Abstract:

Living in poverty and not being able to afford electricity, water, basic needs, leads people to resort to extreme methods of survival, which means pirating these services in most cases. This is the story of many people in the world, who moved to the city with hopes of finding a better life and ended up being rejected by the formal economy of the city. For someone who doesn’t know about architecture, or has basic construction knowledge, the barrios of Caracas may seem an eye sore or simply just illegal land invasion. However focusing on the details of each house and the way these people solved many problems, these mountains of houses, one on top of the other become an ingenious struggle of survival, people using whatever they can find to have a shelter and a place to call home. Is it possible to improve the living conditions of these people through an architectural gesture that is beneficial for them? The best way to know the answer to this question and many more is to go directly to the source and ask the inhabitants of the barrios of Caracas, this would be the last step in the research part of this project since the trip has been planned for the end of December. Before the trip, researching other informal communities that exist in cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Nairobi, Mumbai, Istanbul, and even distressed cities like Gary, Indiana; will bring a better understanding of this way of living, as well as hopefully uncover what a simple architectural gesture can do to benefit the people living in a barrio. Another useful resource will be communicating with a group of architects who are currently working in the barrios near Caracas aided by a government grant requested by the people this barrio. The result of the research should be an architectural intervention which will seek to improve the living conditions of the people from the barrios.

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