Earlier this year, 30 Spatial Practices students across BA Architecture, MA Architecture and MA Narrative Environments and four members of Spatial Practices staff worked alongside students from Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC) in Brazil on a series of workshops.
Hosted at Canteiro Experimental, in the Department of Architecture and Urbanism, PUC-Rio, these collaborative workshops engaged with the local directors, teachers, children and teenagers who use the educational spaces of the Tia Percília school in Morro da Babilônia favela. These educational spaces are part of an after-school program which is run by local residents. CSM and PUC students researched a set of designs and strategies for how the potential of these educational spaces could be developed and expanded. Following this research the group conceived, developed and tested proposals, including the design pictured above.
This prototype design, a handrail seat constructed from wood, was developed by dedicated staff and students in Rio, and has now been given an honourable mention in the category of architecture, interior design and street furniture at the Instituto De Arquitetos Do Brasil Awards 2017.
Speaking on the project, David Chambers, Associate Lecturer BA Architecture said:
The CSM-PUC workshop builds on an ongoing relationship that Aberrant Architecture have developed in Rio de Janeiro, since our initial research for the the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2012. At this time we began studying the CIEPs, a radical school building programme in Rio in the 1980s, designed by legendary Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer. The CIEPs are an interesting experiment in embedding schools directly into their local communities, and the workshop was a great way to explore the potential of the role of a school in the public realm.
After being exhibited as part of “Venice Takeaway” in 2012, Aberrant’s CIEPs research was subsequently shown at the RIBA in London, the Xth Sao Paulo Biennial of Architecture and is now part of the permanent collection at the Museum of Art Rio (MAR). Most excitingly, it has now been published as a beautiful book, titled ‘Wherever You Find People’ and published by Park Books.