The Chilean organization Ruta Pais Foundation has invited international architects and local artisans to design a series of architectural interventions in order to create 3 artisan routes in the Chilean Central Valley: Wicker Route in Chimbarongo, Clay Route in Pomaire, and Stone Route in Pelequén.
This initiative was born as a response to the consequences that the pandemic has engendered in various artisanal locations in the South-American country. So far, the confirmed architects for the Wicker Route in Chimbarongo are Rintala Eggertsson (Norway), Christian Kerez (Switzerland), Studio Mumbai (India), and Normal Architecture Studio (Chile).
Aligned with its aim to value tradition, work, and territory of local craftsmanship, the foundation has shared details of the current status of the projects. "Last year, the sites were selected with local authorities. During the first semester of 2021, the architects are developing the projects alongside artisans," explained the organization in a press release.
Through a series of zoom meetings, artisanal examples, and subtitled videos, a new design methodology has been proposed by joining architects with artisans. Currently, the guest offices are working on understanding the material's conditions and analyzing the sites where their projects will be built.
Rodrigo Veliz, an artisan based in Pomaire, explained to the foundation:
We must encourage people to visit us so that we can see the reward of what we do with our hands in our own place.