Carlos Miguel Guimarães
Carlos Miguel Guimarães (1982) is a Portuguese architect currently working in Porto at Iperforma Studio and focusing on international urban planning/design projects. He is also a member of the Porto-based depA collective. He studied in Coimbra (Portugal) and Milan (Italy), participated in International Urban Design Workshops in São Salvador da Baía (Brazil) and in São Vicente (Cape Verde), and has worked in Bilbao (Spain), Caracas (Venezuela), Sao Paulo (Brazil) and Lisbon (Portugal). He was a collaborator at NU student magazine (produced by the Architecture Department of the University of Coimbra) from 2002 to 2005, and its director in 2006. He is a freelance writer for several international architecture magazines.
URBAN THINK TANK with Justin McGuirck & Iwan Baan
More than the content - the informal occupation of the Torre David skyscraper in Venezuela - the focus goes to the concept behind the pavilion itself. The re-creation of a Venezuelan 'cantina' helped to create an informal meeting point where people could sit, meet and relax in the middle of the Arsenale. The pavilion is a reflex of UTT's ambition: to give voice and architectural meaning to bottom-up informal initiatives around the world.
The chosen theme is of high importance to European reality. Behind the title, 'The Ambition of the Territory', is hidden an intensive research into how to deal with urbanity, densification, sprawl and suburbia. It's a kind of alternative third way, to be carefully studied after the curtain is going down.
The curious strategy of wrapping walls, floor and ceiling with a grid of QR
codes transported visitors into a futuristic atmosphere. It is a clear promotion of high technology, allowing an interesting but alienating experience of pointing a tablet to a specific code and getting access to projects of the new Russian 'i-city'. Interesting design approach, but far from the main Biennale theme of 'Common Ground'.