In the 1970s, a change of attitude occurred in Brazilian art and culture. The Censorship, the violence and the end of the constitutional guarantees, determined by the Institutional Act no. 5, of 1968, do not allow for indifference. Many artists and intellectuals, among them Hélio Oiticica, Antonio Dias and Gerchman, leave Brazil. Others, like Vergara, change the focus of their work.
This search for reflexive languages translates into Vergara's extensive research on carnival and the making of super-8 films, without neglecting the work resulting from his experimentation with industrial materials, especially cardboard.
He took part in the 2nd Biennial in Medellín, Colombia, in 1970, presenting his work in Latin America, two large drawings on the floor with cutouts and cardboard boxes - that were lost on his return to Brazil.
In this decade, he intensifies his work with architects, mainly Carlos Pini, realizing panels for stores, banks and public buildings. Among the most important works are the panels made for the Varig stores in Paris and Mexico City (1971); New York and Miami (1972), Madrid, Montreal, Geneva and Johannesburg (1973), Tokyo (1974), among others.
Seeking to create a Brazilian atmosphere for these architectural works, he begins to use materials and techniques of popular crafts, such as pottery and works with colored sands in bottles, in the interior of Ceará. In the bestequins of the Northeast, he is also interested in small ornaments made with folded and cut paper. Transposing this popular universe to the architectural scale, he combines his experience with corrugated cardboard at the Klabin factory, which has been carried out since the 1960s on large-scale cutting works.
In 1971, he received with the architects Guilherme Nunes and Carlos Pini the Affonso Eduardo Reidy Award, of the IAB / GB Annual Awards, for the Varig de Paris and São Paulo stores.
In 1972, idealized the exhibition entitled EX-position, in the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro. In place of the individual that was scheduled, the artist organizes a collective show, positioning itself critically in relation to the political reality of the country.
From New York, Hélio Oiticica sends for the show the design of the Filtro, a penetrable one that conducts the path of the public. The exhibition hosts multiple languages, featuring paintings, drawings, photographs and super-8 films by many artists, among them Roberto Magalhães, Caetano Veloso, Chacal, Bina Fonyat, Glauco Rodrigues, Ivan Cardoso and Waltércio Caldas. In addition to organizing the exhibition, Vergara presents his photographic work on the carnival and a report made with Fonyat in the village of Povoação (ES). Also shows his film Famine, in super-8, and the Text in white, published by the publishing house New Border.
In his research on Brazil, he began to systematically record the Carioca carnival.
Still in 1972, he won, with the architect Marcos Vasconcellos, the Henrique Mindlin Award from IAB / RJ, for the design of a chapel, of which Vergara idealized the stained glass windows. In 1973, he held an individual inaugural exhibition at the Galeria Luiz Buarque de Hollanda and Paulo Bittencourt (RJ). Participates in the collective Expo-projection 73, in space Grife (SP), where he presents his film Fome. In the same year, he created a panel for the headquarters of Jornal do Brasil (RJ).
In 1973, he assembled with a group of architects and photographers a collective workshop with Marcos Flaksman, Carlos Pini, Manoel Ribeiro, Sebastião Lacerda, Bina Fonyat and Antonio Penido, who later became Flaksman Pini Vergara Architecture and Art. focused on projects of theatrical architecture and shopping centers, such as Barra Shopping (RJ). In this project, Vergara participates in the conception of all areas dedicated to the tour, commerce and leisure of the commercial center, in addition to the creation of an ecumenical chapel.
In 1975, he joined the editorial board of the magazine Malasartes, a publication organized by artists and art critics with the aim of creating debates and reflections on the medium of art in Brazil.
In 1976, he set up two new panels in Rio de Janeiro: one for the commercial center in Saens Peña Square, North Zone of the city, designed by the architect Bernardo de Figueiredo, and another for the Rio Othon Palace Hotel in Copacabana in the Zona Sul.
In September of 1977, he participated in the founding of the Brazilian Association of Professional Plastic Artists, becoming president of the organization, created to claim the participation of artists in the debates and decisions of cultural policies in the visual arts.
In June of 1978, presents in the Petite Galerie, individual from his work on the carioca carnival, when it shows photographs, paintings in paper, drawings and montages with snails. Molluscs have, for the artist, an interest similar to the Cacique de Ramos bloc, in which all appear at first sight to be equal, but subtle differences mark their individuality. In November, he presented the same show at Galeria Arte Global (SP). The catalog features text by the artist himself. In December, Funarte publishes the book Carlos Vergara, as part of the Brazilian Contemporary Art Collection, with texts by Hélio Oiticica and visual programming by Vera Bernardes, Sula Danowski and Ana Monteleone.
In 1979, she performed with Ruth Freinhoff the visual programming of the album cover Saudades do Brasil by Elis Regina; with set designer Marcos Flaksman creates the scene of the show with the same name. In the same year, he signed the visual design of the Elis album cover.