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The New Local Gottret Merkel, José Jorge 2019-12-19

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THENEWLOCALbyJosé Jorge Gottret MerkelB.Sc. Anthropology, University of  Calgary, 2015Submitted in partial fulfillment of  the requirements for the degree of  Master of  Architecture in The Faculty of  Applied ScienceUniversity of  British ColumbiaVancouverDecember, 2019John Bass (Chair)Shelley Craig (External Committee)Chris Macdonald (Faculty Committee)“Culture springs from the rootsAnd seeping through to all the shootsTo leaf  and flower and budFrom cell to cell, like green blood,Is released by rain showersAs fragrance from the wet flowersTo fill the air.But culture that is poured on menFrom up above, congeals thenLike damp sugar, so they becomeLike sugar dolls, and when someLife-giving shower wets them throughThey disappear and melt into A sticky mess.” - Hassan Fathy (1969)NEWLOCALWoelfflin 1886Bodily experience of  corporeality and spatiality form the essence of  our experience of  architecture.Husserl 1900's-1910'sPhenomenology - Study of  structures of  consciousnessas experienced from the first-person point of  view.Alexander 1960'sDesign Methods Movement - Integrate users' needs in the design, make them transparent in a participatory process.Segal 1960's-1970'sArchitecture emerges casually after the self-buildfrom the design and construction process ofprefabricated elements.de Carlo 1969“Collective Participation” - From authoritarian to procedural, participatorily developed built environment.Alexander 1977“Pattern Language” - Condensed and pre-formulatedarchtiect's deliberations provided to the user.Segal 1983“Meaningless Form” - Architecturewithout user participation.Bunschoten 1990“Urban Curation” - Architect discerns longings,desires, and imaginings of  stakeholders and placesthem into a new urban context.Hahn 1997Laypeople draw expertise from acquired knowledge.The manner in which architecture is used reveals its functional value. Situational and local.Nowotny 2001“Mode 2 Knowledge” - Advantage of  exchange betweenscientific disciplines as well as between science andsociety. Research can be better integrated in society.Prominski 2004“Added Value of  Design” - Design as complex andintegrative, rather than as a linear sequence of  thoughtand action steps.Petrescu 2005“Collective Bricolage” - Participatory process with moreheterogeneous methods and greater forms of  exchange for creative practice.Till 2005“Negotiation of  Hope” - Architectural knowledgedevelops from the context and mutual understandingbetween the architect and the users.Till 2005“Urban Storytelling” - Architect should leave detachedposition and interact with users in a social relationship.Objective is to arrive at a shared reality.Raetzel 2006Architects deal with materiality and buildingconditions. Users constructs situational socialspace from the physical space.Boehme 2006Atmospher as the perceived presence within space;it is communicable and actively communicating.Blundell Jones 2007Shape of  the building determined by theproduction process, not the architect.Miessen 2011“Nightmare of  Participation” - Sometimes all inclusivedemocracy has to be avoided to reach decisions.Hofmann 2014“Die Baupiloten” - Designing participativeplanning processes.Walden 2008“Koblenz Architecture Questionnaire” -Captures discrepancy between existing qualitiesand usres' future demands.Hall 1966Proxemics - Study of  people'suse of  space as an aspect of  culture.Hall 1968Selectively screening out some types of  databy one or more of  the senses or by architecture.Kuper 1972“Social Space” - Individuals attach value to spacethrough social and personal experiences, and culturallyas a conceptual model.Fernandez 1974“Quality Space” - Relationship between people and theirenvironment reciprocal and mutually constituting. Identityis negotiated through interactions with the environment.Foucault 1975“Political Technology” - Architecture serves the concernsof  the government - control and power over individuals.Paul 1976Architecture as a guide to the secret psychic life.Richardson 1982The way spatial realities are experienced communicatesthe basic dynamics of  culture.de Certeau 1984The ways of  operating in the world are the means by whichuseres reappropriate space.Foucault 1986“Heterotopias” - Places where all the other real sites thatcan be found within the culture are simultaneouslyrepresented, contested, and inverted.Baudrillard 1988“Simulacra” - Simulation is the generation of  models ofa real without origin or reality. Culture is dominated bysimulations that have no relationship to reality.Pred 1986Place involves appropriation and transformation ofspace and nature that is inseparable from the reproductionand transformation of  society in time and space.Baumgartner 1988“Moral Minimalism” - Spatial separation, privacy,and insulation from strangers.Davis 1990“Fortress City” - Built environment forms contourswhich structure social relations, causing commonalitiesof  gender, ethnicity, and class to assume spatial identities.Pandolfi 1990Identity defined by historical social structures that inscribethe body, and naturalize a person's existance in the world.Lefebvre 1991Space is constitutive of  power; resistance takes the formof  social movements and local activism.Haraway 1991Personal and social bodies seen as part of   a self-creatingprocess of  human labor.Rodman 1992Place is socially constructed by the people who livein them and know them.Rodman 1992Multilocality - Reflexive qualities of  identity formationand the construction of  place as people increasingly move around the globe.Appadurai 1992“Ethnoscapes” - Landscapes of  group identity.McDonogh 1992“Contested Space” - Locations where conflicts in the form ofopposition engage actors whose position is defined by the differential control of  resources.Gow 1995Social construction of  place by imbuing the physicalenvironment with social meaning.Munn 1996Space-time as a symbolic nexus of  relations produced out ofinteractions between bodily actors and terrestrial spaces.Feld and Basso 1996“Local Theories of  Dwelling” - How local populationsconstruct perceptions and experience place.Hannerz 1996Deterritorialization - Global space conceived of  as the flow ofgoods, people, and services across national borders; detachingspace from local places.Appadurai 1996“Postcolonial Geography” - Reformulation of  citezenshipbased on a concept of  sovereignity limited and translocal.Ong 1999“Transnational” - Movements across spaces and formationsof  new relationships as new modes of  constructing identityresulting in zones of  graduated sovereignity.Low 2000“Social Construction” - Experience of  space through whichsocial exchanges, memories, images and daily use of  materialsettings transform it and give it meaning.Low 2000“Social Production” - Process responsible for the materialcreation of  space as it combines social, economic, ideological,and technological factors.Brown 2000The performativity of  space, through metaphorical properties,constrains and defines the body and personal identity.Alberti 1452Architecture as an artistic, sholarly and sociallyexclusive activity. Laugier 1753“Primitive Hut” - Place of  architecture’s origin,represents both the local and the university.Romanticism 1783The study of  folk cultures and their productsas a field of  intellectual inquiry andaesthetic pleasure.Picturesque 1794Emphasised specifics of  place, local buildingtraditions, overuniversal, European, standardsof  taste.Historic Revival Styles 1850Desire for nationally and regionallyexpressive architecture.Foundation of AIA 1857Architecture as a profession established withthe foundation of  governing bodies.Art and Crafts Movement 1880Tradition, as the vessel for cultural identity andmemory, needs to be protected and perpetuated.International Style 1920Preoccupation with structures and materials.Vernacular Arch. Studies 1943Constructed according to availability andperformace of  materials and formed in responseto environmental and climatic conditions.Developing Countries 1960’sDesire for “Western” buildings, valued as symbols of  modernity.Maholy-Nagy 1957“Funcitonal Determinism” - Traditional buildingsas the underpin of  modernism. A universal, apriori architectural condition.Rudofsky 1964Traditional buildings within “architecture” byquestioning authority.Jacobs 1965“Collage City” - Urban landscape of  hapticexperience that is intimate and participatory. Diversity, fragmentation and self-expression.Rapoport/Oliver 1969Include cultural practice towards understandingthe production and evolution oftraditional buildings.Neo-Traditionalism 1980Restoring a sense of  community throughdiversity. Lack of  authenticity in thereproduction of  traditional buildings.de Certeau 1984Definition of  vernacular extended to includethe everyday, a wide arrenge of  anonymouscontemporary buildings and places.Frampton 1986“Critical Regionalism” - Embrace the possibilitiesof  modernization while resisting thehomogenizing tendencies.Kingsley 1988“Great Men, Great Monuments Approach” -Distinction between modern and traditionalbuildings perpetuated as the priority revolvesaround a conceptual and perceptual focus.Abu-Lughod 1992Multiple modernities characterized by hybridityand global interdependance within which traditionis an active process.Abu-Lughod 1992Tradition and modernity as opposites basedon anachronistic “Western” colonial andpostcolonial worldview.Upton 1993Since the 20th century modernity and traditionfused