Author Archives: Federica Zambelleti

Thresholds_from the room to the city

Using the dome as mechanism to challenge thresholds and worlds. Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 18.26.33 Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 18.26.44 Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 18.27.09 Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 18.27.02 Screen Shot 2016-05-30 at 18.26.04

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Dome Day

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Ceci n’est pas une Dome

Continuing with images to document the dome hitting the city. Experimenting with the Dome as catapulting the room to the scale of the urban and also looking at the idea of the dome as creating an infinite sense of interior through the use of Hopper’s paintings. Super useful ‘The Surreal House’ exhibition catalogue (Thank you Manolis) – continuing with the collage language and some paintings as well :)


I also finally photographed the models and have inserted them into the book!



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Dome Takes The City

Working on what would happen to the city if the dome was to be placed on it. Speculating on the idea of interiority whilst working on the format of the book !



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Working on the construction of the dome as a novel whilst slicing the inverted worlds!


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Map and Book

working on book and map simultaneously!



reference for map

reference for map

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Kahlo Inverse World- World within a world

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Loos Chapter Image

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Frida Diego Chapter

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Truman Chapter

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International Style Chapter


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Starting on the Book

Starting to create the book and understand how the chapters- pages can be used as cutting devices.

Looking at Concrete Island as a means to be inspired for the text. I feel as it needs to be much more interesting and inclusive.

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from ‘casa’ to museum’ the materiality of the paper here defines the cut. the overlay of museo on acetate defines the shift.

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physical cut here slices the old frida to make space for frida the artist. the page will be cut in half and the two portraits sit on top of each other.


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Book as Dome

Here By Richard McGuire

Olafur Eliasson, Your House, 2006



I decided to look at the book as the medium with which to deliver the project and as the project itself. The book as a dome and world whose threshold we are able to surpass psychologically but never physically. Although we read the story we always sit outside it- interior and exterior condition is questioned. The book as the frame which already defines what we chose to include and exclude.

Using the book as a medium to define:

How do we cut and why?

What do we include and what is its significance?

What is the effect of the cut?

Going back to the movie introduced by Charles and looking at how one never knows or is aware of the threshold in terms of word-page-chapter. Idea of blurring the edge through the manipulation of the pages and how they allow us to read an image. Looking at folding- carving and cutting pages as a technique as well as their permeability and materiality. – bridging pages?

Looking at how through Mc Guire’s book multiple frames can exist in one page.

Introducing the notion of points of view through the cutting through of pages- book becomes a volume and mass through which we carve (rock-cut architecture).

Characters: Frida and Diego- exploiting their relationship and bridged house to create a narrative.

Setting: Unkown

Media: Text-Drawings and Model


The dome sits by itself as an artefact and as part of the collection.



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The project uses the dome as the architectural element to establish the continuum and challenges architecture as an act of endoming and portraiture.

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The project draws a parallel between the process of constructing the dome to that of composing a portrait to understand, as architects, how do we create and in relation to what? The portrait as a tool allows us to understand and question the social, historical and cultural context to then abstract and render.

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By displacing ground we start to define space. The foundations as frame shift and establish a new identity for the landscape, a new world starts to emerge. Through construction the identity of the world oscillates and develops.


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WIP_Construction Site




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Luxury Worlds within Mexico City

Club House of the Bosque Real country club residential area

Club House of the Bosque Real country club residential area

upper-middle class gated community

upper-middle class gated community

working class subdivision

working class subdivision

Continuing with the idea of isolated little worlds, within Mexico city I am interested in researching the essence of the gated community as ‘endomed’ worlds within the greater city.

Mexico has both the largest population of gated community dwellers in the world and the largest number of gated community dwellers as a percentage of national population. It is estimated that there are 56.8 million Mexicans living in gated communities as of 2010. Gated communities in Mexico are a result of the huge income gap existing in the country. A 2008 study found that the average income in an urban area of Mexico was $26,654 while the average income in rural areas (sometimes just a short distance away) was only $8,403. This close a proximity of wealth and poverty has created a large security risk for Mexico’s middle class.

