Marcelo López-Dinardi is an immigrant, in-part designer-theorist, and educator based in Texas, and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University. He was a founding Partner of A(n) Office (2013-2020). He’s interested in the multiple scales of design; biopolitics and agency in design and education; and architecture as expanded media (publications and curatorial practices). His work as partner of A(n) Office was exhibited in the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2016 and has written for Avery Review, The Architect’s Newspaper, Domus, Planning Perspectives, Art Forum (China), and lectured at The Cooper Union, Princeton University, RISD, GSAPP, among others. He holds a B.Arch. from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, and a MS in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices for Architecture from the (GSAPP) Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation of Columbia University.
Recent collaborators include: Tyrene Calvesbert, Mitch McEwen, Isabelle-Kirkham Lewitt, Harrison Ratcliff-Bush, Marina Otero Verzier, Nina Valerie Kolowratnik, Francisco Díaz, Oscar Oliver-Didier, Pier Paolo Pala, Chau Tran, Yuliya Veligurskaya.
Presented the paper, Audience and Discourse: Cross-Atlantic Exchanges in the Context of the IAUS in New York City, or Inventing New Eurocentric Architecture Institutions in the 1970s during the American Art of the Sixties: Visual & Material Forms in a Transnational Context symposium held (virtual) at Texas A&M University on March 26-27 2020. Organized by Susanneh Bieber with participants across the globe. See abstracts and speakers here.
Gordon Matta-Clark, Pig Roast, 1971.
ARCHITECTURE META-MATTER(S) is a first year M.Arch studio focusing on introducing why architecture matters and what is the matter of architecture. As an initial course in the graduate program, the course will look at multi-scalar conditions and will find the role, opportunity, and limits of architecture. ARCHITECTURE META-MATTER(S) will research the territorial conditions in our immediate context of Bryan and College Station, TX including technology, bodies, and natural/built environments, to help find clues to reimagine our living environment. The analysis of mobility, communications, energy, ecology and built-objects will set the framework for the proposal of a new meta-matter for architecture. The design projects will be based out of a dialogue with the findings and will be developed as the design of systems, as ENVIRONMENT-EXTENSIONS.
John Scott, Resourceful Waste
Resourceful Waste engages with productive, wasteful and educational landscapes by appropriating a capped landfill. The project proposes transforming it to a farming space and educational facility benefitting from the landscape gases to produce energy, virtual reality experience to be immersed in the waste-to-produce transformation, and would serve as beacon on the newest suburban extension.
Brittany Martinez, Hard Edge Ecology
Hard Edge Ecology rethinks the regional scale with ecology-centered design. The projects proposes a closed greenbelt around the existing build structures in the cities of Bryan/College Station, and also creates a mediating park/green reserve inside the city limits; an oval bridge-structure mediates the experience of been close-to but not in-nature.
Sugey Zavala, Circular Infrastructure
Circular Infrastructure proposes a contained environment creating the space for a resource-based ecology minded project. The project first design a natural wetlands strategy for the creeks flooding and defines its perimeter with housing and terraced support programming.
The Risk of Not Speculating, Liam Young in Conversation with Marcelo López-Dinardi published in ARQ 102.
Summer intensive studio book documenting the work of the eponymous architecture studio that investigated the possibilities of play and summer desires in the context of a college town (College Station, TX) during the summer of 2019.
I WOULD RATHER BE DREAMING SUMMER DESIRES (DSD) is a project about collective imagination in a context of social and spatial dispersion. DSD departs from the premise that the city of College Station TX, is a clear evidence of the abstracted territories produced by local economies and global exploitative finance. DSD understands that bodies–humans have a subjugated role in the formal and spatial configuration of the city, designed primarily as a network of systems intending to sustain economies of extraction, profit, and multi-scale infrastructures. DSD see the city as an apparatus for dispersion, physical, social, and economic dispersion. Intensive 5-week Summer Studio taught in collaboration with Tyrene Calvesbert.
