In my opinion, the lecture given by Paulo Moreira was very interesting especially for the presentation of his book and the selection of projects within it. He made clear the importance of the interaction between architects and local people in the initial phase and throughout the design process, looking for a continuous comparison. A very important example was the Kapalanga School, where students were asked to imagine their own school. In the various projects, the context has been respected, trying to reuse the local materials with the collaboration of local builders and trying to enhance the little that these populations had.
I found Paulo Moreira’s lecture to be highly captivating, particularly due to the introduction of his book and the selection of projects highlighted within it. He emphasized the significance of architects engaging with local communities during the initial phase and throughout the design process, with an emphasis on continuous collaboration. Moreira provided a powerful example of this through the Kapalanga School project, where students were encouraged to envision their own school. In all of the projects showcased, there was a strong emphasis on respecting the context and utilizing locally sourced materials, with the involvement of local builders in order to enhance the resources available to these communities.
An interesting talk was that of Paulo Moreira who, starting with an analysis of his book, Critical Neighbourhood, emphasized the role of architecture as a tool for inclusion, interaction, and conversation with local communities. More and more, architecture plays the role of intermediary between space, more or less conflicted, and people: in fact, it does not only become a participant in everyday life but also influences their actions. I think Moreira’s design for the “Wako waterpoint” highly represents this reflection. A project, if well juxtaposed with the sociological component, has the capacity to reduce urban fragmentation and dispersion in favor of a continuous city model where possible ghettoization phenomena can be avoided.
In my opinion, the architect Paulo Moreira presents an interesting discussion on how to explore architecture in contexts that are usually unknown in the academic environment. With his book “Critical Neighborhoods”, Moreira seeks to engage the debate about local issues in a small village in Angola. With some punctual interventions in the marginalized area, acting in the local water points (as presented in his book), the architect succeeds in creating a participative and collaborative environment with the community in order to solve local issues and bring quality to the place.
This weeks lecture titled “Conflict and Reciprocity in Architecture” by Paulo Moreira introduced and explored his publication “Critical Neighborhoods”. This publication explores three neighborhoods in culturally diverse settings. In the book, we see architecture as a multi-dimensional tool which combines the technical aspects of our work with social interactions. It aims for inclusion, collaboration and interaction with the people who occupy these spaces. I found this lecture to be very interesting with the way it emphasised collaboration, in every sense possible, as a fundamental tool for enabling this progress and enhancement. As a side note, I also really appreciated the graphic design of the book.
The conference, held by architect Moreira, centred around the presentation of his most recent interventions in Rwanda. The similar characteristics of these projects are undoubtedly linked to local practices such as “self-building”, typically used to cover the most basic needs and to provide spaces for the daily use in the poorest areas of Third World countries, where water, shading and cooling are central themes. The considerations arisen from this discussion have also brought to light the importance of the sensibility of the professional, in its role as figure aware of the context in which it will operate: this statement refers not only to the ability to overcome a design challenge with scarce monetary and material resources, but also to the will to make a tangible contribution, even if modest, to the communities that need it the most and finally involve them in educational processes such as the participatory planning of the urban space.
This week’s lecture with guest Paulo Moreira was very interesting. The architect explained his interventions carried out in Africa, Latin America and India. This was then catalogued in his book, named “Critical Neighbourhoods.” The book contributes to the development of new architectural approaches to informal communities and a better understanding of human habitat that links spatial issues to broader economic and political concerns. The question that has been most pressing for me is how collaboration can be critical in order to be able to solve local issues.
The lecture by Paulo Moreira was very fascinating, mostly for the way he showed how is possible to do good architecture for a community even without much money or facilities. In his point of view, which I think is fundamental for the architect’s role, a good project has to be designed involving and collaborating with local community. This is the way to build something that is truly useful and positively affects people’s lives. I think that Moreira’s presentation of his book “Critical Neighbourhoods” and the projects he showed have perfectly highlighted this concept.
Paulo Moreira’s lecture was interesting as he explained his projects and also the book “Critical Neighbourhoods”. The design approach he mentioned in his projects had an inclusive strategy considering the context and also the needs, opinions and the participation of the local people. It was interesting to see the transformation of existing water fountains and laundry places. Also, for Kapalanga School, the drawings of children were considered and spaces were developed accordingly. Overall, Paulo Moreira’s lecture made me reflect on how this type of work may be a good reason to love architecture even though it may have difficulties.
