The expression “against the tide” refers to things going in a contrary direction. It speaks of doing things in the silence of the countryside, far from the bustle of official life. It speaks of wandering from the path, in order to discover the voids that public policy has left by the wayside, and so to piece together a united front against forgetfulness.
Thus, against the tide, a group of small architectures has been created, scattered amidst the folds of Chile’s Central Valley and tracing a filigree of places in which the campesinos and their families can find a place to live, overlooking the landscape.
These are the works of young architecture students who had to conceive, finance, design, and construct them in order to graduate as architects. All they have in common (since they do not generally know each other) is being from there, from that territory to which they have returned, educated and qualified, to produce work which does not seek to be social architecture but merely part of an educational process, and which contributes to the territory, in the face of globalized culture, a regional—though not a costumbrista—accent.
The works are highway stops, miradors, lunch shelters. They are practical or dreamy, ephemeral or permanent, explicit or abstract. They are built of the remains of various processes having to do with agriculture (mesh, slats, containers, pallets) or with forestry (branches, discarded timber). All this material, when placed in the hands of the architect, generates a frequently original constructive system aimed at making a place for these campesinos who may well be the architects’ grandparents and who once, when they were young, also built with what they found in the territory.