Carly De La Hoz

Carly De La Hoz

New York, NY, US


The Favela Typology: Architecture in the Self-Built City

My thesis presents the hillside favela as a viable housing model for Rio de Janeiro, as opposed to a housing problem. In studying how homeowners have constructed and improved their own homes, I examine how this raw, hand-crafted urbanism leads to the longevity and vitality of the favela as an architectural typology.

From asking, "What is architectural about the owner-built dwelling," to comtemplating theories of the oblique and sensory design within the context of the topographically dynamic hillside favela, my thesis urges architects and planners to reconsider their approach towards design interventions in informal urban settlements.

Instead of upgrading favela communities to the standards set by formal cities – often based on broad generalizations – designers and planners should learn from each favela’s specific spatial logic, absorbing the urban fabric of the formal city into the texture of favelas, and producing a gradient typology that spans formality and informality.

By disassembling the ideological constructs associated with the favela typology, this thesis has proposed a theoretical project for reconsidering architecture in the self-built city.

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Status: School Project