Author: Gonzalo Vaíllo
Exhibited at the CityXVenice Italian Virtual Pavilion
2021 Venice Biennale Architettura.
“Chambers” is an open-ended research project.
It is a space to test intuitions, curiosities, and doubts at the room-scale.
“Chambers” is an incubator that admits all sorts of dynamics.
Many of them stay. Many others die.
“Chambers” has no immediate architectural obligations more than nurture aspects of the future designs.
In general terms, “Chambers” looks for the here called “opaque productive space”.
On the one hand, “opacity” means something that resists fully understanding and therefore, enhances
curiosity. It shows you one thing, and you get to another. “Chambers” seeks cognitive depth.
On the other hand, “productivity” means the unveiling of the intrinsic affordances of the space. In other
words, inherent uses, unplanned behaviours, emotions.
The tools for this inquiry are an abstract and excessive syntax.
The chambers are devoid of external semanticity and precedents.
Architectural experience is now.
An opaque productive space is not prescriptive.
On the contrary, it encourages different perspectives of understanding.
This implies an aesthetic mode of cognition.
An empathic relationship with the space leads to a free occupation.
The architect does not define uses and behaviors, but each inhabitant discovers his or her own.
The cave and the labyrinth are epitomes of the opaque productive space.
Heterogeneous, excessive, scale ambiguous, intricate, fragmentary.
The latter, a composition by fragments, means a multi-level arrangement.
Each fragment is considered a project in itself.
Designing is a matter of projects within projects within projects.
We call the mapping and development of these part-whole relationships “mereological cartography”.
In short, an opaque productive space resists automatic comprehension and, consequently, forces the
inhabitant to approach and interact intuitively with the given architecture.
Abstraction and fragmentation are the research devices.