@Concentrico Festival (Finalist)
The project starts by a simple ritual: storing and reusing sarmientos - branches that are usually trimmed in winter time as a preparation for the vine season. We will collect the bunches from Bodega LAN and nearby wineries to turn them into a construction material. We want to celebrate these leftovers that are usually crammed and burned, by building a theatrical backdrop to the vineyard and El Rincón - able to welcome the visitors into its branches. The singular bunches, once accumulated into a curved, natural yet geometrical pile-up, create a vibrant space to be contemplated, touched and inhabited.
1200 bunches of sarmientos soar over the various trails and plots of Bodega LAN, highlighting the strong material relationship between the artefact and the context. They are interlocked within a wooden structure which is 16 meters long and more than 4 meters high. It acts as a skeleton for the sarmientos that, wrapping the entire structure, slightly cantilevered from its profile, create an heterogeneous natural cladding. This wall is composed of 14 vertical structural modules joined by 6 rows of horizontal bracing. Due to the modular grid structural system, it can be disassembled and built somewhere else in a short period of time. The overall wall dimensions can be adjusted and proportions can be calibrated. Its feet can also be adjusted on the topography of the landscape. The whole construction process can happen without the need of machineries but only through a slotting system mechanism.
The sarmientos stacked on top of each other invite glimmers of light to come through, drawing shadows on the ground and offering shelter from the sun inside the wooden niche. An oculus on one side frames the puente Mantible and the Ebro River. From the other side an enclosed window overlooks the vineyards, inviting people to sit on it and contemplate the grapevines. Its proportions are simultaneously generous and cozy: it becomes a refuge from which to observe the landscape and hear the sounds of nature.
The assembling and the dismantling is a collective process, in which the sarmiento bunches can be recycled either as compost for the grapevines or as embers for preparing a traditional asado.
@casa di Belmondo
U miegghjiu cumpani è u pitittu. Appetite is the best side dish.
Who designed the lunch? Who did it? The guests, who have become actors and actresses, creating space rather than just inhabiting it - staging it. Their gestures - movements, glances and grunts - which activated abstract, otherwise dormant forms. However, this system of multiple relationships was suggested precisely by those dormant geometries - meant as neutral platforms to awaken intuition. The ingredients - artificial or organic, edible or nearly toxic - everyone juggled between. And then those who procured them for us, with patience, kindness, timeliness and mastery.
All we had to do was to blend everything as you would do in a complex recipe: one of those dishes with many flavors, which must all be distinguished. The intent was to portray different but compatible pieces of everyday life together, and to mix many stories around a large table set - at the scale of the landscape.
There was a great confusion, it seemed a cauldron of bodies, which, moving and eating together, built the space of their own stage. The pungent smell of salmoriglio was more present than the din of the diners. They all cackled, but with their hands, not with their voices: they were absorbed in a sort of industrious silence, busy grabbing and biting the wild cuttlefish, which, roasted on the grill. It was in that precise moment that a week of discussions about what were the role, the identity and the destiny of the Seppie di Belmondo came to a conclusion. The moist scent of pine bark - apparently crunchy, it made you want to eat that too - was a counterpoint to the coldness of the oxidized metal. Those hard and inflexible circles on top of the ground had been forged by a good giant like Gennaro, a blacksmith from Cosenza with such affable, soft manners. They were tables, pans and bowls, inviting but fortunately really rigid, the only cornerstones of that suddenly initiated dance. Everyone was swiftly going back and forth, finally aware of how to recognize the safe parts of the garden, where they could walk, sit and let themselves go. The Seppie and the roasted cuttlefish were scattered everywhere, but they also orbited around one of the round platforms to which that gastronomic procession was anchored. A little further on, there were heaps of colorful fried vegetables, cultivated with enthusiastic effort by Mariella among the ups and downs of Spineto and cooked following precisely all her suggestions. As a last, more orderly outpost, there was what could not be missing: a row of Belmonte tomatoes, cut into thick slices, arranged like colors on a palette and seasoned theatrically from above, as in a propitiatory dance. At first no one came close to them, since those tomatoes seemed so composed, almost inviolable - you could no more than dare to smell them. But then, as soon as someone started to creatively imagine ways to handle those deliberately inflated proportions, the whole symphony of cheerful disorder naturally started right there, from the tomatoes.
