Friday, December 14, 2007

AAGRAFA DVD | Projective Geometry in Art




This November a series of lectures about projective geometry in art took place in our Madrid Architecture School, AAGRAFA was there to record them. We present the 3 DVDs and a fourth one with some video of the exposition that took place in the new building during this month. Available in ETSAM library.

1 | Geometria Proyectiva: El camino empieza en la perspectiva

Dr Gregorio Hernandez
2011-XI-06 / 90 min. / Deposit number [V-804]

2 | Ikognosia

Dr Enrique Rabasa
2011-XI-12 / 58 min. / Deposit number [V-805]

3 | Geometria Proyectiva y reconstrucción tridimensional de imagenes

Dr Antonio Valdés
2011-XI-15 / 69 min. / Deposit number [V-806]

4 | Geometria Proyectiva en el arte: de Brunelleschi a Fisac

EXPOSICIÓN
2011-XI / 12 min. / Deposit number [V-806]


Monday, December 10, 2007

LAB | West of the Moon, East of the Sun


Another crazy semester in ETSAM comes to its end. This year my friend Miguel Beloqui recommended me to meet him in the GEP: 'Grupo de Exploración Proyectual' led by Andrés Perea together with professors Paula Montoya, Izaskun Chinchilla and Jose Luis Vallejo. They were known to be a special group, making things no-one else does and stuff like that. So I thought It would be nice to give it a try.

This year's topic was the Performative Architect vs Representative Architect and this was the schedule of the classes:

Week 1: Four proposals
Weeks 2-4:Three designs
Weeks 5-10: Two prototypes
Weeks 11-14: One final project


FIRST INSTALLMENT




From the Utopic Archigram projects to the build reality in Beaubourg. 
There are realized projects, realizable projects and unrealizable projects. To what extent influence unfeasible projects in the creation of feasible ones? The experimental work is based on creating utopic elements in a primarily visual way. Letting the imagination run. Proposing problems that then will be resolved and finding more problems in the road. 
Piano+Rogers center Pompidou as a built work, Archigrams walking city as unbuild work, my own Antiumbrela project in India and the moon as a place o explore. 
The Pompidou emerges and leaves Paris. Culture is on the move. The Pompidou comes to your town. People can not believe what they see. When it leaves nothing is what it was.

Behind the board, we had to write a self critic of our own work, mine read like this:

You belive you are smartass and you don't seem to work hard, isn't it? We'll see.

SECOND INSTALLMENT:
THIRD INSTALLMENT:

From this point forward, classes were interesting but for some reason I started to feel I was loosing my time. It was my fifth year in school and I already got bored of making things just for the sake of meeting the dead lines, without thinking beyond. So, I decided that every time they ask me to do something, I would use something I did before. I didn't make the second delivery, I dust off my two favorite prototypes from the past and got them ready for the 3rd installment. 

Morgan & Nobjects

I did Morgan a couple of years ago and it had some structural problems so I decided to reinforce it with fiberglass rods acquired on a kite shop. I also made a beautiful diagram to analyze  its skin.


On the other hand, continue working with Nobjects. Thinking on everything that could be generated with them. It was great having time to do that. I got so excited about future possibilities that I decided to keep on developing them to the next final phase. Jose Luis was my tutor and I was supposed to convince him so that my final project of the semester was to develop further my Nobjects proyect. He was a little sceptical at the beginning, he told me to try something 'more serious'. I told him if selling 2 million of them would start to make it a serious project. He understood, and let me go on. Jose Luis is a wise visionary, after all.

FOURTH INSTALLMENT


The final delivery day was upon us. GEP students are know for the amount of work they do. We were encouraged to work more everyday, everything was about producing more, first was producing and then was thinking. Everyday started to be repetitive. I got fed up. And as I like to do just the contrary of what people does, I put emphasis even more on not to produce new things, but to organize my past stuff. I realized that my last years production volume was enough for this class, so I decided to organize all my works and make Din A5 files as reference files of all my projects and ideas. I bought an file archival box and started creating the files. In the process of re-making Morgan and re-thinking Nobjects eve more  ideas grew and more files were generated. FInding a way to organizing them was the priority number one. Once organized many ideas could re-emerged any time. I ended up making a poster with some of the best files for the final delivery.


I also created a thick folder that contained a box replicating the classic Leavening red box sold by Royal brand in Spain at a bigger scale. It  contained all the Din A5 files I did. This is the time when I came up with the name: AA&NN. I was bored of making  stuff  just for class and I started thinking on making a company. A leavening company. A company that makes you grow. Sounded cool. After that I created the three books that were supposed to be in the second phase and I haven't done yet. They were ideas taken from the files printed in Din A3 size and bind together.

After all the semester turn out to be incredible. I even had a grade of 9 over 10 and as I didn't have to work so much, I had time to think a lot.  I learned many things that I tried to summarize in the last memory of the final installment. Durin this time a name-less comic superstar that I would later name EdFramed was born. He is hidden in the board above. 

