Authors : Chloe Lob and Yuna Kabota

University : University of California, Los Angeles | Architecture + Urban Design

Status : MArch II, 2013

Advisor : Roger Sherman

Title : Island Amazonia

Island Amazonia offers a design solution to IIRSA’s (Initiative for the Integration of the Regional Infrastructure of South America) proposal for a new Port City in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. The site is highly nuanced, dynamic and complex, requiring a flexible design solution that addresses the already devastating deforestation of the site while preventing any future damage to the rainforest. Using the existing deforestation pattern as a design catalyst, we developed a system of ‘islands’ or archipelagos that are connected via a unifying system of forest corridors, transport systems and water channels to create a sensitive coexistence between city and rainforest.

Interview

S//A : What’s the most important aspect of this project that we, the audience, should be aware of?
Chloe Lob + Yuna Kabota_ What inspired us the most with the project is that the brief is for a real proposal for a port city in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador. Our student research and design work was part of a collaborative process with the architects to help understand the site and activate the design process. Our research studio, along with our professor Roger Sherman, traveled to Ecuador where we visited the site, camped in the Amazon Rainforest, chatted with the local inhabitants, met with city officials and really immersed ourselves in the project beyond the typical student’s printed brief. Throughout the entire design process we collaborated and conversed with experts and professionals in various fields, which helped enliven the project with a sense of urgency, comprehensiveness and believability.

S//A : What other fields outside of architecture interests you?
CL_ Travel, fashion.
YK_ Shoe design, plants.

S//A : Most important thing you remember from architecture school?
CL_ The travel studios- visiting sites and places and people that I would never have the opportunity to do otherwise.
YK_ The deadline is the desperate inspiration.

S//A : What is your dream project
CL_ Something close to Island Amazonia.
YK_ Houses for clients who have intriguing ways of living in the world.