The Instituto Cervantes of Chicago, in collaboration with MAS Studio, is proud to present the American premiere of the groundbreaking architecture exhibition Colombia: Transformed / Architecture = Politics. In this lecture, architect Giancarlo Mazzanti explains the exhibition's significance in contemporary Colombia. He is introduced by Vladimir Belogolovsky.
The exhibition traces ten recently built projects by five leading voices in contemporary Colombian architecture: Daniel Bonilla and Giancarlo Mazzanti from Bogota, and Felipe Mesa, Juan Manuel Pelaez, and Felipe Uribe from Medellin. These visionary and socially conscious works—daycare centers, kindergartens, schools, a sport complex, and a library, mostly winners of architectural competitions, which has become the norm for public building projects in Colombia—reflect significant social shifts that are taking place in Latin America today. They demonstrate ideas of social inclusion as well as innovative architectural forms and spaces that have been steadily transforming Colombian cities and the nation.
Thanks to political, economic, and social reforms, in concert with a belief by local politicians in the transformative power of architecture to bring identity and higher visibility to various parts of towns, create new, dignified, and attractive public spaces for interactive learning and leisure. Most importantly, these spaces uplift the spirits of residents of the poorest neighborhoods. Engaging buildings, convenient public transportation, iconic landmarks, plazas, and parks improve the quality of urban space, transform the mindsets of the inhabitants, and enhance their lifestyles.
The projects are explored through photographs, slides, drawings, and film footage that celebrate how these buildings are appropriated by the public.