spatial study

'A modular design for the occupation of São Paulo'

Architecture of Appropriation

The Bienal de Arquitectura de São Paulo, the Dutch Consulate in São Paulo and The New Institute invited Studio LONK, ZUS and Studio CCXD to conduct (local) research into the appropriation of architecture.

During a 4-day workshop, seminar and exhibition on the theme of 'occupancy / appropriation', we investigated the needs and use of space of a group of former homeless people (MSTC), now residents of the squatted building Ocupação 9 de Julho. MSCT is an action group dedicated to housing the homeless in São Paulo. Occupying vacant office buildings in the rich city center is their main form of action.

Studio LONK, Studio CCXD and ZUS worked in close collaboration with GOAA, MSCT and students of the Ecola da Cidade on an assembly; a space to come together, to inform, to learn, to mourn, to enjoy. A church - slash - living room that can transform, shrink and grow. The design consists of one form that can be combined as a module into a chair, bench, altar, bar, cupboard, table, flower pot, etc. The students, residents and our team set up a production process to manufacture a large number of modules. The flexible design was immediately put to use during an exhibition and remains a powerful tool for the Ocupação community to appropriate buildings and make them liveable.

We also investigated other forms of appropriation, including pixação, a popular form of graffiti from the favelas. Affixed to the facade of the impressive building, the work communicated as a logo of the Ocupação to the outside world.

The Architecture of Appropriation workshop, seminar and exhibition at São Paulo's 11th Architecture Biennale are part of a larger research project organized by The New Institute.