How is an architectural space produced and what makes this production a collective event? What opportunities does architecture provide as techne, as a platform for the questioning of the regulation and management of the public as provided by various administrative and institutional frameworks? And how can this be understood as the formulation of collective knowledge?
Santiago Cirugeda (Seville, 1971) and his studio Recetas Urbanas have been answering these questions for more than 20 years by generating spaces for the production of the social. His architecture is the result of the constant definition and redefinition of the public, with projects that question the management, use and constitution of this space. His projects revolve around political claims of educational, economic, health, cultural and counter-cultural interest. His modus operandi is that of subversive strategy, in areas of legal and illegal resolution, and as they describe it, areas where there is no law. This almost always crystallizes as part of a dialogue between individuals, organizations, public authorities and communities of all kinds. At times, his prescriptions are a critical response to the denial of rights that we are not even aware of as citizens and which are not always guaranteed. After over two decades of work, Urban Prescriptions has made self-construction, the reuse of materials, public involvement and collective design the main tools of its architectural processes and protocols.
These and other issues are the focus of the exhibition You are here, co-produced by the Museum of Contemporary Art of León (MUSAC in Spanish) and the Luis Seoane Foundation, held at both institutions from July 2018 to January 2019. The project illustrates the methodology of this architecture studio, in which the processes of analysis, study and development of a concept are just as important as the end result, and in which the reuse of materials, recycling and the involvement of all sorts of people, organizations, authorities and public and private institutions all play a fundamental role.
The project hosted by the MUSAC includes a broad selection of audiovisual resources - from interviews to short documentaries - that reflect both the practice of the studio and the impact of several of its projects on the participants and communities where they were implemented, as well as diverse documentary material that reveals the methodology and strategies behind some of these projects.