Supersudaca/ Pablo Guerrero

super

Over, on top, beyond what is normal, beyond what is ordinary, beyond what is usual. That transcends what it is. That develops in a higher degree what is given.

sudaca

Sudaca is the term –usually pejorative- used in Spain to refer about Latin Americans. Even though it derives from ‘sudamericanos’ in fact it includes all spanish-speaking people of South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, all those who share a ‘sudaca’ way of being.
Beyond the anecdotal, what could be more interesting is that it has to do with the similarities of people from these places and not with their differences.

Supersudaca was casually founded in 2001 in Rotterdam, when we met while studying at the Berlage Institute and discovered that we had more in common than geography and language. Having been brought up on architectural examples of Europe and the US they suddenly realized that they were pretty much ignorant of what was happening in their neighboring countries and could learn much more from each other from here on.

The first step towards group consolidation was a one-year round of lectures where we presented our city of origin relating history, urban planning, architecture, the cities’ problems, and opportunities. In this framework Bogotá and Medellin (Colombia), Mexico City (Mexico), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Santiago (Chile) and Santiago (Dominican Republic) were presented. The conclusion was exciting: sometimes at first glance one could not differentiate one place from the other, there were much more similarities than expected and the Spanish colonial grid was only one detail of many common features. Topics of interest started immediately to reappear in the discussions: self organizing infrastructure, demographic nodes, lack of connection between our countries, missed opportunities for development, the presence of megacities and starting process of expansion of secondary cities, and many urban and architectural topics, all framed in the context of striking social inequality and the quasi absence of government.

The idea came up to form a network and work together to explore further these recurrent themes at different locations, compare and learn from similar conditions. A Manifesto was written, proposing that only a new and optimistic way of thinking and operating in the context of Latin American reality could provide approximations to problem solutions (seeking the optimization of identity through solving the maximum with the minimum). In an almost stubborn way Supersudaca refuses to believe that the only space left for architects in Latin America is to build villas for rich people (though it does not discard that option altogether!). Since then, a driving motto has been to connect the usually disconnected Latin America architectural arena with projects directly related to the public perception such as recreation spaces, public spaces, and installations, in various locations such as Caracas, Lima, Tokyo, Talca, and Buenos Aires.

Supersudaca continuously uses the workshop format with students from various universities worldwide to launch campaigns for such projects. Besides direct actions, Supersudaca has two ongoing (award winning) research projects, one related to experimental social housing in Lima (Y PREVI?) and another about the impacts of tourism in the Caribbean. Both of them should end in a book at the end of this year. The former won the Research Award on the IV Ibero-American Architecture Biennale and the later the Best Entry Award at the II International Architecture Rotterdam Biennale.

More recently Supersudaca also started to practice directly architectural ideas and won the international competition of ‘vanguard’ social housing in Ceuta, Spain with 170 houses.

Supersudaca has received various kinds of funding and grants, above all from Dutch foundations such as The Prince Claus Funds and the Stimulering Funds for Architecture.

www.supersudaca.org

Pablo Guerrero Bogotá, Colombia, 1974.
Graduated as an architect from the Los Andes University in Bogotá, MA of Architecture and Urbanism at the Berlage Institute Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Pablo has over ten years operational experience in Latin America and the Caribbean, in the fields of transport infrastructure, urban transportation, urban development, tourism projects. energy efficiency and institutional capacity building.

Pablo has acquired over five years of experience at the Inter –American Development Bank and the World Bank in Washington DC providing technical support and competence in the conceptualization, development, appraisal and evaluation of transportation and urban development sector projects. Has wide experience in the areas of policy, urban renewal and transportation, including applied-research projects, urban and city planning, urban design, urban appraisal, urban policies and governmental coordination, and housing prototypes.

Worked with Fernando Cortes Larreamendy in Bogotá in the creation of a conceptual framework for the design of public spaces, including small, medium and large size parks. Lecturer in Urban Economy, spatial organization, regional planning, and tourism sustainable strategies in Colombia, Spain, Dominican Republic and Bolivia.

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