Many gated communities in Mexico have fully independent and self-contained infrastructure, such as schools, water and power facilities, security and fire forces, and medical facilities. Some of the larger gated communities even retain their own school districts and police departments. The Interlomas area of Mexico City contains hundreds of gated communities and is the largest concentration of gated communities in the world, stretching over 140 square kilometres (54 sq mi).

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Wrapping and Transforming

big_400508_2677_05_2012_09_Frida_Tallera_12531 big_400508_4832_07_2012_09_Frida_Tallera_14571Frida Escobedo wraps Cuernevaca’s home studio in an enigmatic texture and transforms it into a space of cultural production.

Seems as though I have a natural attraction to Frida’s work!!! Absolutely in love with this space which provides a framework for an autonomous laboratory where experiments to articulate the voice of a new generation of cultural producers can take place.

‘In a country that is haunted by the unrealised ideals of its modernist past, where revolutionary messages tend to be co-opted by political parties, the new cultural producers must be able to disguise themselves and cope with this condition to a point that seems almost conservative.’

The new Tallera showcases a masterful sociopolitical and architectural juggle; a well-played act that carefully exhibits a need to look inward, only to provide a genuinely autonomous space for reinvention from within.

How do you negotiate between politics and architecture, cultural past and the new proposed present of site without compromising a strong vision? 

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Abstracting from the Pizza’s

The project begins where the act of architecture as representation seizes to exist and shifts to one of framing and perception. How we frame/create as defining how people perceive. The architect as director, setting up the object and defining the way people will perceive it.


Looking at abstracting concepts from the artefacts as:

  • Architecture as ornament (International Style)
  • Architecture as symbol (Pink Floyd)
  • Architecture as function (Loos and Baker House)
  • Architecture as collection (Frida)
  • Architecture as microcosm (Truman)

Using elements from the artefacts to construct these artefacts. Depending on the scale, materiality and relation to another element the architect defines the identity and how we perceive it.


Influences for these new models:

David Uemoto


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The project reconsiders the museum typology as an exterior rather than interior condition to draw a parallel between the saturation of objects and the saturation of the city. It questions the individual, visitor as a performer within the collections of artifacts which constitute the city as museum.

The project challenges the way we create and assemble as well as the way we perceive and represent.


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Urban Curation & The Museumscape

working on the thesis! and TS :( Screen Shot 2016-03-14 at 18.23.50

The project explores the notion of the city as a museum, as a collage and collection of artifacts. It questions the ground as ultimate plinth as well as the building as isolated artifact. The project challenges the way we perceive as well as the way we represent.

Cities are the most complex and mysterious of human inventions. They are rich in harmony and contradiction; in accord and discord.  They are as different around the world as the societies that have created them. They are forever changing and evolving.

The city we inhabit is created by millions of independent artifacts and moments. Artifacts which are drafted, constructed, copied and then destroyed to be digested by time and reconstructed.

God made the country,” wrote William Cowper, “and man made the town.” Modern cities, Chicago among them, are humankind’s largest collections of art, architecture, and artifice. The Chicago cityscape can be thought of as a huge Rosetta stone, as a historical landscape that is, at once, a panorama and a palimpsest.

Chicago as a collective (and collected) artifact of past and present urban life.


The city as a portrait of our own faltering development.

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Museumscape Images

Finishing off the missing images of my Museumscape!


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Artefacts and Landscape

De Chirico_Love Song

De Chirico_Love Song

The project explores the notion of a landscape in relation to a collection of artifacts. It questions both the ground as plinth as well as the identity of object.  The project challenges the way we perceive as well as the way we represent.

The project explores the notion of a landscape in relation to a collection of artifacts. It questions both the ground as plinth as well as the identity of object.
The project challenges the way we perceive as well as the way we represent.


