The Hydrogeographies project explores alternative models of “diffuse” or “weak” urbanism Guarani megaregion, a transnational ecological and cultural territory at the heart of the South American continent.
The domain of this investigation is the hydrological geography of the the Guarani Aquifer, with a specific focus on the Pantanal and the Iberá wetlands and their adjoining territories. Operating under a theoretical position that considers the entire surface of the world as urban, this project investigates alternative forms of urbanism that can be developed to allow the hinterland to be conceptualized as an urbanized surface in its own right that can find equilibrium with the centric city or mega-city corridors. This two-semester project began with an investigation of the megaregion as both perceptual lens and domain of operation instrumental to the design disciplines for engaging with the spatial transformations occurring at a rapid pace and increasing scale in developing regions of the world. The subsequent Hydrogeographies studio then experimented with diffuse and ecological models of urbanism to determine whether they have the potential to relieve development pressures and channel the extension of infrastructures into urban forms that act to protect and preserve the fragile ecologies and natural resources of this territory.
This project was led by CCA professors Christopher Roach, Sandra Vivanco, and Lalo Zylberberg, directing students within a framework of “research by design” through the course of seminars, studios, and research trips to South America. The resulting work was exhibited at the South America Project’s 2013 conference at the Buenos Aires Architecture Biennale, and culminated in the publication of the Hydrogeographies book.
Christopher Roach Sandra Vivanco Lalo Zylberberg [California College of the Arts]
OTHER PARTICIPANTS : Ciro Pirondi [Director, Escola da Cidade, São Paulo]
Graciela Schneier-Madanes [CNRS Paris / University of Arizona]
Ila Berman [Director of Architecture, CCA] Mona El Khafif [CCA URBANlab] David Fletcher [CCA URBANlab]
Elisa Aguilar,Jason An, Alexa Gaviola, Jaime Bernal, Ashwin Biln, Anthony Bituin, Ling Hu, Ben Kumata, Scott Lord, Jeffery Maeshiro, Cassiopea McDonald, Noel Andrade, Taylor N. Fulton, Ana C. Gonzalez, Yuliya O. Grebyonkina, Shawn W. Komlos, + Sirada Laomanutsak [CCA Students]