United Nations SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) No.11: “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.”

Creating a podcast was an amazing project at S+Academy. Branded Unlocker, this podcast is “unlocking” ideas about the transformation of cities, discussing environmental impacts and economic and social matters that intersect with architecture and urban planning. In each episode, two outstanding guests talk debate about a subject with no moderator. The first Unlocker featured Carlos Moedas, Mayor of Lisbon, and Journalist Maria Flor Pedroso, in a stimulating debate about the future of the city.
The response to all episodes has been very enthusiastic, so a new series with new guests is already on air. The diversity of topics is a premise: management, digital transition, economic and geostrategic contexts, territorial planning, urban sustainability, among others. Each month, a new UNLOCKER is available on Spotify and Youtube.

S+Academy rapidly proved to be an effective stage for sharing knowledge and know-how with a wide network of partners and organizations. The benefits are clear for a community of players and, generically, for society. The commitment is to make rewarding things happen, and to accomplish the best possible results. Ultimately, S+Academy is a meeting point for the creative and disruptive thinking that fuels the culture of innovation at S+A.

S+Academy figures in 2022/23

30 Training sessions
Over 300 S+A participants
Over 400 external participants
8 Master Classes
3 Talks and debates
1 Seminar
6 Lab Sessions
2 International Conferences

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