School of Architecture

Preservation Institute: Caribbean

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Program Director: Alfonso Perez-Mendez

The Preservation Institute: Caribbean (PI:C) is dedicated to conserving the ecological and cultural heritage of the Greater Caribbean Basin through education, research and service projects. The PI:C program is engaged in a long-term study of agricultural landscapes that are being transformed by global economic and cultural forces. An important component of this study is a yearly design workshop that closely examines rural landscapes that, over generations, have been constructed as places of ritual, work and conflict. The principle aim of the PI: C program is to study the influence of geography, culture and climate on place making in tropical and subtropical landscapes such as Florida, Mexico and the Caribbean. As an organizing idea, since former haciendas are at the source of thousands of current rural communities, the research agenda of the studio proceeds through case studies covering the offspring of the colonial hacienda system. The ultimate goal is to identify and understand place-making strategies emerging in rural developments that potentially contribute to the cultural, ecological, and historical heritage of the region.