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 María 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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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, researcher and educator based in New York City interested in: the various scales of design (from micro-to-global and everything in between); how to produce agency in design and education; in the practice of architecture as research; architecture and design as an expanded media (publications, exhibitions and curatorial practices); and the intersection of architecture and political economy. He is also a Partner of A(n) Office and have taught recently at Barnard+Columbia, the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Penn Design at the University of Pennsylvania, RISD and Pratt Institute. He was selected to represent the United States Pavilion in the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale and more recently selected as a Fellow for Ideas City Athens and Ideas City Arles, and event organized by New York City’s New Museum. In 2004 founded the contemporary city research platform CIUDADLAB, was a full-time Assistant Professor of design studio, research and representation at the PUPR, where he directed the 2009-2010 Lectures Series Sense Recession: What Comes Next?, and also 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. Has written for Avery Review, The Architect’s Newspaper, Entorno, Domus, Planning Perspectives, Art Forum China, Materia, and lectured at Cooper Union, Princeton University, University of Michigan, RISD, among others. His architectural design work has been awarded several times by the AIA. He completed a Bachelor in Architecture from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico 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 Gordon Matta-Clark obtaining a MS in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in architecture from the GSAPP at 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.

CONTACT

CONTACT