'architects at play' exhibition shows the similar ways children and architects create new worlds

'architects at play' exhibition shows the similar ways children and architects create new worlds

‘ARCHITECTS AT PLAY’ COMES TO LISBON

 

garagem sul at centro cultural de belém in lisbon has opened a portuguese iteration of ‘architects at play’, an exhibition which was first shown at CIVA in brussels. this expanded version includes new works and will run through january 30, 2022. 

 

architects at play delves into play and the imagination, built experiments, and mythological narratives. the exhibition is essentially centered on the idea of ‘creating worlds.’ it attempts to bring together two characters: the architect and the child.

garagem sul presents at play 1
the exhibition is structured around concepts of play and children’s games

 

 

ARCHITECTURE AS CHILD’S PLAY

 

children’s games have always been a breeding ground for the invention of ‘worlds’. likewise, architects also imagine new ‘worlds’. these worlds and the mechanisms of invention they rely upon constitute the core of the exhibition, which touches on themes as varied as childhood and education, urban planning, public space, history, architecture, art, and creativity.

 

the exhibition asserts that each one of us is a playful architect. from the solitary hut to the cosmopolitan ark, we build worlds we inhabit or co-inhabit. the world of play is located in the mysterious interval that connects our subjectivities to external reality. it sometimes happens that architectures crystallize in this ephemeral space, for a while becoming the stage of our lives, the horizon of our habits. this power of imagination is at the heart of the curatorial system in which childhood playgrounds and those of architects, artists, and designers meet.

garagem sul presents at play 2
the narrative tone is set with the work of pierre antoine, an investigation on brazilian playgrounds, 2017–2019 © pierre antoine

 

 

visitors to the architects at play exhibition will journey through four playful worlds — labyrinths, symbolic toys,
construction games and strategy games —, showcasing the many ways of creating worlds. various works are also presented independently, without any particular contextualization, placing us in a situation of discovery and wonder.

 

the exhibition presents works from various authors, combining materials from the collections of CIVA in brussels, drawing matter in somerset, fundação marques da silva in porto, and private collections. it brings together architects such as aldo rossi and raul hestnes ferreira, anne van loo and james gowan, louis herman de koninck and cedric price, buckminster fuller, and fernando lanhas, akarova and renaat braem.

garagem sul presents at play 3
sand is one of the components of the exhibition: the large sandpit recalls the sandcastles that every child loves to make, an area of common ground that can be used to open up the imagination

 

 

the exhibition display, designed by ivo poças martins, knits together multiple objects, revealing latent meanings and playful readings of the architect’s works.

 

the lisbon iteration of architets at play is organized by garagem sul/centro cultural de belém in collaboration with CIVA, brussels, and was curated by david malaud, and co-curated by andré tavares, ivo poças martins, nikolaus hirsch, and cédric libert.

 

an exhibition called ‘archaeological fragments of portuguese architecture (1986–2006)’ is also running in parallel at garagem sul. this exhibition brings together a group of models that, after having been exhibited in the past to represent works of architecture, were kept safe by the centro cultural de belém. 

garagem sul presents at play 4
this situationist project from 1975 aimed to cover downtown porto with a sandscape and turn it into a permanent space for leisure and liveliness. © courtesy of mário ramos & fernando barroso

garagem-sul-presents-at-play-2-616dc593a2df7

in a scenography outlined from philadelphia’s franklin court by venturi, scott brown & associates, models from different practices are collected inside a ‘noah‘s arch’ of architecture

garagem-sul-presents-at-play-3-616dc593a2e24

another exhibition called ‘archaeological fragments of portuguese architecture’ is running in parallel at garagem sul

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each section contains children's games that relate to the exhibits. in the section 'construction' they dialogue with a multitude of materials, such as models, drawings or playful photographs.
each section contains children's games that relate to the exhibits. in the section 'construction' they dialogue with a multitude of materials, such as models, drawings or playful photographs.
'theater' explores the relationships between the body and the building, and the building as a body in the city. henry lacoste, project for the notre-dame basilica, © CIVA
'theater' explores the relationships between the body and the building, and the building as a body in the city. henry lacoste, project for the notre-dame basilica, © CIVA
james gowan 'at play' with different building elements. cross-section through house with mechanical services, 1977. housing project at east hanningfield, england © drawing matter collections
james gowan 'at play' with different building elements. cross-section through house with mechanical services, 1977. housing project at east hanningfield, england © drawing matter collections
andré waterkeyn, andré & jean polak. the atomium in brussels, belgium, ca 1958 elisabeth taylor with the model exhibited at expo 58 © CIVA collections, brussels
andré waterkeyn, andré & jean polak. the atomium in brussels, belgium, ca 1958 elisabeth taylor with the model exhibited at expo 58 © CIVA collections, brussels
the exhibition design promotes playful moments that enable a continuous relationship between the different sections. here, the wall reveals the existing structure of garagem sul and the section behind.
the exhibition design promotes playful moments that enable a continuous relationship between the different sections. here, the wall reveals the existing structure of garagem sul and the section behind.

exhibition info:

 

name: architects at play
location: garagem sul, centro cultural de belém, lisbon, portugal

dates: 28 september 2021 — 30 january 2022
opening times: 10am to 6pm, tuesday to sunday

 

designboom has received this project from our ‘DIY submissions‘ feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: lynne myers | designboom

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