in practice in a complex interrelationship.Brand 1994“Incompleteness” - All buildings subject tochange in response to changing cultural,economic, social, technological conditions,and ecological concerns.Castells 1996Understanding of  local shifts as new globalnetworks impact perception of  place and identity.Rowe 1996Modernization is distrusted where capitalism isperceived as an ideology.Bozdogan 1999“Internally Consistent Essences” - Tendency toassume that the cultural determinants that informbuildings as fixed and belonging to specificsocial-cultural groups.Menon 2001Diversity and flux within culturesproduce hybridity.Lefaivre and Tzonis 2001“De-Familiarization” - Elements of  thevernacular re-employed in a contemporary,intentionally unfamiliar manner.Leach 2002Association of  traditional and neo-traditionalbuildings leads to questions of  identity.Crysler 2003“Vernacular Building” and “MonumentalArchitecture” together in an inter-dependent totatlity.Arciszewska and McKellar 2004Influence of  architec considered as corruptionof  regional evolved traditions. Rift betweenarchitecture and “authentic” traditional buildings.Al Sayyad 2004Value of  traditional buildings based on age,authenticity, purity of  form, truth of  materialsand economy of  means.Ching et al. 2006Broader understanding of  the built environmentencompassing many cultural aspects ofvernacular architecture studies.Asquith and Vellinga 2006Vernacular as a dynamic, evolving tradition.Bronner 2006Tradition as a creative, adaptive, and reflexiveprocess within modernity.Lewcock 2006“Unquestioning Confromity” - Traditiondefined through reference to posterity,accumulation and continuity.Vernacular Arch. Forum 2007USA based, changed journal title toBuilding and Landscapes.Maudlin 2009“Cultural Production” - The consumer impacton the meaning and processes of  everydayarchitectural production.Mass Design Group 2014What is the value that the building bringsto the community.de Carlo 1978Architecture as an object leads to socialand political indifference.Fig. 1 Mapping the Theoretical Framework for New Local. Author, 2019.vABSTRACTThe new local is an examination of  the role of  architecture in a globalized world. In the ever-increasing complexity of  societies, the architect must once again assume its social responsibility to regain its relevance. To do so requires a re-examination of  the processes that shape the practice of  architecture.Looking at the response to globalization and shifting towards what possibilities it brings, the architect re-establishes its cultural significance. Digging deeper into tradition and the innovation that comes from the spontaneous order of  craft, the architect develops its knowledge of  the how further and becomes a catalyst for change. Finally, jumping into the politics of  participation with generosity and curiosity, the architect is transformed into an activist on behalf  of  the user.viiCONTENTSABSTRACT         vCONTENTS       viiACKNOWLEDGEMENTS     ixPREFACE                                                      xiACT 1:                                                               1AN ATTEMPT AT A MANIFESTO   ACT 2:                                                            68ROAD TO BOLIVIAACT 3:       92WHAT HAVE I LEARNED FROM...ACT 4:    156WHAT IF?BIBLIOGRAPHY                         207ixACKNOWLEDGEMENTSAntes que nada, me gustaría agradecer a las comunidades que me recibieron con los brazos abiertos. Este proyecto no esta completo y es porque falta la adición de Caluyo, Totorani y Ñuñumayani.Al equipo de AYNI Asociación Civil, gracias por escucharme, llevarme e introducirme en cada lugar. Sin su ayuda esta idea nunca hubiera avanzado.   This project would not have started had I not been able to come to Canada and have the experiences I’ve had so far.Por eso y mucho más voy a estar eternamente agradecido de tener no solo a mis papas que me apoyan a cada paso, aún si están llenos de dudas sobre lo que hago, sino también a una mamá adoptiva en Calgary, otra mamá adoptiva en Zürich y a mis papas adoptivos en La Paz.Derek Mavis, if  you had not been there, I probably would have shown up empty handed to my presentation.Félix-Antoine Lalonde Lavergne, if  you had not shout my name constantly I probably would have slept more. Thank you for teaching me how to live life.Finally, I would like to sincerily thank my chair, John Bass, and Chris Macdonald, committee member, for taking the time to hear me and guide me.xiPREFACEThe following project is neither a solution nor a guide. It begins from hoping that doing things in other ways is not only possible but empowering. It consists of  a conversation, an observation, a visit and a suggestion. 21ACT 1:AN ATTEMPTAT A MANIFESTOIn the name of  progress, we have left the processes of  industrialization and urbanization to run amok1. Without control, the speed at which society has been changing has pushed us into a world of  dichotomies. We have moved from the world of  the local to the world of  the global, the modern as opposed to the traditional, and the ideal is now in constant conflict with the real. In doing so, we have lost our connection to place (Brislin, 2012). The fuzzy notion of  identity we previously tried to hold tight has naturally been challenged and in response we have condemned globalization as the enemy.To regain control, we have either pushed for a tabula rasa or promoted the preservation of  what we deemed authentic. Yet, with this vain effort to remain timeless we are not looking at the possibilities the waves of  migration and interaction with other cultures might bring. With a constant flux of  new values and aspirations, different perceptions of  space and interpretations of  place add a new dimension to the notion of  a local identity2. Instead of  suspending identity as a fixed social, cultural and environmental1. “Perhaps speed has been one of  the major contributing factors leading to that catastrophic break with tradition.” - L. Baker (1991)2. “The first thing that one has to agree is that when one talks about multiple layers of  identity, one must take an ‘inclusive’ approach, rather than an ‘exclusive’ approach to represent the plurality of  our societies.” - F. Derakhshani (2012)The new local is born out of  the shifting everyday conditions. Adding new layers of  social, economic and environmental complexity. In this state of  constant flux, the notion of  identity has become elusive. The new local attempts to discover the role of  architecture in the evolutionary process of  ever-changing identities.43construction, we can further understand it as fluid – in terms of  local and multiple simultaneously. As such, the global becomes an integral component for the reinterpretation of  the local, the traditional and the modern intermingle, and the conflict between the ideal and the real turns productive. After all, local identity is the result of  multiple agents co-operating in varying contexts. Modifying space and in turn transforming the community. Each turn bringing with it a specific way of  seeing – a new way of  life.These heterotopias – linked with all the others while contradicting all the others – are as much about oneness as they are about difference3. Designed in detail but not to the point of  becoming universal. Pluralistic and chaotic still somehow linked to flows of  information. To fully understand their construction, these contested and polysemic understandings demand the specific positioning of  the viewer. Not as relative or totalitarian, but as Donna Haraway (1988) puts it, partial, locatable and critical 4. From the partial position we can experience heterotopias3. “But the heterotopias obviously take quite varied forms, and perhaps no one absolutely universal form of  heterotopia would be found.” - M. Foucault (1967)4. “..., where partiality and not universality is the condition of  being heard to make rational knowledge claims.” - D. Haraway (1988)from multiple viewpoints. Only through the partial, we are able to join with the other, seeing together without claiming to be the other (Haraway, 1988). Voluntarily dislocating ourselves from the possibility of  a local identity we gain an awareness of  the contrast between what is known and what is unfamiliar5. Thus, we can be critical about the intended and unintended consequences in the web of  complex relationships between different places and different interpreters in different geographical, cultural and historical contexts (Rodman, 2003). Moreover, when we balance between subjective, experiential views and objective, transcendent ones we are able to see the new in terms of  the familiar. As we rethink the present under new terms, we need to reconsider the concepts that hold us back.In our conflicted world, the fever for efficiency has put the value of  tradition into question6. In setting up the stage for the modern, we have created the shadow of  the pre-modern. To rethink the present requires us to accept Bruno Latour’s 5. “Through greater awareness of  the social construction of  meaning in the landscape, we can begin to understand the experience of  places that live in ways different from our own.” - M. Rodman (2003)6. “Why should the rise of  European technology, nation-states, and regimes of  control - the concepts most associated with modernism - be the concepts against which human and architectural history is measured?” - M. Jarzombek (2015)65In experiencing these heterotopias, the new local seeks to understand the construction of  place from multiple viewpoints. Recognizing that space is socially constructed and therefore polysemic, it pursues to see the new in terms of  the familiar. To do so it refers to comparative and contingent analysis of  place.Rather than fall into the reductive attitude that aims to establish a single notion of  identity in contrast to the other, the new local accepts the new layers of  knowledge and consciousness to gain a deeper awareness of  the other.87The new local rethinks the present by moving beyond static concepts of  traditional and modern. It does not consider modernism as the point in time against which architectural history is to be measured. Thus, it considers the notion of  traditional as pre-modern an absurdity.