ABOUT

Marcelo López-Dinardi is an immigrant, designer, 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. 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.

World Map

Recent collaborators include: MILM2, Tyrene Calvesbert, Isabelle-Kirkham Lewitt, Harrison Ratcliff-Bush, Marina Otero Verzier, Nina Valerie Kolowratnik, Francisco Díaz, Oscar Oliver-Didier, Pier Paolo Pala, Chau Tran, Yuliya Veligurskaya.

CONTACT  |  TWITTER

SEARCH

MAKING THE PUBLIC–COMMONS

MAKING THE PUBLIC–COMMONS was an installation and a conversations-marathon project motivated by the ambition and need to elaborate our positions towards the making and building public–commons, primarily through an act of appearance and conversation much required in our cultural context. The project relied mainly on direct dialogue and embodied engagement. It proposed dialogue and conversations around topics of—but not limited to, how and what constitutes the public and the commons, and: institutions, commoning, landscapes, justice, measures, cooperation, water, ecologies, language, and appearance. Guests included Marina Otero Verzier, Pelin Tan, Elise Hunchuck, Bryan Lee Jr., AD-WO (Emanuel Admassu, Jen Wood), COOPIA ( Marielsa Castro, Felipe Guerra, Alejandra Sarria), Janette Kim, Linda Schilling Cuellar, Amira Hanafi and Fernando Portal.

The exhibition and installation part of this multi-faceted project created the space for local and international participants to dialogue around issues that pertain to us all as practitioners of the built environment. The extra-large scale of the photograph for the exhibition, displayed in the Architecture Quad, was a collaboration with Karla Padilla (TAMU M.Arch. ’22) and Lupita Chao student and a local member of the bi-national cities of El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.

Full project, guests’ info and video recordings at http://www.mtp-c.info

AN AGENDA FOR BCS

As a newcomer faculty to Texas in the Fall of 2018, I decided to dedicate most of my architecture studios—junior, senior, and graduate, to learn about the cities of Bryan and College Station (BCS), their logic, motivations, and potential pitfalls. These studios were a new endeavor to many. The thinking of architecture as a cultural product in dialogue with territorial complexities has been the driving force to these research-based studios. We carefully considered, investigated, pondered, and visualized the multiplicity of factors that we understood are shaping the cities. We did this primarily through mapping. There are tens of information and analysis maps made through publicly available data. In addition, we proposed a series of urban scale projects in dialogue with those findings. An Agenda for BCS is a digital book that documents that effort to expand the scope and possibilities for how we imagine this territory.

Digital Book with tens of maps and 20 projects shaping the agenda can be found at BCSAGENDA

QUESTIONS FOR DOWNTOWN BRYAN, TX

QUESTIONS FOR DOWNTOWN BRYAN, TX is a collaboration with MILM2 long-standing Proyecto Pregunta (or Question Project) for their latest book of urgent questions. For this occasion I asked WHAT HISTORY MEETS COMMUNITY? in response to the city’s revitalization slogan Where history meets community; and WHY THE CITY IS STILL SEGREGATED? to acknowledge the historical and continuing divide of the “historic” downtown with the African American communities in the North portion of also “historical” part of town. Project in collaboration with Tyrene Calvesbert.

ARCHIVAL IMPRESSION: (RE)COLLECTING GORDON MATTA-CLARK

This article examines the contested relationship between the artist Gordon Matta-Clark, who was educated as an architect, and his father, the Surrealist painter Roberto Matta, with regards to architecture and the archive. It argues that architecture was impressed, archived in Matta-Clark not only by his father, but also by his destructive drive and the reinscription of his work in his collection at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal in 2002. It discusses what it means to archive Matta-Clark’s personal architectural dimension, in light of Jacques Derrida’s Archive Fever, and to collect his work in an architecture-centric institution.

Bitácora Arquitectura #45 Archives.

