On Monday 26 February, Alejandro Haiek, co-founder of the experimental applied research laboratory LABProFAB, kicked off a new edition of the School of Architecture’s Foros lecture series with a lecture entitled “Building Relationships”.
School lecturer Miquel Lacasta, co-director of this edition along with Marc Chalamanch and Carmen Santana, was in charge of delivering the opening address of a lecture series which this year is entitled “Plural Innovations” and has been organised in cooperation with BBConstrumat.
Lacasta’s speech hinged on the open-ended concept of innovation as a crucial force for expanding Architecture beyond the discipline’s traditional boundaries.
He was followed by Alejandro Haiek, who, in front of over one hundred attendees, presented his work in the University’s Aula Magna, placing particular emphasis on two of his most recent projects: The Gyroscopic House and a culture and sports complex, both designed and built in the Venezuelan city of Barquisimeto, the third largest industrial city in this Latin American country.
During his lecture, the Venezuelan architect discussed some of the main principles governing his work, such as his refusal to view architecture as an idea of progress, of the future; obsolescence as a resource; the aesthetics of imprecision; and the collectivisation of work, and stressed the social nature of all his projects. “Interacting in a horizontal manner is one of ways in which we think. Architecture helps build human relationships. In this regard, architects should think more like citizens than like experts, without abandoning the discipline’s technical principles”, he pointed out.
Alejandro Haiek holds a degree in Architecture from the Central University of Venezuela and currently works as a lecturer at Umeå University, Sweden. Winner of the National Venezuelan Culture Award in 2010, his work was recently exhibited at the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016. Declared New Talent in Metropolis magazine by MOMA curator Martino Stierli (2015), in 2012, he won first prize at the EME3 International Architecture Festival in Barcelona.
The Foros lecturer series will continue on 5 March with a talk by Catalan architect Itziar González Viròs. President of ParlaMent Ciutadà and director of the ReVolta Cartographic Institute, González Viròs recently won an international contest to design the urban development project for La Rambla in Barcelona The lecture, entitled “The Social Ramblas” will start at 7.30 p.m. in the University’s Aula Magna.