The exhibition Perspectives. Tatiana Bilbao Estudio presents the work that has been developed since 2004 through four lines of thought: Space, Context, Inhabit, and Collage. Within these concepts are explored several of the projects, from the most recognized buildings to the theoretical exercises that have marked the work of the study.
The beginning of architecture, depending on the theory or the historical moment in which we are located, can be found in the primordial hut of Marc-Antoine Laugier, the search for the shadow of Louis Kahn or in the ceremonial earth mounds of Adolf Loos. All these beginnings are intrinsically linked to the idea of space. Often, the architectural project becomes an intellectual exercise of which materiality is not a constraint. The use and meaning of a work leaves open the possibility for multiple interpretations.
In the work of Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, space allows them to re-imagine the environments, taking as a starting point the phenomenological, geological, social and historical conditions in the search to add a new interpretation to the landscape.
To speak of context is to speak of the other, of the opposite, of the not so frequent and daily, of the unknown. To consider one’s position as the possibility of alternating or changing one’s perspective on the other allows opening a time frame in whose dimensions are possibilities nearby. It is thus that otherness is a determining factor in any design intent of Tatiana Bilbao Estudio, since to become aware of the individuality from the feeling of strangeness before the alien can allow a harmonious integration, the multifaceted understanding of something, the non-imposition of our beliefs and the acceptance that there are more realities than our own.
This library compiles specialised publications on the subjects explored by the sample, is a selection of books of key reference and source of constant inspiration in the work of Bilbao. It represents a meeting point between the perspectives that make up the exhibition. Books, as good neighbours, inhabit this space individually waiting for their visitors to find the relationships that unite them.
Designing a home implies a constant challenge that demands deep explorations to act in the intersection between context, functionality, beauty, and quality of life. Housing conditions in Mexico show on the one hand the rupture that exists between the logical, social and political structures that consolidate the center of the cities and the complexes that have developed in their peripheries, and on the other hand, the stereotypes that exist in the way we have to live.
The house of the XXI Century must have a flexible form that is transformed according to the human needs of privacy, but at the same time is connected with the community. It should provide spaces where daily activities can be carried out while inviting to create configurations such as connection with neighbours, individual-communal-collective, semi-individuality, temporality and family.
The interest of Tatiana Bilbao Estudio is to create discussion platforms to start the road to change and contribute positively to the global discussion of housing from a particularly Mexican approach. It seeks to combine the ambitions of contemporaneity with a deep appreciation for the local and cultural modus vivendi of Mexican families, as well as to find design possibilities sufficiently open to allow organic growth and adaptation to particular ways of life that revalue the parameters of construction of housing in Mexico.
Cutting and juxtaposing images is not only a statement of artistic expression, but it indicates a process of reasoning, finding the possibilities and connections between two images no matter how distant their ties are. While the work of Tatiana Bilbao Estudio is developed in the digital era and in our use of collage that affirms a culture of the image that has been propagated by technology, it protests against it in the materiality that the medium requires. Collages are ways to represent what you already imagined or did. They are an integral part of our process that reinterprets the architectural project, as well as its relationship with photography and the different ways of “seeing” our surroundings.
(Not) Another Tower
Project for the Chicago Architecture Biennial 2017
Ever since the Chicago Home Insurance building was unveiled in 1885 creating a new typology – the skyscraper – human imagination has been fascinated by the promise inherent in these structures. Skyscrapers were both the product necessity, as more people since the advent of the Industrial Age migrated to cities with a limited supply of land, and desire, as architects sought explore the latent possibilities delivered by technological advances.
Today, with an increasing majority of people worldwide living in cities, the future is urban. As land becomes increasingly scarcer, communities will economize space by going vertical. Advancements in construction and technology continue to expand the limit of how high we can build. In the relentless craze to reach towering heights, driven by exploding real estate prices resulting from decreasing land availability and bragging rights over can make ‘the tallest’ we have overlooked one question: should we? As buildings tower upwards the social fabric of a community is stretched ever-thinner, effectively enclosing people within vertical suburbs. Thus, the question developers, builders, and architects should not be “can we build higher?” but rather, “how can space be manipulated, worked, and connected to create truly vertical communities?”
Tatiana Bilbao Estudio’s proposal attempts to reconcile vertical urbanization within a tower typology that can host a city’s civic character. Since cities are not the products of a singular vision, but patchworks of spatialized historical layers, the project attempts to emulate this process by subdividing the tower into 192 plots and collaborating with fifteen studios—each responsible for designing their own plot while maintaining a connection to neighbouring sections. Each collaborator puts forth a vision for the design of the tower, the construction of the city, helping create not merely a vertical sculptural mass but realize a three-dimensional matrix of possibilities.