BRIDGING THE BINATIONAL CITIES OF LAREDO AND NUEVO LAREDO

ARCHITECTURE MATTERS: BRIDGING THE BI-NATIONAL CITIES OF LAREDO AND NUEVO LAREDO 

The studio explores questions of political boundaries and their spatial implications in the bi-national cities of Laredo (US) and Nuevo Laredo (MX). The studio research and considers the existing conditions as they relate to questions of ecology, trade, migration, culture, among others. The last few weeks students were asked to propose strategies as a design response, this is, how to construct forms of engagement with the sites and questions—at regional, urban or small scale design interventions. More than fully resolved projects, the studio focuses on conceptualizing the responses and the beginning of their strategies as projects. 

Research by Jacob Leavengood.

Studio highlights by Jacob Leavengood, John Willis, and Karla Padilla.

EXIT INTERVIEW: MUSINGS, HISTORIES, IDEAS

This remote-teaching studio takes the idea of an academic “Exit Interview” to develop a dialogue, discussions—or musings about contemporary architectural culture theories-and-practices, its production politics, its purpose, formulations, capacities, limits, and motivations. In brief, what is a project in architecture? It focuses primarily on architectural production of the last fifty years. Since this summer studio is the last in the undergraduate sequence, we will explore through active “debates and interviews,” the ideas, voids, and opportunities of the education that students have completed up to this point. 

TEXAS MINI POLEIS

Everything is bigger in Texas, or not. The saying indeed reflect the vast geography of its political boundaries, yet its territory—like many others in the country’s extension, is also comprised of much smaller groupings that reflect other forms of assembly. Some of these groupings are, even in Texas, significantly small, or mini. TEXAS MINI-POLEIS is a fourth year undergraduate research-and-design architecture studio investigating Texas’ five smallest-population yet fully-incorporated cities. Although these groupings are formalized under legal statutes and incorporated as cities, their formulations reveal—and this is one of the main interests for this project, the motivations to assemble a political territory and boundaries and their spatial and formal outputs. In an effort to reconsider the heavily studied and complex web of cities and dense urban scenarios, this studio aims to examine some of those definitions on locations that easily escape their common understanding, yet are defined by the same legal protocols and politics. The studio was compiled and transformed into a 430 pages book.

Studio members: Ashley Baughman, Bryson Bounds, Daniel Eynon, Carolina Fernandez, Mitzy González, Christopher Loofs, Stephanie Maddamma, Jordan Marshall, Samantha Offutt and Maclane Regan.

EXPANDED PRACTICES FOR ARCHITECTURE: LOCATING PSYCHOPOLITICS

EXPANDED PRACTICES FOR ARCHITECTURE, LOCATING PSYCHOPOLITICS: Re-Mediate, Reveal, Announce, Denounce, Expose, Display is an architectural research project investigating the SPATIAL, BODY or MEDIA transactions in which a form of “technology of power”– following Byung-Chul Han Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and New Technologies of Power, are manifested. The project asks where and how these transactions define codes, protocols, or operations around spaces, bodies, or media. The project included constructing a visual Reverse Narrative of Han’s book, and a final research and display project exploring one finding. Here are Maclane’s Regan Reverse Narrative spreads and video inquiring cultural institutions reaction to the pandemic, and Manny Alvarado’s investigation of the “we” in WeWork. (Videos better viewed in full screen)

Psychopolitics Reverse Narrative by Maclane Regan

How Do We Interact With Culture–The Museum, by Maclane Regan

WeWeWe by Manny Alvarado

AMERICAN ART OF THE SIXTIES

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.

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Figure 9, Pig Roast, Gordon Matta-Clark, 1971

Gordon Matta-Clark, Pig Roast, 1971.

ARCHITECTURE META-MATTERS

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

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.

Britteny Martinez - Hard Edge Ecology

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

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.

I WOULD RATHER BE___________ DREAMING SUMMER DESIRES

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.

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INFRASTRUCTURE, THE COMMONS AND THE RIGHT TO THE CITY

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.

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Christopher Loofs and Jordan Marshall

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Mitzy  González

TEATRO DELLA TERRA ALIENATA

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.”

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PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES AND INFRASTRUCTURES

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.

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Finn Rotana

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Maclane Regan

SUBJECT

SUBJECT, 2019 

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. 

 

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WE CAN FIT

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.

 

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UNNATURAL DISASTER

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.

