Interview with PLAT journal editors discussing forms of engagement, care, architecture education, and architecture as potential.
Visit their website here.
Interview with PLAT journal editors discussing forms of engagement, care, architecture education, and architecture as potential.
Visit their website here.
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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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)
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.
Marcelo López-Dinardi is an immigrant, architect, 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: 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.
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.