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Community Construction

Museo ICO Exhibition


On view from 14 March to 18 May at the ICO Museum in Madrid is ‘The Architect is Present’, an exhibition that, in a paraphrasing of Marina Abramovic’s ‘The Artist is Present’ performance, takes stock of the work of five influential international practices that have managed to make austerity an ethical and aesthetic reference: Diébédo Francis Kéré, TYIN tegnestue, Anupama Kundoo, Solano Benítez, and Anna Heringer. Coming from five continents, these young architects work in environments with precarious economies and show, through their projecs, that scarcity of resources can in fact be a stimulus for technical invention and community participation, and the basis for a responsible practice of architecture where commitment to service does not preclude the qualities of beauty and emotion.

Curated by Luis Fernández-Galiano, the exhibition presents the unique experiences of these architects through a selection of drawings, photographs, and above all constructive solutions and prototypes, and will eventually incorporate the material produced in the workshops that the exhibited architects – one workshop for each architect – will be conducting with students and recent graduates chosen by the Caja de Arquitectos Foundation. Each workshop will be followed by a three-month practicum for one student or graduate, on grant, in the corresponding architect’s office, and the exhibition will be complemented by conferences given by the five architects in different schools in Spain, thus bringing their message of responsibility and optimism to the very youngest in the field.

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