Keira Elkins and Sami Simmons
Erika Barrios and Shelby Roach
A continuation of Public Assemblies and Infrastructures from the Fall 2018, INFRASTRUCTURES, THE COMMONS, AND THE RIGHT TO THE CITY is a third year architecture studio (Spring 2019) that will consider what, how and by whom are the collective title shaped Bryan, Texas, and how their identification and critical analysis can inform the production of a program and a project for architecture in the form of a (public) infrastructure, building, public space, or a public assembly. The studio will have a strong research agenda investigating subjects, communities, legal frameworks, technology, and contemporary forms of defining the infrastructure and the commons that are informed by or resist the neoliberal logic of economical performance metrics.
Christopher Loofs and Jordan Marshall
Moderated a panel on the Golden Bee wining Australia Pavilion of the 2019 Triennale di Milano, curated by Amaia Sanchez-Velasco, Jorge Valiente Oriol, Miguel Rodriguez-Casellas, Gonzalo Valiente, and included the participation of artist Patricia Reed.
“Teatro Della Terra Alienata (Theatre of the Alienated Land) is the name of the Australian Pavilion designed by the UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the XXIII Triennale di Milano: Broken Nature. The work responds to the recent mass coral bleaching events that signalled the rapid decline of the Great Barrier Reef and frames its decay as a wicked problem that demands urgent and radical political intervention. In 2018, the Australian government decided to partially outsource the preservation of the reef – Earth’s largest living structure – to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, a charity supported by major mining and insurance companies, banks, and airlines. The current preservation of the reef is managed by a technological apparatus that monitors and manicures to maintain the “natural spectacle” alive.”
PUBLIC(S) ASSEMBLIES AND INFRASTRUCTURES is a third year architecture studio (Fall 2018) that will consider what and who constitutes the publics (in plural) of the cities of College Station and Bryan, in Texas, and how their identification and critical analysis can inform the production of a program and a project for architecture in the form of a public infrastructure or a public assembly. The studio will have a strong research agenda investigating subjects, communities, legal frameworks, technology, and contemporary forms of work and leisure that are informed by or resist the neoliberal logic of economical performance metrics.
Commercial exhibition banner, printed (36 x 168 in.)
SUBJECT appeals to the use of language as a form of engagement, communication, and instruction. It also inquires, by been not-prescriptive but open-ended, text and word’s capacity to communicate apparent ideas or ideologies in the visual and psychological dialogue with the body that is confronted with it. Out of any context except this gallery, the SUBJECT banner relies on the observer-its body, for it to be read, interpreted, and contextualized. Confronted with a vast blankness and simple traces of existing objects, the work push us to fill the voids with our own subjectivity, or subjection, making the participant, the subject, the main actor.
This art-work project elaborates on my research on the intersection of visual imaginaries associated with architectural elements and biopolitics. It was conceived for Texas A&M’s College of Architecture Faculty Biennial in the Stark Galleries of the MSC building. The banner, by replicating the ones naming the university core values in the building’s entrance hall, aims to create and active dialogue with all engaging bodies by interrogating who is the subject-person, subject-matter, subject-subjected to words and language in the context of an academic institution and the active production of knowledge.
This short design-research projects explores alternatives for the architectural floor plan of ONE MANHATTAN SQUARE, the newest addition to NYC’s Manhattan luxury skyscrapers. The floor plan is a drawing type that can both “determine” but also “accommodate” life, it is both active form and stuff container. WE CAN FIT alters the existing plan by re-filling it with the everyday life elements that accompany NYC real-life; it speaks to the real living, the living we experience ourselves, through our friend’s stories, through Craigslist ads, all who reveal the less ideal and more fitting reality of the city. This project outcome is an architectural floor plan drawing for the exhibition form in rem at citigallery in New York City, in collaboration with Lexi Tsien.
The project Spatializing Debt: A Visual Audit was presented at Columbia GSAPP after an invitation by the Buell Center for the Study of American Architecture from the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation from Columbia University during the panel Unnatural Disaster: Infrastructure in Puerto Rico before, during, and after Hurricane Maria on November 9, 2018.
