39. Public Interest Design with Sergio Palleroni

39. Public Interest Design with Sergio Palleroni

“A project is like a human being - when you’ve finished the process of creating or co-creating it with a community, it’s a teenager, and then it grows up…”

Today we speak with activist designer Sergio Palleroni, who has been taking students around the world to work with disadvantaged communities to make a difference, to build with them and to teach students how they can learn from building with them. We discuss the politics of design-build activism, and what that implies in terms of asking the brick what it wants to be!

Timestamp Outline

3:27 An activist architect and academic
6:07 “I became interested that these [community] discussions...could be the basis of form.”
8:21 Starchitects vs community building architecture
9:10 What is the overall aesthetic of your work? Its visual character?
9:43 Book: Studio at Large: Architecture in Service of Global Communities
10:38 Álvaro Siza: ‘Every place has a theory.’
11:10 “If you’ve listened well, the architecture becomes a curator of the place.”
13:32 “A project is like a human being - when you’ve finished the process of creating or co-creating it with a community, it’s a teenager, and then it grows up…”
14:45 Martha Bear Quiver House in Montana
16:27 What’s the best site for empowerment? Planning, law, policy, architecture?
19:28 Wrote code for straw bale housing to enable building
21:22 As an educator: collaboration for knowledge and empowerment
22:31 “I always tell my students, ‘We’re not going to do a building; we’re gonna build a system.’...When it works well, that system continues to grow after we leave.”
24:00 Generative nature of projects: school in Mexico…then clinic…then library…then solar kitchen
25:38 Bottom-up vs top-down processes
27:30 Teddy Cruz and the architect as curator
29:21 “Through making, you move into the material world - you move into the lived-in world - which you share with so many other voices and people. And though doing that it challenges you what needs to be communicated.”
32:41 Ecology: we forgot how inextricably entangled everything is
37:39 Carlos Mijares, Mexican architect: brick
38:15 Local artisan in Michoacán: “I went to the mountain today and it said it was tired of me digging it.”
39:34 Curation as a way to interweave the small and large voices

40. Drawing as the Adoration of Landscape with Frits Palmbloom

40. Drawing as the Adoration of Landscape with Frits Palmbloom

38. Rethinking 'Vernacular' with Elizabeth Golden

38. Rethinking 'Vernacular' with Elizabeth Golden