LIGA 16: Paperwork


SENSITIVE TRASH | Mexico City | 2014 – 2015

From a critical eye upon everyday practices of architecture and construction. Here, it is the bureaucratic processes, regulations, paperwork, permits and the arsenal of copies generated through this administrative window that become the focus of investigation for the installation. The reconstruction of the gallery using complex paper surfaces serves to denounce the hypocrisy and opportunism of “greenwashing,” the wastage of paper and the legislative logic that simply converts a raw material into a “dead” archive. The geometries of calculator paper that wrap the space in a matrix of folds display a professional practice driven above all by the rationale of billing, payment and finances.

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The paper patterns are stretched between wooden frames and activated by the lighting and ventilation, which is controlled by interactive sensors. These are manufacturing tests, experiments and prototypes where local knowledge, craftwork and traditional assemblages are linked with automatization, interactive systems and digital design processes. In this way, Haiek relates local skills with the global ecosystem, combining obsolete resources with applied technology. The installation subverts the universe of the professional architect and transforms its everyday components rolls of calculator paper, binder clips, paperclips or computer fans into tools for poetry, criticism and resistance.

The change in the working coordinates of the architect brought about by these collectives is highly significant. Two of the basic, traditional elements of the profession are transformed: authorship is dissolved into the process and the collective, renouncing the individualistic emphasis on the creator’s ego; and the work, which was previously identified with the completed building, with the object, becomes a process that can take the form of programming, consulting, mediation, assertive action, organization of itineraries, workshops, refurbishments, recycling, curating, publishing, films, expression in new media such as websites and blogs, and many other activities. These collectives assert the social need for architecture and demonstrate that it is something that can be undertaken by exploring many different paths.

The experiments of Haiek and LAB.PRO.FAB bring together these two aspects, the avant-garde and the collectivist. In his case, what is new is the way he opens up an unprecedented path in the recycling of components, with resonances of Rural Studio, but with much more technological implementation and with a view to creating systems of recycled, intelligent, self-evolving and liberating artifacts. We have moved beyond the era of industrially-designed artifacts like those of the 70s, about which Giulio Carlo Argan and Carlos Raúl Villanueva wrote with such insight, and currently find ourselves in an epoch defined by the excess of gadgets and a vital need to recycle them, and by the search for sustainable domesticity promoted by Ezio Manzini. This determination to refurbish recontextualized objects, this architecture of the reuse of objects that combines both ethics and aesthetics is full of promise for the future. In this new field, LAB.PRO.FAB is one of the leading representatives.