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‘IN-BETWEEN THE PHYSICAL AND THE PSYCHOLOGICAL: LOCATING GORDON MATTA-CLARK AND ARCHITECTURE’ AT ACSA-MARFA

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

Author, 2017.

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SPATIALIZING DEBT: A VISUAL AUDIT

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. Investment Firms Information by the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo of Puerto Rico.

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Researcher, ongoing, 2017.

COCA – MADRID

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.

Instructor, 2017.

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IDEAS CITY ARLES

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, 2017.

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DOES A SURFACE SPEAK?

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.

Author, 2017.

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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.

PROMISED AIR AT MoCAD

Promised 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.

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PUBLIC ASSEMBLIES OF WORK

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.

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THE MEDIA OF ARCHITECTURE: PRINT, EXHIBITIONS, AND COMMUNICATIONS AT COLUMBIA GSAPP

“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?

Speakers
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: aes2280@columbia.edu.

More info here.

INCUBATING NEW YORK

“Incubating New York” will take place at the GSAPP, Columbia University on December 2, 2016 at 1pm. A panel discussion about the ideas and work developed during my residency at the GSAPP Incubator between 2015-2016.

More info here and video recording of the event here.

IDEAS CITY ATHENS

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, 2016.

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US PAVILION 2016 PROMISED L-A-N-D AIR

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.

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UNDISCIPLINED CMU: A DESIGN-BUILD MASONRY STUDIO

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.

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UNDISCIPLINED CMU

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.

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SPATIAL CONSTRUCTIONS

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.

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ASCENDING, DURATION, ROOMS

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

Author, 2015.

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METHODS AND MEDIA

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.

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THE DAY AFTER THE CARNIVAL

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.

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HOUSE OPERA | OPERA HOUSE

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.

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URBAN_NEXT INTERVIEWS

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.

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* urbanNext is an online platform aiming to generate a global network to produce content focused on rethinking architecture through the contemporary urban milieu.

 

REPLACING SPLITTING

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-, a theoretical investigation between docility, knowledge and discipline through the artist’s work.

Physical Installation, Digital Photograph, Author, 2013.

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CMU I

A complement to the 2nd year studios at the New Jersey Institute of Technology students work on a masonry build-mock-up, a competition based project in which students create a masonry construction with the help of masons, typical solid CMU blocks were cut in order to create the space of “staged interactions” within the school environment. The inquiry of the concrete masonry unit, the most typical construction element, offered the opportunity to reconsider a usually overlooked material and its capacities. First prize.

Studio Instructor, 2014.

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URBAN INTERVENTIONS I

Barnard + Columbia Introduction to Architecture and Visual Culture studio for non-majors in architecture. Students were asked to develop a Urban Intervention based on active verbs that they first enacted in person. Verbs were interpreted and informed by the students’ body through conceptual drawings, then translated into site-specific interventions.

Studio Instructor, 2014.

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ARCHITECTURE OF INDUSTRIOUSNESS

Architecture of Industriousness is a short text part of House Housing: An Untimely History ofArchitecture and Real Estate in Nineteen Episodes, exhibition’s pamphlet, made for the traveling exhibition Venice’s Casa Muraro during the summer of 2014, and off-Venice Biennale site. Also available on the web at http://www.house-housing.com. 

Research and Production Coordinator for the Venice part of the exhibition by the Buell Center of the Study of American Architecture, 2014.

 

 

POST-SPECULATION ACT I

Post-Speculation Act I was an exhibition at P! Gallery featuring HOWDOYOUSAYYAMINAFRICAN. A project with A(n) Office, we designed the exhibition and installation of multimedia images and videos, as well as objects. 28 screens where displaying news and artists’ work related to urgent racial issues, subverting the typical surveillance display into a revealing and exposure device. It engaged the public audience of the street outside as well as the gallery visitors from within.

Designer, 2014.

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VISITING SPLITTING

Visiting Splitting was a film screening and conversation held around two films depicting Gordon Matta-Clark’s Splitting work, including the film Visit To Humphrey Street House, a first public screening after revealing the film from the artist’s archive. In discussion with Kelly Baum, Jessamyn Fiore, GH Hovagimyan and Mark Wigley. Event held at the Storefront for Art and Architecture.

