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“Tribute to an old school: Visit to Ciudad Abierta”

The Chol1 project, has the poetic gaze and the way to face design as a basis from the poetic book Amereida. This manifesto-poem was written during the year 1965 by a group of artists, designers and architects, who traversed from Tierra del fuego to Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia, in which they interrogated themselves about the meaning of being American (as “from the Americas” from now on) and inhabitants of this continent, in a genuine and original way.

Wasn’t the finding foreign to the discoveries?

The gaze of the Amereida, opens to reflect around what we understand as the American Identity. The sentence “¿No fue el hallazgo ajeno a los descubrimientos…?” (Wasn’t the finding foreign to the discoveries?) sums up this vision about the discovery of the Americas as from a misunderstanding: Christopher Columbus, as the representative of the european man, is found in a new continent, which he confuses with the Indies, for then to found european cities to scale, while implementing a destiny and a foreign way of construction, and that way recreating a foreign continent. This results in the construction of a continent founded from the lack of recognition of its own nature, reproducing Europe in a foreign continent. This paradox, of the founding of a “new” continent, affects and redirects the destiny and identity of the american continent. Under this premise, this group of artists bring up the rediscovery of the american territory, traversing the continent and looking again at the territory from a poetic gaze, to find its own identity.

Observation as a design method

From the Amereidane thought, poetry and drawing are the work’s matrix, and the designer or architect is who builds something new through the observation of the reality seen open upon their eyes. Observation is a creation method based from the link between the poetic word and the shape design. In the observation, the word is the one that founds, from which the designer works with. This close relation between poetry and design, keeps the work fresh and dynamic, since is its own referent and creative guideline. This process is the one that allows the poiesis, an always different creation since it comes from an individual observation.

Casa del Errante, creative inspiration

Many of our designs are based on architectural works, both in the relation of the work with its surroundings and in the usability design for the inhabiting of people. One of our inspirations has been La Hospedería del Errante (project found at la Ciudad Abierta de Amereida, in Valparaiso, Chile). This work was built in two stages, one from 1981 to 1997, and the second from 1998 to 2000. While all Ciudad Abierta’s works are executed and conceived collectively, its creation was lead by the architect Manuel Casanueva (1943-2014). In this project, two main topics are addressed: the Lighting and the Wind. The work’s name comes from a text by the poet Godofredo Iommi, called “Carta del errante” which addresses the debate between poetry and reality. For this registry, we were welcomed by its current resident, the visual and sound artist, Oscar Santis.

Art Direction: Carolina Ovando & Manuel Rossel

Collaborators: Nicolás Neira, Gigliolla Monichi, Oscar Santis, Bicicletas Gravis, Jaufbike, Materia 3D.

Photography: Gabriel Ebensberger

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