Friday, May 01, 2009

Profile: Supersudaca

As the SuperDutch wave reached its peak, nine Latin American students at Rotterdam's Berlage Institute formulated an alternative. "We wanted to raise awareness of the realities of our countries," says Felix Madrazo, "so we combined the Dutch idea of ‘super' with ‘sudaca', the derogatory word for a Latin American."

Back in their respective homes of Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Chile and CuraƧao, Supersudaca now operates as a decentralised office, engaging in a broad spectrum of networked projects, from state-funded research initiatives to commercial buildings.

"You need to be in both networks," says Madrazo. "Social housing is important to us but we need to be in contact with the people who have money to make it happen." Their tactics of strategic alliance and satellite working are becoming a valuable model, allowing distributed, localised production.

The group made its name with Sudapan, a politically charged alternative to the European competition, Europan, focused on tackling the divisive urban developments along the Caribbean coast, where ailing tourist strip meets burgeoning pueblo. Now they are developing social housing schemes from South America to Spain.

Originally published in Icon, May 2009