Magritte_Natural Encounters

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The window exists as the mechanism through which we perceive the object. However the window or the renaissance veil can never reveal to us the whole object but can only reveal a fragment.

The grid as horizontal conditions the ground.

The grid as horizontal conditions the ground.

The grid as horizontal conditions the ground.

The grid as horizontal conditions the ground.

The grid as horizontal conditions the ground.

The grid as horizontal conditions the ground.

The grid as horizontal conditions the ground.

The grid as horizontal conditions the ground.

When thinking presentation: Museum


Thinking of Duchamps Valise Museum as a means to present the final drawings?

In addition to many 2d representations of his past works, including a number of Readymades, this Duchampian museum contains three-dimensional “miniature-replicas” of several of his famous Readymades.  I was thinking of maybe doing the same with the objects taken from the Pizza’s as a means to complement the images.


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Brasilia Museum

Niemeyer vs Brancusi in Museum Landscape


The project explores the notion of landscape in relation to a collection of artefacts to question the ground of the museum. The artefacts’ scale texture and proximity to each other contemporarily question the way we perceive as well as the way we represent.



Bricking Hilberseimer

Bricking Hilberseimer


WIP Guggenheim

WIP Guggenheim

Images from last time:

We think and see through objects of different forms, scales and materials. Contemporarily as individuals and architects we unconsciously carve our own identity in every act and every artefact whilst simultaneously every artefact and act carve ours.

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Through the metaphorical frame of the window we are able to see/perceive, to then collect and represent through the physical frame of the paper. As such the translation from the viewed landscape to the tangible becomes an interpretation rather than representation.  The object as a portrait of our perception.


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Working on composition and views. A Landscape of Objects starts to be set up in a De Chirico perspective.


The project explores the construction of a landscape through objects. The objects as such question both architectural identity and the notion of ground.


The landscape as a space where action happens as well as plinth where objects sit. 1

De Chirico landscape set up 1


aerial- grid as unifying landscape – museum


De Chirico 2- grid as unifying landscape and texture



establishing a dialogue and hierarchy through random through objects

Masterplans or random shapes?


Ager_Le Corbusier


Brasilia_ Niemeyer




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Plinth Tower and ‘Brick’ Avenue

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A Landscape of Objects_WIP





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The Metaphysical and Projection


Reading Architectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge to understand the meaning and extent of ‘projecting’, how a set of projections at various scales from site to detail adds up to a complete objective idea of a building.


Editing thesis:

The project explores the limits and implications of projection and identity. Everything exists as part of two simultaneous worlds, that of the real and that of the perceived. According to Plato, Ideas, i.e. generalia, represent the only truth. All objects have their Ideas, but we can not reach those Ideas through our senses. What our senses are telling us is far from the truth that only the soul can reach. What is true, actually exists. What is, and what appears to be, seem to be two separate worlds.

Whilst Plato advocates multiplicity as the copy of an idea which cannot be reached through our senses I advocate for the multiplicity of ideas depending on the perception and projection through the senses.


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The Metaphysical and Drawing as Architecture

Using De Chirico as a reference to explore the What is? Exploring De Chirico experiment as a means to understand how our perception and the identity of elements is dictated by their scale, repetition and proximity.  This will then be applied to the space of the studio as the space of physical and metaphorical production.



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What is it?

Reflecting on the identity of things depending on your proximity to them and their proximity between each other. Looking at how one objects relationship to the other can dictate and change the latter’s meaning and function. Suurealism here we go!




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Jury Time


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Manual In Construction

More manual pages and self portraits on their way!1 2 3 4 5 6

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White Book/Manual





I have been working on creating a more manual format for the white book whilst developing both the Loos and Pink Floyd self portrait.

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Building The Collection

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I am constructing my own collection. The artefacts of the collection, individually are a re-enactment (self-portrait) of each grain. Yet, as a whole they are a self portrait. Once the collection is growing, I will be designing the space where this collection will be placed. The collection will be itself a place to be inhabited.

