The crisis in Caracas has brought a halt to normal professional and educational life in the capital. Even as conditions are likely to get worse before they get better, eventually the people of Caracas will be faced with the challenges of recovery, reconstruction, and reestablishing the life of the city. As before in human history, this moment of limbo presents an excellent opportunity to further pursue the burning questions of the Designing For Life agenda that lie at the heart of the prospects for recovery in Caracas as never before.
The extreme conditions of Caracas serve to illuminate key questions of the role of public space, land rights, and inclusionary design strategies for a healthier civil society in ways that renders them legible in less extreme circumstances elsewhere. As in previous symposia in 2008 and 2013, the Summer 2014 Designing for Life Symposium will invite the professionals and educators of the region to convene in the relative calm and quiet of Boston to gather strength for the challenges yet to come. This event marks the conclusion of a three-week Community Design workshop on how to use the significant spatial assets of the Boston Housing Authority, the MBTA, and adjacent institutions to design for social transformation at the Roxbury-Longwood transition. Exhibitions and Symposium discussions will address the translation of principles, practices and dispositions between Caracas, Medellín and Boston.
Carlos Betancur, Director/Co-founder, Oficina de Proyectos Urbanos OPUS, Medellín, Colombia