Virtual Embudo Project [vep]
This research-based project created a model using interactive media to offer multi-faceted public access to community wisdom and interdisciplinary academic expertise both to document the cultural landscapes of the area and to address the problems associated with the deteriorating conditions of the local “acequia” (irrigation canals) infrastructure in the Village of Embudo, New Mexico.
In this Northern New Mexico village, there are ten acequias that divert water from the Rio Embudo, a tributary of the Rio Grande, to the agricultural fields of the local community members. Through a series of interviews with local residents and farmers, it quickly became evident to the project team that the acequias were more than a physical infrastructure, they functioned within the community as a cultural artifact and a socio-economic network. Faculty and students alike concluded that the infrastructural deterioration was symptomatic of a deeper issue, a deteriorating “acequia culture”. This realization required that the team re-examine the boundaries of traditional architectural research and move towards a collaborative working method incorporating and building upon the varied disciplinary specific expertise of each member of the faculty-student team. Areas of expertise include landscape architecture, architecture, community and regional planning, economics and demographics, informatics and digital visualization.
The project that subsequently evolved, is a multi-media open source GIS-based community website that serves as an interactive tool for accessing historical, infrastructural, geographic, cultural and economic information. More importantly this model empowers the community to take control of its future by engaging in conversations with both the local and global public.
Associate Professor Tim Castillo
Professor Geraldine Forbes Isais
Edwar Calderon, Masters in Landscape Architecture, Historic Preservation Certificate Candidate
Aaron Coffeen, Master of Landscape Architecture Candidate
Nancy Happe, PhD Economics, Master of Architecture Candidate
Frank Martinez, Master of Architecture Candidate
Sarah Wentzel-Fisher, Community and Regional Planning Candidate
Ian LeBlanc, Bachelors of Architecture Candidate
Estevan Arrellano, resident Embudo, New Mexico
Jacobo Martinez, Resource Center for Raza Planning
Dr. Tobias Duran, Center for Regional Studies, UNM