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New Documentary on Design and Informal Settlements

October 5, 2015

By 2050, one fourth of the world’s population will live in informal settlements, often called slums or shantytowns. Within Formal Cities is a documentary project by intern architects Brian Gaudio and Abe Drechsler that highlights stories from these informal settlements in South America and focuses on design’s role in addressing the global housing crisis.

“To learn about the housing crisis, Brian and Abe traveled to 5 cities: Lima, Santiago, São Paulo, Rio De Janeiro, and Bogotá where they visited projects and interviewed over 30 designers, government officials, and residents. Their goal is to inform and inspire the next generation of architects to address this problem. To date, the pair has lectured at universities, given webinars, and exhibited photographs highlighting design and infrastructure projects from South American cities.”

Gaudio and Drechsler began the documentary project in 2014 when they were awarded the Duda Traveling Fellowship from the School of Architecture at North Carolina State. The partners have succeeded in receiving financial support for their project from NC State, a crowdfunding campaign, and their local chapter of the American Institute of Architects and will continue fundraising as they complete the documentary and debut it in 2016.

Watch the documentary trailer here.