oday we move up to Barcelona, to know the members of Architour, Ariel Cavilli, Fabiana Palmero, Núria Oliver and Paz Molinari, an architects’ office that from 2010 realizes diverse activities in relation with the architecture and the city. Principally they centre on organizing holding a permit tours of architecture for the city. Nowadays they are present in Barcelona, Vic, Madrid and Tarragona. These tours, they are destined to all those travelers who want to discover and to explore the cities from an anthropologic, interactive and educational way.
“Of what way does building concern the city and vice versa? What him reaches and what does it take from him? From what place has building been conceived? To what architectural, ideological interests … does it answer?”
The buildings are executrices of the city, act as conductive thread that they us enter in the mesenteries of the evolution and relations that take place in the frame of the cities.
At the end of the tour a putting is realized jointly, normally from a high point, to extract conclusions, to generate a reflection and a critique.
“Architour aspires to the dip in the city to induce the reflection and the reaction of the participants”.
Ado delay we leave you with the interview that we they have realized in order that they are the own authors, make clear to us closely his cultural project.
Which has been your formation and professional previous path to “architour”?
Ariel. The question is answered partly in the paragraph of the “Equipment creator of the project”. It is necessary to add, nevertheless, that at my case always I have been employed and am employed doing projects of architecture, 20 years ago. The concept of projecting a route of architecture is not not foreign at all to the phenomenon to project, and flirts squarely with the DNA of our competitions. In this case, it is a question of explaining and promote the city as a cultural good, as a cultural production. This should not to us be foreign, the problem is that the company only associates us with those that do houses … Proves paradojal and worries that (as group) we had to claim this social role and this look, when our cake – already decimated by the crisis of the real-estate bubble – was in game with the LSP. It was looking like that from this moment we had discovered slightly important: that the architecture goes far beyond of a liberal order, ¡ and this is an obviedad, though hidden! Clear, this it needs to be explained, and architour it provides a megaphone to us for this activismo. It is a question of explaining the city to him, to addressing to her as central actor, to understanding what her made possible, as history. The buildings selected (in the routes) are at the time the alibi to penetrate, to penetrate in the phenomenon of the city.
Paz. My vocational training is alike in root enough that of Ariel, I was formed as Arquitecta in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Urbanism in the University of Buenos Aires, from 21 years beside dealing the career and during a period of eight years I devoted myself to complement and increase my formation as assistant and teacher of subjects as Introduction to the Contemporary Architecture and History of the Contemporary Architecture. In architecture I have been employed at Buenos Aires, Vic (Barcelona) and Madrid, at different professional areas and with diverse equipments of which always I have learned very much.
What did lead you to starting this project? Why in this sector?
Ariel. It arises As a continuity of my doctorate theoretically and Tells the history of the Architecture in the ETSAB in 2010. My interest in the investigation in this area, where the approximation from the library is initial, inevitable and fundamental then to construct an own statement: the route or activity in question, is determinant in the project of architour. The dossiers – actually reality are a few books – that always we deliver to every participant finish in a copious bibliography. This one is the raw material that makes possible the construction, the project of the routes and activities. There is an evident tuning in with this historical approach, of being going to look for the reasons of a few urban and architectural phenomena.
It is true also that adds to this the collapse of the economy a thing that, since it is known, has the highest impact in the world of the construction and evidently in the architecture. I am of the idea that the crises can be opportunities to rethink or to re-define directions. To this respect, the intellectual production is paradigmatic. We have to the history to understand these processes: there will be for example architects who remain and others that emigrate, with the European fascisms of the 20th century. In both cases, his production is very powerful, they did not put to hibernate or to complain… Did activismo with the architecture because they wanted to transform the reality, to make her better, and for it it serves also the architecture.
As for it of the sector, it is multiple, though architour is born pointed at the travelers. Why? Because I am a traveler, because the whole equipment of architour it is. We share this thirst, this thoughtfull, this explorers’ disposition. This is what does that a tourist is the opposite thing to a traveler. Though the economy of the tourism can be superposed by that of the travelers, we had clear that they are two very different sociologies, two differentiated well public ones. The travelers represent a much smaller spectrum whereas the tourism has to see with the consumption of masses, in spite of extracting the photos of the points that the guide of tourism marks. It is absolutely the opposite thing to in what we are interested.
