Building knowledge: A bookless library

Workshop at Museo ICO, Madrid 8-18 April 2014

Books, the building blocks of society are facing extinction. ‘Unwanted’ books locked in storage, about to face their end, are rescued and brought back in circulation. Rescued ‘unwanted’ books are made available to workshop participants as food for thought, and for exploring as building material. This exploration was about building with books/ books for building/ building for books. The contemplation is about the impact of the ‘dying book’ as much as it is about its impact on the ‘library’ as a public space.

The focus of the workshop was on the future form of ‘reading’ in society, and the ‘library’ of the future as a still relevant public space. To help envision a possible future where books as physical objects are obsolete, redundant books will be explored as ‘building material’.

The direct engagement and full-scale explorations with physical books as building material is symbolic of an approach that ‘any locally appropriate material’ can lend itself to the construction of architecture. Faced with a ‘new’ and ‘unconventional’ building material, first-hand explorations lead to discoveries of the materials properties and suitable architectural technologies. This method of self-discovery will help architects to design new technologies for even ‘conventional’ materials.

The 2 week workshop had 15 participants, recent graduates or senior students with the assistance of 2 expert mentors. These participants were selected through application from among 500 applicants. To promote contact with visitors to the Exhibition ‘Architect is Present’ these workshops were held in the exhibition space proper. The outcome play ocean slots for free of the workshop is exhibited alongside the main exhibition as and when it is completed. One outstanding participant is awarded a 3 month travel and internship scholarship grant by Fundacio ICO to continue in my studio.

Mentors:
Elena Orte and Guillermo Sevilliano

Participants:
Alba Balmaseda, Javier Bolivar, Antxon Canovas, Javier Chavez, Nuria Escoms, Antonio Guerrero, Marta Jarabo, Carmen Lopez, Adrian Lopez, Andrea Lusquinos, Blanca Martin, Angel Martinez, Victoria Merchan, Cristina Ramos, Elisabet Uson

Photography ©2014 Ali Dabirian

Video on the workshop http://vimeo.com/93234416

Workshop details: http://www.arquitecturaviva.com/en/Info/News/Details/5611

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