Pablo Gil and Jaime Bartolomé Architects, GilBartolome ADW
The most important issue was to show well the work of the students. Following the tradition of merging architecture, sculpture and painting we have tried to liven up the drawings and models by using sculptural movements and compositional plays of the architecture that prepare the positioning and the experience of these objects. On the left there are mostly drawings and on the right, which resembles a table, there are models.
There is a very important role of artisanship in this piece. The design process is based on the use of digital tools -but with a twist. The digital design process tried to control and predict the use of manual work, but also left areas that seemed impossible to fabricate -as in the area above the table, on the right. It was a challenge to artisanship -and in the end, once it actually was made possible, it has become a challenge to digital design and fabrication. The hand won the battle.
We would define this way of working as “dirty digital fabrication” through the use of the ability of infinite differentiation by the hand. In contrast to computational coding, craftsmanship can be subject to contradictions, sudden shifts, creative maneuvers, breakthroughs through the use of tools -needed in the making process and impossible to predict aprioristically-, artful failures and “creative approximations to the idea”, an intent that when is practiced sequentially, achieves a noticeable handmade quality not yet seen by machines.
In this context it is important to recognize the role of the craftsmen “Chencho” Inocencio Galán and Franklin Manobanda. Both have played a major role in the execution of the piece. They have also interfered with the design marvelously. Besides, there has been a team of incredible students and monitors of UEM that took the challenge of making this exhibition possible with amazing passion and drive. The atmosphere we lived during the month of making was joyful, memorable and vibrant. One has to ask if that was not in itself a higher achievement than the piece itself, and if the lessons of John Ruskin are not to be put again in the forefront of the social agenda and of the architecture that gets built.
You will see a series of pieces integrated within the installation. There is, in the left hand side, a prototype of luminescent façade by Rosa Pilar Jimenez, a prototype made of iron rod that serves spiders as a vibrating instrument to catch prey by David Moreno, the electronics by Rafael Otero. There is also a prototype of robotized façade of silicone that, based on the system of fins of a fish, allows the entrance of light and fresh air when needed. It has been developed by myself with Claudio Rossi and William Coral from the robotics department of CSIC. Finally there is a double skin silicone colour changing façade prototype by Juan Carlos Rodríguez. The intention was to merge these different units in the general geometry of the piece, a tectonic that is hereditary of my drawings in which the pencil homogenizes materiality differences.
Finally we have paid homage to Antonio Palacios, the Gaudi of Madrid, who struggled to keep afloat within his contradictory drive towards artisanship and industrialization, a struggle for which we feel a lot of sympathy. For this homage, the students Juan Rodríguez, Miguel Labrandero, Pablo Gancedo, Francisco Garrido, Pablo Durán and ourselves have used a sculpture of Angel García Díaz, Palacio´s collaborator, depicting the symbol of communication as Mercury , the roman god of messages- a very castizo metaphor to be placed in the Central Post Office building of Spain that is now placed at the edge of the installation, conferring it a numinous quality and a theriomorphic structure that helloes and warns the visitor of what is to be found behind.