Our role and impact in the world Many have asked what we are doing in Brazil. My colleague and I have been on a fact-finding trip with Nomade Group to gather background information for a holistic masterplan for responsible tourism in socially and environmentally sustainable destinations in Northeast Brazil. Some may know the incredible, barefoot, light impact environments that Nomade is known for—a form of tourism that doesn’t replace the forest or the sand but rather inhabits and preserves it. A much-needed alternative to the high-rises on the beach that often happens when international tourism arrives as it has in Cancun only hours north of Tulum. We traveled the Northeast Coast of Brazil from Fortaleza to Atins, crossing three states, meeting mayors, governors and ministers across the entire political spectrum, and most importantly, amazing people from all walks of life. The observations and ideas we presented in our preliminary research to the ministries of Economy and Tourism impacted them so much that that they asked us to present our ideas directly to the president’s office. How better to impact the future of the region and the country than to plant the ideas we believe in at the highest level of government? Neither the president nor the ministers are our clients, but we are happy to share our ideas and ideals with a government that is willing to listen. As much as I would enjoy working in a bubble where everybody agrees with me, the places that can really benefit from our involvement are the places that are further from the ideals that we already hold. I love Brazil as a country, and I really want to see Brazil succeed. Slash and burn agriculture is one of many examples of how socioeconomic problems can become environmental problems. That is why I want to be actively involved with the necessary transformation of Brazil and share ideas that I believe would be a great alternative to the traditional development that destroys the landscape, deteriorates the ecosystems and displaces the local community. We may not succeed, but I am certain that we will not succeed, if we don’t even try. Creating a list of countries or companies that BIG should shy away from working with seems to be an oversimplification of a complex world. Dividing everything into two categories is neither accurate nor reasonable. The way the world evolves isn’t binary but rather gradual and on a vast array of aspects and nuances. If we want to positively impact the world, we need active engagement, not superficial clickbait or ignorance. I believe we have a great responsibility that comes with the creative platform that we have created. We should use that platform to change the world for the better. We can’t expect every public instance to be aligned with all aspects of our thinking, but we can make sure that we bring the change we want to see in the world, through the work we do. The ideas and ideals of the projects we propose bear their legitimacy. That means working in countries like Brazil (and the USA for that matter) despite the controversies that their elected leaders may generate. One of the core principles of democracy is the ability to coexist and collaborate despite political differences. In my mind that is a way for us architects to have ethical impact. To engage actively to create the future that we want, by proposing our ideas to people, governments and businesses even if they have different points of view than we do. We have to engage and embrace our differences if we want to dare to imagine a different future. Bjarke Ingels
Posts tagged with "Brazil":
“During the four days in the country, investors had meetings with Minister Marcelo Álvaro and other representatives of the federal government, such as the Ministries of Economy and Environment, as well as the Civil House of the Presidency, BNDES and Banco do Brasil. The agenda revolved around Brazil's tourism potential, where the group is considering developing projects that will help boost the travel industry.”However, encouraging sustainable growth is seemingly at odds with the approach Bolsonaro has taken in the past. The President has drastically scaled back environmental protections and enforcement, drastically sped up the deforestation of the Amazon, doesn’t believe in climate change, and has expressed support for developing nature preserves. In fact, environmental groups and American Museum of Natural History employees successfully shut out a gala honoring Bolsonaro at the museum last April over exactly those concerns. That’s before even mentioning his homophobic comments, or the decision to strip protections from indigenous Brazilians in favor of agribusinesses. “The last months have shown with jarring clarity that the social challenges of Northeast Brazil are beginning to translate into ecological challenges,” wrote Ingels in response to an inquiry from AN. “We have travelled Brazil’s Northeast region with our collaborators from Nomade Group and met with local governors and mayors, as well as the relevant ministries of Economy, Culture and Tourism and finally the president’s office to gauge the possibility of devising a holistic masterplan for the Northeastern coastal states of Brazil to create ecologically and economically sustainable development. We return incredibly encouraged with the awareness and readiness we have encountered at all levels of government across the entire political spectrum as well as across state borders and city limits to collaborate towards creating a regional masterplan for socially and environmentally sustainable communities.”
Walls of Air: The Brazilian Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale Americas Society 680 Park Avenue New York, New York Through August 3, 2019
Ernesto Ottone R., UNESCO’s assistant director-general of culture, said UNESCO and UIA have combined forces to establish the World Capital of Architecture in an effort to preserve architectural heritage around the world through the urban context. “The aim is to create new synergies between culture and architecture in an increasingly urban world, in which cities are hubs for ideas, trade, culture, science, and social development,” he said. “Through this initiative, our ambition is to ensure that these cities are also perceived as open and creative spaces for exchange, invention, and innovation.”