Moderator, Organizer, 2014.

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Image courtesy of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal, Canada.

More info about the event, including video documentation, can be found here.

LOCATING OUT-SOURCING

PG-Arch, a project for the exhibition Locating Out-sourcing at Studio-X Mumbai, departs from the acronyms used in the industry as a provocation for its architecture, from the Perfectly Generic Architecture (equivalent to the Professional Golf Association) to a Politically Generated Architecture. Photo shows Pangea3 headquarters, one of the largest legal-outsourcing services provider based in New York and Mumbai (photo by author, 23″x23″).

Curator, Designer, Participant, 2013.

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PROMISCUOUS ENCOUNTERS

Promiscuous Encounters, a day-long event held at the GSAPP in March 2012, examined the interplay between the critical, curatorial, and conceptual capacities of architecture, neither audio nor video recordings were made.

This publication is, then, the vehicle for the event’s documentation and the site where the interpretations of both participants and audience are made public, thereby contributing to build up the vocabulary for a theory of promiscuous practice.

Contributors: Keller Easterling, Andrés Jaque, Reinhold Martin, Mitch McEwen, Markus Miessen, Felicity D. Scott, Pelin Tan, Rodrigo Tisi, and Mark Wasiuta.
Publisher: GSAPP Books / Columbia Books on Architecture and the City.
Editors: Francisco Díaz, Nina Valerie Kolowratnik, Marcelo López-Dinardi, Marina Otero-Verzier
Designer: Dsñotipo – Gabriel Piovanetti and Luis Antonio Díaz.

Available here.

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PROMISCUOUS ENCOUNTERS: ADRESSING/ASSESING ADHOCRACY

Promiscuous Encounters: Addressing/Assessing Adhocracy, a day-long event held at the Galata Greek School after an invitation form the curatorial team for the first Istanbul Design Biennial in November 2012, examined the exhibition ADHOCRACY curated by Joseph Grima through the lens of: invisibility, design, value and commons.

Participants: Ethel Baraona Pohl, Ute Meta Bauer, Francisco Díaz, Bogachan Dundarlp, Joseph Grima, Nikolaus Hirsch, Omer Kanipak, Nina Valerie Kolowratnik, Marcelo López-Dinardi, Marina Otero-Verzier, Erhan Oze, Felicity D. Scott, Pelin Tan, Mark Wasiuta.

Organizer, Moderator, 2012.

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INTERPRETATIONS: PROMISCUOUS ENCOUNTERS

Interpretations: Promiscuous Encounters, a day-long event held at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation in March 2012, examined the interplay between the critical, curatorial, and conceptual capacities of architecture, and their promises exchanges. Neither audio nor video recordings were made.

Participants: Keller Easterling, Andrés Jaque, Reinhold Martin, Mitch McEwen, Markus Miessen, Felicity D. Scott, Pelin Tan, Rodrigo Tisi, and Mark Wasiuta.

Curated by: Francisco Díaz, Nina Valerie Kolowratnik, Marcelo López-Dinardi, Marina Otero-Verzier.

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CIUDADLAB: BRAZIL, THE FORM OF DESIRE

After researching the cities of Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and São Paulo in Brazil we identified leisure, void, security, industry, body, tourism and monumentality as drivers of the forms of desire. With and ever expanding economy, Brazil has become the world’s eighth economy and the destination for countless local and international events. The research was organized through three analytical lenses -the Imagined City, the Ideological City and the Informal City- and worked with the hypothesis that in Brazil the imaginary of desire is employed to promulgate the worshipping of the body, the architectural object and the staging  of both within the diverse urban and natural contexts of the country. This destination of great social and cultural contrasts  like emptiness and monumentality in Brasilia, the geographical fragmentation of Rio de Janeiro as well as the self governance model that occurs in its favelas, or the congestion and cultural typological hybridity in São Paulo- proved to be a great challenge in order to investigate Brazil as container and producer of a Form of Desire

Exhibition held at the Old Armory of the Spanish Navy of Puerto Rico’s National Gallery
Old San Juan, Puerto Rico, 2010.

Instructor, Researcher, Exhibition Curator-Designer, San Juan, 2010.

