4th April 2014
Carlos Arroyo Architects office for Architecture and Urbanism
In post-industrial Europe, a political and cultural debate over landscape had developed by the eighties, prompted by agents with interests as diverging as those of the environmental movement at one end, and the artists and theorists of Land Art at the other. The crisis that put an end to that decade changed the political agenda, leaving the debate unresolved; but the consciousness of an altered landscape had emerged, as well as the possibility to actively participate in its transformation as a cultural object. At present, an equally diverse set of factors urge us to adopt an innovative strategy to make sense of these altered landscapes, which in the last economic cycle have undergone one of the biggest transformations in its history. The current triple crisis forces us to rethink our relationship with production. The environmental crisis enforces the introduction of new elements into everyday landscape, energy producing devices using renewable sources, proximity production in order to reduce the ecological footprint of transport, renovation and integration of water processing protocols and waste water treatment. The looming oil crisis also affects the increasing presence of renewable energy in the landscape and the transformation of the criteria for transport. The financial crisis and the bursting of the real estate bubble results in a large number of broken processes of transformation of the territory, which is perhaps even more serious, if possible, than the situation of most of the processes that did manage to succeed in last decade, which were guided by short-term commercial agendas. These factors define a significant change in environmental, political and economic agendas, but it is important to add that we detected equally important changes in the sociocultural agenda, intimately related to the former. In Society in general, and also among the various branches of the creative professions, there is a growing commitment towards a culture of sustainability. Productive Landscapes, proposes a theory of landscape undoing the separation between “pragmatic and poetic”.
Carlos Arroyo is a Linguist, Architect, Urban Planner, and Researcher. He has a Madrid based office for Architecture and Urbanism, with international commissions in Spain, France, Belgium, Rwanda, Colombia and Argentina. His work ranges from institutional projects; OostCampus, Belgium to large scale planning; eco-neighbourhood, Spain. He has developed protocols for innovation on all scales, from building technology to landscape management, developing new types of public building, or researching into new forms of housing. His projects described by critics as “sustainable exuberance”, set the frame for a new architectural culture, language and aesthetics, through the ethics, technology and parameters of sustainability. His projects have been exhibited in international venues like the Venice Biennale or the Institut Français d’Architecture, and also featured in hundreds of international publications in Europe, Asia, Australia and the Americas, including an extensive dossier in El Croquis. He has taught and lectured in over 50 international institutions, including Tokyo University, AIA NYC, Princeton, MIT, Berlin TU, Vienna, Milano, Paris, Bogotá, Sao Paulo and Buenos Aires