Hernan Diaz Alonso: Making + Meaning talk (August 4, 2011)

Hernan Diaz Alonso begins with a discussion of the word “void” and its importance in his work. For him, void relates to the autonomy of architecture. The architecture begins with internal logic, and site and contextual connections are secondary. He lists a set of principles that run through his work, including contamination, the grotesque, and affect/arousal. He discusses his P. S. 1 project and its relationship to cinema and narrative.

Diaz Alonso discusses newer projects which build on P. S. 1 in exploring growth, change and the grotesque. He discusses the creation of species rather than typologies, which adapt and change in relationship to external contamination. He illustrates this with a continually downscaled project which started as a house, became a pavilion and ultimately finished as a chair, in which each stage illustrated the same formal logic. Diaz Alonso concludes with several of his most recent projects. He shows a project, featured in the 2010 Venice Architecture Biennale, which employed vegetation as an active component of the design. He confesses it turned out insufficiently contaminated, and not enough of a misfit. He shows a project which derives formal inspiration from mutilated cow carcasses, a reflection of Argentinian barbecue preparation.

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