Fundamentally geared as an exchange cycle of spatial questions and ideas pointed toward the future city, Studio Sangue Bom has been deeply engaged with Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, since 2009. As an Advanced Architecture Studio at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), our prime objective has always been to deliver projectionsprojections
that may spark new forms of dialogue and reach far beyond typical realms of architectural participationparticipation
. In doing so, Studio Sangue Bom has been privileged to perform a wide variety of experiments with new operational models and exchange formats, all of which have been instrumental in boosting and recalibrating its drivetrain.
Most recently, and as a key component of the much larger Studio-X Rio RdP Initiative, Studio Sangue Bom VI focused on an absolutely incredible slice of the city called Rio das Pedras (RdP). A super lively informal community on Rio de Janeiro’s West Zone, Rio das Pedras is one of the fastest-growing communities in the city. Ranked the third largest favela in Brazil, with an estimated population of between eighty thousand and a hundred thousand, its urban fabric is remarkably dense, diverse, and rich, with a seemingly endless array of extreme spatial permutations. While most informal communities in Rio de Janeiro are primarily located on the steep incline of its hillsides and mountains, Rio das Pedras is predominantly situated on a flat, extensive marshland at the edge of Tijuca Lake. This terrain condition has perpetuated a host of complex structural and infrastructural challenges, perhaps most notably including buildings that sink into the ground as they grow in height over time and an extensively polluted river (Rio das Pedras’s namesake) that dumps raw sewage into Tijuca Lake.
At the same time, Rio das Pedras carries a cultural vibrancy that is unique within Rio de Janeiro, as the great majority of its population is either first- or second-generation Nordestinos, people from Brazil’s northeastern states. Coupling this special charge with its approximately four thousand thriving businesses, a dynamically complex real estate system, its key location in the West Zone, and inevitable growth, it becomes clear that Rio das Pedras is poised for a future that has yet to be fully imagined.
Developing and delivering ideas for a new type of “Market-Matrix +,” Studio Sangue Bom VI held its midsemester mixer in March 2014 at CAIC, a municipal high school in the heart of Rio das Pedras. With thirty stellar students as our primary critics and collaborators, we set out to spark a productively chaotic exchange session as our initial handshake with this amazing place.
Rio das Pedras
Population Estimates: eighty thousand to one hundred thousand.
View over Rio das Pedras to Panela Rock.
Uniquely dense and diverse, Rio das Pedras is primarily growing vertically.
Compressive spaces permeate much of the fabric.
Rio das Pedras textures and flavors
With its external boundaries quite fixed due to complex historical/occupational negotiations, density will only increase over time.
(left) Studio Sangue Bom VI deep inside Rio das Pedras. (right) Noah Z Levy lugging the key gear to fuel the RdP MEGAMIX.
What types of spatial futures can we imagine here? (The fundamental question for Studio Sangue Bom VI.)
RdP MEGAMIXER Players.
GSAPP students present projects through facilitators to CAIC crew.
Excitement + Nerves = Careful Initiation. Spatial questions, terms, hunches, and projections begin the exchange.
(left half) Facilitator rotation. (right half) CAIC student rapidly selected to present GSAPP project to new facilitators.
Without any hesitation whatsoever, this super-impressive CAIC student presents the project he just learned about with his own twist on the spatial potentials at hand.
Calculated versions of dream scenarios and programs were read into the spatial depictions and notational maps through this round of presentations.
Self-initiated reference sketching in relation to reorientation /potential flexing of spatial construct.
Customized clusters of exchange and input.
New arrangements begin to generate their own dynamics
Orbital shifts, amplification of productive chaos…
Spontaneous Beat-Box/Freestyle MC session about the project at hand.
Two hours into the session: chaos achieved!
Full mix force.
SANGUE BOM!–Raul Corrêa-Smith is a Carioca who was born in New York. An Adjunct Assistant Professor of Architecture at GSAPP, Coordinator of Studio-X Rio, Studio Critic of Architecture and Urbanism at PUC-Rio and co-founder of Faíscas (www.faiscas.org), Raul currently lives in Flamengo, Rio de Janeiro.Keith Kaseman has lived in numerous places and cities including Phoenix, Los Angeles, Prague (CZ), New York, Alexandria (VA), and Philadelphia. He is a partner at KBAS (www.kbas-studio.com), co-founder of Faíscas (www.faiscas.org), and an Adjunct Associate Professor of Architecture at GSAPP. Keith currently lives in Knoxville, TN.Studio Sangue Bom VIGSAPP Spring 2014Studio Critics: Keith Kaseman, Raul Corrêa Smith and Noah Z LevyStudents: Jinglu Huang, Limeng Jiang, John Kim, Elizabeth Labra, Young Jun Lee, Yubo Liang, Dina Mahmous, Andrew Nicolaides, Tiffany Rattray, Diego Rodriguez, Tianhui Shen.