SPAIN - Perhaps Spain's best architect at the moment, Andrés Jaque's commitment and the clarity of the link between his discourse and his work make him a unique personality.
Andrés Jaque (b. 1971) in the streets of Madrid. Jaque started his own practice in 2000, after graduating in 1998 from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura in Madrid, the same school where he started teaching in 2003.
Ariadna Cantis: Are there for you strict boundaries between art and architecture?
Andrés Jaque: I don't think anyone put all that much store by those antiquated categories in the past, and now, of course, I don't think they're good for much more than awarding university degrees. What does exist is different critical contexts, with different tools. There are the critical contexts of cultural institutions, within which certain preoccupations are prioritized, and the critical contexts of the everyday, within which other themes come into play, such as whether a neighbourhood is safe or whether you run the risk of getting your iPod stolen if you go there.
In Europe, defining what role the architect should play in society is a priority. Our generation is not one of scientific architects who apply unquestionable know-how, but of political architects who deal with diversity and controversy. We are not architects who correct what exists, nor do we have any pretension of educating anyone. Instead, we try to make sure that what exists takes place within conditions of 'guaranteeism'. With democratic guarantees, incorporating concerns such as gender equality, environmental responsibility or the integration of minorities. To me, the Techno-Geisha I made when I started work in 2000 was something of an architectural manifesto. I didn't want to create buildings, but mediators. We designed it as if it were an architectural project. A character that would mediate between people of divergent ideologies, making it possible for them to have a cup of coffee together without disavowing their individual qualities. I thought the role of architecture was akin to that traditionally played by hostesses: to bring together different actors and enable them to develop emotional connections without resorting to consensus or unification within a single ideological space. And ever since then we've tried, in the firm I head, to elaborate on this idea.
Design, Interior, Theory