We wanted to construct a simple ritual, in which particular habits could emerge and adapt to each other, stimulated by the right architectural props. Actually we hoped, and it happened, that those who were there would eat and perform spontaneously. We didn’t aim to transfigure routines into exceptions, rather we aimed to finally reveal them as exceptional acts.
Directed and curated by Lemonot
La Rivoluzione delle Seppie
Love19 is an inhabitable, performative sculpture with a multiple nature: a table at the scale of architecture, a scenographic shelter, a permeable enfilade, made of hollow columns to be climbed - a roof to sit on, to admire the city and landscape from a unusual perspective.
Each column opens upwards, transforming itself into a lightweight fan vault: all together, juxtaposed and intersected, they give life to a shaded corridor, in which the light playfully manifests itself between the ribs and the curtains. The columns build an horizontal thick surface, flattened in the part facing the sky, at a height of 3.15 m As suspended garlands, each module is in fact composed of 48 flags of various shapes, in translucent white fabric, which wrap two rows of tennis referee chairs and support two sequences of green metal sunburst sticks.
This hanging elevated table - a geometric interweaving of 912 artificial foliage - features considerable dimensions: it's 17.35 meters long and 5.60 meters wide. Below it, between 40 and 50 people can linger simultaneously. At the table, however, there are only 19 seats. The exception creates the entrance, otherwise each diner sits 2.60 meters from those in front and 1.60 meters from those on the sides.
These are the dimensional parameters that quantify the artefact - the result of a diligent reflection on the current times. However, Love19 offers an alternative to the sadly recurring ready-to-use solutions - those that attempt to change directly and quickly certain rooted behaviours, established over time. Bodily relationships can be designed, rethought, even fabricated, but - fortunately - not controlled. They can't be measured in centimetres.
Love19 does not try to constrain, to adjust: it re-shuffles the proportions between space and objects, it aims to alter the foundations of perception and motor coordination that regulate the ordinary - it claims to stimulate a radically new use of the body. Love19 is designed to suggest, but it opens up to instinct, intuition, a physicality free to transform itself. Love19 invites - with pragmatic optimism - to rethink, creatively, movements and devices for the public space.
IL PRANZO DELLA DOMENICA
IL PRANZO DELLA DOMENICA
@Kitchen Takeover _ Open Space Contemporary
From our confinement in the countryside of Rome, we re-enact the conditions of a festive Sunday lunch, transforming a big wooden table into a surreal stage-set. We populate it with extravagant objects, ingredients, dishes, and memories. Everyone is invited. We perform at the table and this happens as a natural act: the Sunday lunch in Italy is by definition an ordinary yet exceptionally theatrical performance.
Sunday lunch is not a simple meal, it is a marathon. Therefore our project starts at the first light of dawn, when the kitchen begins to speak, to come alive, while all the members of the family sleep, in a triumph of smells and flavours, starting to prepare the sauce with which to season the pasta.
“A pig with a rosemary forest in the belly” - Carlo Emilio Gadda The hostess holds in her arms a roasted pig, “porchetta” - a dish traditionally eaten on special occasions, feasts and gatherings. Carrying its weight like a sacrificial animal, her parade starts from the kitchen until it reaches the table. The pork belly was filled with sage, pepper, salt and rosemary and cooked for over 6 hours. The scent lingers throughout the house, leaving behind a delicious aroma. We are all slowly waking up, with high hopes and expectations for this ‘first’ Sunday lunch together.
A sense of fear remains, you can smell it whilst preparing this delicious dish. After months of greed, feasting on negative news, frightening articles, and headlines from all over the world, we are still scared. Surely, the guests will blissfully jump on this porchetta. Yet, we can’t forget, we have been consumed by what we have witnessed: this moment of celebration is hiding a bitter aftertaste.
The verb "porchettare" means to stuff the meat with aromas and spices, whilst continuing to massage it, until achieving a harmonious blend. Similarly, hands, pieces of meat and cutlery intertwine into a visual feast of expressive trajectories and evocative gestures.
Food is not only an allegorical connector amongst the guests during this Sunday lunch. The porchetta, thanks to its copious length, becomes a physical place of encounter: via cutting, grabbing, sharing - hands can finally meet at the centre of the table, fulfilling the mutual lust for togetherness.
These hours spent in the countryside have left visible marks on the table, appearing now as a kind of violent and passionate battlefield. Generous meals in Italy are often associated with cheerful warfare, where even angels have to surrender to sins of gluttony. The culinary match has just ended.