(1991) axiom: “We have never been modern.” In a polysemic world we cannot survive on the reductive work of  purification, dependent on the all-encompassing power of  categorization. We must stray into the work of  translation to understand the mixtures we create. Taking from the pre-modern its capacity to consider time in ways other than progress and decadence without falling into ethnocentrism. Taking from the modern its inventiveness and acceleration without falling into the trap of  generalization (Latour, 1991). In other words, learning from the processes of  tradition (connection) but from the partial viewpoint generated by the processes of  globalization (separation)7.In the Encyclopedia of  Vernacular Architecture, Paul Oliver (1997) offers us the quintessential definition for the term we have borrowed from linguistics: “Vernacular architecture comprises the dwellings and all other buildings of  the people. Related to their environmental context and available resources, they are customarily owner - or community - built,7. “There is a sense that the time is now for an architecture of  resistance; a spirited architecture of  place. And that architecture exists today: a great architecture that belongs to the soil within which it is sited, and which belongs to its people too.” - P. Brislin (2012)Fig 2. Santa Fe Style. Karol M, 2005.109utilizing traditional technologies. All forms of  vernacular architecture are built to meet specific needs, accommodating the values, economies and ways of  living of  cultures that produce them.” In its connectedness to place it has become the iconic evocation of  a local identity – the regional archetype in its simplest, timeless form8. The modernists, when studying it, found the approval they needed for their plight (Oliver,1997). The revivalists - in reaction to the International Style - try to recreate it or restore it, commercializing from a static vernacular rather than learning from one another (Brand, 1994).  In turning the vernacular into a style, it became a product. Thus, the town of  Santa Fe, New Mexico, lost some of  the intrinsic qualities of  vernacular architecture as a tradition. As a style, the objective of  the vernacular no longer relates to human and ecological well-being but to an economical motive9. By self-imposing a typical architectural limitation, Santa Fe stopped the natural flow of  change and transformation attuned to the notion of  tradition. The imitation is only a shadow of  the original, reshaping its intention8. “Ever since the vernacular became an area of  academic and professional interest in the late 19th C., a predisposition towards the study and untouched preservation of  the oldest and therefore supposedly most ‘authentic’ or ‘traditional’ buildings has been strong.” - M. Vellinga (2006)9. “Tradition’s detractors associate it with stasis and contrast it with change, but it is rooted in volition and it flowers in variation and innovation.” - H. Glassie (1993)1211The new local sees tradition not as a product but as a process. Tradition is not fixed but under constant revision. Being renegotiated, reinterpreted, and adapted to the current context. A single tradition can spawn many variations.and ignoring the processes that gave birth to it.  When Bernard Rudofsky (1964) introducing non-pedigreed architecture, he asked us what we can learn from the “untutored builders’ talent for fitting their buildings into the natural surroundings, welcoming the vagaries of  climate and the challenge of  topology.” His intent was to challenge the concept of  architecture by exploring its prejudices. To him, the anonymous builder was the untapped source for architectural inspiration in the industrial world. In our current paradigm a more fitting question would further push us to consider how the new and external can be merged with the traditional and local10.The starting point for a dynamic interpretation lies on moving past the categorization of  the vernacular and shedding the misconceptions of  tradition. Instead of  static, it is better regarded as a continuous creative process through which the experiences of  the past are adapted to the needs and requirements of  the present (Vellinga, 2006).  The procedural and adaptive character of  10. “What might be accomplished with their abundant intelligence and creativity if  architects really studied the process and history of  vernacular designs and applied that lore in innovative work?” - S. Brand (1994)1413Studying the mechanisms of  tradition, the new local does not shy away from shifting the focus of  local architectural identity. It takes advantage of  the opportunity to develop notions of  identity. Buildings that are as original as needed, but still profoundly familiar and right. Inviting change.traditions is easily recognizable by looking at the past interconnections between cultures. In South America, the borrowing and merging that came from the colonial period brought forth a series of  buildings that reflected hybrid cultural expressions (de Mesa and Gisbert, 1960)11. Understanding how and why a tradition develops as well as its influence in other developmental processes ensures that further changes are not only appropriate but happily accepted. The new phase in the building tradition relies on the people who live in or feel attached to a specific place12. Only through their assessment and engagement can we become part of  an ever-changing identity.As we tap into the set of  traditional know-how, we enter the process of  socially shared knowledge and transmission across time and space (Bronner, 2006)13. Considering tradition as a social reference, and not necessarily a set of  rules, we become entrenched on a system of  constant renegotiation that fosters variation. One dictated by the consistencies of  cultural precedent as a form generator, the inconsistencies provided by social11. “...built environments encode, give expression to, and in turn, influence social, cognitive and other environments.” - A. Rapoport (1984)12. “Nothing should be made by labor degrading to the makers.” - W. Morris (1899) 13. “The problem is not simply to repeat the past, but rather to take root in it in order to carelessly invent.” - P. Ricoeur (1965)Fig. 3 - 17 Borrowing and Merging, Bolivian Architectural History. Author, 20191615Puerta del Sol, Tiwanaku - La Paz / 110-1200 Vivienda Inca, Cusco / 1483-1533Fig. 3 Borrowing and Merging in the Bolivian Architectural History. Author, 20191817Vivienda Sirionó, Santa Cruz / ? Vivienda Chipaya, La Paz / ?2019Vivienda Tacana, La Paz / ? Vivienda Aymara/Quechua, Cochabamba / ?2221Portal de Italque, La Paz / 1596 Portal de Las Mónicas, Potosi / 1648-522423Portal de Jerusalén, Potosi / 1702-8 Portal de Las Mónicas, Sucre / 1750-752625Portal de Santo Domingo, La Paz / 1760 Vivienda de la República, La Paz / 1800’s2827Vivienda Alteña, La Paz / 2000’s Vivienda Contemporánea, Santa Cruz / 20123029“Cholet”, La Paz / 2006-19shifts that promote change, the role of  individuality in and the influences that affect the communication of  tradition. As Simon Bronner (2006) points out, tradition is indeed more than a way of  building, it is the way knowledge of  design and values are inherited, transmitted and adapted14.Wang Shu and Lu Wenyu from Amateur Architecture approach tradition in such a manner. Standing in opposition to the frantic profit-driven style of  contemporary architecture, Amateur Architecture has developed a hybrid language that revolves around collaboration with local craftsmen (Frampton, 2017). The practice experiments with methods that have been passed on through generations in order to re-establish them within the current paradigm of  China. Not for display, but to imbue the structure with a lost cultural history while merging it with new innovative techniques (Shu, 2017). In the case of  the Ningobo History Museum the wa pan technique – developed as a process of  reconstruction due to the frequent typhoons that affect the region – was used14. “Construction is actually ignorant destruction of  the built environment, when architects have no profound understanding of  tradition.” - Y. Dong (2017)Fig. 18 Tiles, Bricks and Jars at the  Ningobo History Museum. Louisiana Museum of  Modern Art, 2017.3231to salvage the materials from a previous government development. The resulting patchwork of  bricks, tiles and concrete accomplishes more than registering the passage of  time. The arrangement of  recycled materials in conjunction with new ones is, rather than a recreation of  the traditional technique, a redeployment of  the craftsmen know-how. The improvisation called for by this approach leaves the final expression of  the building in the hands of  the craftsmen (Chen, 2017)15.The craftsman is a unique link between local knowledge and architecture. As Trevor Marchand (2006) describes it, the experience gained through