New Formalism: Canales Lombardero

Lecture date: 2017-02-21

Lecture by: Nuria Alvarez Lombardero and Francisco Gonzalez de Canales

In one of his most celebrated lectures at Harvard University, the political theorist, Robert Mangabeira Ungers identified seven different categories of formalism in legal theory. Through an intricate and expansive process of classification involving different ideological, philosophical and cultural assumptions, Ungers defines in detail an entire repertoire of form in which one could position him or herself in. Surprisingly, the fact that the discipline of architecture, one long involved in the manipulation of form, still remains in an overly simplistic and often-despised realm of formalism is rather unsettling.

In this lecture, Canales Lombardero showcases more than a decade of professional work investigating form as a precondition to both programme and context. Rooted firmly in professional experience, form is not only understood as an architectural entelechy, but when built, it transforms into a means by which regulations, typological and compositional arrangements, limits between the technological and the artisanal, and the other mundane realities of construction can be scrutinized and questioned.

Canales Lombardero is an office of architecture and urbanism founded in 2003 by Francisco González de Canales and Nuria Álvarez Lombardero in Seville (Spain) and London (UK). Francisco studied architecture at ETSA Seville, ETSA Barcelona and Harvard University, and worked for Foster + Partners and Rafael Moneo. Nuria studied architecture and urbanism at ETSA Madrid and the AA and worked for Machado & Silvetti. Canales Lombardero works have won different awards and being published and exhibited around the world. Both have taught Intermediate unit 8 at the AA since 2009.

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