The city of São Paulo grew dramatically during the 20th century. However, the transformation of the small village into the largest South American metropolis in less than 100 years contributed to blur the relationship of its residents with the surrounding geography.

The studio proposes a reflection on the urban structure of the city, which sits on a site that once featured watercourses and small hills; and contrast it with the current situation, in which water is seldom present in everyday life, often playing a background role and almost never coming to the fore.

We will direct our gaze towards the Tamanduateí River, the historic watercourse where the city first emerged. Infrastructural works have changed the course of the river and narrowed its valley, creating paved areas, turning its margins into heavy traffic corridors, polluting its waters, causing constant flooding, killing the vegetation.

In view of those reflections, we propose WATER SQUARES, a renewed acknowledgment of the geography around the city, a new relationship with urban water resources, an understanding of the available socio-spatial means, and a new, environmentally responsible type of organization.

In order to interpret this place carefully and recognize that the city needs another urban-natural pact, we have called upon the writer Ailton Krenak, who recalls the importance of "gently treading the earth", of making the city more porous, more permeable, and of once again paying attention to the streams, the clouds, the birds, the trees.

– To study the role of urban water resources in the central area of São Paulo, the surroundings of the Tamanduateí River and its relationship with the metropolis at different scales: metropolitan, neighborhood, location
– To produce a graphic synthesis of the reflections around water, growth and the structuring of the city
– To develop an urban project for a specific sector along the river

The assessment will be process-based and the work will be carried out in pairs. Classes will be organized as Collective Instruction sessions and there will be presentations in every meeting. The course lectures will be prepared to provide support to the projects and to introduce information about São Paulo. Intermediate pin-ups submissions will be organized throughout the semester and there will be a final presentation.

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Option Studio Presentations
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