Pneubile : spatialized tactics of social empowerment in Salvador, Brazil's Feira de Sao Joaquim

Diril, Derya
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Crembil, Gustavo
Saunders, Andrew
Ngai, Ted
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This thesis examines three heterogeneous elements separately and intensively, and synthesizes them in a single context as a novel design proposal. As such, the thesis forms an assemblage, creating novelty through the substantiation of the multiple. The three heterogeneous elements examined in the chapters of this thesis are respectively: fabric formwork, the feira livre (Brazilian street market), and the city of Salvador, Brazil. As an architectural framework, these elements comprise: material/ method, program, and site. While the thesis does not purport a cosmic thread serendipitously linking these elements, its inquiry across elements has consistently focused on the convergence of structure and agency, in other words, the convergence of top-down and bottom-up forces in an assemblage. Generalizing, in the study of fabric formwork, these are the armature and the pour. In the street market, these are institutionalization and informality. In the history of Salvador, Brazil, these are colonial structures of power and the Afro-Brazilian subjectivity. The validity and relevance of these classifications are left to the reader's judgment. The real point here is to understand how things come to exist as they are--how they form--within multiple contexts, and to then see if a meaningful dialog can emerge out of these contextual becomings when they are brought together. In pursuit of novelty, this thesis is concerned with the question of how to effect a formal intervention--a "spatialized tactic"--in an existing material and immaterial context.
May 2014
School of Architecture
School of Architecture
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
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