the technical learning and socialization of  an apprenticeship forges a worldview based on social identity, traditional practices and professional responsibilities. Through this practice, traditional techniques are bolstered as they are transmitted from one generation of  craftsmen to the next. Mastery is achieved when a meaningful environment can be produced and reproduced with confidence (Marchand,15. “What gets passed from building to building via builders and users is informal and casual and astute. At least it is when the surrounding culture is coherent enough to embrace generations of  experience.” - S. Brand (1994)34332006). In this environment, craftsmen must negotiate with tradition to react to the changing needs of  their context16. Their intimate understanding of  their ecosystem and the materials at their disposal allows them to build up their skills with innovative solutions that, if  successful, become part of  the traditional repertoire. Traditional knowledge is thus in constant development thanks to the adaptive way in which it is transmitted over many generations. The outcome of  any adaptation resulting from this approach depends on a complex set of  biological, ecological, cultural, societal and individual human mechanisms (Lawrence, 2006). As a performance-based practice, traditional knowledge dies when conserved for its unique form or historical value. Roderick Lawrence (2006) urges us to consider – under a human ecology perspective – the interrelations between the available materials, the dynamic cultural resources of  the community and the craftsmen know-how applied to constructing buildings. The embodied knowledge when aligned to the changing16. “Tradition maintains and safeguards the collective and accumulated existential wisdom of  countless generations. It also gives a reliable direction to the new and maintains the comprehensibility and meaning of  the new.” - J. Pallasmaa (2012)Looking at tradition as the result of  continuity and change provides a framework for choice and adaptation. The new local embraces this spontaneous order to uncover heterogenous forms out of  the balance between individual innovation, social customs and external influence. 3635relations between available resources and society maintains its connection to place and its authority as a meaning making practice17, 18.  We need to shift from the notion of  traditional technique as an object of  knowledge that has been discovered to the notion of  traditional technique as an agent whose knowledge is conveyed through conversations (Haraway, 1988). The dialectical approach elaborates the integration within the community, pushing the boundaries of  our knowledge past the building onto the system of  settings within which activities can take place19.To derive principles and mechanisms of  design from tradition, Amos Rapoport (2006) proposes analysing the environment utilizing environment-behavior studies strategies. Clarifying the effects that the environment has on specific communities so that we can start making predictions in regard to it. Investigating physiology, we get a partial view into the community’s sentiments of  comfort. Bringing awareness to differences in anatomy, we get a deeper17. “Any proposed intervention of  conservation or development of  works to the urban fabric must therefore acknowledge the historically negotiated expert status of  these craftsmen, and the decision-making power that their position entails.” - T. Marchand (2006)18.“Situated knowledges require that the object of  knowledge be pictured as an actor and agent, not as a screen or a ground or a resource, never finally as slave to the master that closes off  the dialectic in his unique agency and his authorship of  ‘objective’ knowledge.” - D. Haraway (1988)19. “Because vernacular environments are those most clearly linked to ‘culture’, they are essential in clarifying the ways in which ‘culture’ and environment are related.” - A. Rapoport (2006)In pursuing the continuous development of  tradition, the new local is alive in a process of  experimentation. It will not be frozen, caged or put into a museum. It does not need preservation, it needs active engagement with the community.3837In its construction, the new local engages with the generational knowledge of  craftsmen. Transmitted through apprenticeships, traditional know-how develops into a social identity with a characteristic way of  looking at the world and, in the case of  design, shaping it.The new local not only relies on the craftsman know-how, it acknowledges its historical status. Promoting the embodied knowledge cultivated by the specificities of  place (available natural resources and personal needs) through negotiation with the knowledge of  the architect.4039In integrating itself  within a community, the new local tells the story of  the relationships between body and building, body and community, and body and context as part of  a meaning making practice.understanding on the ways a community carries out tasks. Differences in perception gives us an insight into the relative value of  our senses and challenges our conception of  beauty.  Learning the effect the environment has on the community’s preference, we might understand the significance of  choice. Recognizing the way the community orders the world provides us with the base to start a conversation. Studying cultural components, such as values and norms, we can identify consistencies and its implications for the shaping and use of  environments20. Through environment-behavior studies we obtain an appreciation of  the architectural expectations and needs of  a community. When Hassan Fathy took on the project of  New Gourna he started with an in-depth analysis of  social dynamics and structures. His intention with the project was to achieve a higher quality standard using local techniques and materials to their full potential. Additionally, using the project as an experiment in participatory planning, he wanted to include the20. “With regard to development itself, for our region there are constants, and there are things that change and develop. There are those constants that are absolute, or implicit, and there are the variable or arbitrary matters on which one can form one’s own opinion.” - H. Fathy (1983)4241The new local finds knowledge beyond the surroundings, from the systems formed by the relationships between the environment and behavior. Taking cues from physiology, anatomy, perception, affect evaluation, cognition and components of  culture.community in all decision-making and building processes so that all the built spaces could reflect the individualities of  the people as well as the necessities of  the community (Bertini, 2018). The analysis of  kinship systems was essential in defining the organization of  the new settlement. The knowledge, attained through the study of  patterns of  space use, helped the transition from the tailored house to the designed one. Understanding the economic systems at play and building on the traditional cooperative system, Fathy implemented the game plan for successful ‘aided self-help’21. Materials for construction must be cheap and easily obtainable by the community. To handle the materials no skilled labor is required or at least none beyond what the community can afford to engage (Fathy, 1969). Challenging not only the profession but the community of  Gourna as well, Fathy had hoped the architect could assume the role of  the guide leading social transformations. Still, the imminent failure of  the project lay on the faulty birthplace of  its intent21. “Development without self-help is an impossibility.” - H. Fathy (1969)Fig. 19 New Gourna, Mosque Elevation. Hassan Fathy, 1946.4443(Samar Damulji, 1984). Although Fathy’s intention was brilliant, it was tainted from the onset by the Department of  Antiquities aim of  relocating the inhabitants of  Old Gourna without prior consultation. The inhabitants whose economical model depended on selling antiquities did all they could to avoid moving22. When trying to instigate participation, Fathy met with complete rejection or an unwillingness to take part due to an inability to express ideas and needs (Bertinit, 2018). His journey to New Gourna is, however, more than a cautionary tale about the political nature of  architecture23. The principles of  his philosophy are as critical today as they were during his time. We need to recognize the failures of  our methodology and reassess the involvement of  the user24. If  our focus remains on the how we lose sight of  the why, rendering frivolous our connection to context and society (de Carlo, 1970). Making architecture credible again compels us to get over the general confusion that plagues the field. Gone are the days of  the popular mottos, of  the22. “They had no inclination to move from the village they knew and the trade they had grown up in, nor to populate a new village and engage in new and arduous employment just to prove a theory of  building.” - H. Fathy (1969)23. “Rather, the onus is on the generations that must look to him as the pioneering founder of  a ‘school’ and draw on his expertise, experience and intellectual resources in order to develop the architectural movement that we lack.” -S. Samar Damluji (1984)24. “What is architecture’s public? The architects themselves? The clients who commission the buildings? The people - all the people who use architecture?” - G. de Carlo (1970)Fig. 20 Roof  Construction, Gando Primary School. Diébédo Francis Kéré, 2001.464525. “Therefore we cannot just sit passively in the cave of  architecture as-it-exists, waiting for social rebirth to generate architecture as-it-will-be automatically. We must change the whole range of  objects and subjects which participate in the architectural process at present.” - G. de Carlo (1970)26. “Collective participation introduces a plurality of  objectives and actions whose outcomes cannot be foreseen.”