School of Art, Media, and Technology


Written by:



Global Flows & Climate Change: a presentation & panel discussion
with SPURSE & LA FANTASTICA (two multi-disciplinary design studios)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009
6:30pm – 8:00pm
2 W. 13th St. 10th Floor Lab

Where do the concerns of architects, artists, activists, librarians, archivists, Arctic historians, augmented reality/visualization researchers, environmentalists, hunters, paleontologists, philosophers, physicists, plant biologists, textile engineers, and so many others meet? How can we radically rethink our ways of living and working collectively? How can a research project stake out a political position in opposition to the demands of ready consumption and capital? Are you, your friends or your colleagues interested in pursuing some of these questions at a deeper level? Yes? you should come.

La Fantastica will be presenting their project, An Illustrative Guide to The Amazon: A Travel Diary

“It is a fact that we are in great danger. But then what? Does it mean that we accept the ghastly future predicted by the nay-sayers? That to my mind is intolerable; we cannot live with despair”[1].

The Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America (IIRSA).IIRSA is physically integrating the region through highways, hidrovias and energy projects. Some of IIRSA’s investments, however, are taking place on parts of the continent with ecosystems and cultures that are extremely vulnerable to change, including the Amazon Wilderness Area[1]. Two of IIRSA’s main projects are: (1) the continental-scale highway system and, (2) expanding the waterway linking the Pacific with the Atlantic oceans. Both of these projects involve serious modifications to the landscape; the highway cuts vertically the Amazon and the waterway horizontally. I wonder can there be an alternative route to development that does not require such heavy interventions? Can we turn to Utopia as means of aspiring a better future

[1] The Amazon Wilderness Area is today’s largest intact tropical forest.

[1] Goodman, Percival. The Double E. Garden City, N.Y.: Anchor Press, 1977. Pg. 112

Global Exchange Laboratory
Brian McGrath, Vyjayanthi Rao, Jane Pirone
GEL is a transdisciplinary space for social scientists, architects and designers to create hybrid methodologies for research and design interventions in global cities. Our courses, collaborations and projects posit new pedagogies and produce tools to help democratize processes of design, research and speculation about complex urban ecologies.

All Rights Reserved © 2024. Parsons School of Design.