ArtsUNC Charlotte

Silvina Lopez Barrera Lectures At Charlotte November 8

Professor Silvina Lopez Barrera’s upcoming lecture promises to shed light on a pivotal theme, “The Right to Housing in the Americas.” In this discussion, she will navigate the intricate landscape of informal housing and self-help housing in Latin America and the United States. These strategies are framed as responses to the disparities and injustices inherently woven into urbanization, especially when it comes to unequal access to vital resources and public infrastructure.

Furthermore, her lecture will delve into housing typologies that have significantly impacted the lives of Latinx immigrants in the U.S., such as trailer homes, mobile parks, and barracks-like housing on farms. These architectural forms, initially conceived as temporary solutions, have transformed into enduring fixtures, often overlooked in public discourse. Silvina’s presentation will advocate for intervention methods in informal housing contexts that are tailored to the diverse patterns of habitation, ultimately serving as indispensable design strategies to improve the quality of life for marginalized and disenfranchised communities. It’s a compelling narrative of architectural innovation, societal transformation, and the enduring quest for spatial justice.

Silvina Lopez Barrera, an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture at Mississippi State University, brings a wealth of architectural expertise and a profound commitment to understanding the intricate dynamics of housing disparities. Hailing from Uruguay, Silvina is a licensed architect with a LEED-AP accreditation and possesses a Master of Architecture degree earned at Iowa State University. Her academic journey and research endeavors converge on the intersection of socio-spatial inequalities, informal housing, housing insecurity, and community resilience, both within the United States and Latin America.

As an architect and academic, Prof. Lopez Barrera’s unique approach combines fieldwork methodologies that incorporate oral histories and participatory processes to engage with marginalized communities. Her profound insights and research contributions have found their way into the pages of numerous prestigious academic journals, including “Local Development and Society” and “Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability.” Furthermore, she has penned illuminating chapters in seminal works like “Informality and the City: Theories, Actions, and Interventions” (edited by G. Marinic and P. Meninato) and “Public Space/Contested Space: Imagination and Occupation” (edited by K.D. Murphy and S. O’Driscoll).

Before becoming a part of the esteemed faculty at Mississippi State University, Lopez Barrera made significant contributions as a faculty member at Iowa State University and Middlebury College. She remains an active member of the Uruguayan Society of Architects, proudly representing the field’s international sphere as an Associate member of the American Institute of Architects. Additionally, she is an integral part of the AIA National Associates Committee, where she serves as the AIA Mississippi State Associate Representative.

November 8, 2023 – 2:00 PM

Boardman Auditorium, Storrs

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