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Office for Urbanization’s inaugural colloquium sparks discourse across Latin America

The Harvard Graduate School of Design’s Office for Urbanization will convene a three-part “Landscape as Urbanism in the Americas” series across Latin America in March. The symposia will engage a variety of cultural institutions, practitioners, and academics from throughout Latin America in discussions on the potentials for landscape as a medium for urban intervention in the specific social, cultural, economic, and ecological contexts of Latin American cities.

“Landscape as Urbanism in the Americas” follows the Office’s inaugural colloquium in Miami Beach on February 23 and reflects the Office’s interest in global discourse. A concurrent Spring 2016 advanced research seminar at the GSD is being taught by Luis Callejas, whose work has focused on practice of landscape as a form of urbanism in the contemporary Latin context.

“Over the past two decades, landscape has been claimed as model and medium for the contemporary city, and during this time, a range of alternative architectural and urban practices have emerged across Latin America,” says Charles Waldheim, founding director of the Office and John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture at the GSD. “Many of these practices explore the ecological and territorial implications for the urban project. The emergence of these practices has coincided with societal and political transformations in many countries across the region. The ‘Landscape as Urbanism in the Americas' series aims to explore landscape’s agency as an alternative form of urbanism within these particular contexts.”

This initiative is sponsored by Harvard’s David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies in collaboration with the Office for Urbanization and a range of local partners in Colombia, Chile, and Brazil.

The first of three symposia will be held at the Museum of Modern Art in Medellín, Colombia, on March 15; the following at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in Santiago, Chile, on March 18; and the final installment at Espaço Israel Pinheiro in Brasília, Brazil, on March 21.

In addition to these partners for the series, other collaborating institutions include the Center of Urban and Environmental Studies (EAFIT) in Medellín; Universidad Adolfo Ibanez in Santiago; Escola de Cidade in São Paulo, Brazil; and Plataforma Arquitectura Archdaily.

For full details on this series, please visit the series webpage, via the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies.