Crafted Narratives – Make-Value, Use-Value
This year, Intermediate 2 crossed the Atlantic to seek inspiration in the unorthodox architecture of Italo-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi. Sceptical about predominantly intellectualised approaches to design, Bo Bardi spoke in favour of a ‘design-free’ attitude in architecture, devising a more direct and visceral connection between the act of making and the act of using. In today’s world, where architecture seems more and more corporate and alienated from the general public, where contractors seem to be running the show, endorsed by an overwhelming burden of mandatory regulations, it is stimulating to find her approach that bypasses formalities in favour of a straightforward, spontaneous engagement with material, user and context.
Bo Bardi believed that unorthodox architectures would encourage unorthodox activities, giving birth to a happier and freer society. To achieve this, architecture had to be thought of not as a ‘monument to civilisation’ but as an ‘infrastructural environment for living’. This required a focus on material and contextual grounding, a tolerance of ‘architectural incidents’, a taste for improvisation and a sensitivity towards popular culture.
Bo Bardi saw poetry not in the polished virtuosity of the drawing but in the spontaneity of the crafting of simple, ordinary things, and developed a fresh viewpoint in architecture that promises to reinvigorate the exhausted discourse in Europe today.
After visiting Bo Bardi’s oeuvre in Brazil, students devised a series of inventive, impromptu interventions for Soho (London). The proposals ranged from community-based projects deeply engaged with the Soho social fabric to performative happenings and reenactments of critical moments in the history of this fast-changing neighbourhood. The processes engaged by the unit challenge the frozen condition of the conventional architectural drawing and venture towards the mediums of film, painting, street performance and one-to-one prototyping.
Barbara Ann Campbell-Lange
Willem de Bruijn
Ricardo de Ostos
José Celso Martinez Correa
Song Jie Lim
Antonis Romao Papamichael