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Post Bolivia Report: Architecture at High Altitudes
Created by John Eipper on 09/27/17 4:33 AM

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Bolivia Report: Architecture at High Altitudes (Marga Jann, -UK, 09/27/17 4:33 am)

Long time no write! I have been busy teaching and doing research here in Sucre, Bolivia.

The world is a mess.  I head to Haiti shortly on a Senior Fulbright Fellowship to work on post-disaster reconstruction and disaster-resilient construction there (and with recent events, in the Caribbean at large!).

I hope the attached "short and sweet," easy-to-read article will be interesting for the WAIS Forum.

JE comments: Absolutely, Marga! Great to hear from you.  Click here for Marga Jann's fascinating essay, "Potential for Lightning Harnessing in High Altitude Architecture, Art and Energy Initiatives in Amerindian Bolivia."  (Note:  PDF files often do not transfer via the WAIS e-mail system.  In a follow-up mail to WAISers, I'll send the link to Marga's post on the WAISworld site.)

Marga explores an alternative-energy source most of us have never considered (although Ben Franklin did): lightning. Will tall buildings of the future feature gigantic batteries to store the power of lightning? Why the heck not?

Bolivia is also a leading source of lithium, which is essential for batteries and all sorts of high-tech gadgets. Might Bolivia be the epicenter of our planet's energy future?  The future, as Marga reminds us, is already here.

Finally, Marga introduces us to the flamboyant architecture of designer Freddy Mamani.  Mamani has built over sixty projects in El Alto, the world's highest city.  His Andean textile-inspired designs are multi-colored and whimsical, the perfect foil to the arid, brown backdrop of El Alto.  Some would call the projects kitschy or "loud."  I think they're pretty cool.

Here's a 2015 New Yorker piece on Mamani:


I visited El Alto in 2016.  See my report below:


Keep in touch and keep building, Marga!

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