News

Studio final review “The Agency of Mezcal in the Oaxaca Valley”

Studio final review “The Agency of Mezcal in the Oaxaca Valley”

Final review for the work of students in Harvard University Graduate School of Design “The Agency of Mezcal in the Oaxaca Valley” option studio led by Elisa Silva, was presented on the 10th of December 2018 in front of a multidisciplinary jury comprised of professors Diane Davis, chair of the GSD´s Department of Urban Planning and Design; Aziza Chaouni, associate professor at Daniel´s Univeristy of Toronto; Juan José Consejo, president of INSO in Oaxaca; Pablo Perez Ramos, assistant professor in Landscape Architecture GSD; Alistair McIntoch, Landscape architect and lecturer at the GSD; Steven Handel, ecologist and lecturer at the GSD; Miquel Adriá, director of Arquine in Mexico; Anna Heringer, architect and design critic GSD; Guilllermo Chavez in representation of Agave Capital and Bruxo Mezcal. Students developed proposals for the towns of San Martín Lachilá, Agua del Espino and San Agustín Amatengo in the Ejutla region of Oaxaca Mexico. The approaches considered reforestation strategies, water harvesting, public space, agave harvesting, wood production, the inclusion of women in new productive activities and expanding the management of mezcal related activities to include more ecologically sustainable strategies as well as new components of terroir.

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First phase completed for the public space project in Las Brisas de la Palomera

First phase completed for the public space project in Las Brisas de la Palomera

Enlace Foundation ended the first part of a public space project in Las Brisas La Palomera over the month of December, culminating the construction of a 19 meters long bench that lines the edge of pronounced topographical drop off at the top of La Palomera´s southern ridge. In order to create this new playground for children, neighbors who had parked their cars in this space graciously agreed to park their cars elsewhere in order to allow a new public space to be built. For security reasons the community and design team agreed to build the bench first as a protection device to keep children away from the edge. In January 2019 we will begin the construction of the swings.

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Integration Process Caracas - Art, Pedagogy and the City

Integration Process Caracas - Art, Pedagogy and the City

On November 17 we kicked off the "Integration Process Caracas" program with the first talk of the lecture series "Art, Pedagogy and the City". The lecture entitled "Strategies for Integration" brought together a diverse group of speakers who addressed issues related to urban integration such as the real and symbolic merging of the city and the distinction between "formal" and "informal" cities. The meeting took place in the La Palomera´s basketball court where Natalya Critchley, Cheo Carvajal, Elisa Silva, Sergio Dos Santos, Martina Arteaga and José González told us about integration experiences related to art, pedagogy, urban design and local experiences. The lecture was attended by neighbors from the community of La Palomera and other parts of the city. At the end of the presentations everyone participated in a workshop experience led by Katiuska Camargo, who invited them to dream as children and imagine transformations for the community. This initiative is part of the United States Embassy in Venezuela´s cultural program.

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Presentation of new study on inclusive and sustainable social housing in Mexico

Presentation of new study on inclusive and sustainable social housing in Mexico

An earnest strive to make social housing in Mexico more inclusive and sustainable was presented on Monday November 5th at the offices of Conavi in Mexico City. The study was commissioned by Conavi to UN Habitat in Mexico; the research and documentation was executed by Elisa Silva. The study emphasises the importance of considering housing at three scales: the urban, the neighbourhood and the housing unit itself. It allows design to pool resources together to lower overall costs, prioritise strategies for urban integration and increase people´s quality of living.

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Inauguration of the Church San Juan María Vianney in Media Legua

Inauguration of the Church San Juan María Vianney in Media Legua

The new church of Media Legua San Juan Maria Vianney was inaugurated (consecrated) by the Vargas State Bishop and the last four parish priests including Father Abelardo Bazó, who stood behind the church’s construction from the very beginning. Ricardo Silva, and Elisa Silva led the design and construction together with Rafael Monterrey and his family. Carlos Mero was responsible for the opening gates and lettering on the façade. The idea to build a church at the selected site initiated in April 2008 when the community approached Father Abelardo and presented their request. All materials have been purchased through donations and much of the work has been done pro bono. There are several details yet to be completed, but the church is functional and operative as of this moment.

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Harvard design studio visited the Oaxaca Valley in Mexico

Harvard design studio visited the Oaxaca Valley in Mexico

Students of the Oaxaca Valley Option Studio at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design visited the communities of San Martín Lachila, Agua del Espino and San Agustín Amatengo together with the studio sponsors, Bruxo Mezcal, and instructor Elisa Silva. The visit focused on understanding the mezcal making process, the community´s strengths and needs, as well as identifying opportunities for grounded interventions that can improve the livelihood, productivity, social inclusion and environmental conservation of the region.

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Elisa serves on Board of Governance at the ASADI school of architecture in Cochin India

Elisa serves on Board of Governance at the ASADI school of architecture in Cochin India

The Asian School of Architecture and Design Innovation ASADI in Cochin India has invited an international and nationa group of prominent architects and cultural figures to form the schoo´s governance board. The shared vision is to build a renewed approach to design education that is committed to both social and environmental engagement in built ecologies. Board members include Sunil Dubey, Sheila Prakash, Sharukh Mistry, Chris Johnson, Navina Jackson and Elisa Silva. They met for several days in Cochin, India to learn about the school and suggest possible future initiatives.

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UCLG Conference and Guangzhou Award 2018 shortlisted cities

UCLG Conference and Guangzhou Award 2018 shortlisted cities

The 2018 Guangzhou Award Technical Committee presented the 15 shortlisted cities at the 7th UCLG ASPAC congress in Surabaya Indonesia. Elisa Silva was part of the Technical Committee and also participated in a panel discussion on Urban Innovation together with Wandia Seaforth from Nairobi Kenya, Greg Budworth from Sydney Australia, Enrique Silva from the Lincoln Land Institute, Belinda Yuen from Singapore, Kristen Miller from Ecocity, Ali El-Faramawi from Cairo Egypt, Luigi Cipolla from Italy, and Carlos Zaballa from Buenos Aires Argentina. The discussions were moderated by Nicholas You of Citistates and coordinator of the Guangzhou Award.

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Enlace Foundation will begin work on a new playground in Las Brisas La Palomera, in Caracas

Enlace Foundation will begin work on a new playground in Las Brisas La Palomera, in Caracas

On Sunday the community of Las Brisas in La Palomera, Baruta - Caracas, conducted an open assembly to vote on a playground and park. In early July, we proposed building a public space under a large mature possumwood “jabillo” where neighbors currently park cars to the community. Over a series of meeting the design changed and was strengthened by their concerns for security and flexibility. After a heated debate and a certain amount of tension, the community overwhelmingly voted for the park and so we will begin work in the coming weeks. We are looking forward to this new experience with the community of Las Brisas.

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