FINAL INSTALLMENT

Memory
I have planned the 2007-2008 GEP course from the very begining as an overlap of stuff. This overlap starts taking as starting elements things I have done in the past.
It is not about simulating a situation in which I have been before but re-utilizing useful elements in actual situations and projects. As the brief is not specific, and we are just encouraged to produce, and from my point of view, if there is no a problem to solve, there is no a project that has to be made, I generate both the project and the problem. I'm lucky to have many problems, here a list some: 
-Finding a comfortable enough working method in witch I can produce things.
-Finding a way in witch I can obtain money not in the far future and without having to die in the trying
-Finding a way to just pass this class
-Finding a better way to organize myself and my parents house that are moving next year.
-Finding the way of beeing free enough to pass some classes of the past
-etc.
On the other hand, there are other things apart from finding problems, like the things I would like to do to be happy. So I have choose to start with an storyboard project of a story about the Pompidu that leaves Paris. In an utopian way, I started drawing unprejudiced ideas and drawings. Just having fun. While doing this...I thought in this: 
One day you wake up, swich on the computer and you see a sunglasses design  competition in internet. You feel you want to do it, you want to work on it. You are so excited. And you have many ideas. But you can't. Because you have to produce a dossier for your boss. It is your priority. Period. It would be so great if you were able to produce every-time, anytime, whatever you want. If you feel you want to design a door knob, you design a door knob. The energy you put on making anything is bigger and the result are much better when you do what you like in the moment you want. Changeover, reboot.


MEMORY (reboot) 
I have planned the 2007-2008 GEP course this way. I am going to produce whatever I want and organize it in Din A5 files. I'm not going to make bread but leavening. All kind of formal deliveries in witch bureaucratic dossiers must be done are avoided. Having in mind that those could be produced in the last weeks with the leavening produced in the months before. The aim of this is to explore this model and it's consecuences. Flux of elements are created that are organized and what's most important, stuff is not produced just to produce, it's done when I feel like doing it.
I realized that things are not done for a purpose, things are done and then used for a certain purpose. I don't feel nothing must be hidden. The works and prototypes are presented as works done in previous years, that are rescued and rethought. I'm aware, that it would probably be better for me, instead of showing them almost completed to show them as a process. I was able to fake the reality and lie, saying that those were projects I was actually working on. Morgan for example. One day I could speak about the PVC, another day I could talk as I was folding it and playing with it. Next week one step more...and continue like this until the final presentation. Fake trials and errors. Fake investigation and analysis that seem coherent but with the end result present from the very beginning. Methods we are so used to see in Architecture School. 
I'm sure if I would follow the common way, I would be much better considered. Not just as if I took a thing from the past and reuse it. The academic results would be even better. However that would be a huge lie.  The system works in a way so that only result matter. You can steal and lie if that is for better grades and people that follow this path are more likely to triumph. Then why I haven't do that? well... I've been reading Fight Club and I agree with the fact that self-improvement is masturbation and self-destruction may be the answer... this and also just to find a different working path. 
The making of Morgan is as simple as having and idea and trying to develop it. Go find some PVC canvas and start working with it, using diferent folding methods. In one of the briefs, we were encouraged to start working with whatever we had on hand, emphasizing on the physical and real character of the proposal. But then three designs are supposed to be delivered. I don't get it. I think the course has been planned in a wrong way, the pyramidal scheme of 4-3-2-1 doesn't work. I belive this would be a much better way of working:


Prototypes (wathever, real fisical elements) that led to more refined designs and new ideas that lead to more designs and organization of proposals that led to choose a final project to develop it further.

This is a more natural and fun way. If you are working in a design that comes from an idea, and then this design must become a prototype, good results are not guaranteed. But creating real prototypes from scratch results on a bunch of great material to work with and from witch many new ideas, designs and proposals grow. 
In the old days, buildings were not drawn before they were made. That was the begining. Making tangible things. We started with sculpture or making objects and tools, then we continued drawing, then comes music, photography and cinema, among others. Prefabricated tools to communicate and work, that conclude with writing, the most abstract language and the most economic one. This is the end, writing some words and leaving.


CONTENT OF THE FINAL INSTALLMENT

We were supposed to produce: 4 proposals, 3 designs, 2 prototypes and 1 project, so I did that but transforming the order:
Two prototypes: 

Morgan and Nobjects.  
Three Five designs: 
Walking Pompidou: an animation Project
Rolling House
Antiumbrela
Morgan & Nobjects
One Project
A business plan based on Nobjects as a toy. A playing system that open children's mind and would lead to a new man that starts with a new children. What the 'Walking Pompidou Aanimation' project transmited in a utopian way here is presented in a real way.  
Tens of proposals
Every file archived in the box is potentially a proposal. some more developed that others.

AA&NN Leavening Company is created.