Social Encounters Lecture Recap

Social Encounters Lecture Recap

by Karen Nelson, Director, Advanced Architecture Studios

Tonight we heard about the work of Hansy Better Barraza and Anthony Piermarini, founding partners of Studio Luz, Boston.  Studio Luz is a critical design practice that links social responsibility, sustainable construction and built material expression. Their work creates new conditions in installation art, interior architecture, and architecture where the end users complete the work through interaction.

In tonight’s lecture, entitled Social Encounters, I asked Hansy and Anthony to speak about their work as it addresses the scale of the body. They selected a few smaller scale projects to share with us.  Hansy explained how the Big Hammock on the Boston Common embodied their social and political ideals.  Hansy also said how as a small firm - that they must be resourceful – and how they were encouraged to weave the work in place so people would become curious in the project and also in how their daily fabrics are made.  They spoke about who used the hammock and how different social classes met on summer evenings.

Anthony spoke about how they drew inspiration from pop art references and origami techniques to imagine the interior space of Fin, a sushi bar and restaurant.  They explained how four pro bono projects in Haiti over the last several years resulted in a commission to design and construct a school outside Port-au-Prince using local materials with a local developer.  Students were inspired by their attention to material studies and making.   I continue to be amazed at how they find the unexpected in the mundane.