Coronamaison 2 - La Villa Ça Va_cropped_sm

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Ok, so, as you already know if you follow muy twitter feed (wich you definitely should, of course), I finally gave in and draw a second entry on the CoronaMaison (‘CoronaMansion’) challenge, so as to pretend that I could really manage not to lose steam and turn this into a short series with different architects (last one, with Peter Eisenman, here). I won’t, even if I really would love to (I love these small projects nobody other than me is interested in), but I may have a couple more in me. Keep tuned.

The #Coronamaison challenge was launched some weeks ago on twitter by French illustrator and webcomic author Pénélope Bagieu (@PenelopeB). The call was very simple: to design one’s ideal house for this confinement conditions, using a template provided by Timothy Hannem (@acupoftim). So far, over 1,000 people have contributed their own visions to this challenge, which can be checked clicking on the #coronamaison hashtag on twitter.

Coronamaison 2 - La Villa Ça Va - wordless - cropped_sm

And the wordless version, for those who care about these things. Click to enlarge

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On these days of seclusion, internet is becoming for many, more than ever, the only contact with the world outside (as if it wasn’t before already, for some). And for those of us whose daily activities deal in one degree or another, with drawing, social media are offering a wide range of activities to invest our time and neglect our real work.

One such opportunities for procrastination is the CoronaMaison (‘CoronaMansion’) challenge, launched a week ago on twitter by French illustrator and webcomic author Pénélope Bagieu (@PenelopeB). The call was very simple: to design one’s ideal house for this confinement conditions, using a template provided by Timothy Hannem (@acupoftim). So far, over 1,000 people have contributed their own visions to this challenge, which can be checked clicking on the #coronamaison hashtag on twitter. 

As an architect-cartoonist I thought I couldn’t let this opportunity to step in and bring some order pass. However, I failed miserably and just indulged in my usual obsessions. I had also thought of making a series out of this, each one with a different architect, but, knowing my lack of perseverance, I doubt it will ever happen.

Well, it was fun, at least.

17020901-acoplado 02 textos-recortado

Here’s a wordless version, in case you like it better. Click to enlarge.

 

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As many of you already know if you’re reading these lines, in 2014 I started contributing to Mexican architecture magazine Arquine, which, after the sad demise of both Uncube and A10, has become my longest ongoing collaboration with any architectural media. There have been many -and varied- fruitful results from this relationship, starting with my section Arquinoir, which gives me a venue both for my usual rants about any aspect of Architecture’s present, past, History and Theory, as well as for my drawing urges. (I cannot stress enough how permissive and supportive they are when it comes to publishing everything I send them, no matter how outlandish it may be). Throughout the years, this collaboration has extended to book chapters, posters, prefaces to very nice books, an exhibition in the CCEMex, and even an invitation to the Mextropoli Festival in 2018.

Last in this series, and at a point where I thought I had lost my ability to be surprised, has been Miquel Adriá’s and Alejandro Hernández’s idea to use the lower half of my cartoon for issue No. 91 (March 2020) on the cover. When they asked me about it, I thought it was flattering but not a very good idea (my style kinda clashes with the clean-cut design of Arquine’s covers). Now, after seeing the fantastic job they have done with it (my cartoon, featured inside, has the usual graytone shading), I’m just flattered. Cheers, guys!

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Just one more pic, because it looks so cool.

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Following last month’s lecture at the School of Architecture of Universitat Internacional de Catalunya in Barcelona, next Friday I’ll be presenting a retrospective of my work at the School of Architecture of the University of Navarra (ETSAUN). You’re all welcome if you feel like attending, and you might get a signed print if you do, too.

Cheers!

UIC 2020 Reprise 01_sm

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This is something that should have been done almost a month ago, but, as my recaps of my own events go, it’s possibly one of my teeniest delays (there are some events from 2018 which are still waiting their turn into this not-yet-completely-abandoned blog).

So, just a few lines to acknowledge & thank Fredy Massad, Guillem Carabí, and the UIC School of Architecture in Barcelona for inviting me to open their ‘Foros 2020’ Lecture series. It was great to meet the students and show an overview of my work in the past decade, answer their completely spontaneous questions (ahem), as well as having the opportunity to meet some old (as in ‘long-time’, not ‘agey’) friends such as Ethel Baraona, from DPR-Barcelona.