With the time we add other two branches of public different. On the one hand, that of the schools of architecture of foreign universities and also that of travelling architects. On the other hand, we open the front of the primary and secondary schools.The speech, which we are called “a” “script”, is the work of investigation to construct the routes. The scripts – that are very arduous and very vast, and as the projects they go months of preparation, because they are projects – they are the raw material that we use for these other two lines. The interests that move the thing: the historiográficos, the ideological ones … are the same for the three public ones. The topic is to adapt then the matter of the route. The first measure is the selection, is to open a few certain booths and to close others of the own script. The second thing is to stamp a few directions premeditations.
Had you some previous experience?
Ariel. Already I mentioned the topic of the doctorate and that of the hardened traveler. In second this, evidently to travel, it is necessary to prepare the trip, study it, diseccionarlo. But then, it is necessary to dismantle everything, because the trip is an anthropologic experience, a total dip, it is necessary to wet in the same water, to submerge. This is the opposite thing to the postcards, is something that I detest. The interesting thing is to itch in all the historical and social strata, because it is the city, especially the European: a palimpsest of strata, of interests! Descreo in it of the experience like something closed. The experience is something that it has to see with the baggage, with the filming but fundamentally it is something that is constructed.
Paz. I do not have any previous experience, more than the educational formation that I had in the University while I was formed. The fact of being able to transfer information, try to thrill or provoke curiosity in those persons with whom you talk is something fundamental when you are teaching. Though architour is not an educational course, I believe that the formation of the statement and the dialog has to be opened and very polished in order that those who do the routes with us could enjoy them in every moment, leaving in them the fingerprint of a different experience.
Did you meet many difficulties? Which were the most problematic?
Ariel. The difficulties are rather sociological, it of fighting with cultural parameters that they fatigue: the godfathers, the inertias, the endogamias, the abulia. To call by telephone ten times to the same contact (Monday because nobody answers, on Tuesday because with it Martha deals and comes later, on Wednesday because Martha fell ill and because it is not nobody more than occupies …) tires, but also it develops an attitude of infinite perseverance.
Are you satisfied with the reached aims?
Do you think that to study Architecture has been a fundamental passport to have come to your current work?
Ariel. Without doubts! The interesting of the architecture is that it is a very general and transverse thought.
Paz. I understand that if, I think that it is the most beautiful career, but even more it gives us the opportunity to be able to see globally and punctually almost any type of problematics, believe that it is a privileged point of view that has been developed and designed in the University. It is a point of item that transforms in tool of work, and as such it must be put to the service of the company. The architect must deal or re-understand his work. To propose, from the sincerity and capacity proyectual; we are very good conductors, but as nothing we use if there is no teamwork and communication. We must listen, detect, interpret and propose.
What expectations and projects of future have you for “architour”?
Ariel. To extend what already we do. To work with the architects’ trips. What is possible towards here is equal of valid upside-down, for example towards Buenos Aires, which is an environment very known and studied and equally wanted by us.
Paz. I believe that as offer it is very wealth-producing, because it goes beyond a tour for different cities, which we have known, lived and studied thoroughly. Personally I would like that architour was growing in different formats, today per today there worries and occupies his digital identity, his fingerprint in the web, his scope, and that could be interpreted of the way that we design. Again we return to the worry, or rather occupation of the statement.
For the future, since we would like to transform it to paper, to make her tangible, and on the other hand to make grow his cultural project, proposing architour as alternative program in colleges or institutes, already we have had a small experience in the matter.
Do you arrange or complement this activity with other labors or in other fields?
Ariel. I in addition do some projects of architecture, always I have done it and it might not stop doing it. Nevertheless, Architour from 2010, turned into a very important core. Architour developed also a renewed look in me. And this way it is in the habit of being with the projects, with them we want to change or to improve the world, but they also us change to us.
Paz. Yes, personally I complement it giving Englishman’s lessons every evening, because of it the practice of the statement in two languages me does not turn out to be foreign, is something that I exercise and occupies me constant. The interpretation of the emotions when you count, or you teach something new it is fundamental. On the other hand and as I continue having my title of arquitecta foreign am authorizing it to the Spanish title in the ETSAM, and to it I dedicate almost all my free time.
