Chamamé: The intangible rhythms of the Guarani Region

This will be the second of three proposed Architecture Design Studios to study and develop architectural design proposals in an area of South America that would be affected by major multinational infrastructural interventions. Some specific sites, along a segment of the Paraná River shared by Paraguay and Argentina, sit within a vast geographical area where the overlapping cultural, natural and historic maps of different eras, peoples and natural conditions have produced a layered, complex and rich hybrid fabric of coexisting heterogenous substances. This area, both physical and intellectual, is what we would call today Territorio Guaraní: thus geology, flora and fauna, water courses and bodies, multicultural migrations and religions, diverse languages and literature, music, crafts and architectures constitute de threads with which we will operate upon such fabric. Tying this all together there is a pervasive distinctive culture of water, spread throughout the Cuenca del Plata system (River Plate basin), and sitting on the Aquifier Guarani – one of the two largest fresh water reservoirs of the world. The singularities that compose this zone will be factors that need to be experienced and surveyed in order to approach, conceptualize and create specific design solutions for the proposed needs. Under the emblematic title of “Chamamé” – (the guaraní name of an original popular musical genre of sung dance that emerged in this region at the beginnings of the 20th century as a result of the crossing between aboriginal musical forms, the rhythms of the centro-european polka with lyrics inspired in Guarani themes), we intend to look into the “cultural heritage” as a totality: not of an ethnic group, of a single language, a specific art form or a particular historical period or style. The task would be to conceive, program and resolve the architecture of a museum of the future, involving both the tangible and intangible cultural heritage of the Territorio Guarani.