From 6 to 17 August, the Architectural Association will conduct a Visiting School program in Havana, where the second edition of the Politics of Fabrication Laboratory will take place, at the Instituto Superior Politécnico José Antonio Echeverría and at the Casa Del Historiador.
The Politics of Fabrications Laboratory (PFL) is a research-through-design initiative which explores changing political implications of material experimentation when applied to the construction of urban public spaces. From Max Borges' double-curvature concrete shells to Alberto Cruz Covarrubias' poetic wood constructions, Latin American architecture has demonstrated an outstanding vitality in material expression. The capacity of these experimentations to change the relationship between architecture and the public, as an alternative to the standards of modernism, will be used in this workshop to open up creativity in current digital fabrication experiments.
PFL continues a series of speculative itinerant workshops which experiment with politically charged materials in actual city sites. The second stop is Havana. Formerly the pearl of the Antilles, and a city of infinite wealth in the colonial world, Havana is now a rotting paradise looking for a new future, but it still seduces by demonstrating its otherness within the global condition. The city traps its visitors in an intense tapestry of smell and touch that allows a different vantage point from which to redefine our idea of material expression. From this point the PFL will start opening up ideas for new constructions in the public space.
The Havana workshop will be structured in two 1-week segments. In the first part (tools and conceptual-scheme), students will learn new software to represent innovative political arguments by experimenting with the relationship between everyday activities and particular material organizations. These experimental propositions are meant to define new models of interaction between the individual and the collective in the public arena. In the second part (fabrication-construction), students will work collaboratively on the implementation of one of the schemes that has been selected from the first proposals. Fabricated on site, this temporary prototype will evaluate in real life the achievements of the designs.
Open to architecture and design students and professionals worldwide, the workshop is accepting applications through 3 August.