Technische Universität Wien online lecture by Elisa

Technologically complex building systems presented in the guise of innovation by the "developed" world's industry are certainly admired in the Global South. And yet in spite of the aspirational tendency to copy and appropriate all things new that come from the "north", the brick (or block) continues to be the most suitable and frequent way for people and communities to build in Latin America. 

There are several key reasons for this apparent constructive inertia, none of which have to do with obstinacy or lack of means. The advantages of building with blocks is that they enable participation, they can incorporate unskilled labor and accommodate an open ended building schedule that allows projects to materialize themselves in time, while resources are progressively pulled together. The lecture will share experiences of work in Venezuela and Mexico that signify brick and cement block construction in terms of its social agency and suggest a few oversights in the way social architecture is approached by our field.

Online lecture at the Technische Universität Wien Friday May 15, 2020

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