Wandering South America–From Chile to Brazil: A Multi-Part Journey with Dr. Lawrence Herzog

Wandering South America–From Chile to Brazil: A Multi-Part Journey with Dr. Lawrence Herzog


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Join Dr. Lawrence Herzog on a multi-part interactive journey through various stunning locations in South America. In this Latin American series, we’ll learn about celebrated cities, architectural history, street art, urban design, geography, and ecology along South America’s shores. Starting in the coastal port of Valparaiso, Chile, we’ll travel south toward the Chilean fjord region, around the Tierra del Fuego and Cape Horn, then north toward Buenos Aires, and Argentina. The finale of our journey will, unsurprisingly, be the cidade maravilhosa (marvelous city) of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

This journey series highlights the “Power of Place” – and the idea of “placemaking”, deconstructing architectural history, important local cultural landscapes, public art, and design traditions, as well as surrounding ecosystems. Our expert, Dr. Herzog is especially interested in conveying the heritage and unique qualities of urban landscapes around the world. His lectures reflect his eye for photographing the abstract beauty and color of cities or the natural environment, with his passion for music, food, and local cultures.

Led by Dr. Lawrence Herzog, an expert on urban design and geography, this course will share stories about changing architecture and history of South American port cities, the larger geographies of Chile and Argentina, as well as natural landscapes along the coastal routes. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased appreciation of urban design and the cultural landscapes of the southern cone region of South America.

 

Lecture 1: The “Crazy Geography” of Chile

Stretching 2,600 miles from north to south, but only 190 miles in width, Chile is fifteen times as long as it is wide. Native Chilean writers sometimes refer to this as the nation’s “loca geografia” (crazy geography). Yet Chile’s lineal geographic framework embraces a stunning diversity of climates and ecological resources, as well as cities spaced at irregular intervals along its coastal corridor. This lecture and slide show introduce the highlights of Chile’s major regions, from the arid north, one of the driest regions on the planet, to the rainy and visually spectacular southern fjords, and back to the center, the green valleys and temperate zone where 90% of people live in cosmopolitan cities.

Lecture 2: Snowcapped Andes, Santiago, and Valparaiso

There is no more powerful image than that of the metropolis of Santiago, over six million people, set against a backdrop of snow-covered Andes mountain peaks as high as twenty thousand feet in elevation. This lecture traces the histories of the two major urban centers of Santiago and Valparaiso (its port), from their colonial origins to the present. Santiago, the nation’s capital, is a sophisticated metropolis, and Valparaiso, the colorful port, reveals much of the nation’s charm and grace, including the home of Chilean writer Pablo Neruda, and the historic quarter, whose narrow colonial streets and quaint architecture have been recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site.

Lecture 3: From Glaciers to Blue Whales to Tango–Chile and Argentina

This lecture will review the natural beauty of the southern cone of South America. We’ll visit the fjord region of southern Chile, home to blue whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions, penguins, and other rare wildlife; then on to the Cape Horn Biosphere formed by the Patagonian ice fields. From there we’ll cross into Argentina, across the expanse of the Pampas grassy plain, to the subtropical valleys of the Parana River, which forms the iconic Iguazu Falls. We’ll highlight the five ecological regions of the land of the tango, from the northeast rainforests, Chaco plains and fertile pampas, to the Andes that border Chile, and back to the Patagonia plateau that runs all the way to the Tierra del Fuego.

Lecture 4: City on a Hill–Montevideo

85% of Uruguayans live in cities, and most of them in greater Montevideo, which some writers call a “city-state” since it more or less dominates the entire nation of Uruguay. This lecture will track the history of Uruguay through the lens of Montevideo. This port and vibrant city are filled with lively streets and barrios, and the Ciudad Vieja (old city) has a number of important examples of colonial and neoclassical architecture, plus some fine examples of art deco. To the east, the resort town of Punta del Este boasts a dual coastal ecosystem: the Brava (fierce) beach closer to the Atlantic Ocean, and the Mansa (tame) beach, near the River Plate.

Lecture 5: The Paris of South America–Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is often referred to as the “Paris” of Latin America, because of its elegant boulevards, European architecture and street life, and lively Parisian-style cafes, where artists, intellectuals, and politicians debate the hot issues of the day. This lecture traces the history of Buenos Aires, from the colonial period to the present. The “landscape tour” will include historic neighborhoods, the riverfront, and elegant neo-colonial districts to the north. Buenos Aires is a colorful mélange of old Spanish plazas where people may be seen dancing the tango, stately colonial and neoclassical buildings, elegant nineteenth-century cafes, painted metal homes in La Boca, or the timeless antique markets on the Plaza Dorrego in San Telmo.

Lecture 6: Eco-design and Stunning Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Our final lecture highlights the spectacular geography and bohemian neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio is, of course, known for its physical beauty—beaches, bays, and jungle-covered mountains of the Atlantic rain forest that spills down into the metropolis. But it is also a city buzzing with creative street culture. We’ll visit some of the highlights—the former colonial villa at Parque Lage, the spectacular Botanical Gardens (Jardim Botanico), the works of one of the world’s great landscape architects, Roberto Burle Marx, including waterfront mosaic-tiled promenades, the Roman-style aqueduct in Lapa, the hip cafes and beach street scene in Ipanema, and the “blocos”, wild neighborhood-scale street parades that occur during the annual Carnaval season.

Lawrence A. Herzog, Ph.D., is a writer, photographer, international consultant, and lecturer in urban design and city planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, University of California, San Diego; he was professor of urban planning and design at San Diego State University, California from 1989-2019. For more than 30 years, Herzog has taught courses on urban and environmental design, history of architecture/cities, sustainable development, and city planning. He specializes in Latin American and Mediterranean cities, has lived and taught in universities in Mexico, Peru, Brazil, Italy and Spain, and served as a consultant to the U.S. Agency for International Development, the U.S. Embassy, and the American Institute of Architects. Herzog’s lectures on the “Power of Place” combine his interests in architecture, public art, history of architecture, cultural landscapes and design. Author and editor of eleven books on architecture and design, Herzog is also a freelance writer and photographer.

 

How does it work?

This is a six-part journey series hosted on Zoom. Please check the schedule for the specific dates and times for each lecture.

How long are the lectures?

Each lecture is 90 minutes long with time for Q&A.

How much is the journey?

$210 for six 90-minute lectures.

Is a recording available?

If you need to miss a lecture please let us know in advance and we can arrange for a recording for that session on an individual basis.

This course is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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