Four Centuries Across Four Weeks for One Book


  • Federico Garcia-Lammers South Dakota State University


Montevideo, Uruguay is intrinsically tied to El Río de la Plata and its adjacency to the Atlantic Ocean. As an important historical port of entry into South America for European immigrants and slaves, Montevideo’s urbanism is shaped by its colonial and modernist past. This history is implied by the colonial tone of the question asked in the first paragraph of this paper. The effects of this question are most evident in the study of public spaces (Plazas), the water’s edge (La Rambla), and unique material practices (Eladio Dieste). The design of the Cities on the Water travel book is based on these three categories. Over the course of four weeks, students explored these categories through reading, writing, drawing, and digital imaging. These methods are the means used to answer the question: what do we bring back and how do we bring it back? This question is an essential way of linking the production of memory to the study of place. In Cities on the Water, the production of memory is based on the documentation of a non-linear history through the making of one book. This paper provides insight into the contents of this travel book and its pedagogical effects.