A Look at the
Contemporary Architecture of Paraguay

Opening Conference March 3rd, 2016, from 15.00.
Exhibition March 3-18th, 2016
At Umeå School of Architecture.

The Facultad de Arquitectura, Diseño y Arte from the National University of Asunción, has organized this exhibition as an activity included in the XXV Congress of Latin American Architecture Schools (CLEFA, by their Spanish initials) developed early this year in Paraguay.

The idea of this Congress was to reflect upon the notion of "Architecture and Design in times of crisis". This may be perceived as contradictory, in a moment of high economic growth in Paraguay, which has, in turn, fostered a clear expansion of the construction industry, and real estate business. It is necessary then, to clarify concepts.

The crisis in Paraguay, in Paraguayan Cities and Paraguayan architecture, is not related with mac- ro-economic aspects, but with issues of sustainability and public governance. Such aspects in conflict have led to a process of urban expansion and a number of problems, including mobility and traffic issues, insecurity, lack of infrastructure, social and spatial segregation, etc. In turn, this have resulted in the deterioration of the cities, their en- vironmental and civic qualities.

A second aspect of the crisis in Paraguay - perhaps less evident - refers to a certain resistance to elaborate and build new spatial and cultural concepts, at the scale of an architectural object, the city or the territory. This resistance is perceived both within the field of design and within the larger body of society. An assertive approach vis à vis the afore mentioned resistance was the idea upon which this exhibition was organized.

The selected buildings constitute attempts to explore new ways to develop projects and pro- vide answers to the crisis. The concepts that triggered each building are diverse, as well as the spatial, structural or morphological characteristics of each project. All of the pieces, however, share a compelling spirit that constitutes a common ground: a clear aspiration to improve architectural practice and contribute to their culture and society.

To conclude, it is important to remember that this exhibition does not pretend to be a complete and exhaustive portrait of Paraguayan Architecture. Such aspiration should be related with a much larger effort. The selection presented here is proposed as an entry point that will allow visitors to become acquainted with part of Paraguay's contemporary Ar- chitecture and culture.

Curatorial team: Javier Rodríguez Alcalá, Julio Diarte Almada, Juanca Cristaldo, Edilio Morales, Carlos Zarate. Exhibition team: Silvana Acosta, Héctor Aquino, Miguel Riveros, Ángela Reyes y Krista Scavone.

Translations by: Magdalena Rivarola, Elena Vazquez, Juanca Cristaldo.

To the architects, many of whom are teachers at the FADA UNA, who have kindly provided drawings information and pictures from their proj- ects in order to organize this exhibition: Luis Elgue, Miguel González Merlo, Joseto Cubilla, Nicolás Berguer and Giacomo Favilli, Javier Cor- valán, Lukas Fuster, Miguel Duarte y Sergio Fanego, Guillermo Gayo, Hugo Preda, Lía Colombino (who shared with us the Carlos Colombino project for the Paraguayan Furniture Museum), Solano Benítez and Glo- ria Cabral, Violeta Pérez, Sonia Carísimo and Francisco Tomboly, Carlos Jiménez, Paola Moure, Sergio Ruggeri.

Special thanks to Leonardo Finotti, who has kindly granted permission to use his photographs of Solano Benitez' Teletón Project and Javier Corvalan's Hammock House project.

Programme, March 3rd:

OPEN LECTURE 01 Paraguayan architecture.
By Ricardo Meyer - Dean of the Faculty of architecture, design and Art (FADA)
15:00 - Theatre

15.45 - Theatre OPENING of the Exhibition - Ground level

OPEN LECTURE 02 Creating shades through low-tech architecture in Paraguay.
By Julio Cesar Diarte - Lecturer and researcher at Faculty of architecture, design and Art (FADA) 16:00 - Theatre