Archive for the ‘ in english ’ Category

ALMA BARROCA II (train3): Maria Bragança + Dudu Lima + Marco Lobo (film Joao Diniz)

livro VISIBLE CITIES, observações arquitetônicas e urbanísticas itinerantes

Captura de Tela 2013-06-29 às 22.18.55VISIBLE CITIES see and purchase the book

Este livro é um relato em fotografia e texto de 14 cidades do Brasil, América do Norte e Europa e propõe uma leitura pessoal da experiência vivida pelo autor em cada uma destas cidades.

O trabalho pode também ser entendido como uma proposta de abordagem que pode ser feita por qualquer pessoa que queira interagir com cidades e espaços de forma semelhante. Desta forma a edição pode ser também entendida como um ‘procedimento itinerante’, uma proposta aberta e interativa. O primeiro texto do livro explica melhor este método.

Além do livro físico e/ou virtual, que pode ser adquirido e/ou visualizado na íntegra no link acima. este material poderá também ser conhecido, desenvolvido e ampliado em apresentações, palestras, oficinas, performances e outras viagens, feitas pelo autor e/ou convidados. Desta forma trata-se de uma dinâmica aberta que pode continuar em outras edições.

O material foi desenvolvido em seis anos de viagens e registros feitos pelo autor e foi realizado no programa Propic 2012-2013 da Universidade Fumec de Belo Horizonte, onde o autor leciona, que ofereceu parte dos recursos necessários para a montagem da edição.

Edição bilíngüe (português/inglês) de 420 páginas com fotografias, textos e projeto gráfico do autor, tradução e tratamento de imagens de Luiza Ananias (bolsista Fumec)  e colaboração de Carolina Araújo (bolsista Fumec) e Isabel Diniz. Textos do posfácio por Marcílio Gazzinelli, Fábio de Carvalho, Carminha Macedo, Marcelo Xavier e Álvaro Gentil.

Tangram House, an architectural toy

Tangram house is an architectural toy coming as a generative modular and volumetric system that allows the study of  volumetric compositions for buildings based on the known chinese pieces that come from a single square. In this system the traditional plan geometric forms achieve a proportional width becoming compositive shapes. In the chinese tradition the tangram pieces are mostly used to generate animal forms, in our case we investigate non existing living typologies.





proposal and images by JDArq

tension/relax tranSpaces or playing with natural structures

This project is a conceptual  idea that creates models of light structures and spaces with triagulations and tension compositions attached with the proposed knots for domes and geodesic structures i ‘invented’ in my master degree thesis, for the UFOP university in Brasil. It is an utopic view of sustainable spaces including social participation and nature around and inside.  There is also a proposal of representing architecture with artistic digital photocolages, announcing  future spaces to be built.


plan t


plan t2

timeless chronology for Jorge dos Anjos, by João Diniz

timeless chronology for Jorge dos Anjos

by João Diniz

the slopes from Ouro Preto greatly contributed

to a culture of minerals, conspiracies and mists

in a geography of achievements, discoveries and inventions.

a new Brazil is recreated in its interior,

by hands of mud and dreams in the search of gold,

and turns its eyes to the red metallic ground

proposing new identities, heritages and doings.


this story is written by multiple skins and languages,

when the portuguese caravel, coast-bound, sees in the faraway mountains,

the human adventure of dreams and wishes is read

in a text of blood with steps of freedom and struggle.

a policy proposed in the mixing pot of diverse races,

the national mosaic from an utopian and impossible certainty.


the boy steps the stone street aware of towers and mountains,

his eye on the ground and skies, sees stars landed in search,

in explorations of the pencil, brush, chalk, canvas, charcoal and paper

and investigates new materials in the polychromatic blackness,

in the conversation with the masters of the past and current friends.


