‘Affection as a Subversive Architectural Form’ — Elvira Dyangani Ose and Raúl Muñoz de la Vega in conversation

Elvira Dyangani Ose and Raúl Muñoz de la Vega (Curator and Assistant Curator of Usted está aquí [You Are Here], Fundación Luis Seoane, 2018 and MUSAC, León, 2019) introduce the exhibition’s publication, including essays on different aspects of the practice of architecture collective Recetas Urbanas. Other contributors include Pascal Gielen (Professor cultural sociology at the Antwerp Research Institute for the Arts), Kristine Guzmá (Director of the AA Art and Architecture MUSAC series), and architects Santiago Cirugeda and Alice Attout who share anecdotes about key projects throughout their career.

This book is the sixth volume in the series AA Arte y Arquitectura MUSAC, published by Asymmetric Editions and accompanying the eponymous exhibition at Luis Seoane Foundation and MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León 2018-19. The project told the story of more than two decades of work by Recetas Urbanas and how they have made self-building, reusing materials, community involvement and collective design the main tools of their processes and architectural approach.

‘There is something more profuse in the trajectory of Recetas Urbanas (which in Spanish means both Urban Recipes and Urban Prescriptions) than their projects: the people who intervene in them. Strangers and acquaintances. People from the neighbourhood and beyond. Faces, voices, people. The conversations, the laughter, an occasional shout… All of the above, have perhaps as much or even more presence than the rumour of drills and saws. Impromptu questions, stopping all tasks to share an opinion or to take a decision, as well as explaining the aim of a job using an anecdote. There is a rare collective intimacy, a way of building community made into a process that is established in each project. One would think that in the exercise of such form of architecture there is a challenging spontaneity, but everything is part of an orchestration, which is as meditated as it is wildly free.

The formulation of any “urban prescription” implies an act of generosity – both from the studio and each of the individuals taking part in its development – transformed into a political gesture, establishing the condition of possibility for the generation of a social space. A space that defies what was originally imposed by the political powers that regulate the public administration. A social space that vindicates our capacity to intervene, our participation role, our responsibility in the decision making process, our capacity as active agents of change. All the while, as Cirugeda establishes, joining citizen action and quality democratic management.’

Recetas Urbanas. “Affection as a Subversive Architectural Form: Elvira Dyangani Ose and Raúl Muñoz de la Vega in conversation”. Usted está aquí [You are here], edited by Kristine Guzmán, MUSAC, Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Castilla y León, 2018, pp. 27-34.



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