Eduardo Mazuera and Laura Niño Caceres
Our workshop introduces the systemic thinking of the Kogui indigenous population, descendants of the Pre-Hispanic Tairona civilization, from the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta in northern Colombia. It also provides the opportunity to apply some of their architectural systemic concepts to meet current Western demands in the territory where they live. Together with the audience, we would like to create new concepts of habitats that respect and promote their systemic thinking while providing alternative valuable ways of life to Western visitors or outsiders living in the area.
In recent years, threats of their cultural extinction have become greater (Huertas et al., 2017). We believe now is the time to combine complexity theories and design systems, which heavily concurred with their ethos, to design valuable propositions for Westerners getting closer to their habitat. The disappearance of their cultural traits is not only a great loss for humanity but for alternative models of life, design and thinking that respect and thrive along with ecological systems.
Who are the Koguis?
Spanish Conquistadors of the 16th Century brought new diseases to the American Continent, resulting in a massive genocide of the native tribes. The survivors of these cultures in the Sierra Nevada fled into the highlands of the mountain, and their descendants have remained there until the present times. These indigenous communities are the Kogis, Arhuacos, Wiwas and Kankuamos, some of which maintained almost absolute isolation until the early 20th Century and kept some of their ancient traditions practically intact.