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WIP_Building The Collection

This game aims to explore the extent and implications of re-enactment as well as revealing to us our deeper consciousness. It will first test our ability to collect and then the human need for association as well as revealing the clear distance between art and caption.

The game can be played with friends, strangers, family, lovers and a larger system of acquaintances. It allows objects to set up an unintended narrative, to change meaning and to imply a variety of relations between each other.  The game has the potential of opening up new vistas, on both the world and people that surround you as well as confirming or rejecting your own character.

Every new set will help in exploring the continuous possibilities of re-enactment, every drawing will help in challenging the potential of the change of medium. Simultaneously such drawings will build up the identity of artist. At every new game, totems will multiply, adding to and creating the collection.



How to Play


  1. A maximum of four players is allowed and everyone must be gathered around the playing board as to each have a slice of it.
  2. The top layer of the board game is removed and players are allowed to select as many totems as they like, bearing in mind that the objects left out can be as significant as the objects chosen. However, the number of totems chosen from their own slice cannot exceed two. Remaining totems are also removed and positioned on the side.
  3. The top board layer is put back on and the walls are slotted into the proper compartments.
  4. The first player, chosen by the highest roll of dice is allowed to position the totems however he pleases on his slice of the board. While this happens everyone else studies every move.
  5. When this set is complete, I the narrator, chose one of the left over totems and add it to the arrangement. Subsequently I then provide a reading of the collection through the act of drawing. In the meantime, the player writes a brief caption describing his intention/ reading of the totem arrangement.
  6. Noe the person on the right has to build his set and the process is repeated for the remaining three people until a set of four drawings and four captions is achieved.
  7. Each outcome is recorded in the Collection Catalogue, each game/experience is documented.
  8. There is no winner.
  9. Once a set of totems has been used for three games, these have to be re-enacted by the narrator either through a change of medium, design or tool. As well as crafting the totems, objects by the players can be added to the game. One can collect, over one’s lifetime an infinite amount of objects and then add them to the game.


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Totems in Progress


Board In progress

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self portrait 3

Loos/Baker house Self Portrait (for board)

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American Loft_One Unique Surface

I continued exploring the studio and the American loft as one unique canvas where walls, floor blend into one.



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WIP: worlds start stitching together


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3 Types of Studio


Studio as a stage-performance. Juxtaposed to the space of production on the back- An all encompassing environment which reflects the artist.



European Studio-House and studio merge in one. The importance is dedicated to the walls.




American studio-Loft- Halfway between a European studio and a museum

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Unfolding the Studio through the Artefact

Using a diverse perspective I decided to develop the second layers of the dome for both Loos and Pink Floyd. This second ‘pizza’ starts to take the form of the artists studio, so whilst the first pizza can be seen as the self portrait- the extension of this using the Artists in his Studio of Peale starts to spatially become the studio. With pink floys I’ve been looking at the studio as a space of production- subdividing it between music and the per formative aspect of their shows. On the other hand Loos’s (still WIP) develop around the studio as his house and theatre.


This week end I continued to explore the studio of Pink Floyd. Instead of focusing on the horizontal plane I started using the vertical walls of The Wall as a means to develop the diverse spaces vertically.







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I started looking at how I can inverse the perspective of the Dome to then use it to unlayer the artist’s studio.

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Change of Perspective


Started looking at how the re-enactment can be experienced from a more inclusive point of view as to start revealing something of the world beyond the dome.

