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Contemporary Strategies: Common Places by Plan Común

Contemporary Strategies: Common Places by Plan Común

Urban Geographies by Pedro Correa

This project is featured in 2: “Landscape as Urbanism in the Americas.” The issue takes its name from a project led by the Office for Urbanization at Harvard GSD. It explores the potentials for landscape as a medium of urban intervention in the specific social, cultural, economic, and ecological contexts of Latin American cities. The issue will be available very soon. Sign-up to our newsletter to be the first to know! 

Understanding the need for critical architecture in today’s society and the built realm, Common Places elaborates on a series of proposals and strategies that aim to expand public spaces through the study of scale, urbanism, representation, and social-interaction exercises that could be applied worldwide. It is a truly collective research achieved during six years of work with architects from Colombia, Italy, Chile, France, Estonia, The Netherlands, and other countries. 

The project was initiated and promoted by the architecture office Plan Común based in Santiago, Chile, a country where a neoliberal experiment has been ongoing for forty years. The project focuses on the discussion and production of formal strategies to maximize collective space. It is an attempt to establish a common structure for dialogue and exchange, avoiding competition and fragmentation among a group of architects to openly discuss, through our discipline and knowledge, issues related to our built environment, culture, and commons, focusing on specific subjects that give shape to our everyday life and environments: from micro-interventions to urban transformations; from landscape to infrastructure; from representation to monumentality.   

The research is a hybrid between accumulation and curatorial process. It is an exercise to introduce and delineate new narratives, protocols, and habits. The aim was not to express creative freedom without limits nor explore a bold pragmatism, but instead to convey a “corrective architecture,” as defined by Elia Zenghelis, “that would make sense to its occupants.” It brings about a compilation of strategies that could be used as a manual to be appropriated, manipulated, and translated in different political and cultural contexts to reinforce the collective realm. In the end, all of the architects involved agreed on the fact that for an architect, architecture is active propaganda in the original sense of the word.

Through a critical attitude towards physical and cultural contexts as well as briefs and clients, architecture can appropriate reality in radical and unexpected ways, making visible its potentials, contradictions, and developing projects that enable emancipatory ideas to become space. Collaboration and cooperation are an integral part of practicing architecture, and this research was also an attempt to prove it. 

LOCATION: Worldwide / DATE: 2012 – 2018 / AUTHORS: Felipe De Ferrari (CL), Kim Courreges (FR), Thomas Batzenschlager (FR), Diego Grass (CL), Marcelo Cox (CL), Jose Lemaitre (CL), Oliver Burch (CH), Costanza Zeni (IT), Jules Salmon (FR), Kotaro Shimada (JP), Pedro Correa (CL), Cristian Valenzuela (CL), Pedro Hoffmann (CL), Luca Magagni (IT), Osvaldo Larraín (CL), Eduardo Corales (CL), Ciro Miguel (BR), Bruna Canepa (BR), Hamed Khosravi (Behemoth, IR), Arturo Scheidegger and Ignacio Garcia Partarrieu (Umwelt, CL), Cruz García & Nathalie Frankowski (Wai Think Tank, CR / FR), Miles Gertler (CA), Erica Chladová and Robert van der Pol (Liminal Office, NL), Javiera Jadue and Paula Livingstone (CL), Tomás Tironi and Christian Bartlau (CL), Cristóbal Amunátegui and Alejandro Valdés (CL), Benjamin Gallegos Gabilondo (CL), Grupo Toma (CL), Fosbury Architecture (IT), Sebastián Paredes (CL), Felipe Grallert (CL), Alejandra Celedón (CL) and Jack Self (EN)

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