· Area of study: Architecture and Urbanism
· Beginning and ending date: Sept 2012/ Dez 2012
· Number of students: 20-25 students
· Schedule: 3hoursfixed per week (MondayorTuesday) and 3hours flexible per week
· Credits: 4 credits/ workload90 hours in 15 weeks
· Teaching team: Arch. Maria Paula Albernaz; Arch. Ana Slade; Arch. Patricia Maya; Arch. Diego Portas; Assistant Teacher Yuri Torres; Student Monitor Bruno Lopes Lima
· Cluster: Ecuador – Brazil – United Kingdom
Theme: Transforming under-utilized areas into attractive, high-quality, sustainable places
In Rio de Janeiro, specific aspects of the urban sprawl have to be faced by those who think and manage the city. The urban area of the city spread into an extense territory, receiving a large poor population, industries and many types of irregular settlements, such as favelas. This situation reflects the absent of housing policies for decades in the country, as much as the lack of investment in areas nearest the centre. An inefficient public transportation system also givesa very low quality of life for people who live in the peripheral urban areas. The environmental consequences of these extended peripheries are severe.
In our present situationof major economic growth in Brazil and the proximity of the hosting of great events (World Cup in 2014 and Olympic Games in 2016), there is anopportunitytoinvest in areas of the city, which wereless priviledgedby public administration until now although they havereasonable urban infrastructure. Many of those areaswould be apropriate to expand a mix occupation (residencial, comerce and services), if only they couldreceive some proper investment, includingenough adequate public space.
The surroundings of Morro da Conceição – a historical and cultural heritage, situated in the harbour area, have a large potencial for densification and to present funcional diversification, conforming a new centrality, possibly contributing to diminuish the sprawling situation exposed above. In this sense, the reorganization of fluxes and mobility, the redesign of blocks and redefinition of residencial and comercial buildings typologies, and the rescue of public space, are the central questions to be confronted by this project.There is also a great need of an organized and integrated system of circulation and transport, as well as community equipments.
Objectives of the local design studio
The main objective of the local design studio is to defineastrategic reorganization of an area in downtown Rio de Janeiro – lower fringes around Morro da Conceição- and to propose urban interventions, so as to make use of the urban infrastructure already installed and to reinforce a centrality with functional diversity, contra posing the contemporary tendency of urban sprawl and dispersion.
From the pedagogic standpoint, the objectives are to execute a Project that comprisesinterdisciplinary visions and an evaluation and choice of solutions from diverse perspectives which are, often, conflicting. This Project also aims to go from one scale to another, and to choose a solution involving urbanism, landscape and architectonic approaches.
ADU aims to be tested
1. Interdisciplinary working dynamics (combining different professional subjects): testing the ability to integrate visions, working with methods from different subjects in similar design studios and their related production of knowledge. eg. how does the incorporation of a sociologist affect the outcomes of a design studio? Please define what is the difference between trans/cross/inter-disciplinary. Is trans-disciplinarity a work method to tackle complexity, while interdisciplinarity is merely appropriate for simplicity? Please elaborate.
2. What is the relation of this studio to creative thinking? How is this stimulated in the design studio? How does it affect the working dynamics and outcomes? What is the relation to experimentation and innovation? How do you deal with critical thinking as a mean to generating new ideas? Creative learning environment: different ways of producing and discussing knowledge: is there a relationship between the used working methods and the outcomes? Can we stimulate creativity by applying variations in the way we evaluate the different proposals? Which part of the studio refers to “artifact oriented” studio and which parts to “research oriented studio”, the first referring to produce knowledge, the last to question the already obtained knowledge? What method do you use in order to promote innovation and creativity? How much focus is put on research in order to investigate the design situation and on the problem solving in order to design the artifact?
3. Learning environment and working methods.The level of involvement in academic, professional or pragmatic environments, in a simultaneous and parallel way: are the PPP/WS requirements based on top-down learning models or do they occur on an emergent basis? Which learning activities are part of traditional master-apprentice relationships, which ones are based on a non-hierarchic way of producing knowledge? Which are advantages and disadvantages in each case?
4. Relation with recent phenomena in ADU: how is this PPP/WS activity connected to recent phenomena in ADU? How does the link with “hot topics” affect the outcomes and abilities of students? (Eg. fencing, programming public space, new keywords and concepts)
5. The social and cultural relevance of the contents and outcomes: is the creative process based on social and cultural references, provided by site choice, program, theme? Does the international dimension of the participants and its inherent socio-cultural understanding of reality affect the project’s outcomes?
6. What is the understanding and how is dealt with “materiality” in the studio: from the process (making physical models, impact of site visits,…) till the proposal (scale 1:1, prototypes, simulations, hand on studio…) (Eg. are the projects considering their materials before or after their processes?)
Methodology and relation with partners
The Project is subdivided in three phases: the apprehension of the area, the strategy and the development of the Project. The apprehension of the area involves to identify the urban questions in the area, understood as obstacles or potential urban development; to define what sector field is involved in the development of the area (eg. infrastructure, environmental resources, transport, habitat, community equipments); the representation of site and survey study.In this part of the Project we will study concepts and learn from references (urban design, centrality, urban sprawl and Rio de Janeiro).
The strategic task includes to precisethe territorial and conceptual reach of the Project within studies of the apprehension of the area and selected existing references; to build a master plan with a programme and urbanistic proposition.
The development of the Project includes the various studies related to form, function, uses, tipologies of blocks and residences, community buildings, among others. The drawings must be coherent with the first and second phase of the Project and they must explicit the possibilities to build this new scenario. The various ways of representation must offer a complete visualization of all the intervention proposed.
In the second and thirdphases, a multiscale presentation and representation of the projectmust be considered.