CRP Student: Questioning Community Architecture: Informality, Exclusion, and Public Space in Brazil

Early in his career, Clarence Stein focused on the idea of community architecture which united architecture and city planning at a time when the two disciplines acted separately. In creating functional, aesthetically pleasing, and socially equitable urban spaces, the community architect would not only consider physical design, but also the interaction between the built environment and its cultural, political, and historic contexts.

In the 1950s, the president of Brazil, Jucelino Kubicheck, commissioned Lucio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer to create a brand new city in the interior of Brazil that would be a shining beacon of the country’s development and embody a new utopian social order. The creators of this exhibit utilize Clarence Stein’s concept of community architecture to critically examine the implications of large scale city planning undertaken in Brasilia, the modern day capital of Brazil. Using the logic of the community architect the exhibitors look at the intersection of the built environment and social factors that have come to define Brasilia and its inhabitants.

CRP students Callie Watkins (M.R.P. '10), Julie Johnstone (M.R.P. '11), and Yelena Zeltser (M.R.P. '10), take a closer look at this period in their exhibit, Questioning Community Architecture:  Informality, Exclusion, and Public Space in Brazil.