Directed and curated by
Rita Elvira Adamo
Filippo Bonza Brachetti
@Mextropoli Festival (1st Prize)
"La comida, más que las especulaciones místicas, es una manera segura de acercarse a un pueblo y a su cultura" Octavio Paz.
Alameda Central, once an Aztec marketplace, today becomes the context for the Gastronomic Palapa: a temporary polysemic place a public chillies dryer a cathedral of sounds and colours a convivial collective mesa
Octavio Paz describes how through the art of cooking we can talk about cultural identity. What we eat and how we relate to the food and resources we have today defines a cultural and historical debate. Completely made by Chiles Secos, the triangular-shaped dryer is constructed with a series of wooden arches forming an inverted thatched roof that acts as a communal palapa.
3500 bunches of chillies become the main elements to inform the materiality of the pavilion. They’re attached progressively to each wooden arch, creating a colourful sequence to walk through. The lowest entrance is at 2.50m from the ground, while the peak is at 6.5 m. The pavilion covers an area of 108sqm2.
The chillies knotted together define a variegated cloister where glimmers of light draw shadows on the ground made of recycled clay tiles, inviting the visitor to smells and colours in contrast with the jacaranda trees. Guajillo, Pasilla, Puya, Arbol chillies will be hung inside of the pavilion, safe from birds, but hot enough to dry throughout the days of Mextropoli2020.
The audience will participate in the drying process from arranging the chillies in green bunches, to observing them slowly turning into a bright red colour during the exsiccation. The last day, the pavilion will be deconstructed directly by the public who wish to take a bunch back home. Throughout the days, the chilli will become brittle to touch and their seeds will be heard inside when shaken.
The sheltered space communicates to the exuberant Alameda through a series of tables. La Mesa as a medium to connect interior and exterior, providing a fertile ground for spontaneous gatherings. Gastronomic palapa is an architecture to be bodily consumed.
Designed and curated by
Exhibition and Performance
@ Baan Rim Nam
Bangkok Design Week,
Henrietta Moore: “the future learning will not be about the transferability of whole models with known outcomes, but rather about incomplete learning, experimentation and collaboration.”
Monumentally Automatic is an photographic survey, an exhibition and a performance constructed in two weeks - in collaboration with ten of the most iconic characters and shop owners in the old neighbourhood of Talad Noi, Bangkok.
Talad Noi is one of the most charming district in Bangkok as it still remain immersed in local traditions and lifestyle despite the city’s unceasing pace of development towards modernity. The neighbourhood remains almost hidden, in between the intertwined narrow streets there are many treasures to be discovered.
The growth of “Sieng Gong” started in the aftermath of Second World War when Talad Noi was one of the very important port area for the shipments from China. Conveniently located close to Yaowarat road, known as the ChinaTown of Bangkok, "Sieng Gong" is a secondhand engine machine centre, a sort of urban commercial storage for re-usable industrial parts from all around the world. with just about any automobile part you can imagine laying around ready to be sawed, welded or drilled and installed. Its tiny alleys are characterised by a series of multi-generation owned and operated Chinese-Thai shops, which look like statuary rooms, apparently frozen yet relentlessly changing, where these spare functioning parts are stored and preserved before being reused. These pieces are also accumulated outside on the street, creating a landscape of heterogeneous metallic piles. The layers of these piles can be seen as the constructed timeline of the neighbourhood’s history.
The first act of this project - the Field - is a series of portraits, of human characters and mechanical settings, aiming to emphasise the importance of these people, practices and places, which should be considered as identitarian for Bangkok’s past and future. This photographic investigation, initiated during the BkkDW2020 and still in progress, ultimately attempts to highlight the nature of "Sieng Gong" as a spontaneous cultural lab, where the sellers, by relentlessly performing their daily routines, become unconscious yet active crafters of a collective, peculiar, iconographical palimpsest.
Monumentally Automatic wants to emphasize the importance of these people, practices and places, which should be considered as identitarian for Bangkok’s past and future. We approached the oldest sellers and we involved them in cataloging and untangling their mountains in order to build a public catalog of all these pieces. The installation was a collective process of assembling pieces together with a final auction where for the first time they came to explain their story and share their hard work, selling the parts not as mechanical fragments but as art pieces. The first act of this projects, initiated during the BkkDW2020, ultimately aims to highlight the nature of Sieng Gong as a spontaneous cultural lab, where the sellers, by relentlessly performing their daily routines, become unconscious yet active crafters of a collective, peculiar, iconographical palimpsest.