- G. de Carlo (1970)universal solutions, of  the mirages we project to the world to avoid reality. It is time for us to reconnect the study of  architecture with its practice. Time to take a stance in the way architecture is perceived by resolving our responsibility. Not to the power structure that has dictated our moves so far, but to the user that has been excluded by it25. Architecture should be expressed in terms of  its social and cultural significance, not as art, and much less as a commodity. To do so we must be aware of  its social and political connotations. The why must come from within the community. The responsibility of  architecture is to act as a catalyst for social activism. Following the examples of  Francis Kéré, Anna Heringer and Al Borde, we must dive into the capacity of  architecture to generate processes starting with a small-scale interventions. We should not bite into the fiction of  monumentality. It is via radical simplicity that we can encourage community participation (Lepik, 2010)26.Fig. 21 Construction, METI - Handmade School. Anna Heringer and Eike Roswag, 2004-2006. Image: Kurt Hörbst, 2005.Fig. 22 Guadurnal’s Lunchroom. Al Borde, 2018.48475049The new local seeks to become an initiative for social activism. Focusing its energy into the small-scale intervention to have an immediate impact on its context. The repercussions of  which promote the development of  change at the big scale.Sherry Arnstein (1969) laid the groundwork to understand the gradations of  participation on the article “A Ladder of  Citizen Participation”. Although the nuances of  the steps between the poles of  non-existent and beyond participation can only be distinguished through hyperbole, the work of  Arnstein helped defining the nature of  genuine participation as opposed to tokenism. The ideal of  participation is to become an educative development through which the goals of  the collective resonate with the individual, increasing the sense of  belonging to the group. A regenerative process that ensues as the community gets involved in the making of  the project (Muf, 2005). The reality of  participation, however, tends to clash with its ideal. Seen as a threat to the comfort of  those in power, different tactics are implemented to correct the purpose of  participation27. When used as an instrument to maintain the power imbalances, participation is efficient in letting the responsibility of  the project slide into the hands of  those it was supposed to uphold (Miessen, 2016). In the quest for consensus as a means of27.“Participation really is the new opium of  the people.” - M. Miessen (2016)Fig. 23 Eight Rungs on a Ladder of  Citizen Participation. Sherry Arnstein, 1969.5251The new local acknowledges the political nature of  architecture and seeks to embrace the contingencies of  a messy and uncertain reality through participation. Shifting the focus away from the individual architect and into the user.   THE   NEW   LOCAL   THE   NEW   LOCAL   THE   NEW   LOCALFig. 24 Spectrum of  Participation. Author, 2019.5453Beyond Participation User Driven Co-production User Involvement Consultation No ParticipationMaloya Housing Complex, IndiaMinha Casa Minha Vida, BrazilFirst Nations Housing, CanadaWencun Village, ChinaMakoko Floating School, NigeriaRuca Dwellings, ChileTower Court, EnglandA House For All Seasons, ChinaCassia Co-op Training Center, IndonesiaNew Gourna, EgyptSteel Worker’s Housing, ItalyMetro Cable, VenezuelaGando Primary School, Burkina FasoButaro Hospital, RwandaDave’s Home, USAVila Itororó, BrazilLa Potocine, ColombiaMETI School, BangladeshCasa del Niño Indígena, MexicoSelf-build Method House, EnglandLonghouse, MalaysiaQuinta Monroy, ChileLa MéMé, BelgiumTorre David, VenezuelaMarrakech, MoroccoYaodong, ChinaDogon Village, MaliFavela, BrazilEl Alto, Bolivia5655eliminating friction, participation can deprive the community of  its capacity to criticize the realization of  the project. If  the ideal is impossible to achieve and the reality is resistant to the ultimate purpose, how can we reconsider the power dynamics of  the design process28?In the context of  architecture, the imbalance is the result of  specialized knowledge. When the architect frames the project within its knowledge and modes of  communication, the authoritarian structure is settled29. However, if  the architect decides to forgo its position of  power and become simply a facilitator to the user’s needs, the user must rise to the position of  power without any knowledge (Till, 2005)30.  This ‘symmetry of  ignorance’, as Jeremy Till (2005) describes it, can be surmounted by redeploying the knowledge of  the architect – providing means through which the user’s real needs and desires can be articulated. Rather than fixating in the architectural drawing as a mean of  communication, the impetus is on bridging the remote and abstracted expertise that alienates the28. “Sometimes. All-inclusive democracy has to be avoided at all costs.” - M. Miessen (2010)29. “Specialized knowledge distances buildings from users. Specialized space hinder future flexibility.” - S. Brand (1994)30. “Imagine participatory utopia like a car gearing straight towards a wall with two guys in front who have never learned to drive, arguing over the correct voting mechanism for decisions.” - M. Miessen (2016)the architect. The architectural imagination, as an internal impulse, cannot be translated for the benefit of  mutual understanding (Till , 2006). Moving away from the comfort zone of  drawing and modelling requires us to learn how to work across cultures by creating human bonds (Mitchell, 2016)31. Thus, redirecting imagination into wild generosity of  thought through informal conversations. It all depends on the desire with which we enter the conversation. Each participant needs to take a position. The architect needs to demand the expertise of  the user – going beyond consultation, and the user the competence of  the architect – going beyond a simple gesture. Welcoming imprecise formulations on one side and naïve questions on the other, the goal is not total efficiency but a willingness to remain open32. Till (2005) suggests starting the participatory process through a ‘what if ?’ so that the design can flourish in the form of  stories. Stories are intrinsic to our humanity. They help us in ordering our reality and give meaning and value to the31. “…the venturing out of  both the notion of  expertise and discipline is crucial in order to remain sufficiently curious towards the specialized knowledge of  others.” - M. Miessen (2010)32. “To discover the real needs of  the users therefore means exposing and acknowledging their rights to have things and their rights to express themselves; it means provoking a direct participation and measuring oneself  with all the subversive consequences that this implies; it means questioning all the traditional value systems which, since they were built on non-participation, must be revised or replaced when participation becomes part of  the process, unleashing energies that have not yet been explored.” - G. de Carlo (1970)5857In its search for participation, the new local does not hope for consensus. It moves beyond the realm of  specialized knowledge to empower the user. Acknowledging the imbalances between them and the architect but working with these in a way that transforms the expectations of  the participant.The new local recognizes that the architectural imagination is not available for mutual understanding. It looks for new models of  communication and welcomes the power of  informal conversation to start the process. Thus, moving architecture from the detached observer to the engaged participant.Fig. 25 Participation Outcomes. Muf, 2005.6059way we live. Sometimes anecdotal, sometimes practical, they are as personal as they are social. It is the way we describe past, present and future. It is the way we depict space and express what moves us. Through storytelling we externalize our imagination and convey the atmosphere we hope from our built environment. It is not an act that seeks to become an explanation. It is an act that seeks to promote inclusion. Through storytelling, the architect moves from observation to engagement. Engaged, we might learn the temporal, contingent and social occupation of  space33. Not alone, but in tandem with the user. Our knowledge is transformed from the stories of  the user, and the user discovers space anew from ours. In planning with, as opposed to planning for, we enter the social network in which the consequences of  our decisions are of  greater significance than the objects we produce. As such, the quality of  consensus on which we base the architectural practice has to be transformed. From an act of  authoritarian repression to an act 33. “The authoritative positivist explanation of  the expert (‘You should have your front door here because it is closest to the road’) is replaced by the suggestive and imaginative storyline of  the potential dweller (‘...we ran through the back door, steaming bodies into air dense with chip fat’).” - J. Till (2005)6261When communicating, however, the new local prefers