Within Formal Cities focuses on architecture and design’s role in addressing problems faced by informal settlements. To learn about these settlements, two recent graduates Brian Gaudio and Abe Drechsler, traveled to five cities in South America: Lima, Santiago, São Paulo, Rio De Janeiro, and Bogotá where they visited projects and interviewed over 30 designers, government officials, and residents. The film is a summary of lessons learned from that trip and provides perspective on the profession of architecture’s role in public interest design.
The idea for the film originated when Brian and Abe received NC State University’s Duda Traveling Fellowship in 2014. This allowed them to study how architects and designers were trying to solve the housing crisis. Through crowdfunding and the help of the American Institute of Architects, they were able to turn this academic fellowship into a self produced film. The majority of the footage was shot on location by Abe or Brian over the course of their seven week journey.