Integration Process Caracas - Fourth Gathering

"Art, Pedagogy and City" is a series of events that are part of the project Integration Process Caracas. The discussions promote recognition of the barrio as part of the city.

This Thursday, April 25, we will have our fourth meeting titled "Transforming the city from the classroom." Teachers and educators from different schools and levels (both from inside and outside the barrio) are invited to talk about what recognition means. The event will culminate in brainstorming and planning sessions on the notion that “the barrio is city”.

We offer participants round trip transportation, refreshments and participation certificates. The event will begin in Plaza Bolívar de Baruta followed by a walk to the Concentration 094 School, in the La Cruz sector of La Palomera, where we will reflect on the nature of the city, followed by a workshop. The activity will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will end at 11:30 a.m.

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Across the Americas – Columbia University Incubator

Elisa is part of a conversation initiated by Agustín Schang and Laura González that explores contemporary architecture models operating Across the Americas. The group was comprised by Julian Palacio, Jorge Ambrosi & Gabriela Etchegaray, Rafael Gamo, Elisa Silva and Maite Borjabad Lopez-Pastor.

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Too Fast Too Slow Princeton University

As part of the public programing for the 2019 Post-Professional Master of Architecture Thesis Exhibition, TOO FAST TOO SLOW, Architect and Princeton School of Architecture Visiting Lecturer Elisa Silva, discusses her work in terms of the exhibition's prompt of speed and the fortune, futility, and providence of time in practice.

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Art and community. Proposals for Integration

"Integration Process Caracas" promotes the recognition of the entire city by blurring borders, overstepping boundaries and generating opportunities for gatherings where we can experience integration.

We invite artists, creators and city lovers to participate in a co-creation experience with the community of La Palomera, Baruta. We are looking for people interested in working through a constant exchange with La Palomera´s neighbors to create interventions that manifest reflections on integration through art.

If you are interested in submitting a proposal visit the following link for more information.

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Integration in Process Caracas Second Meeting

The Second Gathering of the series "Art, pedagogy and city", titled "Art as a mediation tool," took place on Saturday February 9, 2019. Artists, creators, journalists and neighbors of Caracas walked from the Plaza Bolívar de Baruta to the La Cruz sector in La Palomera. At the end a performance was coreographed for the guests in the "Vuelta de los jeeps" a public space, led by dancer Dora Peña.

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Completion of the project a playground in Las Brisas de la Palomera

We completed the construction of a small public space in Las Brisas - La Palomera that includes a bench more than 9 meters long and a hexagonal structure that works like a swing where children can see each other and synchronize their movements. Both rest under the shade of a large existing Possum tree. This place had previously been used to park cars, and through negotiations with its drivers we managed to free space to convert it into a public space. We are deeply grateful for the donations received from Juan Fernandes, Martin Prosperi, Juan Carlos Castillo and Tania Urvois.

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Inauguration Plaza Jorge Somaca in Chapellin

After twenty weeks of work through the phases of community consultations, participatory design and construction, the Chapellin Plaza was inaugurated with the participation of neighbors and visitors. This project was funded by the Swiss Embassy in Venezuela through an alliance with Caracas MiConvive, an NGO focused on empowering and supporting communities in Caracas. Enlace Arquitectura led design and construction efforts together with local associations such as Asociación de Jóvenes Unidos AJU and the Don Bosco de Chaplain pre-school. A uniform pavement over 280 m2 of surface allow children and youth to play baseball, soccer and ride bikes. It has also been used for community festivities over the holiday season revealing an immediate appropriation of the renewed public space by neighbors. The public space was named Plaza Jorge Somaca after the leader of the association AJU, who sadly passed days before the project was completed.

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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

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

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.

+ see video

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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

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

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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