Are this type of initiatives profitable? Do you feel remunerated well by the labor that you realize?
Ariel. I think that the whole profession of the architect is remunerated badly, clearly, if you are not Foster. They form us as elitists, under the mythology of the romantic genius and under the mold of the order of the liberal client. This has entered also crisis, since so many things … Perhaps the crisis must be something consubstantial to our modernity and to the economic – social system in which we live.
Would you encourage other architects to follow your steps? What steps do you consider that they should give? How to complete his studies? What other advices would you give them?
Ariel. It is very difficult to give advices with this. It would recommend that everyone should find his potentials and interests and follows them with perseverance. But this exceeds to the architecture, is totally vocational. Ultimately, we make better what more we like it.
Do you believe that the architects in Spain we should continue opening new routes of work to go out of the “most “traditional” cabin of projecting given the current situation of the construction in our country?
Ariel. The truth is that I do not feel represented in it of the “Spanish architects”. I live in Catalonia where the investments (in architecture, in infrastructures or in what is) of the Spanish State they are negligible. I do not spread myself in the process through that we are living, but it would be dishonest to hide it. The cultural and sociological frame, the politician, the historical and linguistic frame they are different well. The economic general frame is, nevertheless, shared enough. It is difficult therefore to answer the question from a few different frames from action because the architecture not only is an economic fact, and nonetheless in this field there are differential shades.
Under another analysis, I believe that the architecture is not taught well. I have known two universities: the UBA (Buenos Aires) where I graduated and the ETSAB (Barcelona) where I authorized my title and where I dedicated three years to my doctorate. They form us fattening the myth of the creative genius. The formation is elitist and the company sees us as elitists. I believe that the architecture has a DNA very and very cross street and general practitioner. Ours fights with the creation and the art, with the technology, with the sociological thing, with the economic thing, with the phenomenon of the city, with the politics, ¡ and let’s not forget that political it comes from Cops! This is reflected in our legal competitions and in ours to do polyphonic. There are architects who devote themselves to the investigation or to the academic thing, others design exhibitions, others do buildings redressed in titanium, others make social buildings, different they devote themselves to the urbanism, others, to the cooperation… Nevertheless, the company understands us as that only we do houses, ¿ and as houses they become very small, then what are we? I equally believe that if of doing houses it was treating myself, there is here an enormous deficit, let’s think that something like half of the world does not have drinkable water and what to say of houses … Now then, if we accept the above mentioned (and it is an obviedad) we should understand that the architecture not only is a logic of liberal order, it is a social worry. The architects also are interested in improving and changing the reality. Him Corbusier also says it explicitly.
Paz. Undoubtedly! We have the right and the obligation to fight for what us apasiona! We themselves cannot sink, but it is a question on what it was commenting previously, turn and to propose. Who better than one itself for it?
What do you think of those that they have been going to work abroad?
Ariel. It is a valid option. But if the work is ended then “there”, do you return or what faeces?
Paz. They are either experiences of life, or well evil, personal needs, I also did it and here I am now, learning to every step that I give, but very release of my decision.
How do you see the future of the profession?
Ariel. The paper of the architects’ colleges and this career education to which I refer they generate many skepticisms. But we are also, in my case, the COAC … it is necessary to feel participants and not observers if we want to change the things. Sense does not make and is counter-productive the complaint and the lamentations. I believe that it is urgent to construct a new social role of the architect, and it is a great opportunity.
Paz. I see that it is immersed in a field to which it is difficult to us to accede very much and for ende to modify, that is the global field or the famous crisis, but nevertheless I find many colleagues doing the valuable, most valuable things, probably to another scale, in a way different from the one that we knew with great effort, but it seems to me that the course is this, that of a local action, with a global vision. We have tools, and I the future see it always in positive. I cannot with my genius.
Ariel Cavilli-Fabiana Palmero-Núria Oliver y Paz Molinari · Tours and activities of architecture | Architour
Interview realized by Ana Barreiro Blanco and Alberto Alonso Oro. To be grateful for Ariel, Fabiana, Núria and Peace his time and predisposition with this space.