Pritzker laureate Alejandro Aravena to speak in Sydney

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Quinta Monroy Housing, 2004, Iquique, Chile by Elemental.

Quinta Monroy Housing, 2004, Iquique, Chile by Elemental. Image: Cristobal Palma

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Alejandro Aravena.

Alejandro Aravena. Image: Cristobal Palma

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Quinta Monroy Housing, 2004, Iquique, Chile by Elemental.

Quinta Monroy Housing, 2004, Iquique, Chile by Elemental. Image: Cristobal Palma

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Bicentennial Children’s Park, 2012, Santiago, Chile by Elemental.

Bicentennial Children’s Park, 2012, Santiago, Chile by Elemental. Image: Cristobal Palma

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Medical School, 2004, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

Medical School, 2004, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. Image: Roland Halbe

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UC Innovation Center – Anacleto Angelini, 2014, San Joaquín Campus, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile.

UC Innovation Center – Anacleto Angelini, 2014, San Joaquín Campus, Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile. Image: Nina Vidic

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Constitución Cultural Center, 2014, Constitución, Chile.

Constitución Cultural Center, 2014, Constitución, Chile. Image: Felipe Diaz

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Post-Tsunami Sustainable Reconstruction Plan of Constitución, 2010 - ongoing, Constitución, Chile.

Post-Tsunami Sustainable Reconstruction Plan of Constitución, 2010 - ongoing, Constitución, Chile. Image: Felipe Diaz

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Alejandro Aravena. Image:  Cristobal Palma

Architect, 2016 Pritzker Prize laureate and 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale curator Alejandro Aravena will make a presentation to a Sydney audience in July as part of the C+A talk series hosted by Cement, Concrete and Aggregates Australia (CCAA).

Aravena is a partner and executive director of Chilean firm Elemental, which he co-founded in 2001. Aravena describes Elemental as a “do tank.” The practice focuses on projects that benefit the public interest and employs a participatory process, which engages the end user in the design process.

In their citation, the Pritzker Prize jury noted Aravena’s “ability to connect social responsibility, economic demands, design of human habitat and the city.”  

In an interview with Architecture New Zealand editor Justine Harvey, Aravena explained participatory design as “not about consulting by committee but, for every stakeholder involved. It’s important to be involved because then we are not missing any dimension of the problem.

“The power of architecture is that it can synthesize that complex entry to the problem. You organize the information into a proposal as soon as possible, then throw it on the table and the discussion becomes about where to move, not about the diagnosis.”

Among Aravena’s works are the Novartis Office Building in Shanghai (2016), Villa Verde Housing in Constitución, Chile (2013) and the Bicentennial Children’s Park in Santiago (2012).

Writing for ArchitectureAU in 2015, Amiee Groundwater, visited Aravena’s Quinta Monroy “incremental housing” complex in the Chilean city of Iquique and found the project could offer Australian planners and architects a model for liveable residential densification. “An incremental housing model, geared at owner occupiers, could provide much-needed typological variation in a market currently oversaturated with inflexible, ‘cookie cutter’ one and two bedroom apartments.”

Aravena will speak at the UNSW Kensington campus on 24 July. For more information, go here.


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