Jorge dos Anjos, in his own project, is born every day

a person who expands art in an experimental biology,

and migrates from his natal  baroque ranges, in a mobile faith,

to the metropolitan horizons, in a beauty challenge,

to take his flight into light and shade, into steel and fire.


and he dreams of soapstone and oils, in sheets and wood,

long fabrics, felt, rubber, and color cut flowers,

also in cubes, plans, sections, spaces, folds and openings,

a loose tension between discovery and invention,

in the border of creation and labor, silence and laughter.


in his rhythmic walking time, without the stopping rest,

Jorge follows the artistic saga, in an untiring investment,

the dynamic calendar, away from sweet promises,

passes in a warm day of cranes and levitations,

and proposals, projects, lines, letters and prototypes,

cropped in a subtle geometry, a newborn mathematic.


this cycle of spheres and rings, endless lines and points,

are trips departing from Africa retracing the route

between America and the world, proposing landing risks

in places like Spain, Holland, Belgium and France,

and even in southeast rivers, or southern rebel destiny

in the false peripheral claim of the centralising speech.


in dialogue with the popular wisdom of the spontaneous feeling

the Angel shows other graphic gestures of the Brazilian diction

in a poem that comes, goes, returns, hears, and sees

the weeks and months, the passing year in numbers and hours

leaving only the mineral experience, of the living, of the knowledge …


João Diniz, 2011


Here to worship


your will to say

the colors of your eyes

the freedom of your faith

your tolerance for the diverse

the presence of your God

your openness to the unknown

the polyphony of our voices

and our limits


Here to worship …


the agreeable prayer

the offering candles

the cult of harmony

the rituals of joy

the non-violent believers

the priests of equality

their lessons without authority

and celebrations without celebrities

in the belief that does not impose


Here to worship …


the leveled altar

the multiple rosary

the cross of meeting

the bells of dance

the open mysteries

the chapels of peace

the religions without temple

the temples without arrogance

the places that invite

spaces of understanding

in the possibilities of the sacred


Here to worship …


the collective supper

the diving into wine

the intercontinental blood

and the bread of frugality

of the spiritual body

philosophy of health

amplitude of spirit

comfortable heart

in true sensations

omnipresent perfume

the multidirectional passion

the resistant nature

the generous city

the solidary country

the human beauty external and internal


Here to worship …


the sensitive brain

the productive affliction

the conscious delirium

the Instant poetry

the artistic trance

the curiosity of the soul

the eternal discovery

the creators of dialogues

architects of hope

smooth transcendence

mandala of enchantment

on the registered contemplation


Here to worship …


the lullaby choral

the psalm polyglot

the accessible chant

the inclusive mantra

the improvised prayer

the friend disciple

of the faithful in surprise

and gentle master

guru of good humor

monk in the crowd

wiseone in doubt

with humble wisdom

in voluntary initiation

writing the essential book


Here to worship…


the collective light

the sanctity of childhood

the constant baptism

the daily wedding

the human family

the saints’ neighbor

in the sensitive bath

of the reversible guilt

and the abolition of sin

in the generous forgiving

of the spontaneous penalty

of the quiet justice

and provisional death

of the life in each moment

in the unknown past

and in the future of now

on the inferiority of time


Here to worship …

Joao Diniz, in a Bulgarian road, May 2012



Expanded reflections on Sete de Setembro Square in Belo Horizonte, Brazil by João Diniz, architect Msc

João Diniz, engineer/architect from School of Architecture UFMG, Federal University of Minas Gerais, in Belo Horizonte, 1980. Master of Arts in Civil Engineering specializing in Metal Construction from Ouro Preto Federal University in 2006. Assistant Professor since 1999 with the School of Architecture, FUMEC University – Minas Gerais Foundation for Education and Culture, which in 2009 signed agreements for cooperation in the areas of architecture and town planning with Gdansk University of Technology, in Poland, and other universities in Spain and Germany. President-Director of João Diniz Arquitetura Ltda, since 1989, a company for projects in the areas of architecture, town planning and design.

Text for the conference on the seminar about ‘Transformations in Urban Centers’ at the Gdansk University of Technology, Poland 2010

Genesis of new scenarios

The 13 Portuguese ships left Lisbon in 1500

in search for colonization and economic routes to West Indies.

