For his latest project, Federico Babina teamed up with architect Federico Ortiz Sanchez to imagine, illustrate and sculpt 12 “symbolic and symbiotic micro-architectures,” each representing a different component of a house and together making up the “DNA of the House.”
The project was inspired by the Fundamentals theme of the 2014 Venice Biennale, “but instead of dissecting a catalogue of components we composed a collection of images,” writes Babina. “We wanted to highlight the specific personality of each one of the artifacts we proposed, every single one uses its own set of symbols in order to address their different issues in this diverse compendium of spaces of the intimate.”
Learn more about the project and view the 12 illustrations after the break.
From Federico Babina: MICROARCHITECTURES
Understanding and sharing the concerns conveyed by last year's Fundamentals we decided to propose an exercise in order to help rethink architecture from its own foundations, but instead of dissecting a catalogue of components we composed a collection of images.
The exercise we developed focuses on the place we consider is the beginning of any architectural interpretation of space, the house, the universe of everyday life in which we all can recognize ourselves. On his essay "The Poetics of space" (1957), French philosopher Gaston Bachelard presented the house as a microcosm, a compilation of images and memories of all the houses we have lived in and experienced and depicted the house not as a physical object but as an inhabited space. This is how we decided to create a catalogue of twelve Images which altogether compose the so‐called DNA of the House, a compendium reminding us as Bachelard wrote that, "the house image would appear to have become the topography of our intimate being". The idea of the project is to shape an abstract interpretation of the house through the exploration of the essence of its spaces.
Twelve archetypes imagined, thought, illustrated and sculpted to relate a vision of the universe of inhabiting. Twelve symbolic and symbiotic Micro‐architectures that aggregated together as cells compose different versions of the house puzzle. We wanted to highlight the specific personality of each one of the artifacts we proposed, every single one uses its own set of symbols in order to address their different issues in this diverse compendium of spaces of the intimate. A good example of how each image has its own autonomy and encloses a small universe is the Bathroom, in the world of literature, for example, in the novels of Philip Roth and JD Salinger we can see how this small space is the stage of the drama between mother and daughter.
We seek to highlight the potential of each element in their individuality more than the grammar that links them together. In studying each poetic image, each artifact in a decontextualized and independent way we were led to an interesting ambiguity regarding the scale of this objects, as what is important is their ability to generate reminiscences by using plastic resources such as colour, texture and shape alluding to symbols of the imaginary of the house, the objects can assume with no difference the scale of a gadget in a desk or the size of a small pavilion without losing their original sense.
The poetic capacity of each element is associated with a series of symbols that do not need be associated with any kind of functional utility, that allowed us to introduce a semiotic game with the relation between symbol and referent, producing artifacts that seem to be certain things but in fact are not.
Each room is a shell, a small spacecraft to travel with the senses, fantasy and imagination through the cosmos of forms. Twelve small worlds to explore, live, breathe and touch while feeling sheltered.