Intermediate 2 Frida Hansen, Latex cast, Intermediate 2, 2017–18

THE DISEASE AND THE REMEDY

Ana Araujo

‘It would be strange if the remedy should come from the United States, the same place which brings us the disease.’
– Colégio Monarch Guatemala

As is now a tradition in Intermediate 2, we will again begin the year working on a live brief with a client, provided this year by Alessandra Zamora: to explore alternatives towards the design and creation of a school for children and adolescents with special needs in her home city, Guatemala. This new organisation will follow pursuit of an existing project, Colégio Monarch Guatemala, started by Alessandra in 2007:

‘Colégio Monarch Guatemala is a therapeutic day school for children and adolescents with neurological challenges ... The challenges inherent in neurobehavioral disabilities have not allowed these students to be properly served in the traditional educational systems ... [The organization] opened its doors as the first therapeutic school in Central America in August of 2007, after a year of preparatory work and training of teachers at The Monarch School and Institute in Houston, Texas ... [The school’s] mission is to provide through a multidisciplinary team an innovative and therapeutic education based in individualized programs that respect and challenge the capacities of our students.’

Having been a cradle of the Mayan civilization before it was conquered by the Spanish in the sixteenth century, Guatemala has developed a conflictual political and cultural dependency on the US since gaining independence in 1821.The first model of Colégio Monarch Guatemala relied heavily on a model imported from US culture and, for its second phase, the unit investigates Guatemala’s local cultural references in order to reinvent the school as an institution rooted in its own historical locale. The unit will challenge the existing systematic and strategic dependencies implemented by the US in Latin American cultures, delve deeply into the ancestral roots of Latin society and activate alternatives for designing places and policies for a more locally informed Guatemala.

Staff

Ana Araujo has been teaching Intermediate 2 for the past eight years. She is currently working on a book on American designer Florence Knoll. Ana has worked in practice and research for the past 20 years, having built and published internationally.

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