Speculations on Water: Infrastructure and Institution
Student teams will speculate on future water infrastructure and growth in Quito, the largest city in Ecuador. Quito, to which we will travel for a week, is growing rapidly. The only source of fresh water supporting Quito and surrounding territories is the shrinking ice caps on the volcanoes that surround the city. The subject for engagement in this studio is the reciprocity between the city’s need for a water infrastructure and how that form transforms the shape of the city. This is not a regional planning exercise but a fine-grained exploration of designed changes to the public realm. As in the example of an Indian stepwell at the center of a Rajastani village, each team must propose both the infrastructure related to water and a social, political, or cultural institution associated with its management, and then speculate on how these changes will positively determine the city in 50 years. The intent of each team's proposal will be supported by a detailed study of the conditions along a transect from the Pinchincha, the volcano directly over Quito, down to Tena, in the Amazon rainforest, where the Napo River ends Quito’s land reach. Each team will be working with a different site along this transect, which describes the trajectory of Quito's future growth.
Note that this studio meets with Professor Hope Hasbrouck's Advanced Design Studio in Landscape Architecture, and that most of the design teams will be composed of an architecture student and a landscape architecture student. The studio will also travel to Quito for just over a week, in regard to which — and a more thorough explanation of course pedagogy – please read the attached description closely.