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Studio Andino

Raised toward our $7,000 Goal
73 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on October 27, at 08:00 AM CDT
Project Owners

Studio Andino

Studio Andino is an option studio offered every Spring semester to advanced undergraduates and graduate students in all College of Design majors. The studio projects investigate urban conditions in Lima, Peru. We are interested in domestic settings, public spaces, ecosystems, and infrastructure. This range of scales and topics provokes discussion and collaboration across disciplinary boundaries. Every year the studio attracts a mix of majors and involves faculty and students from all departments in the College of Design. In addition to carrying out traditional theoretical studio design work in Ames, students partner with students, faculty, and NGOs in Lima to conduct design-build projects in marginal neighborhoods in the metropolitan region. We travel to Peru in March for this work and take a few days off to visit Cuzco, Machu Picchu, and the Pacific Coast beach. 

Donations to this fund will pay for materials and tools, transportation, food and water for students, and other expenses directly associated with the design-build projects. Any funds that exceed our basic goals will help reduce the cost of student travel to Peru. 


In 2016 we will continue to improve the playground at the Ruwasunchis community center in Manchay and develop a few elements of the wharf improvement master plan that the 2015 studio produced. Those elements include recycling wooden fishing boats that are abandoned on the beach near the pier and building the local partnerships necessary to create a public media campaign about water quality issues affecting the fishing industry. 

For more information and pictures visit Studio Andino on Facebook or check out our partners, INTUY Lab and Ruwasunchis also on Facebook



Clare Cardinal-Pett, Associate Professor of Architecture at Iowa State University, directs the studio which has multiple educational goals. The course is an important element of the College of Design’s study abroad options—offering the only experience in Latin America. It also addresses a global issue—unplanned and unregulated urbanization—in the context of one of the world’s most interesting cities. The unique partnership with Peruvian students, faculty, organizations, and local communities is a special opportunity for learning that extends the land grant mission into an international context. 



Our partners in Peru include INTUY Lab, an urban research institute, directed by Cristina Dreifuss, PhD, Professor of Architecture at the Peruvian University of Science (UPC). Professor Dreifuss provides leadership and coordination for projects in Lima and visits the studio in Ames at the beginning of the semester. The Master of Urban Design program is one of the first programs to benefit from Studio Andino’s partnerships in Peru. Under the direction of Marwan Ghandour, students in the first class devoted Spring Semester 2015 to Lima and traveled to Lima, Cuzco, and Machu Picchu with Studio Andino.



Over the past four years we have studied three different neighborhoods in Lima, conducted design charrettes with students from UPC in the city, and developed three design-build projects in collaboration with our local partners and ISU Anthropology faculty member Max Viatori. The design build projects include a children’s microlibrary in Comas, shade structures and playground equipment in Manchay, and a fish market display table prototype at the Chorrillos wharf. In 2014 students gathered 600 donated children’s books, which they packed in luggage for the microlibrary. 










Choose a giving level


Willing Neighbors

At our jobsites we rely on our wiling neighbors to provide water, power, and cooked lunches for our construction crews—they rarely charge more than $10 per day. Most of these families have daily household budgets that are much less and our projects provide extra income. Your small donation here goes far.


Moto-taxi Drivers

Donations of $20 will support our neighborhood transportation costs. We pay local moto-taxi drivers to take us to and from our building sites, which are inaccessible by our regular chartered buses.


Shop Owners

We buy tools and hardware from shops in the neighborhoods where we work. The prices are generally very low and the opportunity to interact with local people invaluable.


Bus Drivers

A large part of our budget for projects in Lima is devoted to transportation from our hotel in Miraflores to the outskirts of the city. A donation of $100 will pay for one day’s round trip by bus. Our bus drivers help navigate Lima’s intense traffic from the city center to the end of the pavement in neighborhoods like Manchay.


Building Material Providers

Building materials are another large component of the project budget. We try to spend our money in the neighborhoods where we work, which means many small loads of lumber, bamboo, or cement--that rarely cost more than $250--are delivered in a small car or taxi.


Local Jobsite Supervisors

Each year we provide a small stipends of $500 to our Peruvian partners to help manage the project site preparation and coordinate the construction process. Without these “boots on the ground” we would not be able to accomplish so much in such a short period of time.


Fishers' Friends

Studio Andino 2016 will be working at two sites, one in the Manchay neighborhood with our NGO partner Ruwasunchis, and one at the fishing wharf in Chorrillos. A donation of $1000 will help fund this expansion and permit us to launch one of our more ambitious design-build projects at the wharf, such as the reclamation and repurposing beached wooden boats at the site.

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