Arquitectura procesual: Naturaleza y artificio | Manuel Costoya

The concept of Nature, understood like constructo cultural, has suffered multiple transformations along the history. In spite of it, both his definitions and implications have been easily classifiable in homogeneous groups. Nevertheless, it appreciates a major difficulty for the definition of the concept of Nature linked to the contemporary culture owed fundamentally to the radical transformation that that one has suffered in the last century.

Though in the antiquity the man has felt as part of the Nature in conviviality with other alive beings, the positivism and the modern thought trasforman his vision, being defined to yes same as the species chosen for the domination of the Nature. The scientific advances together with the industrial development, which reaches his maximum brilliance in the XIXth and XXth century, award the man a capacity artificializadora that up to this moment he had never enjoyed, exploiting the above mentioned capacity without any type of prearranged limit.

SMITHSON, Robert. Passaic’s monuments, 1967 |

BURTYNSKY, Edward. Oxford tire pile 4. Westley, California, United States. 1999 |

BURTYNSKY, Edward. Mines 22. Kennecott Cooper Mine. Bingham Valley, Utah. 1983. |

Since consequence of this process artificializador produces an indissoluble union to itself between the own Nature and the artifice produced by the human activity. This supposes a radical transformation, on having defined a new concept of Nature in which this one already is not an element independent from the artifice produced by the human activity.

Until middle of s. The XXth, both concepts of Nature and artifice have supported a relation of independence with different degrees of distancing. The Modern Movement represents the maximum degree of the above mentioned withdrawal, restoring the opposition between figure – bottom, nature – artifice or landscape – object as theoretical common foundation. Nevertheless, in the decade of the 60 there takes place a strong reaction of cultural common type to multiple disciplines, in which the value of the materiality of the objects produced by the man puts in question, turning the interest of the art aside towards the least material areas. There arise such new artistic movements like that as the Art Procesual, the Art Povera or the Land Art that they reject to the material object as end of the artistic process to centre his interest on processes and relations that the artistic object establishes with the observer and his environment.

It is precisely in the same decade in which the ecology protests for if the same function of mediation between the human activity and the nature, demanding, as it was happening in other artistic disciplines, the putting in value of the processes that are established between the object produced by the architecture and the way in the one that places, to the detriment of his own materiality as end of the process proyectual. This positioning of the ecology implies the acceptance of the contemporary concept of nature, in that the own Nature and the artifice form the only system of relations.

The processes proyectuales used up to this moment, based on the statism of the architectural object opposite to a way in constant change, stop having force due to the need to incorporate into the own object the uncertainty and variability present in his environment, trying to be inserted in him by means of the participation of the processes that in him develop.

ROCHE, François. Spidernetwood. 2007. Nimes, France |

It is for it that the new mechanisms proyectuales suppose a radical transformation in the object of work on having centred his attention on the processes and not on the materials that constitute the architectural object, transforming this one into a “device that generates phenomena” 1 and to the architect in a ” manager who projects processes “ 2 .

ROCHE, François. Spidernetwood. 2007. Nimes, France |

The process of growth and development of the vegetable existing elements in the environment substitutes the process of traditional construction of the architectural object.

LACATON & VASSAL. Social housings in block. 2005. Nº housings: 14. S= 2.262 m². Mullhouse, France |

The architectural project defines the process of warming and the distribution of the air inside the housings, as well as his reversibilidad depending on the seasonal needs.

RUÍZ GELI, Enric. Pavilion thematic square of the SED. 2008. Zaragoza. |

The architectural project defines and materializes the process of “perspiration” of the building, by means of the condensation and expulsion of the steam of present water in the interior air.

FERNÁNDEZ, Alberto; ORTEGA, Susana. Atrapanieblas Towers. 2008. Atacama Desert, Chile |

The towers atrapanieblas generate a process of condensation, conduction and purification of the present water in the fogs for his utilization in the fertilization of areas in Atacama’s desert.

The displacement of the object of work of the architecture from the own material object to immaterial processes of exchange with the way, needs the integration of the knowledge and experience of all those disciplines specialized in the study of both elements, natural and artificial. There takes place this way a horizontal displacement of the knowledge of those disciplines specialized in the study and preservation of the way, such as ecology, biology, genetics or medicine, and those others specialized in the creation of objects and artificial, such systems as the architecture and the urbanism, re-discovering thus the Nature as an inexhaustible source of concepts, processes and exportable systems to the architectural project.

Manuel Costoya Carro, architect

Murcia, december 2011


1 ITO, Toyo. “Architectural landscape of a city wrapped in a movie of transparent plastic”. (1992)

2 DÍAZ MORENO, Cristina; GARCÍA GRINDA, Efrén. “Atmosphere. Matter of the digital gardener”. (2004)

Manuel Costoya

Es arquitecto titulado por la ETSA A Coruña desde el año 2004, completando su formación en la Escuela de Arquitectura de La Villette (París) y la Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de la Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, en la que ha cursado el Diploma de Estudios Avanzados (DEA).

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