Cuina casolana, Cocina casera, or Home cooking…


“REACTIVATE!!” is a new show at the Espai D’Art Contemporani de Castelló (Spain) that joins with a previous exhibition at the Swiss Architecture Museum. From the catalog, which I just received in the mail, it looks like a really refreshing collection of art and architecture projects that seize nascent opportunities in between the cracks of corporate, regulated, zoned or otherwise prescriptive space. In short, this is about contemporary ‘hack-o-pportunism’ in the physical realm. With tinges of Situationism, Open Source and urban surgery, Santiago Cirugeda and Recetas Urbanas fit rather perfectly into the show, and I’m very pleased to mention that my article about their work has been translated and appears in the exhibition catalog.


I argue in the piece that Cirugeda’s work reinvigorates an old strain in architecture theory about military insurgency and design, one that lately has been severed by the drive to specialize (engineer) and control (administrate). Amidst the hoopla surrounding contemporary architecture in Spain, Cirugeda’s work challenges competition parameters and conventional notions like “urban redevelopment,” not to mention concepts of contortionist beauty a la axis of starchitecture. Cirugeda is all for a self-agency that is called for in times of gentrification and rigid planning. This article was originally written in English (titled “Home Cooking”) for the Dutch publication, Mark Magazine. Subsequently I re-wrote it as a shorter piece for the Swiss Architecture Museum, Basel. And now it has been reincarnated…

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