In order to maximize the impact of Letters to the Mayor: São Paulo as a platform of debate and exchange of ideas, the exhibition is accompanied by a seminar titled “Open Letters”, a series of four round-tables on the following themes: Project, Strategy, Resistance and 2054 – The 5th Centenary.
The invited speakers include some of the exhibition’s participating architects and other professionals who have structured a critical and purposeful thought about the city.
In the round-tables the discussion gravitated around topics such as; the importance and insufficiencies of the project’s role in the physical structuring of the city, as well as an active agent within a socio-political sphere; strategies, from the micro to the macro scale, which aim to counterbalance the city’s segregatory development and engage its citizens in building a desirable public sphere; the intervention and occupation of the urban space as a tool to horizontalize a dialogue with the public power, as well as an important instrument in the process of symbolic empowerment of citizens over their city; ways of thinking about the future of São Paulo after a disorderly, unequal and exclusionary expansion, among other pressing issues.
#1 – Project (06.08.2016)
The seminar begins with a discussion about the importance and insufficiencies of the project’s role in the physical structuring of the city, and as an active agent in acting within a socio-political sphere. If the project is what distinguishes architecture from mere construction, giving it a semantic content and consequently introducing it into a speculative field, it also has the capacity, on the one hand, to involve and affect ethically and aesthetically the set of people with who it comes in contact and, on the other hand, be a vector of segregation and alienation.
Mediator: Lizete Rubano
Participants: Marcelo Coelho, Marcos Boldarini, Pablo Hereñú, Sandra Kocura
#2 – Strategy (13.08.2016)
The second meeting starts from a reading of São Paulo’s urban structure as a historical process guided by the interests of a small socio-spatial part of the city, to the detriment of the great majority of the population and its spaces. At a time when urban planning tends to see the city as a commodity, the meeting intends to discuss other strategies, from micro to macro-scale, that aim to counterbalance the city’s segregatory structuring and engage its citizens in the construction of a desirable citizenship and public sphere.
Mediator: Gabriel Kogan
Participants: Bel Santos Mayer, Fernando Tulio Franco, Milton Braga, Nelson Brissac Peixoto
#3 – Resistance (20.08.2016)
The third meeting will discuss the intervention and occupation of the urban space as a tool to forge and horizontalize a dialogue with the public power, as well as an important instrument in the process of subjectivation and symbolic empowerment of citizens over their city. At a time when the crisis of representative democracy is increasingly evident, numerous cities have been the stage for the emergence of new forms of collectivity as political entities, which use revolution and resistance as acts of catharsis, negotiation, and mediation in order to achieve reforms and their “right to the city”.
Mediators: Bruno de Almeida and Fernando Falcon
Participants: André Luiz, Carmen Silva, Luciana Bedeschi
#4 – 2054 (27.08.2016)
The last meeting of the seminar opens up space to speculate on other forms of being in the city, by the time of the 5th centenary of São Paulo in 2054. If the celebration of the 4th Centenary symbolized the rise of this city as the great Brazilian metropolis, using architecture as the main way of demonstrating this power, how can we think of the future of the same city after a disorderly, unequal and excluding expansion?
Mediator: Fernando Falcon
Participants: Alexandre Delijaicov, Lucas Girard, Marcus Vinicius de Moraes