Ana Paula Baltazar – Architecture as interface: scarcity and autonomy in the informal production of space

Event Dates: 26 – 28 February 2013
University of Westminster
35 Marylebone Road
London NW1 5LS
115 New Cavendish Street
London W1W 6UW

Scarcity and Creativity in the Built Environment (SCIBE) presents:

Within the Limits of Scarcity: Rethinking Space, City and Practices
SCIBE PhD Conference 2013

Scarcity is often considered as a fundamental condition of human societies. On the one hand, the state of not having enough has been at the bottom of a variety of strategies and techniques to overcome it; on the other, it has served as an explanatory argument for social order, for distribution or for conflict. Scarcity has accompanied the becoming of the urban condition. Repeatedly, (im-)mate- rial shortage has been at the core of the city’s struggles. More recently, global economic uncertainty, widespread urban inequality and pressing environmental questions in both North and South, are posing acute challenges to all involved in producing the built environment. Within this scenario, different actors, from architects and other built environment professionals to local authorities and community based organisations, will be increasingly pressured to deploy strategies to work within or against the limits of scarcity.

This conference seeks to investigate the processes through which scarcity is constructed in specific urban settings, shedding light on its setting, emergence and production in the built environment. Moreover, it seeks to understand how the challenges posed by this condition can shape alternative ways of investigating, conceptualising and theorizing city and space so as to inform innovative strategies and challenge the existing normative practices.

Ana Paula Baltazar (MOM, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil) – Architecture as interface: scarcity and autonomy in the informal production of space

Ana is a Brazilian qualified Architect, holds an MArch in Architecture and Urbanism from Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) in Brazil, and a PhD in Architecture and Virtual Environments from the Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London. She is a Senior Lecturer teaching at both undergraduate and graduate programs at the School of Architecture at UFMG, where she also co-leads the research groups MOM (Morar de Outras Maneiras / Living in Other Ways) and LAGEAR (Laboratório Gráfico para Experimentação Arquitetônica / Computer Laboratory for Architectural Experience). In the last five years she has been teaching first year architecture students, working with low-tech and low-cost interactive urban interventions in poor small villages in Brazil. Her current research focuses on means to raise the historical awareness of people living in fragile and informal settlements, such as favelas and rural areas, in order to both understand the processes of production of space they engender and to empower them to defend themselves from heteronomous interventions of the State and capitalist interests. Her main research interest includes spatial practices of resistance to capitalism, the autonomy of users in the production of space, the possible simultaneity of design, building and use, the role of architects as interface designers, architecture as interface, and low-tech/low-cost immersive environments for collaborative production of space-events. She has several papers and book chapters published and was awarded three research prizes and two design prizes.





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