Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The cost of homes in Brazil is too high: Graduate students from Architecture Department share findings from fellowship

On April 14, the University of Hartford Architecture Department held a presentation by two graduate level students and their findings from being part of the fellowship they won in 2013.

Derek Zero and Bartek Pociecha teamed up and put together an idea to look at Urbanizing favelas in Brazil for the JCJ Architecture Endowment that was started 6 years ago by a student Tai Soo Kim.

This program allows graduate students who are chosen by a panel to be able to go to the country where their research lies and go in-depth with it.

A presentation is required after the traveling is completed.

Zero and Bartek traveled south to Brazil for two weeks and focused their studies primarily on the favelas that stood tall in Rio De Janeiro.

Many of the slides also shows the difference in the way of life in Rio by showing the price of villas versus the price of these favelas.

Their findings revealed that for a family of four, it would cost 500 American dollars to live there a month whereas a villa costs $800 a day.

The presentation presented history, demographics and numbers of people inhibiting these favelas.

After learning about these homes that middle class people build with their own hands and local supplies, they moved on to speak about what the next step for them was.

When speaking about ideas on re-amping the favelas, Zero and Bartek spoke about the government and why they have been unsuccessful over many decades.

Many are being renovated today to allow possible housing for up in coming events such as the World Cup and the Olympics.

People living in favelas are not in support in what the government wants from passed experiences of them trying to demolish all of their homes, that also are used as shops at times.

This brought up a question in the crowd as to why they wouldn’t want them to be knocked down for a chance at better living conditions.

Zero responded with the simple word, “community,” people living there have so much pride in what they have even though it isn’t much because they made everything themselves and all enjoy each others company, over all it’s one big family.

The presentation came to a close as they spoke about some plans that have worked on giving the favelas a face lift and allowing thousands of people to live in better housing conditions.

After their presentation was over, the floor was open to questions which then lead to the announcement of the 2014 fellowship award.

Jesse McKay, a second year graduate student, won with his proposal on going to Amsterdam this year.


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