The challenges of verticality imposed by the Andes Mountains imply a permanent effort for the societies that inhabit it. First-degree natural factors such as soil, climate and water are conditioned by it and in the same way, human life. While higher and steeper the slopes, the human challenge to adapt to them is greater and result in an "Andean brand" that we will define here as "vertical landscape".
The Andean vertical landscape: a definition
It starts from the consideration that the landscape, by definition, is cultural, insofar as it is the expression of social evolution and human work, appropriate to a specific place, time and society. In this sense and as a general concept, the implicit heritage character of any landscape is then considered. In this specific case, it is a question of constructing an instrumental definition that articulates the elements and attributes of the Andean “vertical landscapes”, and allows us to systematically approach its structure, its mechanisms and forms of operation, its specific problems and its insertion in the territorial management strategies. The term “verticality” is nominally abstracted as the major natural attribute that conditions and identifies a set of natural and social processes in terms of potentialities and limitations for development.
The "vertical landscape" is in itself a heritage landscape that involves the set of natural places, material works, knowledge, management methods, customs, traditions, identities, memories, historical events and even future projections as a management proposal, that allowed and allow to make the steep Andean mountains a place of life with opportunities of development and own identity.
We are necessarily referring to elements that define, on different scales, the vertical character of the Andes and dominate its discourse; from the natural sphere words such as: slopes, slopes, abysses and precipices, summits, snow, peaks, basins, gorges, valley bottoms, ecological floors or waterfalls. And on this geography, human construction: agricultural terraces on the slopes, aqueducts and channels between basins, transfers and tunnels through mountains, damming of lagoons in high areas, roads or railways on slopes, stairs, bridges between ravines, oroyas to cross the river, hydroelectric plants taking advantage of waterfalls, electric transmission lines on steep slopes or peaks. Thus, transforming these words into realities, dominating verticality has meant, from the first Andean settlers to us, the realization of small, medium and large works of territorial transformation with the investment of immense amounts of energy, resources and means.
We are talking about a unique and singular sample of sustained will and in many cases, especially in the pre-colonial era, of human daring on the edge of gravity. But this human daring has also required the investment of three key factors that have always accompanied it: science, creativity and culture; three keys that can only be achieved from experience and time, success and error. Based on this set, much of the level of development of Andean societies in its different historical stages has been built, but a perception of the landscape specific to verticality has also been built as a significant form of space.
Our tribute to our Andean vertical landscape through our design called simply "Andean Roof Backpack"