Seaman Pedro Alvares Cabral, seeking to avoid the calms off the African coast

decides to sail westerly and on April 21

a mountain comes in sight, to which the name Pascoal was given

in that Holy Week that would change the course of history,

and lands for the first time in the American continent

in Porto Seguro, the region known now as Bahia (fig. 1).

In that place the first cross was erected and the first religious service was held and,

on behalf of Portuguese Crown, Pedro Alvares takes control over the land,

observed by perplexed indigenous, the natural landlords of that soil.

A native red tree, by the color of live coal, suggests the land’s name: Brazil,

to start, in igneous inspiration, a saga of recurring transformations.

The Letter of the Discovery is sent to the Portuguese King describing the event,

while seaman Pedro stays for ten days at the newly discovered beaches

before resuming the intended route to the Indies, to never be back again,

but leaves the Portuguese flag and the perspective of a new empire.

Coastline and countryside occupation

Portuguese and Spanish interest for American lands

led them to sign the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494,

dividing between the two crowns the lands discovered and to be discovered.

A demarcation line 370 leagues west of Cape Verde islands

crossed the new continent and divided the land possession

with Portugal holding the lands to its east, and Spain to its west.

Due to scarce resources to colonize the new land

Dom Manuel, King of Portugal, creates Hereditary Captaincies in 1504

or parallel strips of land east-west bound which were donated (fig. 2)

to distinguished Portuguese citizens, who would rule and explore the

areas, and would transfer such possession to their descendents.

This system ensures the land possession for Portugal

and worked well by 1822, with the Independence of Brazil,

when those captaincies were then called provinces,

and undergoing different subdivisions, annexations and redefined boundaries.

And by the beginning of the 18th century, the Brazilian territory was

occupied preferably in the coastal regions closer to the metropolis

and to neighboring captaincies through the Atlantic Ocean.

As from 1700 a number of expeditions started westward exploration

where they discovery the wealth of gold, generating a new economic cycle

in the newly founded captaincy of Minas Gerais, with Ouro Preto as capital city.

This new economic activity moves the focus from coastal interests

to Brazilian inland, generating extractive development (fig. 3)

visible in the capital Ouro Preto, as well as in the cities of Mariana, Sabará,

São João del Rei, Serro, Congonhas do Campo, Ouro Branco, Diamantina…

This new progress can also be seen in the area of town planning,

architecture, sculpture, literature, arts and culture at large.

It is Minas Gerais baroque making the region historical scenery

of remarkable importance in the national political and cultural scenario.

Such an intellectual effervescence made the region stage for the 1789

movement known as Minas Conspiracy, a separatist movement

which proposed Brazil as an independent country free from Portuguese domain,

censorship, tax obligations, political and economic domination.

The insurrection gave rise to great national martyr and hero: Tiradentes,

born Joaquim José da Silva Xavier, a dentist and intellectual/ political leader.

Ouro Preto was the first Brazilian city to be declared by UNESCO

a World Historical and Cultural Heritage Site, in 1980.

Republican winds

With gold becoming scarce at the end of 18th century new economies emerge

giving room to the cycles of cattle and agriculture in other regional poles.

In late 19th century the cycle of iron emerges in the mountains connecting

Ouro Preto to Curral del Rey Sierra in reserves of 15 billion tons.

The city with its mountainous geography can no longer be the capital city

with the state’s new economy, in a newly proclaimed republic,

in a new century which wanted to see the colonial times far away.

In 1893, then President of the Republic Afonso Pena decides to build,

next to Curral del Rey Sierra, the city to be called Belo Horizonte,

inaugurated in 1897, as the new capital city for Minas Gerais state.

Engineers Aarão Reis and Francisco Bicalho direct the project and the works.

The plans called for a double orthogonal web in 45° angle,

a mesh of square blocks with 100 meters in right-lined streets

is cut by a second diagonal web, more spaced with wide avenues

making up a dynamic circulation system with its lines and directions.

A heterogeneous relief melts with the strictness of the urban plan, therefore

proposing an apparent contradiction between tracing and topography,

in a possible blend of sensuality/relief and sense/project (fig. 4)

helping define abstractly the character of the city and its people.

