In November 1982 version 1.0 of AutoCAD was launched, and only two months later, included in update 1.4, the famous ‘blocks’ were introduced aimed at repeating a figure in a project or in various, contributing to its comprehension in scale and program. Thirty years later, all of us (as architects) have interiorised and acknowledged blocks as a familiar and essential tool in our practice.
Nowadays, however, despite their validity they have become inherited drawings, anesthetised and frozen in time; information that has ‘worn out’ its colours. They have become neutralized in the course of time because we haven’t made the effort of up updating them. As new individuals, more heterogeneous, we have acquired new habits and we get together differently. The scenarios and lifestyles, like it or not, have a new form compared to what is shown.
We believe in blocks, not only because of a fetish but also because they are key elements. They bring along stories deeper than what is depicted, transforming into narrative what is passive, building architectures, organising geometries, dimensions, programs and conditions. Blocks show the condition of the architecture portrayed, the moment of time in which we live and of the moment when it is used.
This is why we require new blocks belonging to the contemporary; critical and able to distance themselves from drawings of past eras, making architecture feel uncomfortable wherever it is placed. We address the difficult position of creating contemporary blocks that, in a functional manner, criticise the architectural references we make use of.
Therefore, using the HipoTesis layout, we invite contributors to generate graphic reflections represented through new blocks, present in architectures that put these reflections in crisis. We suggest a list of several blocks in different places with the first example done. Although we are waiting for your proposal to be surprised.
1- Obese woman || Unité d’Habitation in Marseille (Le Corbusier)
2- ‘Escrache’ public protest || Pinto & Sotto Bank (Alvaro Siza)
3- Civil ceremony between tall woman and short man || Murcia Town Hall (Rafael Moneo)
4- Top sellers Manta Group || High Line (Diller Scofidio)
5- Window cleaner at traffic lights || Parking at Strasbourg Terminal (Zaha Hadid)
6- Homeless couple sleeping outdoors || Plaza Mayor in Madrid (Juan de Herrera)
7- Teenagers binge drinking || Igualada Cemmetery (Miralles)
8- Couple having intercourse || John Lennon Memorial in Central Park
9- Feminine masturbation || Farnsworth House (Mies Van der Rohe)
10- HouseKeeping || under the oculus of the Pantheon
11- Man urinating || Stairway at Fallingwater House (Frank Lloyd Wright)
12- Gay ‘bear’ couple holding hands || Casa del Fascio (Terragni)
13- Group of people carrying a coffin || Seafront Promenade in Benidorm (Ferrater)
14- Greenpeace activists || Casa Malaparte (Adalberto Libera y Curzio Malaparte)
15- Modified-tuned car || Lingotto rooftop at the FIAT Factory in Turin (Giacomo Mattè-Trucco)
16- Chinese variety store || Prada Store (Herzog & de Meuron)
Download the call for papers and the first block example here.