In the context of the current efforts of Rio de Janeiro to reformulate and develop public policies for strategic urban development and renewal this studio will focus on relevant design issues associated with the implementation of the city’s novel policies that reconceive the educational system of pre-school and elementary school environments while emphasizing their potential role as social agents for change.
Specifically the GSD Studio would focus on the large favela “Complexo do Alemão” as a test case of these policies, in order to provide urban and architectural alternative designs that address not only the basic functional requirements of contemporary educational systems, but larger related issues that touch on the multiplicity of urbanistic and architectural aspects, potentials and consequences of such interventions. The studio will therefore address:
a) the identification of strategic locations for these schools with the aim to integrate the favelas with the rest of the city reversing the tendency to treat “improvements” on these informal settlements as merely internalized interventions;
b) the conception of schools environments not only as exclusive teaching spaces, but as social hubs where larger community activities are promoted, (i.e. where the prevalent favela phenomenon of “single-motherhood” finds a locus of support and relief);
c) pertinent issues of public transportation as an integral component on the provision of school facilities,
d) the proposed radical change to integrate in one locale both levels of education (pre-school and elementary) that promotes a system which profits from proximity and multiple experience of teachers.
This studio is open to students from the Department of Architecture and from the MAUD Program. Six spaces have been reserved for students in each of the programs.
Paul Nakazawa, co-instructor, has special expertise in global practices and businesses in architecture, urban design and landscape architecture, and special interest in large-scale project mobilization and policy strategies. He will participate in studio discussions and reviews and will present to the studio pertinent topics of his expertise.
IMPORTANT: Field trip to Rio de Janeiro is tentatively scheduled from Februarys 3 to February 11, 2012. Students applying for this studio MUST HAVE A PASSPORT VALID AT LEAST UNTIL AUGUST 2012, AND MUST BRING IT TO THE FIRST MEETING OF STUDIO ON FRIDAY JANUARY 20TH WHEN VISA APPLICATION FORMS WILL BE FILLED. NO EXCEPTIONS. IF NOT FROM LATIN AMERICA, MAKE SURE TO DISCUSS AND UNDERSTAND WITH INSTRUCTORS AND BEFORE THE LOTTERY TAKES PLACE, THE RESTRICTIONS THAT BRAZIL MAY IMPOSE ON GRANTING THE VISA TO SOME SELECTED NATIONALITIES.