Ana María Durán Calisto (Estudio A0), “Dien Dien and the Civilized Agroecological Forests of Amazonia” (School of Architecture)

Event time: 
Thursday, November 2, 2023 - 6:30pm
Hastings Hall, basement level of Paul Rudolph Hall, 180 York Street See map
Event description: 
Ana María Durán Calisto is a designer, planner and scholar from Quito, Ecuador. She is the Daniel Rose (1951) Visiting Assistant Professor at the Yale School of Architecture. In 2002, she co-founded Estudio A0 with her husband, British-Punjabi architect Jaskran Kalirai. Estudio A0 has designed a diverse array of multi-scalar projects in close collaboration with its clients and community partners. Its building QPH obtained the first Leed Gold of continental Ecuador and was ranked 8th among the 500 best socio-environmental projects in Latin America at the 2015 Latin American Green Awards. In collaboration with Del Hierro AU and L + A Arquitectos, it won the competition for the Ikiam University campus, whose design was awarded First Prize in the SDSN Amazonia Infrastructure Award, COP 21, in Paris. Its incremental housing scheme received Second Prize in a Social Housing Competition sponsored by UN Habitat. Estudio A0’s projects have been extensively published. Recent features include Arquitectura XXI (Editorial Trama 2022), Casas XXI (Editorial Trama 2020), Office Design (Booq Publishing, 2019), Company Gardens: Green Spaces for Retreat and Inspiration (Braun Publishing, 2019), and International Houses (Taschen, 2018). Estudio A0´s work has been featured in the 18th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale The Laboratory of the Future (2023), the XX Chilean Architecture and Urbanism Biennial: Diálogos Impostergables (2017), the Pratt Institute Breaking Borders exhibition (2012), and Post Post Post: Nueva Arquitectura Iberoamericana (CCEba and MAMM).
Durán Calisto has taught research seminars and design studios at the FADA of Universidad Católica del Ecuador, Harvard University’s GSD, Pratt Institute’s School of Architecture, Columbia University’s GSAPP, the University of Michigan Taubman College, the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, the Architecture School of Universidad Católica de Temuco, and UCLA´s Institute for the Environment and Sustainability.
In 2022, Durán Calisto received the Mark Cousins Theory Award for her work on extractivism and the built environment, and her interest in the principles of ancestral urban ecologies. She has co-edited the books Ecological Urbanism in Latin America (2019), Beyond Petropolis: Designing a Practical Utopia in Nueva Loja (2015), and IV Taller Internacional de Vivienda Popular (2007). She has contributed chapters to the books Adaptive Reuse in Latin America: Cultural Identity, Values and Memory (2023), Roadside Picnics (2022), A Line in the Andes (2014), Modernism and Contemporary Art in Latin America (2014), Extreme Urbanism 1 (2011), Restructuring from Within (2007), and Thinking Practice (2007). She co-authored the Charter Toward re-entanglement: A Charter for the City and the Earth (Bauhaus Earth, 2022). Durán Calisto has lectured extensively and actively publishes in magazines such as Domus, Log, Mold, The Architectural Review, Harvard Design Magazine, Casabella, Arquine, Pangea, Manifest, Rivista Territorio, Ness, Revista Cardinalis, Rita, LatinArt Magazine, Revista 30-60, Revista Plot, Revista Radar, Trama, GAM, Aula, and Deco Journal.
In 2010-2011, Durán Calisto received a Loeb Fellowship for her proposal to weave a South American network devoted to critically and creatively addressing the infrastructural integration of South America. She is a member of the Science Panel for the Amazon, convened by SDSN & the UN. She co-authored its report´s chapter on urbanization. In 2015, she was the academic advisor to the Ecuadorian Minister on Housing and Urban Development for the UN Conference Habitat III. She collaborates with CAF’s program on BiodiverCities, and with the IDB on its BioCities program for Brazil. She is a Ph.D. candidate in the urban planning department at UCLA. Under the advice of Susanna Hecht, she is writing a dissertation on the urban history of Amazonia, with a focus on indigenous systems of territorial planning and colonial disruptions.
Durán Calisto curated the XV Quito Architecture Biennial: Visible Cities (2006) and was National Curator for the IX BIAU. Her exhibition-essay “Water Builds” was showcased in the Art Gallery of Alberta (2022). She contributed a piece on the indigenous communes of Quito to the exhibition Dinámicas urbanas de Quito 1978 – 2018 (CCM 2019) and the art installation Horizonte to La Escala Prevalece *(Arte Actual, 2011). In 2017, Durán Calisto collaborated with Fabiano Kueva in the exhibition project *Ciudad Modelo (Hipótesis varias sobre la llamada vivienda popular), and in 2015 she co-curated the exhibition Ruta Quebradas for the Water Museum of Quito and Arte Actual.