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Frida 3d Portrait



The manual seeks to explore the significance and extent of re-enactment. Re-enactments will be considered as basic utterances, or sets of utterances, whose aim is not to describe or reflect something, but to create something. Re-enactments create situations at the very moment they utter something, and they are therefore very similar to what linguists call “Performative utterances”. This is why re-enactment prefers metonym over metaphor, and contiguity over resemblance; this is why its “illocutionary” dimension reconnects language with reality and lastly reminds us how abundant reality is compared to language.
By translating six complex grains or utterances and actions from one language to another, from one context to another, from one intention to another, the manual explores how re-enactment reminds us how unspecialized, how “open to the world”, and how explosively creative humans are, and it speaks of the inexhaustible reserve of words and actions contained in the human language faculty.
The artefact/event itself is only a fragment of a larger moment. As such the manual explores how artistic re-enactments therefore do not view the original event as something singular and irreducible, but on the contrary, as a complex set of elements that can be interpreted in various ways. It is as if the event, work or performance that serves as the point of departure for the re-enactment, was viewed as a “field of differences”, not fully deployed and therefore only potential, from which more than one meaning can be extracted.
The manual explores the body as a means of re-enacting. While a re-enactment may depend upon historical documents and artifacts – from newspaper reports describing an event to the clothing worn by key figures – your body remains the vehicle that can carry the past into the present, that can give the past presence.
We are no longer witnesses to re-enactments of the past. In realm of reproductions, we are actors who both play the role of spectator and who perform ourselves. The past is significant only insofar as it provides material to create a sense of the present, if not a sense of the human presence itself. Seeing is more credible than breathing.

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Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd

Loos for Baker

Loos for Baker





Throughout the last few days I have focused on creating this introverted microcosms of re-enactment for each grain. I decided to expand with the Truman show and include the idea of the simulacrum for the viewer of the self-portrait as a parallel to the concept of re-enactment for the artist. I also started reading Derrida to dwell further on my thesis.

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Manual for Re-Enactment_Studio & Self Portrait

The Instructions Manual_Part2 The Instructions Manual_Part5 The Instructions Manual_Part6 The Instructions Manual_Part7 The Instructions Manual_Part24



So the manual is slowly coming along based on a mixture between the Sears Manual (One week-Keaton) and a lego manual. In the meantime I have started looking at the role of the studio for the artist and the role of the studio as the physical embodiment of the self-portrait. I am interested in understanding the studio space as the unique place where an artwork is in context and thus look at the role of the museum in contemporary society.

Hopefully I will get on to looking at Corbu’s studio as well :)

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Re-enacting the ‘Artists’ studio

In the past few days I have been working on writing a thesis to define my argument. I will not bore you with the whole thing but will just feature the beginning for an overview:

The project seeks to reconstruct through an instructions manual the space of the artist’s studio as the theatrical stage for the production of the self-portrait, the uppermost form of re-enactment. This is achieved through an inverse process starting from the artefact/building to then construct and project the room/space which came to define the mind of the artist.

I am woking on the manual and in the meantime a plan for the Kahlo studio after which I aim to apply similar construction methods for Le Corbusier and Loos.


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Reenacting in the 21st Century

Frida Timeline

Kahlo Deconstruction

Kahlo Stage


I decided to go forward with the notion of reenactment and to explore it as an act of performance within the context of the museum of the 21st century: The Theatre. As Bardi revolutionised the exhibition method by introducing ‘free-standing artwork’ as such I’m looking to reenact the life and theme of the paintings allowing them to inhabit the space three dimensionally and establishing a 360 degrees performance for the viewer. If we take the term of reenactment as; the subjective expression of an event which has already occurred then the ‘Painting’ can be viewed as the uppermost form of the latter. Within the context of Kahlo’s life her portraits are extremely valid examples of reenactment, whereby her life events are juxtaposed through rich symbolism with her profile. I thus decided to start and deconstructed the latter according to the various layers of information in order to understand the overarching themes which link one image to the other. What was interesting to notice is how this visual relationship can be translated into one of time and space un-layering as such the narrative of Frida’s life.

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Form Follows Function_Bottle Opener

Bottle Opener

Interrelation of function and form. It has no beginning, no ending. It is immeasurably small, immeasurably vast; inscrutably mobile, infinitely serene; intimately complex yet simple.

