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Reconnecting People and Place

International design-build studio

Guadalupe N.L., Mexico


Dr Pedro Pacheco Department of Architecture School of Architecture, Art and Design ITESM, Monterrey Mexico Dr Peter Raisbeck Department of Architecture University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia With support from Dr John Motloch Department of Landscape Architecture Ball State University Muncie, Indiana, USA Summer 2010

Definition
Reconnecting People and Place is a course that increases student understanding of place and people and place-based decisions to improve the built environment using regenerative thinking as . RPP is also al course that helps communities learn how to become more interconnected with place through community development, planning and design in a collaborative way and using regenerative thinking in the process.

Background
The course is taught every summer since 2005 and has used different settings for explorations. The work and activities that happen in the course can be consulted en the following site: http://www.bsu.edu/web/capweb/ldi/mexico05 /index.htm

Purpose of the 2010 course


The purpose of the course is to explore sustainable community development alternatives for low-income neighborhoods in urban Monterrey in collaboration with residents, volunteers and local agencies through the planning and design of a community development project.

Project objectives
Identify key community projects and express them in a general plan. Participate in the design-build of a small (around 40 m2) demonstration facility based on the lessons learned from the community and the resources (waste stream) identified locally. Design a food production garden using community resources and dynamics. Plan and design a pocket park. Conceptually design the neighborhood open space, streetscape and pedestrian system.

Academic Objective
Expose students to sustainable community development issues through community immersion. At the end of the course, students should be able to:
Engage processes that help reconnect people and place. Conduct community diagnosis in collaboration with community members and in ways that empower residents. Identify trigger projects for sustainable development. Demonstrate appropriate construction techniques. Propose whole system solutions that enhance environmental performance and quality of life at both family and community levels.

One potential community of intervention is El Ranchito Milenio, a community of garbage pickers that live within an industrial area, along a railroad system within the municipality of Guadalupe.

Community of intervention

The community is divided in two sections, adjacent to a cemetery and a public housing complex and lacks most public facilities to function appropriately. Around 60 percent of the families make a living out of the trash they collect from surrounding neighborhoods.

Project components to be developed


1. Community level: development agenda (park planning, project identification, community open space and pedestrian system development). 2. Architectural level: design of meeting place and site components (may include water, energy and food production systems). 3. Construction level: define details of systems.

Community commitment
It is intended that the community will participate with labor, construction materials and information for the planning and design processes.

Collaborators
The El Ranchito Milenio community members. The municipality of Guadalupe. Students and professors from the ITESMs School of Architecture Art and Design. Students and professors from the University of Melbourne School of Architecture. Professors from Ball State Universitys Department of Landscape Architecture.

Participant students
The course is designed for upper-level students, from national and international universities, who are studying architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and related disciplines.

Academic strategy
Master plan At the regional-urban scale the group will conduct research to specify the design principles for the physical, social and environmental planning components. At the neighborhood scale, the group will identify trigger projects to address pressing needs within the community including facilities to satisfy educational, health, cultural, employment and recreational needs. In addition, the group will work on develop alternative proposals for community social space / park, and the neighborhood open space. A preliminary plan for the items mentioned will be ready by the beginning of the summer session. Design of the meeting place and its components Construction of the meeting place The construction of the meeting place will happen from June 1July 3. Students of the summer 2010 studio will enter the process during the first two Saturdays and fully during the last two weeks of the session. Field trip (Zacatecas and the region). The group will participate in a field study to Zacatecas and the region to explore vernacular architecture.

Example of a meeting place that is being build by students, volunteers and community members in a low-income community in Guadalupe, NL.

Course Schedule
The Summer 2010 course (June 1 July 2) has the following tentative schedule.
Prior to June 1: Videoconference socialization and knowledge-sharing June 1: a) Course overview. b) Housing and community development issues, c) visit to the casa study projects including the Peones Neighborhood. June 3: a) Methodology for reconnaissance and recording site studies, b) Site reconnaissance, b) Community charrete. June 4: a) Interpretation of information, b) analysis of case studies June 5: a) Brain storming and model fabrication June 8-19: Developing and communicating community development projects June 18, 19, 20: a) Field trip June 6, 13, 20 - July 3: a) meeting place construction July 1-3: b) Production of report

Course details
The class will meet every day from 8AM1PM Monday through Friday. Site visits will be done outside the regular schedule unless specified. The class will have access to studio space from 6-12 midnight and access to a working tools for material testing and construction activities during the day.

Course participation
For the ITESM students, the course will be accredited for Taller de Arquitectura V, VI and VII. Students wanting to participate must have an interview with professor Pedro Pacheco and submit a portfolio of projects developed (both academic and non-academic). This portfolio should include any hands on experience that the student has participated in. The interview can be either by phone or in person.

For additional information


Pedro Pacheco ppacheco@itesm.mx Tel 83582000 ext 5406 subext 110