SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE PARTICIPATES IN EXHIBITION AT THE BERLIN ACADEMY OF ARTS
OUR CORPORATION IS THE ONLY UNIVERSITY IN SOUTH AMERICA IN THIS INTERNATIONAL EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO PUBLIC SPACES. THE ACADEMIC WORK OF PROFESSORS AND STUDENTS WAS PRESENTED.
April 22, 2016
The School of Architecture of our University is participating in the “DEMO: POLIS - The Right to Public Spaces” exhibition, which is held at the Academy of Arts in Berlin, Germany, until May29th.
The exhibition offers various perspectives on public spaces, their use, design and new requirements in regard to the fundamental principles of democracy. In this way, the subject matter is addressed by architects, planners, artists and students from various countries, through the incorporation of drawings, models, photographs, films and exhibitions.
Through Professor Blanca Zuniga, from that program, our Academic Institution is the only university in South America present in this show, which is held at the foyer of the aforementioned German academy.
“The Demo: Polis exhibition examines what the global contemporary public spaces and the various expressions of these are. To have been invited to be part of this exhibition is a recognition of the work of professors and students. We feel pretty privileged,” said the academic.
In this regard, Professor Juan Román, Director of the School of Architecture, emphasized the importance of this exhibition.
“Without a doubt is very valuable, so much more when knowing the seriousness of its curatorship. Because, while all research is validated in the publication, there are areas in which the publication transits from the article into concentrating on the exhibition. It is there where the research that results in creation, as is the case of the one carried out by Blanca Zuniga, is made public and, hence, that the place is so important,” said the academic.
The degree program presented its academic work in Berlin under the title “The Democratization of Space”. Three experiences of the module “Work Workshop” were included, which is taught by Professor Zúñiga and consists of architecture interventions done in the field.
In each of these activities —corresponding to the years 2012, 2014 and 2015—new ways as to how a public place should or could act in the contexts of contemporary society were explored.
“What we do as a School is to reach where the architects can't reach. And we define public spaces that others are not interested or do not see them as possibilities. Then, we observe certain situations that may be of importance and shape them through the work of the students,” he said.
The first video at the European exhibition shows how an area similar to a landfill at the Carlos Trupp neighborhood, in Talca, was temporarily converted by the Architecture students into a better place for its inhabitants. To do this, they changed the soil, and sitting structures were generated.
The following is audio-visual file exhibits the project “The Bride of the Maule River”, a name chosen by the students themselves. It consists of a house of 6 x 6 meters with an interior structure of steel and walls of fabric. The purpose was to install this property in noteworthy places with great landscapes to generate contrasts. It was first installed near the Colbun Lake dam, San Clemente County, and in the background the mountains of the cordillera of The Andes can be seen.
This structure —inspired in the “House in the garden of plum trees” work of Japanese architect Kazuyo Sejima— was subsequently erected at a site of kiwi production, in the town of Mariposas (San Clemente), where spraying tractors circulate.
The third point to install the structure was in the coastal sector of the Putú dunes, Constitution County, where a a company would install an iron ore extraction plant.
In addition to the videos -created by architect and filmmaker Juan Gajardo-, in the foyer of the aforementioned Academy, a small version of "The Bride of the Maule River" was installed.
"The idea was to ask what the new public spaces were. Inside the house there was a chair, creating a more domestic place. And people did not come in, although it was a public area: an art gallery. It is interesting what happens," explained Zuniga.
She said that the "Maule Bride" project was motivated due to fact that some students found it difficult to define and imagine the space. "Then, to reproduce this house had first the didactic objective of helping them. Then came the idea of confronting and see the limit between what’s public in the territory and in rural areas. Then we took it to a big city such as Berlin, Germany. The strategy was to see how far you can get“, she said.
Zuniga was first invited by architect Barbara Hoidn, curator of this exhibition in Germany and professor at the University of Texas, to write a text to be included in the exhibition catalog.
Later, she was asked to be part of the permanent exhibition, with prior approval of the board of the Academy of Arts in Berlin. Likewise, the professor from the UTALCA participated in the opening ceremony symposium, speaking about the School of Architecture. There also participated Andrew Keen, Seán Harrington and Peter Carroll, among other architects.