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For more information you can download a complete pamphlet here: ciudadlab-pamphlet-web

SENSE RECESSION: WHAT COMES NEXT?

Sense Recession: What Comes Next? was a lecture series inquiring and exploring architectural practices as they emerged or were formulated out of the financial crash (not crisis) of 2008. 

Invited Lecturers:

Xavi Sempere – Culdesac, Spain; José Luis Vallejo & Belinda Tato, Ecosistema Urbano, Spain; Giancarlo Mazzanti – Colombia; Carmina Sánchez del Valle, Hampton University, USA; Sabine Müller – SMAQ, Germany; Mitch McEwen – SUPERFRONT, USA.

Lecture Series Director, School of Architecture, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, 2009-2010.

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(Complete lecture series text below)

We are reaching the end of the 21st century’s first decade and it would seem that architecture has been trying to achieve what it could not in the last decade of the 20th: anything at all. The discipline, the practice, and its pedagogy struggle to breathe within a sea of uncertainties fed by an entropic past that threatens to drown them at the turn of the century. The resulting confusion could be embodied in a series of questions: What are architects doing today? What do they worry about? What are their commitments, and what is the sense of their architectural production? Has architecture as building been displaced by architecture as event?

Architects are still doing architecture – in capital or lowercase letters, whatever is preferred – but even the postmodern “everything goes” attitude that burst a bubble of projects unimaginable just fifteen or twenty years ago has lost today its capacity to surprise the public. The incessant repetition of architectural projects that seem to have been conceived in the same womb is just further proof of the inertia that guides many of today’s architectural practices, which simply replicate or emulate images born from an uncertain –although shared– imaginary, with little space for the acknowledgement of possible (and unavoidable) shifts.

Much like the invention of perspective dramatically changed architectural meaning and representation during the Renaissance, today’s mediatized infrastructure of visualization has replaced architectural work as an end in itself, promoting instead the autonomy of its ephemeral reading. Contemporary architecture has left us, then, with a repertory of virtual realities that are closer in nature to Hollywood’s cinematography of escapism than to the particularities of a cultural practice, which presupposes a universe of spectacle out of phase with the vicissitudes of its historical moment.

The hard realities derived from the financial crisis, the permanent state of environmental emergency, the insurmountable conflicts between nations, the insufficiencies of social justice, the breakdown of the neoliberal economic model, the overpopulation of cities, among others subjects, mark an epoch of media coverage that highlights, as it also questions, the relevance of the trafficking of fantastic images within the discipline. Without a doubt, the current imaginary of intentions, references and abjections that once nourished the practice is approaching a state of crisis due to its sudden lack of pertinence. In this context of uncertainty, it behooves us to discuss architecture’s future venues and agendas as the new century progresses.

As has occurred in many other disciplines that are subject to the ups and downs of markets and capital, the worldwide economic recession or depression has altered the way we think about the architectural project, in what could become a radical change of direction that may be significant enough to be included in the annals of architectural history. Architecture has never been –nor does it appear to be– marginalized from the ideologies that feed the world’s financial engines, yet these ideologies have now desisted from promoting architecture without certain fear. It is worth to approach, consequently, the new macroeconomic shifts from a more critical and less opportunistic perspective, taking advantage from this sudden lack of interest.

The end of history was announced decades ago, and some have already put an end to capitalism as we know it. In Chilean writer Jorge Edward’s own words: “Casino capitalism, venturous and full of frantic speculation, has failed, and now we’re faced with the no less important important task of re-founding a more reasonable and human capitalism. No serious person, as far as I know, has ever thought that the answer may lie in going back to the past century’s real socialisms.” Therefore, if contemporary societies are looking for new paradigms that range from a non-self-regulating neoliberal economy to a post-socialist model of social justice, architecture cannot afford to prolong its alienating stance of defending technological nirvana as the panacea for the evils faced during the (20th) 21st century.

