CITY X ECOLOGY explores solutions to marginalized urban problems in the cities of Miami (USA) and Belem (Brazil). What are the commonalities between these two cities? A complex relationship with their neighboring ecology. The design process developed in Studio for the students’ projects presented in this exhibition began with an analysis of the relationships between human-altered and non-human-altered environments in both cities.
Master Project Studio students, led by Adjunct Professor Sophia Cabral, have conducted extensive research, and as their proposals become clearer and well-formulated, they are exploring multimedia methods to display their ideas and collect onsite observer information. This event allows the students to present their projects with captivating displays using projection, sound, and other multi-sensory methods of communication.
The event’s purpose is to expose observers to unseen urban problems, wild ideas, and to engage them through on-site data collection.
According to Professor Sophia Cabral, the aim of this exhibition is first to expose students to different mediums and methods of communication. As an architecture student, one must be very good at communicating complex ideas to a diverse audience. However, students often only have to opportunity to present their work to other architects and those in the design field. In the real world, students need to explain their work to peers and colleagues, but most importantly you must present to those outside the design field. Professor Cabral hopes that preparing for this exhibition has exposed her students to this process.
The projects presented in this exhibition are based on months of research. Students learned to synthesize extensive research with architectural design. Visitors of City X Ecology will notice very complete studies that led to simple solutions to complex urban problems.
Professor Cabral explained that “preparing for this exhibit required me to place a lot of trust in my students. They took leadership in curating the work, designing their displays, and determining what data and user responses they wish to collect on the day of the event. I learned that students can be very professional if they are given a chance.”
“This work is the product of a thesis that I am very passionate about. How do you look at nature, its systems, forms, and processes as inspirations to come up with solutions for extremely complex urban problems? My students were challenged to answer a question that can lead to many answers. The outcome was successful and I that this course can serve as a base for future classes offered at SoA,” said Professor Cabral.
INSIGHTS FROM PARTICIPATING STUDENTS:
“Working on this exhibition put us in a completely new headspace. In other design classes, we assume somebody else knows how our designs would be put together, but here, we actually have to do it. Everything from who, what, where, when, and how has to be evaluated and considered, and the best part is it’s interactive. This isn’t a “look but don’t touch” museum exhibit, it’s a playspace of design. It’s a curated experience culminating from the years we’ve spent with FIU SoA.”
“It has been an honor to represent the school in the exhibition. The whole process has been an eye-opener and has given me the opportunity to really push for better graphics. We are usually so focused on how to present to other architects, so this was a great exercise on how to approach the general public and make them interested in what your design offers. It has been amazing working with the rest of the class to put everything together.“
“We have had a great time helping to organize this exhibition for our class thesis project as well as having the opportunity to see how people will react to our ideas that we have been working on and refining since last year. Our focus has been creating a great interactive learning experience for all of those that will be present while showcasing everyone’s hard work.”
-Natalia Castillo and Giovanna Salvaandreoli
Randy Abeledo, Randa Albarghouthi, Ayxa Arechavaleta, Carlos Bermudez, Paola Cabello, Natalia Castillo, Christopher Dalov, Fabiola Hernández, David Jaco, Raquel Martínez, Colin Mele, Isabella Moncada, Daniela Rodríguez, Giovanna Salvaandreoli, Daniel Uria, Ana Carolina Vaz, Sebastián Velásquez.
CityXEcology is free and open to the public. The exhibit will be featured April 13 – 28, 2023 in the Washington Gallery as part of FIU School of Architecture Miami Beach Urban Studios (SoA MBUS).
SoA MBUS provides an extraordinary base from which to explore Miami Beach’s, galleries, music and theater venues, architecture firms, and artist studios. Located on Lincoln Road, MBUS is a creative exhibition and maker-space for Design, Arts and Technology affiliated with the FIU CARTA School of Architecture that includes a large 3D printing Lab, galleries, classrooms, and research/innovation space.
FIU School of Architecture Miami Beach Urban Studios
420 Lincoln Rd. Suite 440
Miami Beach, FL 33139
Hours – 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.