The Structure of the Future
A strong economy and two huge events are truly revolutionising Brazil’s architecture – and cities!
Who hasn’t heard that slogan saying “Brazil’s the country of the future”? Because it seems to be getting ever more serious. Brazil has already become, at least, the talk of the town. No, I’m not talking about the World Cup that we didn’t win. But speaking of which, Brazil now has got much bigger concerns than keeping its football as art status. Host of the World Cup in 2014 and the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the country is going through a period of great economic optimism and is readying itself for a future promising a real swathe of new investments, and it’s defining the country as a new world power.
This is the panorama that’s on show in the exhibition Swarming Futures, held by Gallery 32, the Brazilian Embassy’s cultural venue in London. Curated by architect Ricardo de Ostos, and part of the celebrated London Festival of Architecture – that makes the city breathe architecture – this edition of the event comes with the theme Welcoming Cities, a study about the creation of cities as a reflex of multiple actions across the urban fabric.
“The intention is to discuss this speculative scenario and analyse new routes to be followed by Brazilian cities”, explain Ricardo, who in his curation brought together from potential projects to the most innovative, and the critical-conceptual. Four relevant groups in current architectural production were selected: MMBB, representing new architecture in São Paulo; the much-revered Triptyque, a Franco Brazilian collective known for its ecologically engaging proposals and award-winning designs; Vazio S/A, instigating discussion about the future through visions such as The Ultimate Skyscraper (see image left); and BCMF, which put together projects from the 2007 Pan American Games and the proposal for the Rio 2016 bid. “The Pan American’s legacy is the Olympics”, says Bruno Campos, on the importance of designing big events also for the future.
The exhibition also bears the installation ‘Yesterday’s Future’, a collaboration between the artist João Wilbert and the Studio Naja & De Ostos. “The work shows images of the future with eyes in the past”, comments Wilbert, who takes advantage of the aesthetic of machines and circuits, as demonstrated in this case by the radio antennas, one of the first devices to carry information to Brasília in the 50’s, a direct reference to the Modernist legacy.
Recently one of three finalists amongst the 39 participants in the Silver Pigeon Award, honouring the best exhibition of the International Showcase, Swarming Futures runs until August. For more images and videos, check out the gallery’s website.
By Thellius Zamprogno