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 L.A. More about the project here.
Photo Courtesy of MoCAD.
Marcelo López-Dinardi is an immigrant, researcher and educator based in New York City. He is also Partner of A(n) Office, have taught as Adjunct Assistant Professor in Barnard + Columbia, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Penn Design and RISD. He holds a B.Arch. from the PUPR and a MS in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in architecture from the GSAPP, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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, Content Producer, 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.
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.
The core 2nd year studio at the New Jersey Institute of Technology aim to discuss and develop design strategies for the concepts of tectonics and buildings’ systems. The studio was given with an emphasis in experimenting with the tools of geometric and ordering systems and their networked capacity.
Studio Instructor, 2014.
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.
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 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.
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.
More info about the event, including video documentation, can be found here.
Anonymous symposium presentation on the panel Commonisms, at the Princeton University School of Architecture with A(n) Office, 2013.
Video documentation of the event here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
For more information you can download a complete pamphlet here: ciudadlab-pamphlet-web
Polimorfo is the journal of the School of Architecture of the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico.
Founder, Editor, Designer, 2009-2011 (in collaboration with Oscar Oliver-Didier).
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.
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.
(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.
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.
For more information you can download a complete pamphlet here: ciudadlab-pamphlet-web
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.
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).
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.