This rational plan is limited by a Contouring Avenue, perimetrical and circular

in a diameter of about two kilometers providing space for

squares and plazas in specific points of the tracing and topography.

The project blends together the urban traditions of 19th-century metropolises:

the rational American square lines are corrected by wide oblique highways,

by empty spaces, and by the concern with monumental perspectives

of European inspiration with an explicit influence by Haussmann.

Place of convergences

The orthogonal intersection of the city’s major avenues,

Afonso Pena and Amazonas, is intercepted diagonally by streets

Rio de Janeiro and Carijós, forming an asterisk with eight directions.

This place in the geographical center of Belo Horizonte is known as

Sete de Setembro Square, so named in 1922 during the

celebration of the centennial of Brazilian Independence.

The square is recognized as the symbolic heart of the city,

a point at the radiation center of the economic and social beat of the entire city.

Along its history, the square presented different configurations.

In 1902, the city’s streetcar system is inaugurated (fig. 5)

and the square houses the main station for connection and transshipment.

The square features also important and symbolic buildings

such as Banco Hipotecário Building, dated 1911, still existing,

the central obelisk, from 1922, the ‘Lollipop’ by architect Antonio Rego,

Brasil Cine Theater, dated 1932, by Ângelo Alberto Murgel, art-deco styled,

revitalized and transformed by architect Alípio Castelo Branco into the

Vallourec & Mannesmann Cultural Center in 2010,

Banco da Lavoura Building, designed in 1946 by Álvaro Vital Brasil

and awarded at the 1st Architecture Biennale in Sao Paulo,

and Banco Mineiro da Produção Building, dated 1951, by Oscar Niemeyer.

The square was not only a space intended solely for the public.

Photos from the 20th-century first decades show pedestrians coexisting

with different vehicles such as streetcars, automobiles and even animals (fig. 6),

therefore showing always its role as a multifunctional space.

At the beginning of the 1970s, the four blocks contiguous to the space center

were closed to vehicle traffic to become a pedestrian precinct,

intended exclusively as a passageway and space for people,

therefore creating the real square, although still fragmented in four sections.

In spite of its destination for pedestrians only, these sectors

do not receive a significant purpose-specific urban design.

In reality, the creation of these four spaces occurs also due to

required corrections in the traffic system, which intended to

limit the intersection and vehicle flow to the two avenues alone (fig. 7).

In 1989, Belo Horizonte City Hall proposes BHCentro,

a National Contest of Ideas for Downtown Belo Horizonte.

Architect Mauricio Andrés, in his line of ecological thought,

envisions the central part of the city under a perspective of low consumption of energy

and of commuting efforts, where the topography would be an ally to

the urban mobility, with movements avoiding

upward slopes, thus reversing the functionalist and linear logic of traffic

and opting for a more organic system, integrated with the geography.

This system would interact with public transportation and indicate

focal points of interest which would emerge with new plazas, or oases,

in the central area occupied preferably by buildings and traffic ways.

Likewise, specific points have been defined to have differentiated solutions

and, for the purpose, Mauricio Andrés invites five architecture offices

which would address one of the specific points defined by him.

Team 3834 was then set up, consisting of studios/teams by

Éolo Maia/Jô Vasconcellos/Flávio Grillo, who would work in

the central area around Sete de Setembro Square and surroundings,

Álvaro Veveco Hardy/Mariza Machado Coelho

who would concentrate on new proposals for the bus terminal,

Gustavo Penna and associates, who designed the Caetés Street axis,

a commercial strip called by Gustavo ‘Axis of Three Ways’,

Jason Santa Rosa, who addressed the flower market, and the

team consisting of João Diniz/Graça Moura/Márcia Moreira, who created

‘Palmeiras Alameda’ a special point at Amazonas Avenue.

With the participation of almost 80 teams from all over the country,

the contest awarded three teams coordinated by Manuel Rodrigues Alves,

by Ana Maria Schimidt/Maria Elisa Baptista, and Mauricio Andrés Ribeiro.