Finding the multiple relevancies of our discipline goes far beyond innovating its mechanisms of production or merely nourishing a dazzling visual and formal spectrum. It is through the conscious and sensible problematization of the commission and the implementation of mechanisms of management and execution, adequate to the specificities of a given place, that architecture has achieved –in recent times– better results. Conceiving and recognizing public space as dynamic and inclusive, reconsidering existing structures instead of promoting brand new projects, exploring materials in a conscious, intelligent way, reconciling our social and natural environments, inserting critical discourse instead of merely showing off formal bravura in publications (in spite of the non-critical trend of forgoing criticism), giving opportunities to emerging thinkers, diversifying the discipline, and reconsidering housing prototypes as key components of the city, are some of the issues that appear to claim relevance in the reformulation of the architectural product for a contemporary practice. Today, the opportunities for inclusion and open experimentation offered by the multiple realities that condition the architectural project transcend the opposition between local and global as an illness inherited from the last century, pointing instead to hybridized models and risk-taking experiments.

Debates on practice and education should focus on the tumbling relevance of architectural work, both as articulated on paper, with letters and drawings, and as built with more or less permanent materials. While not meant to be used as redemptive devices, the anxieties and impulses that bind architecture to art and speculative thinking should otherwise remain outside of our objections. They assure the development of the discipline hand in hand with the vestiges of a humanist tradition that will continue to be instrumental for the pedagogy and the production of what will be called architecture during the following years of the century that has just begun.

CIUDADLAB: UTOPIA IN MOSCOW

As with every CIUDADLAB research and exhibition project, we pick a different destination in an attempt to broaden the frame of reference from which we imagine the city. During the year 2008, choosing Moscow seemed to sense Russia’s renewed presence in the geopolitical game as we experienced the beginning of a renewed “Cold War.” Beyond Moscow’s exoticism with respect to a Western minded group, three theoretical frameworks established possible lines of comparison and analysis: Imagined City, Ideological City and Unfinished City. Through site visits, documentation and interviews, we looked to a heavily ideological city, and the traces of an unfinished imaginary world. The clash of the individual body against the collective was evident in the construction of the new capitalist Russia.

Instructor, Researcher, Exhibition Curator-Designer, San Juan, 2008.

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For more information you can download a complete pamphlet here: ciudadlab-pamphlet-web

CIUDADLAB

A research and exhibition driven platform for examining and revealing the critical and emergent issues formulating the contemporary production of cities. We investigate cities across the world always identifying pressing issues of their role within a local or global scenario; social and economical inequality, migration, urban imaginaries, urban growth, geography, power, surveillance, biopolitics and memory have been critical themes in previous projects.

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For more information you can download a complete pamphlet here: ciudadlab-pamphlet-web 

For online videos of the various projects visit our Vimeo page here.

Founder-Director, 2004-present (in collaboration with Oscar Oliver-Didier).

 

ROUNDTABLE SERIES

The Roundtable Discussion Series began as a complement to the first CIUDADLAB course offered at ArqPoli in 2005. The conversations were conducted with the idea of bringing to the school multi-disciplinary issues pertinent to our discipline. The invited panelists came from a wide spectrum and fields, provoking more than mere conversations, but vivid debates that nurtured the students’ concerns and understanding of the career’s scope. 

– Suburban City: Mutation and Variation of the Dispersed Model
– Method, Concept, Matter: the Re-education of Architecture
– Leisure and Business: the New Geographies of Public Space
– The Neoliberal Landscape: the Territory Economics
– Body and Domesticity: the New Culture of Makeover
– Radical Inertia: Professionalism, Guild and Academy
– The State of Architecture Today (with Kenneth Frampton)

Director, Moderator, School of Architecture, Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, 2005-2010.

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FLMM NEW VISITORS CENTER

The project, the new Visitors Center and Museum for the Luis Muñoz Marín Foundation in San Juan, Puerto Rico, situates itself as a mediator and threshold between a large semi-urban forest and a historic site grouping the former home and small buildings of the owners, where the house of the first elected governor of Puerto Rico is located. A bold two-pieces volume resembles and occupied the space of a natural border that existed before, while providing a threshold welcoming flows through the building to the site and the forest.

Project Lead Designer for Toro Ferrer Arquitectos, 2006-2013.

AIA Puerto Rico, Honor Award, 2008 (unbuilt).

X Architecture Biennial Puerto Rico, Honor Award, 2008 (unbuilt).

