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4. leave traces

4.1. catch impulse

Thinking and doing architecture in contemporaneity requires an opening to the unlearning, or rather, to learning in another way, since the layers of information, techniques, ways of making and using spaces, discussions on urgent climate issues, present themselves quickly and fleetingly. It is a principle of disclosure to constant instruction, including from non-architectural and non-academic sources.

It is known that there are several architectures produced in a country like Brazil, plural in each direction. As a collective cultural expression, political discourse, or even a particular gesture of ambience, architecture “responds to time by reflecting on the present and its interaction with the past, simultaneously contributing to the construction of history and to new designs for the future” (SPERLING, 2003). In this sense, the action in a given space advocates recognizing the regional characteristics and specificities of that place, of the territory in which it is intended to propose conducts and works, to demarcate cultures, since the empirical is incessantly remade through the exchange of knowledge and praxis.

In 2015, the Council of Architecture and Urbanism of Brazil (CAU/BR) and the Datafolha Institute commissioned unprecedented research, which revealed that 80% of renovations and private constructions in the Brazil are carried out without the technical assistance of an architect. Not entering into the discussion about the quality of buildings constructed in the absence of a professional in the area or even about how these cities without architects are being shaped, this issue explains the failure in the dialogue and insertion of the specialist within urban production, of pondering places and paths.

Often called vernacular, spontaneous, rural or anonymous, the architecture of non-architects makes explicit the sedimentation of an official position in the conception of a place, which does not necessarily correspond to the real picture.

Bernard Rudofsky (1905-1988) was an American architect who held, in 1964, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MOMA), the exhibition entitled “Architecture without architects (A Short Introduction to Non-Pedigreed Architecture)”. On the occasion, examples of vernacular methods and solutions were introduced and served as inspiration for current technologies such as elevators, prefabrication, standardization of component elements, flexible and mobile structures, air conditioning, lighting regulation and heating by solar energy.

Paying attention to this uncodified architectural work, which is not learned in the classroom, is a way of questioning pre-established standards, of recognizing the uncataloged inventive being, of creating possibilities to remake the official means of construction. Bernard Rudofsky (1964) completes:

"There is much to learn from architecture before it became an expert's art. The untutored builders in space and time - the protagonists of this show - demonstrate an admirable talent for fitting their building into the natural sorroundings. Instead of trying to "conquer" nature, as we do, the welcome tha vagaries of climate and the challenge of topography. Whereas we find flat, featureless country most to our liking (any flaws in the terrain are easily erased by the application of a bulldozer), more sophisticated people are attracted by rugged country. In fact, they do not hesitate to seek out the most complicated configurations in the landscape. The most sanguine of them have been known to choose veritable eyries for their building sites - Machu Picchu, Monte Alban, the craggy bastions of the monk's republic on Mount Athos, to mention only some familiar ones. 

RUDOFSKY, Bernard. Architecture without architects. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1964.

Despite the dynamic process of approximations and distances between knowledge, the architectural forging by architects, intuits an investigative experiment, a critical action, in which the recognition of available resources, peculiarities, local methods and typologies, climate and topography of a region, respect for the current culture, care and attention to possible demands and attention to the impacts generated, should constitute mandatory steps for the building.

At the end of the Architecture and Urbanism course, I questioned my own design creation, understanding architecture as a process, a possible path, not as a static condition. To think of practicable existences in a place, providing those who inhabit that space with adequate supports for their existence and time, containing unpredictability and supporting indeterminacy through concrete, technical, rigid, defined, perhaps these are the first images, the first risks in a ground.

How to be proactive? How to produce content that reflects territorial experiences that do not appear in official cartographies? How to identify the questions to be answered? Next, I elaborate propositions that seek to answer the problems identified in the perimeter of the district of Iara, in order to exercise the theoretical-practical knowledge acquired as a tool for social assistance and synthesis of the understanding of this work in technical matters.

1. SPERLING, David. Arquitetura como discurso. O Pavilhão Brasileiro em Osaka de Paulo Mendes da Rocha. Arquitextos, São Paulo, ano 04, n. 038.03, Vitruvius, jul. 2003.

2. RUDOFSKY, Bernard. Architecture without architects. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1964.

4.2. construct connections

Thinking about urban structures that evidence and allow connections and exchanges is almost a language mechanism, while each and every agglomeration of people already constitutes the most important network of corporeal and ethereal ties. The connections, as cultures, habits and inheritances, as indispensable foundations for social systems, are the argument and epilogue of this work.

As a principle, a prelude, the beginning of a gesture, the objects proposed at the end of the research aim to present constructive and collective measures and strategies that serve as an impulse, as an eagerness to launch a new chapter in the history of those who make up the studied district. Thus, directly reflecting the observed territorial and social aspects, I proposed starting guidelines for architectural and urban development, links with the imminent future and the tangible present. Being them:


Encourage urban agriculture, seeking to strengthen agricultural production and sustainable economy.


To think architectural forms with an integrated, adaptable and resilient approach.


Promote organizations and institutions that enable cooperation between social actors.


Enhance the natural and cultural resources of the territory.


Tendency or possibility of urban space being articulated in environments that are interconnected.


Work on the overlapping areas located between two zones or sectors and with no defined function, also called residual spaces.


Recognize the ability of a city to constitute itself as an imaginary or source of inspiration for residents.


Intervene at multiple scales: building, block, city and region.


Landscape architecture tactics that contribute to the decontamination of degraded areas.


To think of programs that meet the miscegenation of functional, social and economic genres, providing the conglomeration of people, without borders of coexistence.


Valuing the ability of the individual and urban space to deal with problems, overcome obstacles and resist pressure.


Identify spaces characterized by emptiness, absence, but also promise, possible, expectation.


Identify and propose growth strategies to locations that generate advantages or potential for the local economy.

4.3. it all starts in the back

“Collectors are men who are always bent over. There is no other way to collect. It all starts in the back, in the way the body hides what it wants nobody to steal”. TAVARES, Gonçalo M. Atlas of the body and imagination: theories, fragments and images. Leya, 2013.


A circuit of interventions along the backbone of Iara is proposed, which address the various scales in concept and detail. The linearity mentioned refers to the old road that connected Rio Grande do Norte state to Paraíba state and Cariri region. The study encompasses Iara from one end to the other, from the old cheese factory (located at the beginning of the so-called Rampa) to the remnants of the old road, now located within the perimeter of the reservoir.


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