Inhospitable

Project

This project is an introspection, which uses the image as the main tool, questioning the role of “architecture” in desolate landscapes, inhabited by human beings.

These thoughts are materialized through the image, by proposing to place elements of architectural character – in the traditional way: volumes, walls, windows, roofs, etc. – in distant landscapes, unattainable in some cases or simply inhospitable. In order to think about architecture, its insertion in the context and the genesis of its architectural connotation.

Given this, the following questions arise:

a) Architecture always depend of its “function” to be considered as such?

b) Can “function” be detached from it?

c) If something is designed, in order to be empty, not to be used, or hidden in the remotest of inhospitable landscapes, is architecture?

d) What gives architecture, an architectural connotation?

In this case images can be used to think about these problems, in order that everyone can reflect about when something can be architecture. Finally, the project wants to ask if architecture must adhere to the “function”, the form, the context or if it can be interested in the field of exploration, banal and meaningless?

Interview

What prompted the project?

This project was conceived as an exercise of how images can be used to show architectural problems. In this case, each image works as a way to question when something is considered “architecture”, and if its “function” is always attached to the discipline, through the construction of these images and the disposition of some components, like architectural objects and inhospitable landscapes. In order to think about what architecture is, its relationship with different landscapes and the genesis of its architectural connotation.

What questions does the project raise?

These images propose an essential group of questions: Is it convenient to put those architectural projects on those inhospitable landscapes? And what for? Someone is going to use them? And if not, can it still be called architecture?
Some other important questions this project propose are: What gives architecture, its architectural connotation? Can “function” be detached from architecture? When something can be known as architecture?

What is for you the power of the drawings as unique site where this speculation exists?

Drawings in this case have an essential advantage, they aren’t conceived as something that is going to be built. So, speculation in this position is necessary, in this point images are working and thinking places. They are no rules, just ideas to work with.

What informed the choice of these inhospitable environments? How do the various forms respond to the conditions of these speculative sites?

In this case there are no relation between the object and the site, rather than they have been together in that moment, in one image. And that is one of the most important and crucial ideas in this work, because it shows that image can be used as a thinking platform. In which diverse elements, with no explicit relation, can be set in one common place, and made it possible to build an idea or just speculate about it. These are some of inhospitable landscapes, randomly picked up, just as the architectural objects placed on every scene. But these images have the power to wake up some thoughts like: How can anyone live there? Someone lives there? Is that object necessary in that place? How can someone get there? How can that be built? Does it work? Etc.
This project, and most of all, the images suggests possibilities, realities to explore.

How and to what extent does architecture enable living in conditions so extreme as those of Antarctica?

Images are not attached to reality, they give the opportunity to build one. And in this case, they can show, through images, possibilities that can make that happen or at least suggest that opportunity.
I don’t think is necessarily important if they enable living on those places or not, rather than question why it is necessary.

Can we talk about architecture as a tool for survival?

Yes, definitively architecture can be a survival tool, as much as it can be a political, economic or hierarchy tool. Architecture is always a manifestation of an ideological stance. So, somehow, in deed, it allows physical and human survival, but also survival in philosophical way.
In these images that traditional way of “survival” and its implications are constantly questioned, even though the other one -ideological- is suggested, barely noticeable, but still there.

What is for you the architect's most important tool?

I think that one of the most powerful tools architects have today, are the images. We live in a period ruled by images, they are everywhere, and they are as useful as any other design tool. They can be used in many ways, not only as a representation of architectural objects, but as way of thinking and criticize it. Indeed, images are one of the most essential, accessible and useful resources that every architect -professional or student- must explore.

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