14th arquine conference


arquine first emerged 15 years ago as a quarterly magazine. since then it has established itself as a leading provider of cultural content relating to architecture in latin america. each year it organizes an international conference on architecture in mexico city.


the 2013 conference will be the 14th to date and will run from march 11 & 12, 2013 at the teatro metropólitan mexico city. with other events happening in the days before and after the talks – see the full schedule here.





speakers at this year’s event include: david chipperfield, yoshiharu tsukamoto, hans ulrich obrist, denise scott brown, saskia sassen, roman delugan, michel rojkind, kersten geers, alfredo brillembourg, peter greenaway, manuel delgado, paolo portoghesi. see all of the speaker’s profiles here.



14th arquine conference (mexico city) preview



designgboom (DB) spoke to arquine’s editor juan josé kochen (JJK)  about this year’s theme and what attendees can expect from the 14th conference.


DB: why did you choose the theme of ‘space’ for this year’s conference?JJK: history has granted architecture the role of dividing up space. it manifests itself in providing lodging and orienting humankind, who inhabits this fragmented whole we call space and which is interwoven with time at a tacit and essential level. we live in space, in these spaces, in these cities, in these fields, in these corridors, in these gardens. it is plain to see. and yet, it is not possible to quantify space or give shape to it: it is extension and connection, fact and certainty through time and movement. space may be travelled through and narrated, experienced and actuated.


space contains and is contained, situates and signifies. architecture implicitly defines shapes by demarcating areas, enclosing virtual volumes, containing air, enfolding or enveloping. and if architecture is all about space, rather than time, then as architects we have never been able to explain it.


as rem koolhaas said, ‘when we think about space we have only looked at its containers. as if space itself is invisible’.


in ‘espèces d’espaces’, georges perec proposes spaces that are open, closed, oblique, aerial, measured, imaginary, available, sonic—just to mention a few he lists in increasing order of size: the page, the bed, the bedroom, the apartment, the apartment building, the street, the neighborhood, the town… where corridors, bedrooms, gardens and plazas offer variations of these containers of space,


‘perceiving the earth as a form of writing, a geography of which we had forgotten that we ourselves are the authors’, writes perec.


‘we wander from one space to into another, without noticing [hence] the problem is not to invent space, and certainly not to re-invent it… the problem is to question space, or even more simply, to read space, since what we call quotidian is not evidence, but opacity’.





DB: you have politicians, anthropologists and curators speaking at the conference,what do you hope these different perspectives will add to the discussion?JJK: architecture’s role has historically been to delimit space in order to shelter human beings. for the theme of arquine’s 14th conference we ask: what do we talk about when we talk about space? this tackles a multifaceted issue from the perspective of architecture, politics, sociology, film and anthropology in a wide-ranging search for partial answers… to quote perec again:


‘the problem isn’t so much to find out how we have reached this point, but simply to recognize that we have reached it, that we are here. there isn’t one space, a beautiful space round about, a beautiful space all around us, there’s a whole lot of small bits of space…’


like raymond carver’s ‘what we talk about when we talk about love’, where the author left the stories open and raised the question without answering it, we want to start a discussion about inhabitable space, the space of art, urban space, generic space, occupied spaces and spaces of friction, as well as their boundaries, in order to catalyze ideas and explore the different ways space is understood from myriad, multidisciplinary angles, thereby revealing the species of spaces.


DB: what can people expect from the conference this year?JJK: the dynamic of the talks will be the same as in previous years. the metropolitan theater is the center for the conference to be held on march 11 & 12. more than a series of talks, it is an experience, an exchange of positions and projects from different perspectives, made up of professionals, students and others interested in architectural culture. the days before and after the conference are filled with intense cultural activities that complement the architectural foundation, thus redefining the narrow line that separates it from other disciplines and generating points of intersection and construction in space.


everything you need to know about the 14th arquine conference »