Architectures of Urban Integration

Architectures of Urban Integration

As winners of the 2013 Julia Amory Appleton Traveling Fellowship, Caroline Shannon de Cristo (MArch ‘13) and Pedro Henrique de Cristo (HKS Master in Public Policy ‘11) used the fellowship to complement their ongoing research and design activism in South America. The pair returned to the GSD in April for an exhibit of their research in the Gund Hall fourth floor exhibit space, and spoke to students and faculty before the exhibit opening.

Shannon de Cristo and Henrique de Cristo are co-founders of +D Studio, and as curator and director respectively of Park and Institute Sitiê, are dedicated to urban integration projects in the city of Rio de Janeiro and specifically the Favela of Vidigal, which they call home. They are particularly interested in the opportunities presented by digital technologies to promote integration and equity in cities.

Through their travel and research in South America, they examined more than 30 projects in 6 cities across Latin America, evaluating design and planning projects on the ability to foster urban integration, sustainability and resilience. They were particularly emphatic when considering the role of the designer in urban integration, saying we must “be responsible to measure the impact of our work,” no matter the geography. Though their research focuses in part on architectural interventions, they note a key lesson, that “architecture itself cannot solve the problem,” and insist on the need for crosscutting partnerships “outside city boundaries.”

Shannon de Cristo and Henrique de Cristo left us with words they believe deeply, a promising reminder that, when done well and in partnership, “architecture is capable of promoting dignity.”

Architectures of Urban Integration, supported by the Julia Amory Appleton Traveling Fellowship, is currently on display on the fourth floor of the GSD.

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