Regardless of the amount of available space inside the stores, in "Sieng Gong" the automated pieces are also accumulated outside on the street, informally appropriating the public ground and creating a landscape of heterogeneous metallic mountains. Despite appearing as utterly chaotic agglomerations, the fragments are thoroughly categorised within the pile-ups: each shop owner has a meticulous mind map to detect where all the different pieces are in the enormous heaps, knowing by heart their position according to the purpose. Whenever a new customer walks in requesting a particular part to fix a car, truck, motorcycle or machine, awaiting parts are immediately ready for the shop owner to dive through. This spatial frameworks and selling procedures create a peculiar atmosphere, establishing a very close contact between those who pass (the spectators) and those who live there (the unconscious actors). There are an incredible amount of tones and layers to be found in this community, not only in terms of shops & wares, but also because of the unique residents themselves.
The second act of the project - the Auction - was unfolded through the re-enactment of Tald Noi’s artificial landscape inside the premises of Baan Rim Naam during the BkkDW 2020 and through a series of designed performances to blend artistic and utilitarian practices. Indeed, all the features characterising the selling of these car fragments come with a spontaneously rich iconographical apparatus - behaviours, tools, gestures, spatial accumulations - that deserves to be represented and explored within the context of an immersive exhibition.
The role of art in this project is to dignify these contextual protocols as unexpected forms of beauty, while simultaneously enhance the commercial needs that generated them. Therefore, while the spectators were immersed within this naturally synthetic stage-set to appreciate its evocative mixite’, there were different happenings - culminating with an evening when artists, together with local shop owners, were selling the fragments both as extravagant objects and as actual functioning car parts. An hybrid live auction for an heterogenous public. A landscape that appears chaotic, while it’s an expressive but precise archive - a geometrical pattern organised to recall a specific aesthetic, yet primarily and meticulously dictated by the functionality of the pieces. This is a performative portrait to celebrate contemporary "Sieng Gong" in Talad Noi.
Directed and curated by
Designed and constructed by
Workshop and performance
@AAvs El Alto
Portable Cholets: La mesa wants to experiment with anthropomorphic languages, ritualistic usages and composite video-editing - to re-enact part of the festive equipment that inspire and populate Freddy Mamani’s architectures.
Cholets are a privileged testing ground for these qualities: how can folkloric masks and costumes trigger an effective architectural cycle where inhabitation and aesthetic languages become mutually exclusive?
What is unique at a time where superficial otherness seems to have become the standard, where vernacular spontaneity has been replaced by overconstructed only polished photoshop images? El Alto gives us the opportunity to conceive architecture as a performative act - enabling the mutual immanence between bodies and spaces, objects and ceremonies. For us, performing fulfills necessities that have little to do with practical efficiency or quantitative variables. Rather, it is an evocative tool to activate symbolic links, to claim back identitarian needs and to depict qualitative hedonistic traits into physical spatial compounds.
Taught and directed by
Freddy Mamani Silvestre
THE CARNIVAL TABLE
THE CARNIVAL TABLE
In a contemporary society that is dangerously drifting towards alienation, mainstream architecture offers very little resistance. On one hand, massive real estate developments impose highly standardized forms governed by the logics of marketing. On the other hand, starchitects impose their superficial signature in an endless effort to be different from the competition. The actual users end up inhabiting spaces that represent very little - if nothing - of themselves. Ikea knick-knacks are the last resort to give a resemblance of identity to their homes.
Carnival was born as a temporary inversion of social conventions - can we speculate on how to invert reactionary architectural conventions? We want to use the ritual of eating and the symbolic power of a dining table - a place where people meet at the same level - in order to discard conventions and encourage a different practice of design, rooted in conviviality and freedom. By uncovering symbolic and social constructions through food, we aim to prompt a debate rich of symbolic explanations about human behaviour and rituals.
The table is an ancient place of unity, cohesion, equal exchange. Around the table the man enjoyed, rejoiced, but above all he told. From Plato's Symposium to Dante's Convivio, the stories that have been handed down before a meal are those that have invented and narrated the world.
We believe that it’s time for architecture to establish a new intimacy with its users, to become more human, to create culture and foster social interaction. With our Carnival table, we want architecture to provide space for self-expression instead of uniformity. We want architecture to draw people together instead of isolating them. We want architecture to be able to create stories again.
Designed and constructed by