Utopia or interescalaridad | Michael Ángel Díaz Camacho

Historical evolution of the riverbed of the river Mississippi, source mapsontheweb.zoom-maps.com

In 1974 Mariano Bayón interviews an Alejandro of the Jack isolated from the Academy, the margin already of the cultural paraphernalia of the architecture, an environment of the one that is separated voluntarily:

“I will write something in a builders’ magazine, for builders” 1.

Undoubtedly, the interest of Jack for the questions you will discipline they remove him from a theoretical landscape excited by the publications in Spain of the texts of Aldo Rossi or Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown at the beginning of the 702. The world of the technological experimentation, which flag undulates without any doubt during all the modernity, was giving step to the atmospheres of intellectual speculation and the academic debate moves progressively from the architecture to the city, an area about which Jack speaks very little: maybe it was not his scale.

Mariano Bayón’s interview travels comfortably inside the cultural own riverbeds of the Galician teacher: his recent meeting with Jean Prouvé, his interest for the commercial catalogues or the technological suggestions proceeding from the sports world (from the boot of skiing to the capsule of mountain). Nevertheless, towards the end of the interview, Bayón approaches the thorny topic of the popular assimilation of the experimental architecture:

“It appeared on the rug, almost without claiming it, the question that Colin Rowe was doing to himself publicly: can an architect who points at the continued experimentation, take part of the ideal one of an architecture destined to be popular and intelligible?”3.

The question is not simple, less still in 1974, raising two missed concepts and in the practice exclusive: experimentation and citizenship4.

Beyond the technological experimentation or the theoretical landscapes to which Sota was giving seemingly so few attention5, today the innovation has more that to see with the management of processes, intangible flows in major or minor measure already are social, environmental, energetic, economic or cultural these. Speaking today about any technological experimentation, for example in the digital manufacture or in the monitoring prototype, it is to speak also about citizenship, territory, energy, communication, resources or residues6. Is it possible to stop thinking the architecture about terms of scales different and disconnected (the object, the building, the city, the territory, the planet) and restart the consideration of all the scales simultaneously? Is it possible to establish a methodology inter-climb for the project of architecture? Utopia or interescale.

Miguel Ángel Díaz Camacho. Doctor Architect

Madrid. September 2014. Author of Parráfos de arquitectura. #arquiParrafos


1 Alejandro de la Sota in “Conversation with Alejandro de la Sota from his own domiciliary arrest”, for Mariano Bayón, ARQUITECTURAS BIS nºI, May, 1974, págs 25-27.

2 The first edition in Spain of (for example) Complexity and Contradiction in the Architecture, Robert Venturi and Dennis Scott Brown, 1966, produces to himself in 1972, Barcelona, publishing house Gustavo Gili.

3 Mariano Bayón, “Conversation with Alejandro de la Sota from his own domiciliary arrest”, ARQUITECTURAS BIS nºI, mayo 1974, págs. 25-27.

4 The indifference of the Modern Movement for the urban project or the history of the city was treated years later by Aldo Rossi in “La Ciudad Análoga”, Biennial show of Venice 1976, or Colin Rowe “Collage City”, MIT Press, Boston, 1984.

5 Transfers that certainly went deeply furthermore if it fits in the gap between architecture and company. To see “Transfers” by Brijuni in Collage Conceptual, Recolectores Urbanos, Sevilla, 2014, pages. 69-72. Published by ASA.

7 See Ecología e Industrialización. Blog of the Fundación Arquía.

Miguel Ángel Díaz Camacho

Doctor en Arquitectura, Decano de la Facultad de Tecnología y Ciencia UCJC. Presidente de la Asociación Sostenibilidad y Arquitectura,  perteneciente al Consejo Superior de los Colegios de Arquitectos de España. Director de MADC Arquitectos, estudio profesional con premios en concursos nacionales e internacionales, en la actualidad desarrolla proyectos en España y Noruega. Escritor y crítico de arquitectura, es autor de los libros “Párrafos de Arquitectura. Core(oh)grafías” (2016) y “Arquitectura y Cambio Climático” (2018).

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