Cartographies of Interconnection: Jaguars, Humans, and the Redesign of Urbanscapes in the Americas
ARC 327R, ARC 386M, LAR 385, U D 383M
Instructor: Juana Salcedo-Ortiz
We are used to understanding the city in opposition to nature. We tend to imagine it as the scenery in which nature has been domesticated to give rise to “civilization”, “progress,” and “modernity”. In this seminar, we will reconnect cities to the larger ecosystems to which they belong through an exploration of the urban landscapes that coincide with the Jaguar Corridor Initiative JCI. The JCI is a hemispheric project of integration that seeks to prevent the fragmentation of the jaguar (the Americas’ largest feline) habitat by connecting a territory of around 2.5 million sqm from northern Argentina to southern US through urban, agrarian, and extractive landscapes as well as different types of infrastructures. We’ll delve into discussions about planetary urbanization and urban sustainability and widen our understanding of Latin American urban territories. We’ll also experiment with visualization and mapping strategies to visualize in a creative and critical way the frictions between this urban matrix and the Jaguar Corridor with the intention of imagining possible landscapes of coexistence between human and more-than human species.
The seminar is divided into three successive modules. In the first module, Urban Territories, we’ll center on the debates about the urban phenomena, on Latin America’s urbanization processes, and on how these relate to the Jaguar Corridor. In the second module, Projecting, Mapping and Designing information, we’ll explore representation practices through relevant reflections and referents that have been proposed in fields including architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, information design, and the scientific humanities. In the third module, Cartographies of Interconnection, students we’ll develop a research project in groups. Each module will have a workshop session to discuss the development of these projects. Throughout the third module, we’ll discuss the process and learning experiences of your projects with external guests who will provide feedback to each group, and we’ll organize a digital exhibition of your work.