storytelling. An act that dissolves the inequality of  knowledge between the architect and the user to take advantage of  the equality of  intelligence. Allowing for the imagination to be projected as atmospheres.of  liberation and democracy. Consensus, from being frozen, becomes open to constant renewal through negotiation (de Carlo,1970)34. This new, multiple and divided model does not need to be interpreted as antagonistic. Even though the possibility of  animosity remains constant, we must look at each other as adversaries to become fruitful in conflict (Mouffe, 2013). The ‘agonistic struggle’ is an outlet for passions and ideas that are divergent from one another and cannot be reconciled. Instead, they must be fought, defended and respected (Mouffe, 2013). The ideals of  architecture as they contend with efficiency, technical possibilities, aesthetic sensibilities and so on cannot have the pretence of  being superior to the desires and needs of  the user as they relate to economy, durability, personal beliefs and the like. In the uncertainty of  their ‘agonistic struggle’ the differences are negotiated under the paradigm of  designing making sense together (Till, 2005)35. Yet, in the allegiance between the user and the architect, the intent is not consensus, but hopeful mutual understanding and ultimately a34. “Driven by desire, participatory design is a ‘collective bricolage’ in which individuals (clients, users, designers) are able to interrogate the heterogeneity of  a situation, to acknowledge their own position and then go beyond it, to open it up to new meanings, new possibilities, to ‘collage their own collage onto other collages’, in order to discover a common project.” - D. Petrescu (2005)35. “Sense making is not simply a matter of  instrumental problem-solving, it is a matter of  altering, respecting, acknowledging, and shaping people’s lived worlds.” - J. Forester (1985)6463Bringing uncertainty and imprecision, the reality of  the new local is defined by negotiation. Although it does not claim to have the perfect solution, it recognizes the required involvement of  others to design making best sense. design that makes the best sense (Till, 2005)36. When designing making the best sense, architecture, more than simply maintaining its intentionality, becomes the result of  an acceptance of  the messy reality in which it will develop. To do so requires the architect to jump, head first, into an unpredictable practice. One in which the production of  space is the outcome of  a social endeavour. Where as contributors to the creation of  spatial relationships on behalf  of  others we own up to the consequences. Where we shift from standing on the outside providing expertise to sitting on the inside as advocates and activists. Where we enter, not as experts with a solution, but as curious, maybe even naïve, listeners into a process from which the new local identity might emerge37. For architecture has more agency over local identity as a process rather than as a final product.36. “Self-builders make decisions, and if  the architect’s arguments are not strong enough, they decide instead.” - P. Sulzer (2005)37. “All that is required is to go a step further with the research our forefathers have done; that is, to improve on what has already been accomplished.” - L. Baker (1991)Fig. 26 ‘The Meal’ from The Dining Table. Sarah Wigglesworth and Jeremy Till, 1998.6665Ultimately, the new local sees the architect as an activist rather than as the expert. An activist on behalf  of  the user and as a user. As an activist the architect does not deny the knowledge acquired or relinquishes the opportunity to guide, the architect opens up the door so that the user can transform that knowledge.EquatorTropic of  CapricornSANTA CRUZMIAMIHOUSTONVANCOUVERTropic of  Cancer4.5 hours2.5 hours6.75 hoursBolivia6867Fig. 27 Getting There. Author, 2019.ACT 2:ROAD TO BOLIVIABolivia is a country of  contrasts. Geographically, the Andes cover the western and southwestern border, the Amazon touches the northern and northeastern region, valleys have a presence in the middle and towards the South. Culturally, Bolivia boasts 33 official languages, each in recognition of  an indigenous community. The mix of  these communities is lived through everyday experiences in cities as much as in rural contexts – the rural remains a key social space. Socially, the conflict has not stopped since the revolution that gave Bolivia its independence. Although indigenous communities have seen a rise in economy and power, the divide within the population is still clear. Economically, Bolivia shares the fate of  many Latin American countries. The division of  wealth and poverty is marked in every city. As a case study Bolivia provides ample opportunity to test the ideas set in motion by the new local.---Ethnic identity has been a contentious subject in the history of  Bolivia ever since Christopher Columbus set foot in the new continent. Who belongs and what it means to belong to a certain group or another has been a constant headache. More so, given that any definition of  indigeneity is slippery at best – the key issue is self-identification (Canessa, 2008). Within the Bolivian context, this has provided the state with the freedom to conceive of  an indigenous identity based on the relationship with those in power (Canessa, 2008).70691952Fig. 28 - 33 Understanding Identity in Bolivia. Author, 2019Although the struggle began in 1492, it is the events after 1953 that best represent the fluidity of  indigenous identity. One characterized by the dynamic movement between the dominant national ideology and the ability of  adaptation of  social forces (Fontana, 2014).  The independence attained in 1826 is of  little significance to the indigenous community as the power moved from Spain to the Spanish elite born in Bolivia. This period known as the time of  the hacendados or latifundios did not differ from the colonial rule (Klein, 2011).---In 1952, the national revolution that stunned Bolivia gave rise to the Movimiento Nacionalista Revolucionario (MNR). Not long after came universal suffrage (disposed of  the literacy requirement), the nationalization of  the mines, the agrarian reform and the reorganization of  popular social movements under a union structure (primary among them, the Central Obrera Boliviana – COB).  The rural communities gained control of  their land through sindicatos and comunidades, but they also deepened their ties to the MNR government (Klein, 2011).  Who, in the effort to include the rural communities within the national project, lead a homogenisation campaign of  the peasantry. Thus, transforming indigenous groups into peasants. A process that did not meet much resistance at the time (Fontana, 2014).72711971Volveré y seré millones        - Túpac Katari   178119801983191979The coup d’état of  General Barrientos in 1964 saw no modifications to the social and economic reforms of  the National Revolution. The military regime was rather marked by a hostility towards the left and organized labor, as well as a strong alliance between peasants and the military (Klein, 2011). It was during Barrientos time that the Pacto Militar Campesino (PMC) was signed to guarantee the loyalty of  the peasantry. It was also during his time that an ethnic revival movement under the name of  Katarism began (Fontana, 2014). Túpac Katari was one of  the leaders of  the 1781 rebellion, who with the help of  his wife Bartola Sisa, organized an Indian Army and laid siege to the city of  La Paz (Klein, 2011). Their influence in Bolivian politics has only increased since his gruesome death. In 1979, in opposition of  the PMC the Confederación Sindical Única de Trabajadores Campesinos de Bolivia (CSUTCB) and the Confederación Nacional de Mujeres Campesinas de Bolivia ‘Bartolina Sisa’ (CNMCB-BS) were founded. Although their original inspiration came from a Katarist-Indianist discourse, they could not escape the influence of  Marxist and leftist currents (Fontana, 2014). Without social representation of  peasant indigenous identities, the cocalero rose as the only representative of  the peasantry. 747319801983198319791982‘Neoindigenism’ was the political doctrine starting in the 1980’s with the goal of  recognising pluriethnic and multicultural societies. It began with the interest and influence of  anthropologists, who, concerned with strengthening the rights and identities of  indigenous communities, founded NGOs for their support (Fontana, 2014). The Apoyo Para el Campesino Indígena del Oriente (APCOB) was founded in 1980, the Confederación de Pueblos Indígenas de Bolivia (CIDOB) in 1982, the Taller de Historia Andina (THOA) in 1983, and so on. The movement originated the impulse towards the reconstruction of  the ayllus – a form of  organization for working the land based on extended familiar communities that was lost during the colonial rule (Fontana, 2014). Towards this effort the Consejo Nacional de Ayllus y Markas del Qullasuyu was founded (CONAMAQ) in 1997. To differentiate themselves from the CSUTCB and their now leftist doctrine, the CONAMAQ relied on the concept of  nativeness – a claim to an original Andean identity based on historical consciousness rather than a socioeconomic category (Fontana, 2014).  