The contest judging panel determined highlights for each team, such as

the proposals for the bus terminal, the ‘axis of three ways’ and

‘palmeiras alameda’ designed by Team 3834, and the proposal for

revitalization of the Municipal Park, proposed by the team of Schimidt/Baptista,

whose project was commissioned, developed and executed in 1992.

Based on these results, in 1991 the Municipal Administration invited

Team 3834 to design a new revitalization project, for the Square

and the old streetcar station, turned into the Flower Market.

The five offices making up Team 3834 decided to first discuss the two

projects, jointly, and then divide them into five projects:

Flower Market and the four pedestrian sections of Sete de Setembro Square.

The team coordinated by Jason Santa Rosa received the Flower Market, and

the four other offices had the square, including the central area and its sections.

Informal academies

The active cultural environment existing in Belo Horizonte in early 1990s

had the participation of architects from Team 3834.

Since the early 1980s, the city was experiencing an intellectual renaissance.

The Minas Gerais cultural avant-garde, which naturally used to migrate to the

Brazilian largest cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo,

decided, from then on, to stay in their city of origin

in a mix of appreciation of their own origins and roots, and in the belief

that a new irradiating center of thought was born in the city.

Musical accomplishments were already in progress at ‘Clube da Esquina’,

a pop music movement led by Milton Nascimento,

Corpo dance group, which started to have international reputation,

Galpão theater group, Uakti group of sound experiments,

and a number of undertakings in plastic arts, literature and sculpture.

These manifestations happened in an integrated and informal atmosphere,

public spaces in the city were natural stages for debates,

bars, art galleries, theaters, parties and houses

served as spontaneous forums of inspiration and development of ideas.

Architects also wanted to be a part of such an ebullition.

Late architects Éolo Maia and Álvaro ‘Veveco’ Hardy

decided to set up a wide group that would establish magazines ‘Vão Livre’

and ‘Pampulha’, named after the lake where

in the 1940s a remarkable group of works was built, designed by

young Oscar Niemeyer, invited by Juscelino Kubitschek,

then the mayor of the city, and later state governor and president of the country,

who built Brasilia, the new federal capital, with that same architect.

Pampulha is recognized as the ‘birthplace’ of the modern Brazilian architecture,

and buildings such as São Francisco Church, Casa do Baile, Casino – now

Museum of Modern Art – and the Yacht Club became famous and admired

all over the world, generating all kinds of influence.

New Sete de Setembro Square

Architects with Team 3834 had already worked together at the

‘Sensations Project’, an innovative proposal for a country-hotel,

led by George Hardy, where each accommodation unit

was a small house designed by an architect and a plastic artist.

This project was awarded at the 2nd Architecture Biennale in 1993,

in Sao Paulo, with ‘special mention’ for the entirety and plurality of the work,

which encouraged the group to joint develop the project for the Square.

The general concept guiding the team indicated that the square should

redeem its old circular unit through the texture of the central pavement,

through the adoption of a new vegetation, signage and lighting, and through

the restoration of the obelisk, a symbolic element of local heritage.

These qualities would also be irradiated through the four blocks/streets

previously closed by releasing visual perspectives,

by creating free spaces, flexible and open to circulation, pause and leisure,

by appreciating the buildings with historic and architectural value,

by rationally grouping the urban equipment and furniture,

by maintaining the tall trees, but removing old-fashioned plant beds,

by adopting new lighting to valorize the architecture of the buildings

and bringing back a new sense of wideness, well-being and safety.

The pedestrian precincts, which are coexistence areas in the square,

where different activities happen in four distinctive sections, are known as

sections A/C of Carijós Street, and B/D of Rio de Janeiro Street (fig. 8).

The team led by Jason Santa Rosa was responsible for the Flower Market,

revitalizing it and adding a point for cultural and tourism information.

The team with Éolo Maia, Jô Vasconcellos and Flávio Grillo designed section A

by proposing a bunch of metal beams that indicate the square center, and

serving as support for lighting, urban furniture, newsstand,

and telephone booths, while organically through the space of the street

emerge benches for people to enjoy the free empty spaces (fig. 9).