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PLACE AND CONTEXT STUDIO

For the initial part of the course, first year undergraduate students where confronted to notions of place and context. An analytical city study was developed through the layering of cartographic drawings including a vast variety of the city’s visible and invisible infrastructure. Mixed media, hand drawn.

Studio Instructor, 2007.

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HOUSE O

The house was conceived as a large open interior/exterior space in between the front and back gardens of the elongated site. Two less permeable volumes contain the private and support areas. Formal public living areas are covered with a high roof to create a continuous environment with the gardens and outdoors.

Project Lead Designer for Toro Ferrer Arquitectos, Lead Project Manager and Construction Administrator, 2006-2011.

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VALPARAISO OR AN ANAMNESTIC MEMORY

Memory is a vital resource for trying to explain cities. Valparaíso in Chile has been no exception as evidenced by the efforts that made the city a World Heritage Site (UNESCO) after this project began in 2002. Therefore, critical analysis of heritage-related memory could present operational and architectural alternatives in the exercise of articulating historical value. With this premise, the project proposes an alternative for the staging of the city through its “documents of the past,” with a scenery dominated by the transient and imagination as a tool of memory. The city’s geographic amphitheater-like formation strengthens the relationship with the bay or scenario. In this theatrical play of floating objects and dialectical views, memory becomes a strong yet diffuse record of the temporal, becoming the main resource of the project. 

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The strategy of distancing from the city to intervene from outside raises a dynamic attitude of happening to address the ambitious cultural program for the city. The architecture would transcend its object value, framed in the city’s undeniable landscape. In this sense, the project works on several levels, it appropriates the floating dock structure Valparaíso III as the venue for fall/winter cultural events. Here the activities will occur in a series of pavilions, which would be at this time of the year within the floating dock to safeguard them from the winter tides. During the first day of Spring, pavilions will float and leave the dock to locations in the city shore, to accommodate orchestrated events that will complement the festive coastal living. 

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The project’s five pavilions could be associated with various expressions of the city. There are four types that accommodate exhibitions, music performances and film screenings. Cladded in copper they seek to acquire the passage of time. Architecture will perform its capacity to provoke and activate the individual memories of the collectivity through time.

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ABOUT

Marcelo López-Dinardi is an immigrant, designer, 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; in the practice of architecture as research; art and architecture; and architecture as expanded media. His work as partner of A(n) Office was selected and exhibited in the International Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2016 and has written for The Avery Review, The Architect’s Newspaper, Domus, Planning Perspectives, Art Forum (China), and lectured at The Cooper Union, Princeton University, RISD, Columbia GSAPP, among others. Before joining Texas A&M he taught at Barnard+Columbia, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Pratt Institute, Penn Design at the University of Pennsylvania, and RISD. He was selected as a Fellow for Ideas City Athens (2016) and Ideas City Arles (2017), and event organized by New York City’s New Museum. 

In 2004 founded the contemporary city research platform CIUDADLAB, was a full-time Auxiliary Professor of design studio, research and representation at the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, where he directed the 2009-2010 Lectures Series Sense Recession: What Comes Next?, and also founded and directed the Roundtable Discussion Series for four years. From 2008-2011 edited the architecture journal Polimorfo, which he also co-founded. He co-edited the book Promiscuous Encounters for GSAPP Books (now Columbia Books on Architecture and the City). His architectural design work has been awarded several times by the AIA and the Puerto Rico Architect’s Association. He obtained a Bachelor in Architecture from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico (cum laude) and after relocating to New York, he developed the thesis Destructive Knowledge: Tools for Learning to Un-Dō with a renewed discussion around the work of architect-trained artist Gordon Matta-Clark, obtaining a MS in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices for architecture from the GSAPP at Columbia University.

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Recent collaborators include: MILM2, Tyrene Calvesbert, Isabelle-Kirkham Lewitt, Harrison Ratcliff-Bush, Marina Otero Verzier, Nina Valerie Kolowratnik, Francisco Díaz, Oscar Oliver-Didier, Pier Paolo Pala, Chau Tran, Yuliya Veligurskaya.

CONTACT

CONTACT