More information about the event and its video recording can be accessed here.
GSAPP Conversation hosted an edition with outgoing members of the Downtown NYC GSAPP Incubator at the NewInc. You can listen to it here.
Happy to have accepted an offer to join the faculty of the Department of Architecture at Texas A&M University as Assistant Professor. See you in the south!
In-Between the Physical and the Psychological: Locating Gordon Matta-Clark and Architecture, is a research-paper presented during the Fall Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture–MARFA, TX conference. The paper discuss the paternal/architectural weight of the artist-trained architect Gordon Matta-Clark and his father the surrealist painter–also trained architect Roberto Matta. Examining the archive of his works at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal it interrogates the archive as content but also as site from where to have access to his work in an anarchivic way, similar to his anarchitecture.
Architecture vs Education with Marcelo López-Dinardi and Violet Whitney, as part of the GSAPP Debates presented during Ideas City New York.
Spatializing Debt: A Visual Auditing examines the intersection of architecture, political economy and visual imaginaries with the logics of state-financial debt under Puerto Rico’s current status, by giving territorial, spatial, and visual dimension to the so-called public debt.
Researcher, ongoing, 2017.
COCA was the First Congress in Architectural Communication held at the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (ETSAM). I presented during the ‘Pedagogical Actions’ panels the work Spatial and Body Transactions developed by Barnard+Columbia students during the spring 2017 semester. It explored the conditions for transactions in an educational setting, that of the Barnard and Columbia campus in NYC. The project asks, where and how are formulated the transactions defining the codes for space and the body interaction. These relations are understood here to be a complex design and cultural operation of spatial, formal, legal, visual, political, aesthetic, and performative capacities. Projects ranged from archive research and documentation through drawing, photography, augmented reality or video.
Ideas City Arles was a week-long residency program organized by New York’s New Museum in collaboration with Luma Foundation (Luma Arles). “IdeasCity is a collaborative, civic, creative platform of the New Museum in New York that starts from the premise that art and culture are essential to the future vitality of cities.” Ideas City Arles considered the countryside and the challenges for a city in a “bioregion.”
Fellow participant, 2017.
Does A Surface Speak? was my contribution for the collective exhibition, “Yes I’ve Had A Facelift, But Who Han’t” curated by Shyan Rahimi, Jessica Kwok and Adjustments Agency. Does A Surface Speak? is part monologue, part interrogation, part repository, and interactive piece that ask questions to the way (mostly) architectural surfaces are perceived and treated. The work engages with two forms of writing that have taken place in time over the existing walls of the former Bethlehem Church, an exceptional building within a historically contested neighborhood. One of the forms of writing is the graffiti that characterized the building before its “restoration” in 2014, and the current subtle overlaid texts by artist Robert Barry, remnants of a previous exhibition. Does A Surface Speak? utilizes augmented reality as a way to overlay questions to the treatment of these two forms of writing in the preservation histories without having to erase or add another surface.
To see the work “off-site” download Aurasma app and search/follow speakingsurface and follow the pamphlet here: Does A Surface Speak pamphlet
Site specific at Bethlehem Church, Los Angeles, printed pamphlet and augmented reality app (Aurasma), April 9, 2017.
Land Air, A(n) Office’s contribution to the 2016 US Pavilion for the architecture Venice Biennale, is now on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit in its first tour stop. Projects will be on display in Detroit until April 16 and will continue their tour to Los Angeles. More about the project here.
Researcher, Designer, 2016.
Photo Courtesy of MoCAD.
PUBLIC(S) ASSEMBLIES OF WORK was a graduate architecture studio at NJIT that considers what and who constitutes the publics (in plural) of the town of Harrison, New Jersey, and how their identification and critical analysis can inform the production of a program and a project for architecture, or an assembly of work. The studio investigated subjects, communities, legal frameworks, technology and contemporary forms of work that are informed by or resist the neoliberal logic of economical performance metrics as well as our service and sharing economies. The studio was informed by various authors ideas and research about work in a our contemporary society, where the future has no particular form yet. The public was understood here as a plural condition including public as: subjects, spaces, infrastructure, commons, non-private, or interface.
