Forest Remediation and Communal Life: Restoring the Sumak Kawsay in Ecuadorian Amazonia

Thursday, November 18, 2021 - 11:30am

Forest Remediation and Communal Life: Restoring the Sumak Kawsay in Ecuadorian Amazonia

The well-being of the rain forests of Amazonia is inseparable from the well-being of the biome´s original nations. Their ancestors, as archaeological and biogeographical studies are demonstrating, have extensively contributed to shape and build a monumental ecology characterized by a high degree of cultural and biological diversity. Currently, indigenous territories tend to correlate with healthy, productive, and well managed forests. Simultaneously, they continue to face the threats posed by the advance of mining (formal and informal), fossil-fuel extraction, illegal logging, ranching and mono-culture plantations. Mass-timber construction, if managed in a timely and responsible fashion from a communal base, offers a unique opportunity for forest remediation (polycultures) and the improvement of local economies. In this presentation, I would like to tell the story of Mushullakta and its symbiotic relationship with Humans for Abundance. Their experience with chakra reintroduction is a story of hope for the future of Amazonia and our planet. 

Ana María Durán Calisto, Lecturer, Yale School of Architecture

Ana María is doctoral candidate at UCLA. Under the advice of Susanna Hecht, she is writing a dissertation on the history of urbanization in the Amazon basin, with a focus on the oil urbanisms of Ecuador. In the year 2010, she received a Loeb Fellowship in advanced environmental studies from the GSD for her proposal to develop an open research network devoted to study the infrastructural integration of South America and provide alternative models of intervention, in lieu of the primarily entropic urbanization that follows the deployment of extraction infrastructures, particularly highways. The network became the South America Project and was spawned in close collaboration with Felipe Correa. Ana María has taught design studios and research seminars at PUCE, Harvard, Columbia, University of Michigan, UC Temuco; and has been teaching fellow at the Institute for the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. She curated the XV Quito Architecture Biennial: Visible Cities, was National Curator for the IX BIAU, and academic advisor for the UN Conference Habitat III. She is currently a member of the Scientific Panel for the Amazon (SPA) convened by the SDSN and the UN.

Ana María co-founded Estudio A0 with Jazz Kalirai in Quito (2002). Estudio A0 has designed a diverse array of projects, at all scales, in close collaboration with its clients (private and public), and community partners. It recently won a private competition to design the new Teleamazonas TV station. Its building QPH obtained the first Leed Gold of continental Ecuador and was ranked 8th among the 500 best socio-environmental projects in Latin America at the 2015 Latin American Green Awards. In collaboration with Del Hierro AU and L + A Arquitectos, it won the competition for the Ikiam University campus, which eventually was awarded First Prize in the SDSN Amazonia Infrastructure Award, COP 21, in Paris. Its incremental housing scheme received Second Prize in a Social Housing Competition sponsored by UN Habitat. Estudio A0´s projects have been extensively published. Recent features include 30 arquitectos más relevantes de América Latina (Línea Editorial y Lexus Editores, 2020), Office Design (Booq Publishing, 2019), Company Gardens: Green Spaces for Retreat and Inspiration (Braun Publishing, 2019), and International Houses (Taschen, 2018). Selected works were showcased in the XX Chilean Architecture and Urbanism Biennial, and will be included in the upcoming Bolivian Architecture Biennial.

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