David Jolly

Dr David Jolly is an architect, senior lecturer at PUCV and a founding member of the Ciudad Abierta (Open City), the Valparaíso architecture school’s settlement / design laboratory run by the Corporación Cultural Amereida. His research concerns two domains: new forms for concrete employing geotextile fabric formwork and architecture’s relation to poetry. Since 1984 he has led 25 student expeditions (travesías) to sites across South America whose live projects have sought to reveal poetry’s significance to the human condition.

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Found in translation? Reconfiguring the river edge of Cochrane, Patagonia, a travesía project of the Valparaíso School led by David Jolly and David Luza, November 2013

A live project in Cochrane, Patagonia, termed a journey or travesía, whose aim was to reshape an important threshold between the town and its wilderness setting involved a group of staff and students from PUCV (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso) sharing a life in common for a fortnight in November 2013. Taking errantry in post-colonial discourse on identity as its theoretical point of departure, and using the Cochrane project as a case-study, this paper examines an apparent paradox: that in a travesía the creativity of wandering must be allied to a strictly organised plan of campaign. Exploring how and why such a shared journey stimulates not only the acquisition of metis (practical wisdom or artful cunning), but a new capacity to ‘make the land speak’, it draws attention to the risk-taking negotiation skills on which wayfarers depend. Importantly the travesía is shown to be a form of learning-to-build whose arena for insightful play transforms design into an essentially collaborative transaction. Finally, the paper discusses why, as a kind of time-limited ‘trial’ away from Valparaíso to prepare students for the battle of practice, the travesía chooses some but not all the limits and opportunities of ‘liveness’.

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