Studio Instructor, 2016.
Everything Moves Everything Belongs, a review of the After Belonging Oslo Architecture Triennale, 2016, published in The Architect’s Newspaper.
“The Media of Architecture: Print, Exhibitions, and Communications at Columbia GSAPP” December 9, 12:30pm at GSAPP Incubator / New Inc.
Rather than examine these methods within the production of architecture itself, this event explores architectural narratives as they are expressed within academic, critical, and cultural settings. We will consider the role of exhibition making, print and digital publications, as well as communications strategies with senior staff members from Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. How might the exhibitions, events, publications, and social media content produced by an architecture school such as Columbia GSAPP provide a useful case study for evaluating design storytelling on a broader scale?
Steffen Boddeker, Senior Director of Communications and Events, GSAPP
James Graham, Director of Publications, GSAPP
Irene Sunwoo, Director of Exhibitions, GSAPP
Moderated by Marcelo López-Dinardi, Partner, A(n) Office and GSAPP Incubator Alumnus
If you are not part of the GSAPP Incubator or NEW INC community and would like to attend this event, please send your RSVP to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More info here.
Folk Politics at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale is a written review and commentary on the latest Italian event directed by Alejandro Aravena, published in The Avery Review, “an online journal dedicated to thinking about books, buildings, and other architectural media.”
IDEAS CITY Athens was a week-long residency program organized by New York’s New Museum in collaboration with Neon Foundation. “The five-day residency will bring together emerging practitioners working at the intersection of community activism, art, design, architecture, and technology in cities around the world. IdeasCity Fellows will live and work in the Athens Conservatory and will transform the space into a multifunctional hub of cultural activity [it] will observe Athens from the perspective of two key forces that are defining cities today: the flow of humanity and the flow of capital.”
Fellow participant, 2016.
Promised L-a-n-d Air, the A(n) Office proposal for Mexicantown/Southwest Detroit, engages the consequences of North American infrastructure for urban housing, industrial plants, international institutions, and air quality. The program for the almost 10-acre site is conceived as layers of remediation–remediating the displacement of nearby residents, remediating the proliferation of trucks in residential neighborhoods, and remediating the air pollution emitted by industry and diesel engines.
Exhibited in the U.S. Pavilion for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
Researcher, Designer, 2016.
UNDISCIPLINED CMU: A DESIGN-BUILD MASONRY STUDIO is the book that document the project of the same name. The book was done during the Summer of 2015 in collaboration with Pier Paolo Pala, Chau Tran and Yuliya Veligurskaya, students who took part on the Spring semester making the project. The book is available for purchase here and to view online here.
Studio Instructor, Editor, 2015.
UNDISCIPLINED CMU is the second iteration of a second year undergraduate studio project at the New Jersey Institute of Technology in which a construction is developed as part of a masonry studio. Material is investigated as a given condition and turned into an unexpected object after intense exploration. The resultant object is a concrete construction that, as an education device, opened the possibilities of reimagining and reconsidering the banality of the most typical, and less valued material in the construction industry, by literally cutting it; aiming for an expanded consideration of disciplinary knowledge and industry in the academic setting.
Students: Mariza Antonio, Spoorthi Bhatta, Rawad El-Aawar, Monica Girgis, Freddy Martínez, Brian Mourato, Chit Yee Ng, Joel Nuñez, Pier Paolo Pala, Eliott Pérez, Lauren Rose, María Silva, Roman Schorniy, Chau Tran, Yuliya Veligurskaya, Jeffrey Youmans.
Studio Instructor, 2015.
