Conference Proceedings
Designing Dissent: Vilanova Artigas and the São Paulo School of Architecture

            Pedagogy and industrialization were recurring topics in Vilanova Artigas’ writing, and came together most strongly in his best-known work, the São Paulo School of Architecture (Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade de São Paulo, FAU-USP, 1961–69), of which he designed both the building and pedagogy. The building is known for its large atrium often used as a commons space, with ample sky-lit studios privileging the studio course, and large concrete spans thanks to technological advances in the Brazilian construction industry. These characteristics reflect the pedagogy of the school, whose curriculum prioritized the studio course within the curriculum yet maintained links to its polytechnic origins with a strong emphasis on building technology. In this essay, I focus on the origins of these discourses in the 1950s, when Brazil experienced a process of accelerated industrialization and the school went through a revision of its curriculum. I trace the incorporation of these discourses into the pedagogy of the school in the 1960s, followed by debates on the political role of the discipline prompted by the military coup of 1964. This context, paired with the threat of incoming foreign firms and the continuity of the regime’s developmentalist policies from the 1950s into the 1960s, illuminates broader links in Artigas’ attitudes toward the state. I argue Artigas’ appropriation of foreign pedagogies and technology echoed the developmentalist policies of the Brazilian military regime, and his fixation with the threat of United States imperialism ultimately superseded the abuses of the regime he served.

Title
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Conference2012
AuthorsLeón AMaría
EditorWeizman I
Conference NameArchitecture and the Paradox of Dissidence
Series TitleCritiques
Date Published11/2012
PublisherRoutledge
Conference LocationLondon
ISBN978-0-415-71408-2
Abstract

            Pedagogy and industrialization were recurring topics in Vilanova Artigas’ writing, and came together most strongly in his best-known work, the São Paulo School of Architecture (Faculdade de Arquitetura e Urbanismo da Universidade de São Paulo, FAU-USP, 1961–69), of which he designed both the building and pedagogy. The building is known for its large atrium often used as a commons space, with ample sky-lit studios privileging the studio course, and large concrete spans thanks to technological advances in the Brazilian construction industry. These characteristics reflect the pedagogy of the school, whose curriculum prioritized the studio course within the curriculum yet maintained links to its polytechnic origins with a strong emphasis on building technology. In this essay, I focus on the origins of these discourses in the 1950s, when Brazil experienced a process of accelerated industrialization and the school went through a revision of its curriculum. I trace the incorporation of these discourses into the pedagogy of the school in the 1960s, followed by debates on the political role of the discipline prompted by the military coup of 1964. This context, paired with the threat of incoming foreign firms and the continuity of the regime’s developmentalist policies from the 1950s into the 1960s, illuminates broader links in Artigas’ attitudes toward the state. I argue Artigas’ appropriation of foreign pedagogies and technology echoed the developmentalist policies of the Brazilian military regime, and his fixation with the threat of United States imperialism ultimately superseded the abuses of the regime he served.

URLhttp://routledge-ny.com/books/details/9780415714082/
Refereed DesignationRefereed