Lima is one of the world´s driest and fastest growing megacities. Water supply is mainly from its small rivers that are shaping green valleys in the mountainous desert. However due to fast uncontrolled urbanization, water extraction, waste and sewage disposal, these valleys are loosing their vital function of serving as an ecological infrastructure for the metropolitan area. As green and fertile land is turned into urban deserts, Lima´s citizens seek to artificially reintegrate replicated and imagined nature into their city. Artificially green landscapes with water features, manicured lawns and blooming plant arrangements consume huge amounts of potable water, although large quantities of people do not even have enough water for drinking. The necessity to define and to design new forms of coexistence of city, landscape and water resources becomes ever more urgent.
Within this summerschool, students from different disciplines and universities explored how to resolve the conflict between engineering, ecology and design. Architects primarily think about designing spaces in terms of beauty and experience, engineers mainly think about designing functional systems based on an understanding of their physical, chemical and biological parameters. By combining an engineer´s analytical and calculative reasoning with the designer‘s creativity and intuition, the students became capable of acting in an entirely new way. The process and the results of this summerschool show that within only two weeks it is possible to come up with ideas and built interventions. These are demonstrating a wider range of thought and action against the complex challenges of water-sensitive urban development in Lima. We hope that this brochure will give inspiration to the readers and give new impulses for a productive interaction of natural ecosystems, technical infrastructure and human environments.
The design studio was intended as both the conclusion to the winter term design process and as a new approach to the topic based on working and building on-site in Chuquitanta. Ideas developed during excursions and lectures, were strengthened by the support of the Municipality of San Martin de Porres. Their constant presence in Chuquitanta enabled the students to collect and analyze additional information by directly interviewing local inhabitants and refining initial ideas on-site in the district. The one-day participative workshop revealed the real needs and wishes of the community and allowed students to design the installations for and with them. The construction of installations took two days and required that students confront the challenges of the local landscape in person and interact with local people. This experience led in some cases to passionate collaboration and mutual trust with locals and in others to some conflict. The exhibition of the workshop results took place on two different days and in two locations: posters were presented by each group and an installation about the project was made at PUCP, and an opening ceremony involving local inhabitants was carried out through the very installations in Chuquitanta.