The team led by Gustavo Penna worked on the topography of section B,

where in the upper part there is a kind of ‘excavation’ serving as an

inviting place with seats under a glassy cover (fig. 10) referenced in the

framework of the neighboring building, where there is also the locutory,

a prominent volume that sets off the excavated part, and surges as

focal point, civic and political, directly related with the square center.

Section C was designed by Álvaro Veveco Hardy and Mariza M. Coelho, who

also started to form the street topography to create a longitudinal stand,

a coexistence space for pedestrians, street vendors and shoe-shiners (fig. 11),

protected by a metal cover supported by a long well-lit metal beam.

The team formed by João Diniz, Graça Moura and Márcia Moreira worked on

section D, where there is a set of seven large pieces in the upper part

which connect benches to lampposts making up a kind of urban ‘lounge’

in front of commercial buildings and a traditional hotel with intense human flow,

a central empty space intended for local traffic to the hotel’s garage,

while in the lower part there is the semi-circular cover for craftsmen (fig. 12).

Sections A, B, C and D of the square were later named after the indigenous tribes

native to and existing in the state of Minas Gerais,

respectively: Maxacali, Xacriabá, Krenak and Pataxó.

The members of Team 3834, formed by the five offices, at first discussed

the guiding concepts and jointly designed the central points of

Sete de Setembro Square, where common solutions emerged to the entire area

with common equipment and trees planted in the central ring,

redeeming the dense vegetal ring seen in old photographs,

the main lighting of the central part, protecting fences in stainless steel,

new newsstands, waste bins, telephone booths, and the

restoration and re-composition of the central obelisk body, the ‘Lollipop’.

Another point of consensus was the widespread use of robust material,

promoting not only durability, but low maintenance efforts for the pieces,

thus generating self-esteem in the population, making them understand

that public spaces do not belong to anyone specifically, but to all.

Specific projects, worked on by ‘sub-teams’, have come to a result considered

by them as ‘fraternally different’ generating a new unit

at Sete de Setembro Square, permeated by freedom and plurality.

Steel and metallic structures emerge in the four sections as the

main constructive element, reflecting an existing characteristic

in the contemporary architecture of Minas Gerais state, which has been working on this material

in original fashion, so connected to the state’s geography,

to its natural resources, and to its industrial and steelmaking facilities.

This project for Sete de Setembro Square was commissioned in 1991

when it was conceived, and initially submitted to the population and to the

public power, which received it enthusiastically.

In 1992 the project and its authors represented Brazil at the

5th SAL – Seminars on Architecture in Latin America – in Santiago, Chile,

whose theme was the ‘New urban centers in transformation’.

Ever since, elected municipal and state governments,

even having different directives and political parties,

were interested in building the project, until 2003, under the municipal

government of Fernando Pimentel and state government of Aécio Neves,

the project was finally developed, built and delivered to the population

after over 10 years since it was initially conceived.

The present city, acupunctures and irradiations

From that date and through the execution of Sete de Setembro Square project,

the city’s central part started living a wave of diverse revitalization.

The project’s good acceptance and the environmental quality imparted by it

certainly influenced the revitalization of Estação Square,

Rui Barbosa Square, Serraria Souza Pinto – now an event center –,

Cine Brasil – now V&M cultural center, Raul Soares Square –,

old Cine Guarani – now Museum Inimá de Paula –, and recently,

the transformation of Liberdade Square into a cultural circuit through the revitalization

of several buildings, formerly used by the state government.

Downtown Belo Horizonte is characterized by a large concentration of

residential buildings, differently from other Brazilian cities,

most of them built in the 1950s and 70s, giving it a more

human character, of lively nightlife in the area’s spaces and streets.

Therefore, all interventions add qualification

to this area of the city, and it is shared by the entire population.

