Pecha Kucha Presentation on Quilian Riano-Research

Below is a Pecha Kucha presentation based on Quilian Riano which Kirsty Fick did research on in order to better our information and process going forward with the Denver informal settlement.

The presentation was based on how he approaches work and obstacles in the working environment and how he graphically represents his findings

Slide 1:
Socio-Technical Practitioners Quilian Riano. He was born in Columbia but raised in Miami. He is the founder of the company DESIGN AGENCY which is based in Brooklyn, New York. Quilian is a designer, a researcher, a writer, and a educator.

Slide 2:
His training includes an MArch from Harvard University, Graduate School of Design and a BDes (Summa Cum Laude) from the University of Florida, School of Architecture.

Slide 3:
Quilian is committed to design education, currently teaching theory-based Design and Urban Ecologies studios at Parsons, The Newschool for Design and Pratt Institute’s Programs for Sustainable Planning and Development. He has also taught architectural and urban design studios at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and the City College of New York.

Slide 4 and 5:

The projects that he was involved in with the students of Parsons, The Newschool of Design, was the project: SANTA CRUZ VISIBLE. The project was based on a studio environment around research and community engagement with the potential of creating a self-sustainable improvement in economic and soci-spatial dimensions within Santa Cruz.  
They developed community relationships and commenced intensive research on Santa Cruz and it surrounding areas. The research terms included communal Processes, Social Infrastructure and Political economies.

Slide 6 and 7:

Qulian was involved in the student project food fight: design realities of low-income urban food ecosystems. The project is situated on the south bronx, it is home to Americas largest food distribution markets, but also home to the poorest district. Asthma and obesity rates are at a crisis level. The aim of the project is to create a bottom up change that contributes to the communities future food systems through extensive research of the complexities and the realities within the area.

Slide 8:  
Design Agency is a collaborative design and research studio exploring political engagement through architecture, urbanism, art & activism. They initiate research into urban conflict and power dynamics and use that research to propose potentially disruptive policies, actions, architectures and designs at various scales — from pamphlets to architectures to landscapes.

Slide 9 and 10:
Critical Activism is a methodology that uses activism and critical discourse to open up possibilities for change in the processes by which architecture and cities are made. Critical activism also suggests that no product is ever final — designs, buildings, ecologies and urban systems demand broad and holistic community-based processes that can change over time with both constants and variables.

Slide 11:

Quilian ask questions:
1.  Who are the powerful entities hiring architects and what are their agendas? 
2. Who are the people that actually build architecture and what is their condition? 
3. Can architecture and design help society move towards a more equitable model of power distribution?

Slide 12:
 Design Agency explores how a critical architectural and design approach can operate in this context:

1. A project is never started with a product in mind.
2. Critical research process rather leads the design to the right mode of intervention for any given situation.  
That means that we are as likely to organize around a piece of policy as we are to create a map or design a built structure.

Slide 13 and 14:
The Java St. Garden is a collaborative garden for community engagement, education and action. The mission of the Java St Garden is to maintain and preserve an open public space for use by individuals and communities who seek to share a common, public, collective experience.  The Java St. Garden is a collaborative laboratory not just for communal, political and gardening processes, but also for the design process by which the spaces and objects within it get built.

Slide 15, 16 and 17:
 This project is for the comprehensive research and design of a community of 50 houses, a community center, a waste water treatment plant, and a plant nursery that can serve as a prototype for safe construction in the Tijuana, Mexico. This area is known for informal housing units built by migrants looking for work in near by areas. Many of these houses are built in the riskiest and most environmentally sensitive areas. This causes risk to families, their belongings, and the larger ecosystem of the Tijuana river. The project seeks to intervene in social and ecological systems by proposing large-scale changes and by creating flexible, responsive and ever changing spaces.

Slide 18, 19 and 20:

This project is for comprehensive community and housing research and design in the La Prusia neighbourhood of Nicaragua. La Prusia is located along the road that connects the city of Granada and Lake Apoyo, both among the top tourist attractions in the Central American nation of Nicaragua. This neighbourhood has fallen into levels of extreme poverty. 
The studio travelled to La Prusia to learn from about the community needs as well as study the context. The information gathered from the community, city officials, and others was key in the design of the new housing community.

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