Merlin Fulcher, journalist at the Architects Journal in London, sent us some questions whose answers we’d like to share with you:
Architects Journal: Why are your holding a competition for a series of installations in Belo Horizonte, Brazil? (Where did the idea for the contest come from? Why is it important for judges to choose from a range of projects? Why are you keen for local, national and international participation?)
OT Organizers: The contest was organized by three partners (Vazio S/A, Coletivo Aurora, and Eduardo de Jesus). Vazio S/A is an architecture office that works just like any other, and that however understands the limitations of practice and the possibilities of less self-centered projects. Aurora is a collective focused on the interface between lighting and other disciplines, with a view to co-creating actions capable of disseminating the impact lighting has on people’s lives and of discussing its relevance to the re-signification of spatial and emotional experiences. And Eduardo de Jesus is a curator with interests in architecture and the interface between the visual arts and the city.
Architects Journal: What is your vision for the thought-provoking installations? (What facilities or aesthetics might they provide? How big are the contest sites and what are the potential constraints? How important will design innovation and quality be to the end result? Are sustainable issues an important part of the brief?)
OT Organizers: The proposals will be selected by a multidisciplinary jury that includes curators of architecture, art and design; as well as a representative of the Buritis neighborhood association, the site of the interventions. The locations vary greatly in size (150m2 to 1300m2) and, in principle, there are no pre-established conditions or rules.
The interventions can take any form so long as they are feasible and explore the potentialities/difficulties of the stilt structures in question. According to the brief, “by intervention the Call understands any work that addresses the specific characteristics of the sites in order to question and problematize its aesthetic and conceptual dimensions, resulting in a stance taken on the chosen theme and/or intervention context.”
Architects Journal: What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply? (Is the opportunity open to smaller emerging practices and undiscovered talents? Could architects and designers make their names on this project? Do international teams need to collaborate with local firms to apply?)
OT Organizers: We expect to receive proposals from architects and other cultural agents, either recognized or emerging, established or newly formed. It is not necessary to associate with Brazilian architects to participate in the Call.
Architects Journal: Which other design opportunities are on the horizon and how will the architects/designers be procured? (What other schemes might you be moving forward in the near future? Will there be any design contests for future buildings, green interventions, public realm improvements or other smaller commissions?)
OT Organizers: The selected proposals will be presented at an exhibition at Viaduto das Artes (www.viadutodasartes.com), a novel and instigating cultural venue installed under a pair of overpasses in Barreiro, Belo Horizonte, and totally aligned with the overall concept of Other Territories, namely to explore possible ways of activating these lacunas left by urban infrastructures.
Later, these proposals will be discussed with residents associations and potential Festival sponsors so that they can come to fruition during Phase II, the Other Territories Cultural Festival, which we hope to host towards the end of the first semester of 2019.
Architects Journal: Are there any other innovative installation projects you have been impressed by? (If so, please specify the project, location, completion date and design team)
OT Organizers: Yes, there are many. But we prefer not to mention any reference project since the purpose of the Call is to provoke a fresh platform for discussion.
published in Dec. 9, 2018, 9 a.m.