Spatial Construction: Occupying a Grid is an exercise for the Introduction to Architecture and Visual Culture studio for non-majors at Barnard and Columbia. It is focused on the better understanding of space within a set of given parameters. First, it will work around a virtual cubic structure (12″x12″)that will contain a formal grid. This will define one “spatial” and “formal” boundary to be enhanced, explored, challenged or disrupted. Second, following your home-to-studio-trip record and experience, you will elaborate a spatial construction based –but not limited to– your trip.
Studio Instructor, 2015-16.
Ascending, Duration and Rooms (13:54 each) are the three short films based on the un-construction of the House Opera in Detroit. Each film disassemble and reconstruct the footage of one-week of work into three themes: sound, time and space respectively. Exhibited at the BEB Gallery in the Rhode Island School of Design as part of the exhibition and lecture Methods and Media, 2015.
Filmed by Marcelo López-Dinardi
Text by Mitch McEwen
Edited by Tyrene Calvesbert
Methods and Media is an exhibition and a lecture at the BB Gallery of the Rhode Island School of Design after an invitation by faculty members Emanuel Admassu and Aaron Forrest.
Methods and Media, the exhibition, is the exploration of the unconstruction process of the A(n) Office/McEwen Studio House Opera, as I video-documented it during a single week in Detroit. The exhibition includes three 13:57 minutes films, Duration, Ascending and Rooms, and one 1:52 minutes video showing the transformed house. Each film shows a rather systematic approach to the measured capacities of the video-media, and dissects the five-days of footage, analyzing the time-extensions of each clip taken, the sound variations, and the ambiguous perception of space through the camera lens.
Exhibition Design, Curatorial Framework, Lecturer, 2015.
The Day After the Carnival: The Hangover of Work (in Late Capitalism) was a graduate studio taught at Penn Design in the University of Pennsylvania, inquiring the intersection of work-production as a mode of carnivalesque action in the form of hangover. Students researched and draw existing program-buildings near Northern Liberties, analyzed their local-global logics, composed programmatic drawings, developed strategies and formulated and architectural assembly combining them all, including a large cultural programming.
Studio Instructor, 2016.
The House Opera project seeks, through architectural innovation, to propose a fertile alternative to the blight binary of neglect versus demolition. The project seeks to explore what might occur when the borders of a house open up to annihilate the borders between art and community, makers and receivers of art, museums and home.
House Opera | Opera House aims to open and produce new possibilities of public engagement for architecture as a discipline and for houses as a built typology, investigating the means by which a formerly vacant house may serve as a node of cultural infrastructure. As historian Reinhold Martin argues, infrastructure is what is reproduced (financial, political or social infrastructures), the House Opera | Opera House is the product and produces communal infrastructures.
The House Opera | Opera House was originated and led by Mitch McEwen when she bought the house and received funding by grants from the Knight Foundation, Graham Foundation, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, and individual donors from a crowdsourcing campaign with matched funds by Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Location: 1620 Morrell Street, Southwest Detroit, Michigan, USA
Designers: Marcelo López-Dinardi, Mitch McEwen, A(n) Office, McEwen Studio
Structural Consultant: Sarah Millsaps Towles
Collaborators: Ye Fu, Salam Rida, Rebecca Curtis, Juan Martínez
Video documentation here.
House Opera website here.
urbanNext* conducted three interviews on my “work with A(n) Office” in Detroit, a “Designer’s Approach” and my “Curatorial Approach” for the US Pavilion for the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
They can be accessed here.
* urbanNext is an online platform aiming to generate a global network to produce content focused on rethinking architecture through the contemporary urban milieu.
Artist Gordon Matta-Clark Splitting’s house photographs were superimposed in the location where the house stood before demolition in 1974. Re-placing took place on April 2013 in Englewood, New Jersey.
RE-PLACING SPLITTING is part of Destructive Knowledge: Tools for Learning to Un-Dō, a theoretical investigation between docility, knowledge and discipline through the artist’s work.
Physical Installation, Digital Photograph, Author, 2013.
3595 Broadway is a critique/article to a mixed-use building by Columbia University’s uptown expansion in New York City, published in The Architect’s Newspaper here.