Project: Hydro-Geographies Studio
Class: Seminar, California College of the Arts, Architecture Division

Date: Spring 2013
Instructors: Christopher Roach, Sandra Vivanco and Lalo Zylberberg

The domain of this investigation is the hydro-geography of the Guarani megaregion, a transnational ecological and cultural territory at the heart of the South American continent, with a specific focus on the Pantanal and the IberA? wetlands and their adjoining watersheds in the borderlands of Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia. The social, ecological, and physical geographies of this continental hinterland have been analyzed to reveal emergent forms of diffuse urbanism that can respond to the pressures of rapidly expanding populations, urban development, industrial agriculture, and resource extraction, and can develop lightly urbanized landscapes as a viable interface between fragile ecosystems and the IIRSA’s proposed infrastructures. After scanning the spatial processes and morphological conditions that are shaping these wetland territories, a series of spatial models were identified and utilized as multi-scalar instruments of design. These were deployed at the local scale on sites identified as typical and/or critical of the larger condition to develop new forms of diffuse ecological urbanism through the recombination of urban-landscape hybrids and architectural prototypes.