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Preservation of modern buildings: a perspective from Brazilian practice

Wed, May 1    1pm

The present lecture brings an excerpt of André’s ongoing research on how theory affects the practice of preservation of modern buildings and, hence, how the study of practices can contribute to theory. To that end, André starts from a qualitative analysis of the of preservation of the National Congress Building (1960) in Brasilia, a landmark designed by Oscar Niemeyer, and expands it to a discussion on conceptual and methodological approaches for the theory-practice paradigm.

The author starts from the premises that practical actions do not always follow the established frameworks, and that systematic observation of practice, as well as the interpretation of retrieved data, can bring new nuances to that discussion. From that perspective, the resulting divergences may not only be considered as deviations from the theoretical field, but also – and mainly – as possible bases for reviewing those theories and, ultimately, for shaping new directions.

André Castro is a Columbia University visiting scholar from Brazil. The fellow researcher also serves as an architect at the Brazilian Congress and is currently working in his dissertation for a PhD at the University of Brasília. He has a master’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism – University of Brasília, 2011 –, post-graduation in Management of Cultural Landmarks Integrated into Urban Planning in Latin America – Federal University of Pernambuco, Brazil / UNESCO Cathedra, 2006 – and post-graduation in Restoration of Historic Buildings – Universidad Catolica Argentina de Buenos Aires, 2008.

With a working background on public sector, his professional experience includes services for Brazilian government companies and institutions. Among others, he worked for CAIXA, a Federal Investment Bank with a nationwide program of rehabilitation of historical urban areas, and for IPHAN, the National Historical and Artistic Heritage Institute, where he acted as a National Vice-Coordinator for historic heritage of former railroads companies.

Free and open to the public.

Organized as part of the Preservation Lecture Series, an initiative of the Historic Preservation Program at Columbia GSAPP.

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