Suprarural, Architectural Atlas of Rural Protocols of the American Midwest and the Argentine Pampas

Ciro Najle | Lluís Ortega


Suprarural, Architectural Atlas of Rural Protocols of the American Midwest and the Argentine Pampas, presents an alternative approach to existing models of relationship between the urban and the natural based on palliative, decorative, or hygienist ethics. Against the grain of these models and overcoming their nostalgic frameworks, the notion of Suprarural seeks to reframe, systematize, and empower the architectural forces latent in rural organizations, focusing in particular on those relating to agricultural production and livestock farming. Rather than naturalizing nature from a functional perspective of the urban, the intention is to develop techniques to straightforwardly urbanize with and through the rural.

The Atlas is structured along nine systems of organization: transport infrastructure, land subdivision, agricultural production, water management, irrigation and fumigation, inhabitation, cattle management, socialization, storage. Each of these systems possesses a number of organizational types, material components, normative relationships, and spectrums of performance, which become available through a manual of instructions for a Suprarural environment. The research is based on a realistic ethics towards design, which operates by abstracting and intensifying unexplored territorial phenomena with the purpose of developing new territorial models by nurturing them from currently operating ones.

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The design research was developed simultaneously in studios and seminars taught at the School of Architecture and Urban Studies of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella in Buenos Aires and at the School of Architecture of the University of Illinois at Chicago by Ciro Najle and Lluís Ortega. Together with abstract protocolar descriptions of the systems and the exploration of the potentials lying behind the organizational logics of these two parallel territories, the Atlas collects a series of voices by practising architects, architectural theorists, critics, and historians, agricultural engineers, critics, and philosophers, and a photographic survey that expands the investigation under different perspectives and insights.