4.154
Architecture Design Option Studio — Amazonia (Bucci/Binjaku)

Prerequisites: 
4.153
Enrollment: 
Mandatory lottery process
Required of: 
MArch

Amazonia is typically considered as a single, massive, green forest. However, this vision hides the deep history of civilizations that have cultivated each piece of it for over 12,000 years, actually ‘building’ that nature. Amazonia conjures a stereotypical image which holds two diametrically opposed views: first; that of a lush forest capable of sustaining multiple forms of life, and second; a territory that is totally empty of human civilization. This vision is a fallacy that has been perpetuated for too long. 
Colonizing powers found it very useful to erase the forest, with all of its forms of life. Conveniently, Western history has designated the forest as the opposite of civilization, its antithesis as the shadow of architecture. This studio is proposed right against that notion. 

This studio will use recently uncovered archeological evidence to argue that Amazonia should be understood as a space of intense human cultivation rather than a singular entity. With this, we argue that Amazonia is more a garden than a forest. 

 

The main archeological evidence this studio will study is the oldest site of rupestrian art discovered at the Monte Alegre State Park in Pará, Brazil. The rupestrian art there indicates that society and architecture was present at least 12,000 years ago in Amazonia, much earlier than historians had theorized.

 

The programs will be facilities to research, exhibit, and visit the rupestrian art at Monte Alegre.