Since I left Cambridge I came back to Brazil and started the U&A Engineering and Planning company, dedicated to strategic planning, regional planning and special projects, like green building projects and construction. I am involved in a whole range of scales of planning projects, from an urban shopping mall constructed with eucalyptus logs to immense water masterplans for watersheds as big as 220 thousand sq km. The issues range from procurement of certified wood to city planning to community involvement to twisting operational rules of some of the largest hydropowerplants in the world.
And the reaction to those innovative approaches varies accordingly… I have mixed feelings about my work in planning. On one hand, it is exciting, takes me to unlikely places and situations and I am always learning a lot and meeting all sorts of people. On the other hand it is a bit frustrating, because plans take long to be implemented, if they ever get there at all. But I am getting better with my landscape watercolours — “Travelling Landscapes in Watercolour.”
The Loeb Fellowship gave me confidence to start my own career, in my own company. It also provided me with an opportunity to meet other Fellows who brought a whole new context to what I should be doing and how. And, on the top, I learned a lot in courses and experiences at Harvard with students in various schools. Most of all, I got an “educated eye”, and developed my visual language, which helps me a lot.