🔴 BREAKING NEWSThe 2020 World Capital of Architecture has just been announced as Rio de Janeiro! 🇧🇷🇧🇷🇧🇷 As the first holder of the title, the city will emphasize the role of architecture & culture in sustainable urban development!#WorldCapitalOfArchitecture #Rio2020 pic.twitter.com/dIocfZW1BZ — UNESCO (@UNESCO) January 18, 2019
The work and philosophy of landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx is on display at the Jewish Museum
Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist is a retrospective exhibition that looks at the life and work of landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx. Born from a German father and a Brazilian mother, Marx, along with the likes of Oscar Niemeyer, adopted the ideals of the growing modernist movement in Brazil. Despite becoming an esteemed figure within the 20th century landscape architectural scene, today Marx is seldom recognized outside his homeland. His dedicated exhibition at the Jewish Museum seeks to change that, showcasing his modernist philosophy through a series of his drawings, photographs, textiles, jewelry, theater sets, costumes, ceramics, and stained glass. The selected works are intended to embody not only Marx’s modernist principles, but also his own ethos. During his 60-year career, Marx sought to mitigate the loss of the primeval garden and repair the rift between humanity and nature. As a result, his gardens (he produced more than 2,000) encouraged self-reflection while using artistic devices to address political issues such as ecology. In the exhibition, they are depicted as works of art, compiling abstract linear forms such as flat planes and using bold colors. The self-described “poet of his own life,” also left a legacy of influence, which the exhibition displays through a collection of Latin American artists born after 1950.
Roberto Burle Marx: Brazilian Modernist is at the The Jewish Museum, 1109 Fifth Ave at 92nd St., through September 18, 2016.
Brazilian architect Isay Weinfeld is having a moment. He's designing the new Four Seasons Restaurant. He also has two large residential projects in the United States: the Jardim in New York near the High Line and the Fasano Hotel and Residences at the famous Shore Club in Miami Beach. His work displays a thoughtful relationship between interior and exterior—more specifically landscaping and architecture. It comes through in a large body of small residential and retail projects in Brazil but also in his more recent large residential projects. Senior editor Matt Shaw joined Weinfeld at the spectacular Manhattan showroom for the Jardim to discuss indoor-outdoor living in temperate climates such as Brazil and Miami, as well as places with a solid four seasons, like New York.
The Architect’s Newspaper: What is your approach to crafting the relationship between indoor and outdoor spaces?
Isay Weinfeld: In many places where we design, the weather is so nice that we have a very strong connection between the two. It’s impossible to know if you’re having lunch inside or outside because it’s the same. In the Miami project, we have internal patios—you bring the garden inside the house. In our Havaianas store in São Paulo, the skylights are open so it can rain on the plants inside. It is on the most expensive street in the city, but they sell inexpensive flip-flops.
I love the sensation of going through a space but not knowing what is waiting for you at the end. Suddenly, it opens to an unusual space that you were not expecting. For example, at the Geneses House in São Paulo, you could enter the house directly from the street, but I made a pathway where you could also go into this garden at the back of the lot. It is very far. And when you are at the end, you turn and you see the back of the house—but it is not the back, it’s the front.
Where does this attitude come from?
I designed a house for a very important filmmaker, Héctor Babenco, and I put the garden in front of the house. Usually, I put it behind the house. But in this case, you enter from the street, and it’s a forest. You cannot see anything, and there is a path that is, like, five minutes of walking without seeing the house. The path is not covered. If it’s raining, then it’s raining.
Suddenly, you open to the house, and you are almost inside the house. This is like a film, because I was a filmmaker also. It’s a way to manipulate the emotion of people as they enter, go outside, and go inside.
So you use outdoor space as an extension of your architecture?
My architecture is very, very simple, so I hate having landscape design with the same minimal feeling, where you have one plant here, one there, one cactus here. I love lush. There should be a complete contrast between my architecture and the garden. It should be chaos like the High Line. I love the contrast between the chaos of the landscape and the very simple lines of the architecture.
Why is the outdoor space so important to a project like the Jardim, your midrise residential building along the High Line?
It is almost a consequence of the way that we put the two buildings, with an empty space in between. I think it’s better to have a wonderful garden with the kids that you can be in than a pavement, solid concrete, minimalist beautiful project without people. I think this is very agreeable for all people, for the kids, and even in New York. At the Jardim, this will be good also—even in the winter.