Reimagine the Past. Play the present. Dream the future.
What if... we find a way in which people reconnect with their past and create new stories?
Caracol de Viento (Wind Snail) is a cultural and sustainable pavilion designed to be a temporary structure for public space to re-discover the cultural heritage of the Aboriginal Peoples of Mexico. Caracol de Viento was commissioned by the government of Mexico City to promote Mesoamerican culture. It was also included in the framework of collateral events of the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale.
Collectively imagined in our present.
Inspired by the cultural cosmology of the Pre-Columbian Mesoamérica and mixed with ecological principles, the pavilion aims for people to re-imagine the past by connecting with their roots, and creating a common place where they generate new stories in community.
The Wind Snail was conceived from the convergence of many visions, through a process enriched by the collaboration of people with different backgrounds, professions and understandings of the subject. Through the participation of different communities, the following objectives were determined: promote Mesoamerican roots, bring culture closer to people in an entertaining and interactive way (education + entertainment), use public spaces to make culture accessible to a greater number of people, and create public awareness about sustainable systems.
Explore the endless relationship between past and future.
The pavilion housed 5 sensorial mechanisms to inspire thinking through play. ‘5’ is an underlying symbol in the Mesoamerican view of space and time regarding culture. Within that cosmological frame, many Mesoamerican stories and legends refer to a set of concepts associated with that symbol: myth, rite, cicle, form and culture. Those are the pillars of the cosmos.
'Myth' represents the origin of the universe and the idea of cyclical divinity in Mesoamerican culture. This mechanism creates an environment of kaleidoscopic reflections, while rotating elements are operated through a handwheel.
'Rite' represents the divine brought to human customs and rituals. In ancient times the rites full of music and sound brought people together. This mechanism is a sound station activated by wind propellants (hand blowers and bamboo flutes) and percussion elements, operated manually and through the wind.
'Cycle' represents the influence that nature has over human lives affecting things such as harvests, sun and moon rituals, etc., and giving rise to the idea of a calendar. This mechanism consists in the manual translation of linear to circular movement, while transferring rotation to the multiple elements that give an idea of time.
'Form' represents the manifestation of the cosmos in physical forms which come to be symbols for human beings. The mechanism works as a cocoon of bamboo strips, covered by pictograms, which is opened by manual operation of handwheels.
'Culture' represents the creative wind of culture in the Mesoamerican legend of the 5th creation of the world, which gave rise to the language and culture. This mechanism, located in the center of the pavilion, featured a winged-liked arms and a helicoidal crown which were activated by pedal movement.
Wind Snail is nature and industry. It is past and movement.
Caracol de Viento's exterior ‘shell’ was made of recycled PET bottles, assembled together into a rainwater harvesting mesh for water treatment. The mesh was built into a bamboo-steel hybrid structure.
Both light (via LED lighting) and sound (via attached pinwheels) made the pavilion an ever- changing landscape.Its energy was provided via solar panels and wind turbines.
A story told by youth
Last but definitely not least, young volunteers were involved in the story- telling of the Caracol de Viento's story to the public, to reveal the intent behind the project: a creative junction of the old and the new.
THANK YOU TO EVERYONE FOR BEING PART OF CARACOL DE VIENTO!
In situ and digital 4,761,874 people
CARACOL DE VIENTO COMMUNITIES
— FAMILIES FROM Mexico City: family recreation, learning in a didactic, interactive and fun way about their roots, Awareness about ecological energy systems. — Community of Teziutlán Puebla (Bamboo sowers): through participation in the project process, dissemination of the benefits of the use of bamboo that affects their sales, exposure of their community and traditions. — Mexico City government: Enrich its tourist attractions for LOCAL residents and INTERNATIONAL visitors, offer its population spaces for healthy coexistence, support for awareness programs for the population on green energy systems. — NEIGHBORS, LOCAL BUSINESSES AND COMMERCE STALLS in Colonia Tabacalera: increase in visitors in the area, which has an impact on higher consumption. — Communities of indigenous artisans and craftsmen of Mexico City: participation during the project development process, usage of local products, dissemination of their work. — Private companies:(local inputs for project construction. — Experts from different fields of study: advisers within the Researchers program, Anthropologists, specialists in green systems. — Community of PET Collectors (in partnership with PetStar). — Community of Volunteers: internship for the project development process- Plans, mechanisms, systems etc-, in situ training on first aid and crowd management, training on project content, which contributed to having a sense of belonging and identity about THEIR roots.