Exhibition ‘The Architect is Present’

Curated by Luis Fernandez Galiano, Museo ICO, Madrid. 13 March to 18 May 2014
Title, Dates

“The exhibition shows the work of five influential international studios who have turned austerity into their ethic and aesthetic motto. With offices located in five continents, these young architects work in underprivileged contexts, proving that scarcity of means can stimulate technical inventiveness and community participation, and indeed become the basis for a responsible architecture where the vocation of service does not exclude beauty and emotion.
From Norway and Germany to Burkina Faso, and from Paraguay to Australia passing through India or Thailand, these five studios have built social housing, rural schools or community centers with an extraordinary economy of means, admirable adaptation to collective needs and exemplary material execution, inspiring the very numerous architects who today, in Spain as in many other countries, seek to reconcile moral commitment with artistic excellence.

With the goal of strengthening this communicative purpose, the exhibition design by the architect Jesús San Vicente lets the workshop-leaders speak via comic bubbles, transmitting ideas, projects and desires through a pop aesthetic that is rounded off with photographs of their works and the tactile proximity of the essential materials used in them: an intellectual and emotive immediacy in the exhibition space that hopes to resonate in larger contexts, and that even extends itself to remote geographies through three-month paid internships in the offices of the architects for some of the workshop rival casinos softwareparticipants, thereby aiming to establish long-lasting ties with professional and social environments that are as distant as they are different, and which look particularly stimulating for a country that ponders on its future.”

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