By the 1980s, downtown Belo Horizonte, as well of other Brazilian cities,

were connected to the idea of abandonment, environmental degradation, insecurity,

chaotic traffic, and even prostitution and drug abuse, leading the population

to ‘flee’ to condominiums in uptown, the upsurge of shopping malls,

and the ‘culture of residential alarm and electrified fences’.

This social configuration isolates the elite from the rest of the population, in a

cultural apartheid leading to a progressive social confrontation.

As from the 1990s, the city enjoys an unprecedented alignment

of the municipal and state governments mentioned above, added to an

awareness-raising of the population around the appreciation of memory,

landmark buildings and venues, of eclectic and modern heritage,

of events in public spaces, of the spatial exercise of democracy,

of respect for minorities, of accessibility and universal inclusion.

In addition to all these factors, the 21st century indicates the need

to valorize the urban centers as poles for sharing

infrastructure, leading cities to lower energy consumption

in a review of previous models which denied a certain density

and advocated the idyllic and individualist isolation of the garden-city.

The revitalization of Sete de Setembro Square in Belo Horizonte, in 2003,

seemed to acclaim a new stance not only of local governments,

but also of other public and private sectors of society,

and the population at large, toward a new approach of the city, and their

collective and shared participation in decision-making and use of spaces.

There is still too much to do to lessen social unbalances in terms of

more equal distribution of income and access to housing and education,

of global access to infrastructure, sanitation and health services,

of efficient public transportation, and quality road networks.

The positive lesson that the qualification of a public space may bring to us

is the population gratitude and usage of the spaces, the shared use,

the identification and spontaneous preservation of such places.

Since it is impossible to solve all the problems at a time,

these specific actions work well, as mentioned by Jaime Lerner,

as urban acupunctures, focuses that, when properly worked out,

emanate positive energy and vitality to the entire surrounding urban body.

translation: Arlindo Verlangieri

POLSKANTOR a polish adventure

see the entire book POLSKANTOR at the Blurb Edictions link:

in this link you can also order the book

Pterodata: experiência interdisciplinar / interdisciplinary experience

O NOMADS ou ‘Núcleo de Estudos de Habitares Interativos’ da USP/São Carlos publicou na nova edição de sua revista eletronica a VIRUS4 cujo tema é: DESENHANDO COEXISTÊNCIA, um artigo bilingue que escrevi juntamente com Graziela Mello Vianna sobre o projeto multimidia do qual participo o PTERODATA.
Leia, veja um videoclip e ouça duas músicas nos links abaixo… e aproveite para curtir também o resto da revista que é muito interessante.

em português:  Pterodata : uma experiência interdisciplinar

in english: Pterodata: an interdisciplinary experience

Thinking about a metallic age, by João Diniz

The timeline, the human eras

Are told by iron and stone voices

The Greek word metal means searching, prospecting

Sounding millenniums of conquests, discoveries.

In the nature, gold, silver, platinum, mercury and copper are pure

The others were rusty mysteries at first

Such as bauxite and hematite that are refined into aluminum and iron.

In the fires of 10000 years, tin and lead

Were soft metals that announced the Copper Age

The first of the metal ages that followed the Neolithic.

In 6000 BC ovens, copper tools and weapons emerge

And the idea of metallurgy, in Persia, Turkey, Mesopotamia.

Copper plus tin open up the Bronze Age in 2000 BC

Armors, spears, fights, Odyssey, Iliad and warriors.

The two metals make history, but in 1500 BC they are scarce.

There comes the Iron Age, a new stage, the second millennium.

High temperature hematite and pyrite make iron

Coming not only from meteors, it crosses the Middle Age to

The Gothic era, the Renaissance in the forges of monks and artisans.

Iron combined with carbon in low percentages turns into Steel.

And from the pig iron, smelting iron ore with coke and limestone

In a blast furnace, in 1855 we started in England

To produce steel in large scale, there comes the Steel Age,

The age we all live in.

In the times of mid-19th century, the world was really changing.

Machines, stations, industries, railways, engines, workers

Reinvented the history where iron is the primary agent.

Engines and fossil fuels are now used in large scale,

Ancient regenerative cycles of nature are broken

Life is transformed by an endless progress vision.

