Los Angeles, CA, USA
Instructor: Jason Payne
UCLA Spring 2010
Design Team: Rona Karp, Jeeyea Kim

Many of the favelas in Brazil suffer from infrastructural problems such as flooding, unstable buildings, bad roads, and unsanitary sewage disposal. But, even with these challenges, favelas are vibrant communities filled with color and life. This studio traveled to Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro to study how we might design infrastructural solutions that would respond not only to the weaknesses of favelas, but also to their strengths. We chose the favela Eucaliptos, located in the northern part of Sao Paulo, as our site.

This project combines the infrastructural necessity of water control with the desire to informally program the landscape with color. The current government solution of channelization is a practical and efficient solution to containing and managing water, but it does not foster a neighborly atmosphere, as it isolates the creek from its surroundings. By laterally “rolling out” the walls of the typical U-channel, we hope to engage the banks of the creek for circulation and community activity, linking the formal infrastructural channel to the favela fabric and the city beyond. Textures will encourage the colorful infiltration of benign decay as the natural environment seeps in.