SPAIN - Cristina Díaz Moreno and Efrén García Grinda are architects, regular contributors to El Croquis magazine and project tutors at both the AA School in London and the Universidad Europea de Madrid. In 1997, they created cero9, an open organization based in Madrid that seeks to define the link between professional practice, research and teaching in the field of architecture and urban development. In 2003, cero9 changed its name to AMID.
AMID (cero9) was founded by Cristina Díaz Moreno (Madrid, 1971) and Efrén García Grinda (Madrid, 1966). Both are architects who studied at ETSAM in Madrid, where they are also currently based. Since 1998 they have been teaching at the Universidad Europea de Madrid, and since 2009 also at the AA School in London.
Gonzalo Herrero Delicado & María José Marcos: What exactly is AMID (cero9)?
Cristina Díaz: It might be more interesting for me to explain what AMID means rather than what cero9 means. Cero9 was the first name for our organization. When we started, we had no idea what the organization was going to turn into. We chose the name AMID based on its meaning. We were very much inspired by the word 'amid', which means 'in the middle of', or 'surrounded by', a concept very much linked to our approach to developing projects. We are interested in the space occupied by situations which arise among others and not only in the things or objects themselves. There are two very clear aspects in our references: on the one hand, history fascinates us, even though we may treat it irreverently, and on the other hand, we're interested in popular culture, situations which arise on a day-to-day basis.
Efrén García: Our work is intrinsically linked to everyday life and popular culture, such as the Pop Art trend in the '50s, which started looking to people again as one of the primary sources of knowledge. We observe peoples' day-to-day activities, how they dress, how they move, how they associate with one another, or how they talk about social habits through day-to-day culture. We are also equally interested in the discipline of architecture itself and its history, learning from daily routines, everyday activities, the topics casually talked about on the street.