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The Act of Performing

I’ve started to look at the thematic of performance and exhibition as a thread through my grains. Starting from Weizmans literal re-enactment of Loo’s Baker house as a ‘memorial’ of both the architect and Baker to Keaton’s performative of the static catalogue Sear’s house and finally to the legacy of Pink Floyd’s theatrical performances. To explore this thread further I decided to borrow two other grains:

  • Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera meet in Detroit and become Mexico City’s power couple in love and art.
  • Fashion imitates architecture in 2014 when Chanel turns a photograph of Barkow Leibinger’s Trutek building in Seoul into suit.
  • Lina Bo Bardi works for magazines in Italy but builds in Brazil.

In both Kahlo’s and Bo Bardi’s cases I decided to look at the way the artists and architects lives and work have been initially exhibited and then also interpreted. With Frida I was particularly interested in looking at the Casa Azul (her home with Diego) and the partial re-enactment of this in the exhibition at the New York Botanical gardens. I also started looking at one exhibition in particular: Appearances Can be Deceiving: The Dresses of Frida Kahlo where her wardrobe was juxtaposed to her paintings forming an interesting dialogue between her image of herself and the way she presented herself to the world. As such I then am looking at how contemporary designers have interpreted her style both on the runway and for editorials.

When analysing fashion performances and power couples no one exceeds the marriage between Prada and OMA. From shop designs to fashion shows to installations OMA has revolutionised the way we interact with the garment. This is particularly evident in fashion shows where the typical linear flow of models is disrupted with large foam seating blocks or doing away with raised platforms altogether or the New York shop where a “wave” on the interior serves as seating, display, and as a performance space as it dips into the building’s basement activating the garments and accessories. As such the fashion show becomes an active performance for both object and visitor.

In a similar way one of Bo Bardi’s major legacy’s is that of her interior installation at MASP where she moved the paintings out into the exhibition space, rejecting the walls as a mechanism for exalting space and content. I am interested in viewing the effects of this on contemporary exhibition methods as well as understanding her legacy through both magazines as Domus : which she established and travelling exhibitions.

NYBG_Frida Kahlo_G_

The New York Botanical Garden exhibition


The New York Botanical Garden exhibition_ Re-enactment of Kahlo’s Studio

Dolce & Gabbana (fall-winter 2012) Vogue USA – fotografía por Mario Testino.

Dolce&Gabbana campaign

Kenzo, fotografía de Mario Sorrenti (2011)

Kenzo Campaign 2012

Moschino (primavera 2012)

Moschino 2012 Spring Collection


Ideal House: OMA runway design


OMA Runway design


Prada Transformer


Prada Transformer Installation




Lina Bo Bardi Interior Installation for MASP



Lina Bo Bardi MASP interior installation

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Mass Production & Customisation

6. Buster Keaton receives a one-week build-it-yourself house as a wedding present, and a train demolishes it as soon as he is finished. 



Sears Hamilton Model

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Maison Citrohan_Le Corbusier


Ikea Catalogue

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Ikea_ Wall Partitions

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Ikea_ Wall Partitions define new spaces


One Week as the story of the seven day construction process of Sears’s mail order Modern Home, a standard catalogue house.  The movie envisions the idea of mass customisation as a hybrid system. it conceives new building processes using manufacturing/automated production highlighting the ability to differentiate within the mass produced.

One week announces a new architecture in motion, envisioning adaptable, light and compact spaces with dwellers in transit. The One Week housing model as collapsible design is classified according to their uses or capabilities: transporting, adaptation, combination, assembling and disassembling process, folding/unfolding and carrying. House as a complete organsim.

The film’s script is structured according to the Catalog Modern House’s Framework: Mailing, Shipping delivering and rapid building.

Extreme of mass production and customisation can be viewed with multinationals as Ikea. Customised Furniture as something which mobilitates and frees architecture.

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