Wednesday, May 28, 2008

reality check

the morning was busy today. Hosted by the city staff from URBEL and the community leaders, we walked for more than one hour inside the Acaba-Mundo neighborhood, a typical Brazilian favela. The lessons were many, from the ingenuity of the spatial solutions to the inverted design process in which the materiality always comes before the spatiality.

We all liked the playground, but Fernando seemed to be most interested in the slide.

later we also visited a school and day-care built by the city, hosted by the architects Marcelo Amorin and Silvana.

Grocery Shopping with the Host Family

Grocery shopping was quite an experience. I have never seen so many different kinds of bananas. Ana my host mom, with a huge abacate (avacado)...and I thought everything was bigger in Texas.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Workshop at PUC-Minas

the travel franzy is over (for a few days) and we started working yesterday on a brainstorming workshop session that includes 13 students and 2 faculty form Ryerson University in Toronto and another 20 students from PUC-Minas in Belo.

and I guess it feels good to go back to the drawing board after so much traveling

posted by F.Lara

Monday, May 26, 2008


We took a steam engine train to Mariana from Ouro Preto and then took the bus back to visit the Gold Mine

Saturday, May 24, 2008

walking in Ouro Preto

coming down the hill

lunch in Ouro Preto, view from our table

Brooke and Cristina after eating at a Kilo Resturaunt. Kilo Resturaunts are just amazing. You walk in to a large spread of fresh fruits and vegetables and every cut of meat on skewers that you can imagine. You load your plate up and pay by the kilo.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Belo Horizonte and Ouro Preto

here's what happen when you introduce 12 nice Michigan students to 12 nice Mineiro's students.

on Wednesday there would be a party hosted by an architecture student in Betim, 40km away from our hotel in Belo. Given that proper directions were lost on translation, the Mineiro students drove 40km, picked up a few Michiganders and drove 40km again after the party to drop them off. That's 120km total or about 20km per capita.

the carbon footprint was not that good but the party..... well, I wasn't there, but I saw their faces the next morning.

on the photo, some of them walking around Ouro Preto yesterday.

posted by F. Lara

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Michigan students meet Brazilian students

The night before heading out to Ouro Preto, a group of Michigan students decided to join some of the students from PUC-Minas in a BBQ (a "Churrasco"). The night turned into so much more... including an intense debate about male speedos, a bonfire, and a karate fest which turned into a cart-wheel contest.

our first night in Belo Horizonte= we still dont know how to order food.
brian gave us a little surprise during dinner....

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Sao Paulo II

in Sao Paulo on Monday, hours and hours on a bus

but the School of Architeture by Artigas was worth all the effort

Sunday, May 18, 2008

São Paulo I

everybody arrived ok in São Paulo (except one piece of luggage that is hopefully coming tonight) and we already walked for miles to see the MASP building by Lina Bo Bardi and the MUBE by Paulo Mendes da Rocha, where we took this picture.

more to follow soon,

Thursday, May 1, 2008

blog created

this blog was created to track the adventures of 12 Michigan students traveling to Brazil to take part in a architectural studio in Belo Horizonte, in partnership with the Catholic University of Minas Gerais and the City of Belo Horizonte.

the 12 of us + prof. Fernando Lara will be posting from May 18th til June 20th and beyond.

posted by F. Lara