76751983198219972000What helped this transformation was the election of  the MNR in 1993. To win the rural areas they relied on the Katarist-Indianist discourse, and so Víctor Hugo Cardenas (one of  the Katarist leaders) was appointed as the vice president (Klein, 2011). During their time a major set of  laws were approved that recognized the distinction between indigenous and peasant communities; that legalized the traditional rights to the land by recognizing communal property and the use of  local traditional laws (under which the land is inherited and divided by members of  the family); and decentralized the state into 311 municipal governments. Each with control over their own budget (20 percent of  state revenue given to them based on population size) and some control over the local education (the noncore curriculum) (Klein, 2011). Nevertheless, these ethno-developmental policies came with a caveat – authenticity (Fontana, 2014). Steeped in the neoliberal agenda that dominated Latin American politics, the MNR government also took the opportunity to privatize state companies. A decision that generated massive conflicts in the coming years (Klein, 2011).78771200020032005The cocalero movement grew over the 1990’s into massive mobilizations, some even incredibly violent, against the neo-liberal policies. The new millennium began with the ‘Water War’ in Cochabamba, when the government attempted to privatize and sell the public and communal waterworks. In 2003, an attempt to sell gas overseas by building a natural gas pipeline over the Andes, prompted the mobilizations now known as the ‘Gas War’. The large number of  deaths and the effective blockade of  the city of  La Paz organized by the city of  El Alto ended with the resignation of  the then president. By the time of  the 2005 presidential election the party with more prominence over the country was the one ran by the cocalero leader Evo Morales, the Moviemiento Al Socialismo (MAS) (Klein, 2011). The new political reality of  the country was formed by a division between the western highland departments (that backed MAS) and the eastern lowland ones (that did not) (Klein, 2011). So, to oppose political threats, what started as a political instrument of  the peasantry took on the indigenous element into its discourse in order to strengthen a sense of  community. It tried to become the sole representative of  all social forces under one concept, ‘indígena originario campesino’ (native indigenous peasant) (Fontana, 2014). 8079201020182019However, the tension between the desires of  the different identities in a more local setting has not only embittered the relationships between different social groups but has also given rise to new identities. It resulted in a radicalisation of  the neo-indigenist discourse that widens the divide between indigenous and peasant (Fontana, 2014). This crisis has marked the government since it pursued to construct a road between two towns in the Territorio Indígena y Parque Nacional Isiboro Sécure (TIPNIS) in 2010 – the road would have favored the cocaleros while cutting through the territory of  lowland indigenous groups. In a 2018 referendum – where Evo Morales reelection was in question – the result did not go in accordance with the government’s plan. It happened again in 2019, when the Tariquía reserve was threatened in the name of  oil exploration. As the government cannot control this unstable coalition of  identities, it has focused on identifying itself  with the peasant organizations once again (Fontana, 2014).---The election of  Evo Morales ushered a series of  social transformations that rocked Bolivia from the Republic to the Plurinational State. As indigenous communities reclaimed their identity, the image of  the ‘cholita’ – a term normally used with a pejorative connotation to identify an indigenous woman – became a prominent representation of  the rural poor who had maintained their culture throughout all the suffering. Typically, the ‘cholita’ is depicted as strong, braided woman dressed in a pollera (layered skirt), a manta (shawl) and a unique sombrero (a bowler hat)8281Fig. 34 ‘Cholita’. Delphine Blast, 2016. (Keefe, 2016). Now and then, chewing coca leaves and carrying a wawa (kid) or any item in an aguayo (cloth) on their backs. What was previously considered as demonstrative of  regression, is now considered a symbol of  pride.  Similar changes have been seen in the city of  El Alto. A city, that began with the agrarian reform of  1952, and has now been fitted with the public services it desperately needed (Villagómez, 2007). El Alto’s accelerated growth has been characterized by a continuous series of  migrations from various rural Aymara communities (Perrin Ballivian, 2015). As they established themselves in the city a new identity was formed. One rooted on their origins but mixed with a new way of  life among others (Cárdenas, 2010). Not only those from other rural communities or the inhabitants of  La Paz, but also from other nations (particularly China) as their successful informal commerce has taken them farther than expected (Perrin Ballivian, 2015). With this unique vision, their newfound confidence and power, different necessities and a desire to be represented they began to transform their environment through architecture.When Freddy Mamani first started building his ‘Andean architecture’ (Cárdenas, 2010), the landscape was one of  unfinishedness – a sprawl of  adjacent brick houses dominated by rebar coming out of  every column in expectation of  a future floor that never came. Instead the ‘cholets’, as they have been named, are colorful midrise buildings that bring life to its context by revealing the culture of  the owners (Perrin Ballivian, 2015). They build upon a typology that has marked structures in El Alto for years. A first floor with a front door to the sidewalk for small commercial8483Fig. 35 ‘Cholet’. Yuri Segalerba, 2018.enterprises, a second floor that overhangs by a meter or so dedicated to a salón de fiestas (party hall), a third floor for extended family and possibly renters, and a fourth floor for the normally set back house of  the owners. Some have added extra floors for futsal or racquetball courts, some have simply added safes and a honeymoon room to the salón. Their construction is irregular and relies on the experience of  contractors with some annotations from the architect. There are no orthographic drawings, only sketches on a wall. And it is not rare for them to be built by the owners themselves.What sets the ‘cholet’ appart from any other structure is the uniqueness of  its façade and the salón. For they are the face the owner shows to the community and the reference point for the community (Cárdenas, 2010). Their extravagance stands in full representation of  what they envision as their past, present and future – a conflation of  the three rather than a continuous timeline (Canessa, 2008).  The combination of  columns, arches and colored glass is brought together in the form of  symbols that refer back to the Andean worldview. Principally the stepped Andean cross found in the site of  Tiwanaku, although serpents and circles are quite popular as well. As with the attire of  the ‘cholita’, the mix of  colors may represent wealth and desires, or even the rural communities from which they come and folkloric fraternities (Cárdenas, 2010). The influence of  their travels can also be seen not just in the material choices (porcelain, marble, and so on) but also in details like the lamps that populate the salón. Their context has had an effect on the final form as well, on the house seemingly perched atop the ‘cholet’.  LA PAZLakeTiticacaLakePoopóBrazilBoliviaPeruChileArgentinaParaguayEasternCordillera6 hours6 hoursWesternCordilleraAltiplanoCOCHABAMBA SANTA CRUZSUCRE8685Fig. 36 Going up to the Andes. Author, 2019.The meaning of  each symbol is as dynamic as their culture. With the freedom and pride to showcase their identity, each owner wants to become a cultural referent to its neighbors. As much as the ‘cholet’ reaffirms a shared identity, it is also an opportunity to exhibit the individuality of  the owner (Cárdenas, 2010). This competition to be one-of-a-kind has led to several deviations from the regular tropes used to identify the Andean worldview. Which in turn has become a major point of  contention. Critics of  the ‘cholet’ argue that the buildings are not an adequate representation of  an Andean cultural identity, but the idea of  the newly rich to display their wealth (Perrin Ballivian, 2015). These purists forget that this borrowing and merging is not dissimilar from the hybridization that produced the emblematic churches of  La Paz. The ‘cholet’ is a demonstration of  the fluidity of  identity in the context of  El Alto as it stands today. EducationWorkHealthMetropolitan areaÑUÑUMAYANITOTORANICOLLANAJANKO KAHUALA PAZCARRERASMecapacaPalcaMurilloAchocalla3640m a.s.l3784m a.s.l3014m a.s.l3498m a.s.l4045m a.s.lLLUTO3823m a.s.l3780m a.s.l5 hours3 hours2 hoursLEGENDACT 3:WHAT I HAVE LEARNED FROM ÑUÑUMAYANI9291Fig. 37 From La Paz to Ñuñumayani. Author, 2019.Ñuñumayani is in an unusual position. Due to its proximity to metropolitan areas it is neither rural, nor modern. In a state of  transition. One in which concrete foundations, piles of  red brick, and half  finished houses adorn the landscape of  abandoned adobe houses. Where three-story houses decorated with the same classical ornaments one would find in La Paz stand in composition with old houses that have fallen into disrepair.The building traditions that built the community are being replaced by modern construction methods. Industrialized materials are encouraged and promoted not only by government programs but also NGOs. The increasing economic dependency on the city is taking a hold on the community.