Last Thursday 21st of March I was at the AA (Architectural Association) taking part of the End of the Term Jury for Unit 8 (Pollitics of Fabrication), directed by Francisco Gonzalez de Canales y Nuria Alvarez Lombardero. Politics of Fabrication is a design through research studio in which new forms of political expression in contemporary cities are explored. This research group based in the Architectural Association since 2009 looks for a dialog between architecture design, urban strategies and fabrication techniques to facilitate these new forms of expression.
In particular, this year Intermediate Unit 8 is working on the design of a mix-used city block to be shared by a private corporation and a public institution in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Being Buenos Aires 100x100m grid one of the densest in Latin-America makes it a perfect scenario to showcase the potential value of the block to generate city today. This implies a complex form finding process reassessing the tension between block and grid, a gradation between permanence and change in buildings, and a constant fight between the stability aimed by the governmental and the inevitable change derived from economic processes.
Students have been then working on a 100x100m urban block using an empty or built plot within the Buenos Aires grid. After carrying out a research on socio-cultural and economic aspects of Buenos Aires, accompanied by a reading of the city through a collection of maps, photographs and city fragments, a brief is proposed and a specific built form is developed.
If you want to know a bit more about Pollitics of Fabrication and the students work on this Transformative Block, you can have a look at the link attached. http://politicstransformativeblock.wordpress.com/