GFRY Com(m)a


The COM(M)A Studio was conceived in the wake of the earthquake in Chile in 2010 in collaboration with SAIC Faculty member Paul Tebben. It is the 2011 iteration in a sequence of multi-disciplinary studios organized by the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with the partnership of the Motorola Foundation. The focus of COM(M)A resides in the temporary aftermath of disaster, between two points of cultural permanence at a moment where each decision and each action is critical to the continuity of a culture and to the communities who cultivate it.  Made up of students from a broad range of disciplines, COM(M)A looked at the disaster scenario of Talca, Chile - a small historical agricultural town 300km south of Santiago - from a robust array of perspectives.  The studio partnered with the Santiago-based & Architect-led NGO, Reconstruye as well as the local NGO in Talca, Surmaule, founded by a group of forward-thinking Sociologists, Anthropologists and Social Workers.  COM(M)A committed to strengthen the participative force that allows neighborhood groups to design their own future in response to the Chilean central government’s desire to move them away from the historical town center.  This participation in art projects and the design process empowered people who have lost their homes to hold on to the identity of their neighborhoods by providing strategic roadmaps for densification and local reconstruction.  In the short-term, COM(M)A assisted the people of Paso Moya by rethinking and renovating their existing Community Center. COM(M)A’s desire to make big, long term plans, but to start quickly with small projects, took its course as it engaged in an intensive three-week on-site implementation, in June and July 2011.


Odile Compagnon - 773 230 8160 -