Jaume Prat avatar
1

Not long ago it was declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity in eight countries and I celebrated it with and article in journal 16.

2

I’m speculating. I don’t know if they have done it or even if they know each other, but it would be amazing if this conversation were to take place.

3

More that one person has told me how the great Albert Viaplana took paper napkins from bars to draw initial stage sketches when the building was already constructed.

Human Scale, an architectural series on TV2

The origins of architecture is a topic the really interests me. In reality, the origin is what interests me. Any artistic manifestation is defined by an interpretation of the origin, from the neoclassical to the avant-garde of the 20’s all the way up to punk.

I’ve been fortunate to be able to discuss this topic with two different people. Simplifying that which cannot be simplified, for Juan Domingo Santos the origin of architecture is in the movement of the earth, in the beauty of dry stone1 structures which allow the earth to be worked, to be arranged, and to be made productive. For Juan Navarro Baldeweg the origin of architecture lies in the primitive hut. If you were to sit the two down at a table together to talk about the topic2 , we would quickly find out that they had come to say the same thing just in opposite ways. Dry stone structures are a strictly functional artifact that our minds turn into something beautiful and representative. A primitive hut is a representative artifact that turns into something functional.

The representation of these two tendencies is perfect as a narrative because it is very radical (in the sense of narrating a beginning) that can be understood without the necessity of being an architect. It is something immanent to our culture.

This simultaneous double explanation which constantly varies depending on the point of view taken is the origin of the Human Scale series, which will air every Wednesday at 21:00 hr on 2 of TVE.

As to be expected, the origin came to us when we were already halfway through production, in a way that is parallel to architectures that find their definitive explanation when they are already half constructed, or maybe they’ve already been finished3The organization of the TV series is very simple: we had topics and we had stories. We worked them as parallels, we mixed them, we worked them some more, and we ended up with some interesting programs with a basis of telling correlated stories about architectural interventions. A lot of the topics, or rather, a lot of the stories, are perfectly interchangeable. This not only didn’t matter to us, but rather we took it as a sign exposing the complexity of this art, that admits multiple explanations, different yet all simultaneous.

The topics are related with this double origin that I have commented about. We are interested in that which relates to the function, the use, and the maintenance of architecture which should make life a little bit easier for all of us: sustainability, accessibility, etc. We are also interested the representative aspect of architecture, the way it unveils the beauty that surrounds us: industrial spaces, buildings that many would tear down when in fact they can be remodeled and reused, or even constructions that move us. This double condition has marked the program, and our explicit wish is to extend it to the urban landscapes which surround us (as well as, I hope, rural landscapes in the future).

Then exists how you represent it. We are filming it nearly entirely ourselves, so that we can give it our own point of view. Jaume Clèries directs the program. Nuria Moliner, architect and researcher, is the presenter. Since she is also a musician, her group, Intana, has made the soundtrack.

The way of looking at things, the rhythm, the warmth. This is our hallmark. Along with diversity.

The team is made up of many different types of people with varying backgrounds, interests, and points of view. This give us a wide array of opinions, orientations, and balancing acts, as well as different ways to see, to narrate, and to write. It is exactly what happens, or at least what should happen, in an architectural review. This logic is there for us and we can use it beneficially.

The work is almost done, and now the most important part is what is left: showing it to all of you. We hope that it is of interest to you.


Text translated by: Kaitlyn P. Delaney
Notas de página
1

Not long ago it was declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity in eight countries and I celebrated it with and article in journal 16.

2

I’m speculating. I don’t know if they have done it or even if they know each other, but it would be amazing if this conversation were to take place.

3

More that one person has told me how the great Albert Viaplana took paper napkins from bars to draw initial stage sketches when the building was already constructed.

Autor:
(Barcelona, 1975) Arquitecto por la ETSAB, compagina la escritura en su blog 'Arquitectura, entre otras soluciones' con la práctica profesional en el estudio mmjarquitectes. Conferenciante y profesor ocasional, es también coeditor de la colección de eBooks de Scalae, donde también es autor de uno de los volúmenes de la colección.

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