Since early stages of my academic career, I have been interested in understanding the meanings and the processes of making ‘geometrical bodies’ in contemporary architecture. Over the years, studies of different interpretations and theories, and the development of a number of projects have helped me clarify my inquiry by bringing new, unexpected design-questions about ‘volumetric language’ and ‘physicality’ mainly in today’s digital, global geography.
My practice of architecture and my scholarly research have always been very intentional and based on conscious strategies. Both, understanding architecture as a tool of action and challenging the architect to be ‘more than just somebody who gets buildings built’ -as Aaron Betsky would inspire us, have been common denominators in my work at different levels.
My deep intent puts attention to apply those considerations and tactics in any ‘type’ of undertaking: in developing traditional architecture projects, but also in the fashion of scholarly work as well as into and out of functional pieces that describe a very open arch: from garments to furniture.
From those points of views, and in particular relationship to ‘furniture’ I produce long-performance or more ephemeral pieces engaging hand-woven techniques along with processes of stretching; folding; and pleating. The design aspires to cross-examine predetermined structures and fixed geometries and forms as well as it interrogates preconceptions and established etiquettes. In addition, the imperative use of discarded material and implementing a [purposely] very low budget in most of the pieces have expanded the line of inquiries plentifully.
A more robust architectural lexicon in which conceptual words such as ‘outstanding;’ ‘repurposing;’ ‘flexibility;’ ‘domestic;’ ‘residuum; ‘gravity;’ ‘leftover;’ ‘protocol;’ ‘unimportant;’ and ‘valueless’ among others become of topical interest, and invariably motivate me to deepen my curiosity and my architecture knowledge.
The pieces highlighted here are just a few images of a lengthy succession of actions questioning and contrasting knowledge and pieces of information to finally understand better the meaning of Latin American architecture + from shows at international venues to an even more responsible expedition including different studio settings and languages + personal or group visits to projects + independent professional investigations along with academic affairs + multinational workshops & studio talks … And MORE. It has been a seemingly endless junket. And will not stop here.
By Ana de Brea
Professor of Architecture