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都市の「シェルター」をリサーチするプロジェクト「Shelter Studies」。サンパウロ、カラカス、ボゴタ、ニューヨーク、ジュネーヴ、パリ、ロンドン、イスタンブール……世界の都市を巡り、そこに住まう人々への30のインタヴュー|Shelter Studies is project to research various 'Shelter' by Keisaku Fukuda+Robert Schmidt+Gonzalo Velez. They interview 30 key persons living in vulnerable urban space.|Powered by MT 2.65Syndicate this site

Name: Marcia Saeko Hirata
Profession: Architect
Nationality: Japanese-Brazilian
Date of Interview: Oct. 13, 2006.

Miss Hirata offers a humanistic approach to life and architecture. Her work focuses on a conscious awareness towards the social responsibility of the architect. She begins by asking the question of what it means to be an architect (especially in Sao Paulo). Followed more specifically with, what are the social questions related to the construction of housing for a poor society? I believe most importantly she is searching for the undefined responsibilities of the architect outside the written program and physical/structural requirements of designing a building. She has embedded a kind of moral obligation into her life and architectural philosophy.

Why did you choose to work with social housing?
Personally, it is related to my past. My family and teachers showed me a way to work through my thoughts, and I was concerned with social questions. For example, my aunt she is a teacher. She is always worried about how to teach, what is the better way to teach the children. So when I decided to study architecture, I asked what it meant to be an architect, especially in Sao Paulo. It is not easy a question, because there are many problems.
If you want to make a better space, you have to do more than just architecture or construction. It is difficult for me to make a design, and just think about the blueprint. You have to understand where the people live, how the people live, and how to make the neighborhood a better a place.

What advice do you have for us, as "outsiders" to make a difference?
All my research that I've done up until now, I have a philosophy that I have found that it is impossible to solve problems unless we think at two levels. There is the local level and a global level. Both levels consistently interact with each other.
For example, the global company that uses children to make shoes. From the main director of Nike's point of view, it doesn't matter who is making the shoes, but for the maker of the shoes, the children of the poor, it is a matter of their life. So when we think in terms of housing, it is not just the building but also the people. How the people will life there, there comfort, how to get a job, how to have a healthy system, can they go to see films, to the theater, or have an English course.
No matter who we are, an anthropologist, sociologist, the president or the government if we don't understand what is going on with the common people then it is very difficult to answer the problems of the people (good answers).
For the both of you, who are here, we can spread our ideas, and you can understand better what is happening. In order to really understand, your research is not enough (there is no success, if there is no answer). That's why to really understand them I must work with them. They have many problems we don't understand. For example, the government decided to give some courses to the workers to get a better job, but if you don't give them the money for transport to get there...it's impossible. They don't have the money to use the bus or the subway, and everything is too far from each other. It may seem to be the perfect proposal, but in practically it won't work. If you don't deal with the locals you can't solve the problems. The advice is if we don't deal with the locals we can't solve the world problems. We have to start from the local level.