---What I have learned from Ñuñumayani is a collection gathered through informal conversations. Sharing a meal, working together and attending workshops. Drawing multiple figures and their agencies is an effort, not only to understand the ways in which they interact with one another and intertwine with larger systems, but to bridge the gap between the architect and the community. Fig. 37-69 Fotos from the Visit. Author, 2019.94939695Fig. 70-117 What I’ve learned. Author, 2019.989710099“CHEWING” COCADried coca leaves have been consumed for millennia by Andean cultures. Their consumption usually consists of  putting the leaves into the mouth (about 20), humidifying them with some saliva and forming a ball that is stuck between the teeth and the cheek. The ball is kept in place for hours, slowly releasing the stimulating substances. To boost the production of  sap an alkaloid is typically introduced into the mix – either baking soda or lejía (compressed ash from the stem of  quinoa). Nowadays, coca is mostly known as the key ingredient for the production of  cocaine. However, in Andean communities, the “power” of  coca is intrinsic to the culture. Coca is used not only to mitigate the effects of  altitude sickness, but, most importantly, to reinforce social bonds. Dried coca leaves are consumed routinely after every meal and used as offerings in rituals to obtain the goodwill of  natural forces toward human endeavors.102101104103106105TEXTILESThe aguayo is the cloth around which life in the high plains revolves. Although hand made cloths were the norm, the spread to the lowlands and popularity among tourists have led to the industrialization of  the process. The llama wool and natural dyes tend to be replaced by their synthetic counterparts. Still, the aguayo is much more than an ornament or a bag.Through the aguayo the communities connect to their surroundings. It functions as a cradle – wawas (babies) are wrapped with an aguayo and carried on the back. It functions as a table – food is kept warm within a smaller, finer aguayo called tari while the larger one is spread on the ground. Finally, it functions as a symbol – stories are weaved into the aguayo using different techniques, colors and drawings. Each specific to a particular region.108107COOKINGThe preparation of  food is a task normally delegated to the outside. Either cooking out on the fields on small mud stoves or closer to home but still not inside. Fire starter for the stove ranges from wood and twigs to dung and, more commonly now, gas. The diet consists of  what is produced in the land, sometimes adding what they can get from the city markets. It is heavy on starchy foods, so the majority have developed a sweet tooth. 110109112111FARMINGAt the top of  the valley, at an altitude that ranges from 3200m to 3700m, the topsoil is not so deep and what is found is rich in nutrients. This allows for a variety of  crops to be cultivated. Chiefly, potatoes – the staple of  the Andean diet. Cultivation, however, depends heavily on the rainy season as there is no other irrigation system in place. The process begins August 1st (the end of  the dry season) with an offering to the Pachamama (mother earth). The challa, as it is called, consists of  digging a well in order to provide the earth with food and beverage. It is a show of  gratitude for the fertility of  the earth as well as a request for good weather and a fruitful harvest. The previously tilled land (from April to September) is then used to sow several kinds of  potatoes between October and November. Harvest starts in March and stretches to May. Yet, selection can last all the way to June. Potatoes are divided between those that will be eaten, those that will be used to sow next year and those that will be turned into chuño.Chuño is the traditional form to preserve and store potatoes. During the months of  June and July tarps covered with potatoes are left outdoors for days. Taking advantage of  the ground frost (with night temperatures as low as -5°C) and the intense sun (reaching temperatures as high as 18°C) potatoes are naturally dehydrated. Throughout, potatoes are trampled much like grapes to produce wine. An experienced hand pinches them to know if  they are ready or not. The end result is not only of  much less weight, it concentrates the nutritional properties of  the potato and makes it everlasting.114113116115118117120119ADOBEFor centuries, houses have been built using the earth from the site itself, just adding water and straw. The carefully prepared loam mixture is thrown unto a mould to make adobes. The greater the force with which the loam is thrown, the better the compaction. Every now and then, a stomp is part of  the process. Once the mould has been filled, the surface is smoothed using a timber piece, a trowel or a wire.  Afterwards, the mould is taken out and the next one begins, leaving the first one under the sun to dry. A total of  about 300 can be made by one person on a single day. Due to the intensity of  the activity, however, the work is don in collaboration (Ayni, as they call it). 4 days later, the adobes are turned on edge and stacked until they are ready for construction. If  not protected from rain, however, the process needs to start again.122121124123126125REARINGAlthough the llama is the traditional meat and pack animal of  the Andes, since the introduction of  the donkey its numbers have been declining. While donkeys require more feed and water, they can do with less space and carry higher loads. The move from llamas to donkeys has been favored by the diminishing size and the distance of  farming plots. All animals are kept in close proximity to the house. Commonly, on abandoned adobe buildings that have been repurposed to house pigs, sheep and cattle. Sometimes, chicken coops are attached to them. The care and handling of  all animals relies on the help the whole family. It is thus taught from an early age. 128127130129WATERWater scarcity has been a consistent problem. As there is no proper infrastructure in the area, the closest source is a couple hours away on foot. Currently, makeshift gutters and water tanks are being added to crumbling and rusting roofs to help to with personal water consumption. Yet, if  the rainy season is not enough, the last resource is asking the municipality for a water cistern.  132131134133TRANSPORTTransportation to and from the community is either on foot or private vehicles. However, a mini bus without a regular schedule passes by the main road, about an hour away up the hill, on the way to Collana or to La Paz. Kids take this option when they want to continue their education beyond primary school. For anything else, from construction materials to products from the market, a truck is hired. Its cost goes up to Bs 30 000 (about C$ 5700).136135138137COMMUNITYAt the end of  each month the community gathers to organize themselves and discuss any possible problem. The meeting lasts all day and is centered around the communal meal known as apthapi. Each individual contributes with a little to an aguayo that is placed at the center. The ambience promotes respect, gratitude and responsibility towards one another and Pachamama. The collective takes priority.Once a year, in a similar meeting, the community elects a mallku (leader) and organizes the committees that will take over the upcoming year. Only the leaders wear a poncho and carry a chicote (whip) around their torso. Their responsibilities vary from organizing the yearly parade celebrating the agrarian reform to organizing soccer competitions with neighbouring communities during Easter.140139142141HELPThe women’s association has been consistently getting in contact with various NGOs. Looking to improve their community in every way they can imagine, from gender equity workshops to organizing recycling programs.With Suyana they have established a health center that gets occupied at least once a year. In addition, a mobile dentistry office drives through periodically to reach a goal of  zero cavities. In case of  an emergency a doctor or healer is called from Collana, but it might take too long to arrive.With Ayni, a particular project was set on diversifying the diet of  the community by introducing the breed and care of  guinea pigs as sources of  meat. The community worked alongside the NGO providing the materials and workforce necessary to build hutches for the guinea pigs.On a similar project, this time under the guidance of  Valleverde, the community worked on building solar tents intended to increase the production of  lettuce. Valleverde also organized workshops that focused on the care and packaging of  the produce. The families participating on the program are given the option of  managing the transportation and sale of  the product or letting Valleverde take control of  that process.144143146145148147150149152151CITYRural to urban migration has left the fields in the hands of  women and an older generation. Those who can leave so that their children can continue their education or on the promise of  opportunity. However, competition on the city leaves many fending for themselves without the possibility of  helping the families they have left behind. The try to find jobs as plumbers, electricians, painters, bricklayers, etc. Other, sell products off  the road or cook on the streets while the lucky ones might have a permanent stall at one of  the markets. 154153156155ACT 4:WHAT IF? ÑUÑUMAYANIThe following proposal is primarily a tool. 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