The new construction logic of the economy of means

Seems to resume the Gothic era (1) and emphasizes structural geometry.

The new optimism, fascination and amazement were displayed

In world’s fairs, factories, bridges and railway stations

Building new metropolises, New York, London, Berlin

And symbolic works, Crystal Palace (2), Eiffel Tower (3), Brooklyn Bridge (4),

Echoed in the odes of Manhattan, Mayakovski and Lorca

Reflected in the Parisian experiences by the philosopher Benjamin.

Times of changes arriving resolute to the 20th century

And invented the modern architecture by eliminating excesses,

Seeking essences, the machine house, the new spirit.

The dogma of Less is More by Mies van der Rohe (5)

From a cultural perspective of construction industrialization,

And in the works by Buckminster Fuller (6) in the search for lightness

And nature lessons that inspire the human ingenuity.

Legacies that have been construed and translated ever since

By architects and builders from all over the world

In Brazil, many traditional works were already in free structure:

The Xingu Indian hut (7), primitive wattle and daub cottages,

Metal sheet houses in the Amazon, the colonial architecture (8).

We also had our first cast iron stations (9),

Railroads, industries, theaters, large spans, bridges…

The Brazilian modern architecture, skilful in the use of reinforced concrete,

And that amazed the world in the mid-20th century,

Also had works in steel, with own concepts and images.

Steel structures are in the buildings of Brasília,

And then became a part of our recent history in works by

Niemeyer (10), Lúcio Costa (11), Sérgio Bernardes (12), Éolo Maia (13).

At the same time steel is strengthened in new issues,

In a moment that the Earth is more concerned than ever

About its health, future, survival, sustainability,

Metal works emerge as a consistent alternative for

Lightness, transportation, disassembly and recycling.

Iron ores, steel & iron plants, and a recent constructive tradition

Make steel an important inspiration for the national architecture.

New experiences and distinguished authors emerge every day

Disclosing multiple possibilities and systems for the material.

Works by João Filgueiras Lima, nicknamed Lelé (14), are good examples

Of how technology and the Brazilian culture can demonstrate

Our times their vitality, creative and ecological spirit.

Present and future are challenging more than ever

In the many alternatives that are posed to architects

Through the responsibilities that are now in our hands.

The works presented in the book Steel Life

Are the metallic portions of our architectural production.

In Minas Gerais, iron is in the mountains,

The steel production and the thoughts by many professionals

Contaminate us with such a metallic poem

And generate job and reflection opportunities.

The projects and buildings presented here are organized

By their main relations with steel and its use.

Therefore EC or Complete Structures are works that adopt

The metal as single and main supporting element

Resulting as a conceptual product aesthetically aligned to the option.

EH or Hybrid Structures are projects joining together

Metal construction and masonry construction

Responding to demands from each side of the buildings.

In those cases, steel elements are placed

Where transparency and lightness are most required.

AC or Citizen Steel refers to situations where steel

Generates community instances of integration and public use

Participating as an agent of urban dynamics

Or a delineator of the scenario and social transformations.

AA or Artistic Steel refers to cases where the material

Defines an object, not necessarily architectural

But participating as a sculptural or spatial element

Qualifying with surprise and culture a given environment.

Such projects and buildings respond to different demands,

Coming from specific clients, individual or corporate,

Or from public requirements where an urban administration

Generates and hires for a project situation we have to address.

There are also architectural contests and academic researches

Situations in which we are voluntarily involved

And we can investigate elements never tried before.

And, last, there are working situations that we embrace

With no specific demand or need, for the joy of doing it,

Or for the wide significance of the craft that is Architecture,

Or just to keep the flame burning up to the

Moment when a new problem is imposed for us to solve.

Now in the 21st century, that new stage of the Steel Age

In a parallel between art and the construction of a new time

We should refuse the Still Life

And with this material of our time search for living life

In the experiences and works in progress in our Steel Life.

Introduction text by João Diniz for his book Steel Life: metallic architecture

Editora JJCarol, São Paulo, 2010