Next stop in my Iberian tour: Pamplona!

MONTAGE UIC BN_01

Here, some pics of the event taken by the attendees. Sorry for the lack of credits. I grabbed them from twitter and forgot to write doen where they came from. Thanks to the kind photographers!

 

Barcelona UIC

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Next week I will be ging the opening lecture of theForos’ lecture series at the School of Achitecture of the UIC Barcelona – Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, thanks to a kind invitation by Fredy Massad and Guillem Carabí, organizers of the 2020 edition. This year’s series, titled ‘Co-Benefits’, will focus on the multiple overlaps of architecture and the arts, from dance and sculpture to photography, cinema and comics (ahem).

The series will feature lectures by sculptress MADOLA, dancer Carme Torrent, critic and curator Maroje Mrduljaš, as well as Elsie Owusu, Éric Fassin, Jorge Gorostiza, and yours truly. Below you can find the poster for the series, with the speakers’ Bios and a general description of the program.

See you all there, if you can make it. There’s a possibility that some prints might be awarded to those members of the audience who ask interesting questions.

 

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Architecture has perhaps been the Fine Arts discipline that historically has most heavily drawn from the other arts. From ancient civilizations up until the 19th century, its necessary condition of habitability enabled architecture to incorporate painting, sculpture, music and literature, to its façades, its roofs, on the outside and the inside of buildings.

However, at the beginning of the 20th century, the emergence of the artistic avant-garde meant that architecture had to swing between the adapting of its forms in response to a new way of perceiving the world, and the pressing need to solve the housing shortage in war-torn Europe. This produced a pendulum motion where the arts, as an escape valve for a continent in ferment, influenced a significant proportion of architectural designs, inevitably moving them closer to the new visual arts. And, at the same time, the absence of distinct ornamentation revealed, from the nature of the architecture itself, its own artistic quality.

A hundred years later, looking back we can continue to observe a fruitful feedback process between the arts: while the various manifestations of contemporary art draw on numerous occasions from architectural elements, freed from any connotation of habitability, architecture in turn draws from the various artistic disciplines to emphasise its emotional nature and thereby reconnect with its users. In this way, dance, sculpture, thought, or the newer arts like photography, cinema and comics become, deservedly, both components of  and interpreters of contemporary architecture.

Direction of Foros. Guillem Carabí, Fredy Massad.
Aula Magna UIC Barcelona
uic.es/architecture

Happy new year_01

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It’s been an wful amount of years since I haven’t drawn a Christmas -or New Year- greeting cardtoon (I just made that up as I typed), and I thought it was about time, so here it is: Happy 2020 to everyone! -most especially to all those who have been following this humble site from the beginning.

Of course, even in such a straightforward drawing I couldn’t resist including a few nods to things both past and present, from Planet of the Apes to Climate Change, Brexit, Calvin and Hobbes, postmodern architecture, or Disney’s The Mandalorian, which has been the first time I enjoy a Star Wars-related product since the original three. (Well, I also enjoyed ‘Solo’, but that’s something I guess I shouldn’t admit publicly). Together whith those, there’s as usual, my cringe-worthy self-caricature, and these two guys which, if you look closely, tend to show up in many of my works. The reason for their inclusion here, other than habit, is that 2020 also marks the 15th year (oh, dear…) since I started using the ‘Klaus’ moniker, which I created in 2005 when I started publishing the architect-themed comic strip ‘El Corbu’ (which Quilian Riano suggested translating as ‘John Corb’). The strip featured a struggling young architect (as I was at the time) dealing with the typical problems of the profession, mostly low wages and clients who don’t like modern architecture. The strip only lasted for a year, even if I had sketched ideas for some 200 installments. As usual, again, the magazine that published didn’t last long, and I abandoned the project. I still like it, and perhaps I’ll retaake it. When I’m retired, I guess. In the meantime, and, for those who might feel any curiosity, here’s a taste, with a strip  that makes part of a series where John Corb hs to deal with a client particularly opposed to flat roofs. Enjoy.

And a let’s all hope for a Happy 2020!

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