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Back in Oaxaca with RAW – Real #Architecture Workshop

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012 9:52 am by charley

Posted by Charley Umbarger, Bachelors ENVD 2011, University of Colorado, Boulder

As a veteran of 3 Real Architecture Workshops, being back in Oaxaca with Paul Neseth, Adam Jonas, and Barbara Hahn feels like homecoming. It's good to be back. This year's program will expand the the facilities of La Mesita, the restaurant and national park entrance-point perched above San Pablo Etla, north of Oaxaca City that served as last year's site for the lookout El Mirador. We are now two days into a leaning tower playground structure intended to accommodate exploration, sugar highs, hide-away spots, and tag.

I hit the ground running this year in Houston, literally and figuratively. My delayed flight left me 8 minutes to sprint 70-some gates across two terminals in time for a generous gate agent to re-open the flight for me. I boarded to a round of applause as Barb had been pushing for me from inside the plane. 

Once in Oaxaca, our 2012 team began to assemble.  In the days leading up to the workshop, Paul and Adam were busy overseeing the gathering of materials and preliminary excavating. Brian, Eddie, Cyrus and Omar trickled in from every direction and Sunday morning we found ourselves at a ceremonial community breakfast of tamales and emoladas in the presence of local ex-pats, retired architects, and RAW supporters, Jim Austin and Bill Stecher. After a day of planning, modeling and figuring we took to the tools and spent Monday in the sun preparing structural joints in the telephone poles which will be the skeleton of our tower. Stay tuned.

- Charley

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