39. Public Interest Design with Sergio Palleroni
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!
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