Cristina Nieto – Luis Gil · Furniture and restoration | UnDo ReDo project

Cristina Nieto and Luis Gil, architects in Santiago de Compostela

Today we approach to nº17 of the Juan Castro Mosquera Street in A Coruña, to visit Cristina Nieto and Luis Gil, a few good friends, to chat on the UnDo ReDo project, one of his multiple initiatives in which they are immersed.

Since they were studying the career of architecture in the ETSA A Coruña, Cristina and Luis always showed a special interest for the furniture, and especially for the sillas. Since to everything passionate good one, has led them to collecting them and for it they cross street markets, antiquarians or simply they find them in the works that they realize.

UnDo ReDo is a place of meeting and reflection on the furniture, very specially the chairs, inside and about the architecture. Meeting, rehabilitation, interpretation and care of the furniture according to the philosophy of work of the missing person artist Louise Bourgeois I do, I undo, I redo.

This way of seeing and understanding the furniture the mathematical Maria Arizcun and the craftsman joined them with artist Juan Aradas’s soul. As consequence of this union, in August, 2011 UnDo ReDo inaugurates the UnDo ReDo shop-workshop-gallery.

UnDo ReDo has one constant selección of furniture that come to the gallery, since to the hospital of things of someone of the literary prominent figures of Paul Auster, though to be repaired primeramente they are studied and are checked critically to answer to the needs of these small architectures.

“The furniture always have accompanied to the architecture, are the architecture inside the architecture, and very especially the table and the chair. A minor architecture like San Jerónimo’s office, represented in Antonello de Messina’s picture, which interferes inside previous other one, to return to create a place and a minor, but clearly definite function, in the major universe of the architecture. A fractal that plays with the scales and with our trade in order that we adapt the work and the reflection of the architect from the city to the house, like Aldo van Eyck, and furthermore inside, with a view to the domestic thing.

Chairs and tables, interior accent that restructures a world more near the scale of the human body, and of the most natural uses to his being, to eat, to work, to chat. Those that we sense beforehand in UnDo ReDo are a product of the labor of study and gathered for years, classic, original models, and interpretations of accredited quality. Models who have used us as previous reflection for the creation as own some in our works. All of them also have saved, cleaned, corrected and rehabilitated with the longing for re-using, for not wasting and for continuing learning of big models who resist stoically it, in many occasions, banal and unnecessary production that the company of consumption that we live proposes.”

With these words Cristina, Maria, Juan and Luis show his passion for these small architectures that form a part of nuetra daily life.

UnDo ReDo project | Photography: Adrián Ferreiro

Which has been your formation and professional path before UnDo ReDo?

The formation of the initial promoters of the project, Cristina and Luis, is that of the architecture, to which they added the experience in management of Maria Arizcun’s company, mathematics and of the work of rehabilitation and of Juan Aradas’s trades. In case of Cristina and my (Luis) UnDo ReDo began and it continues in parallel to our work as architects, as a more abstract and free place of the obligations and the formal times of the architecture. We initiate our career as architects assistants of Manuel Gallego before constituting our own office.

What did lead you to opening way you in the design and restoration of furniture?

Both the value of his design and the vision of the furniture, not as a part of the architecture but, as a species of small architecture inside the architecture. A few seemingly minor elements, especially the seats, capable of characterizing the spaces and of being a way of appropriation of the same one for his inhabitants to express it in an individual way. At the same time and out of the intrinsic value of the design of the furniture we were interested in his rehabilitation and arrangement, as critical action to the current silly thing of the company of consumption. A neoliberal company that produces not only the new elements that he needs, in favour of that we are, but that they do not need and that impoverish ecologically and intellectually our environmental and social landscape.

These two parameters, the furniture like architecture and culture and the capture of conscience on the unnecessary consumption and inflacionado, are those who support our project beyond the necessary economic perspective.

Juan Aradas working | Photography: Adrián Ferreiro

Did you meet many difficulties in his putting in march?

Any offer, already be economic or vital, he carries difficulties, we have had them, have them. Nevertheless, they are precisely these difficulties those that guarantee paradoxically the survival of the offer. In this respect we always have confronted each of our projects, so much those that they have to see with the architecture as those of UnDo ReDo, with a perspective amateur, explain. Amateur in the original sense of the lovers’ word of what you do, not in an ingenuous sense but in a vocational direction and I please for what inspires love in you. This way you are loaded with the best vaccine for to support the batterings, the small ones and the big ones.

Do you think that to study Architecture has been a fundamental passport to have come to your current work?

To study architecture is a good training because you get used to stumbling with you itself and with the others, but from the vocation towards what you believe that you must do in your professional life there is nothing that separates us specially from anybody who wants to make a good bread or attend well to his fellow-citizens in a counter or a window. The important thing is to be a professional, to value the made well work. If perhaps it makes to you stronger the fact of knowing that in architecture to take your projects towards ahead you have to be able to bring together all the persons of a verb and all the times of this verb to meet in the place of the others and in now, before and later.

To study Architecture contributes you when you learn to have a holistic look on your environment and an analytical, critical and interpretive attitude to transform it.

Set of chairs | Photography: Adrián Ferreiro

Are you satisfied with the reached aims?

Very satisfied, because the aims beyond the economic ones – absolutely necessary to survive – come to other fields, that of the relations with other projects, with other persons who are clients, of the neighborhood and of other countries, which are connected and support the project of very diverse ways. There exists a rude and contemporary habit of valuing the work only for his economic success, when in the bag of payment they find other many parameters as the delayed and deepened time, the manual and intellectual relation with the products that you offer and the contagion of your ideas to the others and vice versa.

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?

We encourage any young or major architect to do what he believes that it must do, to looking for the hollow of what he likes to develop, because in addition it is very probable that there he is a very good competitor and the vocation, which before we were mentioning, make him resist the stumbles and that in a little time is self-sufficient.

Selección de sillas

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?

We believe that this already it is of item a false myth, that of the architect designer of architecture. The students of architecture and the architects we should know that to study architecture is to turn in jumping of fences and that along the recent history of s. The XXth great number of architects contributed his special culture and formation to fields as diverse as the cinema and the audio-visual world in general, the politics, the design in his very diverse fields and other many areas that they need from the practice organized of the architecture to improve in other fields.

What do you think of those that they have been going to work abroad?

We also inform of this search a few years ago, in Holland, in Portugal, extraordinary professional and vital experiences. The foreigner forms a part of the fences with which we have to work, to stumble and to jump, but not even worse obstacles are better them of it was that those who are abroad interior …. It is to say here. The only thing that displeases us is when the exodus is forced because it does not improve us as company.

We leave you with this video summary realized for Falperra Producciones.

Cristina Nieto – Luis Gil · Furniture and restoration | UnDo ReDo project

March 2014

Interview realized by Ana Barreiro Blanco and Alberto Alonso Oro. To be grateful for Cristina, Maria, Juan and Luis in his time and help with this small space.

Alberto Alonso Oro

Arquitecto y editor en veredes, arquitectura y divulgación. Invernalia es un buen lugar. A veces escribo en Fundacion Arquia.

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