"The hacker movement poses a territory of technologies as a field of permanent conflict in which multiple alternatives are possible, all with their particular social and political implications. Francisco González de Canales and Nuria Álvarez Lombardero, with their usual erudition and insight, are situated in this line of critical thinking, bringing the debate to an understudied field such as that of the emergence of digital manufacturing in architecture. The workshops discussed in this text are also located in two extremely relevant places, the Open City of Valparaíso and the CUJAE of Havana, generating a beautiful connection between the thinking and radical and revolutionary practices first initiated in the 1960s and1970s and the authors who further developed on this thinking subsequently (from Italian post-operaism to Chantal Mouffe’s agonism, to Richard Sennet’s political dimensions of the making). The policalisation of digital fabrication, signified by the entirety of the digital, urban and architectural technologies proposed by the authors, and its relocation in a territory of conflict, does not deny the artistic and technical, but on the contrary, highlights a fundamental contribution to the contemporary architectural debate and perhaps, its greatest urgency".
—José Pérez de Lama
Politics of Fabrication Laboratory is a design research directed by Nuria Álvarez Lombardero and Francisco González de Canales at the Architectural Association in London, which aims to interrogate the role of digital fabrication techniques in the contemporary construction of the public realm. The authors discuss the consequences of bringing out digital fabrication researches from the lab to spaces of communal use, thus confronting the mundane realities that constitute the built environment social experience.
The authors elaborate on a theoretical position on the public realm. They discuss the limits to these digital fabrication processes when confronted to that realm, and the need to redefine the aims and ambitions, and the role of architects and academics in it. The authors also reflect on how digitally fabricated structures have commonly become objects of spectacle or the masking of contemporary precarization processes. As a consequence, they promote the formulation of more lasting and realistic ways of participation and appropriation of material and construction resources at hand, in order to be able to surpass the particular agendas and manifestoes of the authors of these works.
Included into the book are two particular case studies, PFL1 and PFL2, directed by the authors through the Architectural Association Visiting School at the Open City (Ritoque, Chile) and the CUJAE (Havana, Cuba). A complete graphic description of both processes has been produced in order to better understand both projects.
Edited by Paula V. Álvarez for Vibok Works, an independent editorial practice devoted to promoting critical thinking and discussions on architecture and the built environment.
Francisco González de Canales Ruiz.
ETSA Sevilla B.Arch ETSABarcelona Dip. Arch.Harvard GSD (H&T) M.A, ETSASevilla + Harvard GSD PhD.
Francisco studied architecture at ESTA Seville and ETSA Barcelona. He is professor in the University of Seville and the Architectural Association (HTS and Design Unit). An active architectural critic, he has previously lectured in England, México, Spain, and the USA, collaborated in different architectural publications and curated various exhibitions at the AA and institutions of Spain. He has previously researched in the Architectural Association, University of Seville, Catholic University of Chile, UNAM in Mexico and Harvard University under different scholarships and grants summarized in the books Experiment with life itself and First Works books. As an architect he has worked in Foster + Partners, Carlos Ferrater and Rafael Moneo offices, for later co-founded Canales and Lombardero office.
Nuria Álvarez Lombardero.
ETSA Madrid B.Arch and Dip. Arch, Architectural Association (H&U) M.A, ETSA Sevilla + Cambridge University PhD.
Nuria studied architecture at ESTA Madrid. She is unit master in the Architectural Association. Previously Nuria has taught at the University of Cambridge, University of Seville and the Architectural Association. She has researched in the GSD Harvard University, University of Cambridge and Architectural Association, being the later funded by the Talentia Grant of the Andalusia Governement, for her hD Women in the city about gender boundaries of modern urban planning. She has published various articles and collaborated in Neutra and La Ciudad VIva magazines. As an architect she has worked in architectural offices of Madrid and Seville, and Machado & Silvetti Associates Boston office in housing projects and urban renewal of suburban de-gradated areas. In 2003 co-founds the office Canales & Lombardero with Francisco Gonzalez de Canales.