International Regeneration Studio Reconstructing Chamanga – Student Experiences

Robin Mansfield

You never really know what you’re capable of until you let go of fear and throw yourself into a life of absurdities. I say absurd, because describing what we are doing here in Ecuador mystifies many, horrifies others, and for a special few, well, they sit undecided between looking longingly at the ocean and hurling themselves headlong in, regardless of the water temperature.

Here in Ecuador we are well and truly throwing ourselves into an ocean of rips and undiscovered sea monsters, yet everyone here is taking it with a  smile and loads of fun, whether battling the relentless humidity and heat, the occasional bout of gastro, clouds of mosquitoes, 12 hour workdays and oh,  did I mention the heat??
Getting to know Chamanga has reignited some fire and I have discovered my fear of letting the people down leading to enormous design blockage. I am working in amazing team of 6 people, covering countries including China, Japan, Italy and Pakistan. We have very quickly discovered our particular areas of talent and interest and are working well to produce design interventions for public open space. Other groups are tackling projects such as sporting fields, a port, the new village and a women’s centre with another sports field.
The projects are diverse, they are interesting, and the task ahead looks enormous, but the amount of ground we are covering as a group is inspiring. I wouldn’t be anywhere else right now.