Two architecture grads look for housing answers ‘within’ cities

July 15, 2014
By Chris Saunders

It used to be that students might take a year after college graduation to travel around before starting a job. But two architecture graduates, Brian Gaudio and Abe Drechsler, have decided to thread travel into their jobs and have gone to work for themselves.

1404099382Gaudio and Drechsler are the brains behind Within Formal Cities, a project in which they will study informal communities in South American cities and produce a documentary about the subject. The two were awarded the Duda Travel Scholarship, established by Linda and Turan Duda. Turan Duda is an NC State graduate and is a partner at Duda Paine Architects in Durham, N.C.

And Monday, Within Formal Cities launched a crowd-funding campaign to help raise money for their trip, which will take place in September and October.

Brian Gaudio

Brian Gaudio

Gaudio says he had spent a lot of time on service projects in the Dominican Republic, and that the cities of Bogota, Lima, Santiago, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo seemed like the next logical step in studying how cities around the world will handle the next influx of people coming to them. Within Formal Cities’ website states that an estimated 1.41 billion more people will move to urban areas over the next 40 years.

“We chose South America for a few reasons. It’s closer, so you do more with the fellowship money,” Gaudio says. “South America has been dealing with these housing issues for a long time.

Abe Drechsler

Abe Drechsler

The pair will travel around the five South American cities and interview architects, community organizers and professors about how the respective city deals with housing challenges. They will identify a neighborhood and look at buildings built both by private citizens and by the government. They’ll also be shooting film for a film they’ll edit and release when they return.

“We’re really trying to do more than just study things for ourselves,” Gaudio says. “We think creative people like architects and designers have a lot to offer.

“Seventy percent of the world’s population will be living in cities. It’s going to be a very important challenge for the world.”



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