In the lecture given by Paulo Moreira, the ‘architect presented some of his projects, described within his book “Critical Neighbourhood. I found interesting the redevelopment of water points through the use of existing materials and their transformation, the important point in addition to the solution adopted, is the involvement of local artisans in the construction, so as to create a system of knowledge exchange that can also serve in future constructions. The involvement of local residents, however, does not dwell on the technical factor, but creeps into the design as customs and traditions are translated into architectural detail, such as lengthening the roof or adding benches.
It was a very interesting lecture by Paulo Moreira, in which he spoke about his experiences in “Critical Neighbourhoods”, name of the book he presented to us. Paulo Moreira introduced a number of projects carried out in Angola, in which one can pay particular attention to the needs and critical issues experienced by the community. The architecture that responds to these needs is extremely functional and totally devoted to the population. Then he presented projects realised in some neighbourhoods in Portugal, in which one can almost always see the need to create collective and community spaces.
The lecture presented by Paulo Moreira with his book “Critical Neighbourhoods: The Architecture of Contested Communities” show us a deep attention between architecture and contexts of urban conflict and social deprivation. I found really interesting the work he achieved in Chicala (Angola) about architectural and spatial experiments on informal communities. A project based on conversations with communities to work on local issues, to read how people use a place and how architecture can affect these critical issues.
He put attention to local metal and people’s thought to improve their life and create new structures to the existing laundry places and water fountains, creating new places for gathering. From this I learned about a new kind of architecture, inspired by informal neighbourhoods and self-building.
In Paulo Moreira’s lecture, entitled “Conflict and Reciprocity in Architecture”, the architect introduced and exhibited some of the projects in his book “Critical Neighbourhoods”. The presentation of the book was very interesting, especially the theme of the collaboration and interaction that is created between the architect and the community, a relationship that is created not only during the initial design phase, but that continues throughout the entire process, also actively involving the population.
An example that has stuck with me is the Kapalanga School, where there is a long element with dynamics, around it is the park with a tree providing shade. And the students are asked to imagine their own school, because they are known to have the ability to synthesise, and from this we deduce what the key elements are for them, some of them draw the tree. The school is built in separate modules around the main volume, this choice is due to a financial factor, so that the structures can be built gradually.
I think that also in the other projects, architect Moreira has managed to convey his thoughts on collaborative design, and how important this concept is.
The lecture by Paulo Moreira was about the experiences which he had and he had collected all of these experinces in his “Critical Neighbourhoods” book. He presented some experinces from this book. It was mentioned that some strategies for projects according to the people’s essential needs. In Africa water is an important issue so of the water tanks’ around had designed according to people’s needs. They designed a new entrance for people and put some benches around the water point. They seperated the laundry part and put the hoses up side of the water tank so people can carry water on their heads easily. Local people help to build for this gather and access of the water point and it shows that people can help each other according to their needs.Another project was Kapalanga school. Children’s drawings were too important for this project because of their needs and wants. They removed the old wall and has a bigger room. There are some openings in the courtyard and no windows. Another project was Escadinhas in Portugal. They created a gathering places for public. Also, there is a long stairs so they colored this stairs and create an inspiring place for people. All of these projects show that how people needs are important and how can we reuse the local material and get help from local people.
At the beginning of the lecture, I asked myself the question: What are the conflicts before starting a project? And while the explanation about the book was being developed, the authors raised very interesting topics that were responding to the previous question, such as relations between neighbors, which vary so much depending on the country in which you are? As a reflection I liked the idea of betting on a very human architecture that thinks of the community that takes basic needs as a starting point and that through collaborative work the construction of society is achieved.
This lecture demonstrated that architecture as practiced today has a lot to learn (or rather, ‘unlearn’ as mentioned by Paulo) from more contextual vernacular conceptions of building, particularly in the global south. The showcased projects in Luanda embody this notion, aiming to achieve a more engaged architecture. In particular, the expanded notion of archival research as portrayed during the design process, where local objects and collections of personal items were used in informing the design, was of particular interest to me, demonstrating that the culture and history of a given place is just as defined by seemingly mundane expressions of lived experience as it is dictated by more institutional entities and actors. Additionally, the discussion surrounding the ever shifting role of the architect, and the definition of the architect as a professional in our times as more of a mediating figure between various stakeholders and not necessarily the sole visionary behind a given work is perhaps one of the most pressing questions facing the field, and experiments such as this one help provide a potential answer.
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