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Hernan Diaz Alonso: Making + Meaning lecture (July 26, 2012)01:07:03

Hernan Diaz Alonso affirms that his work evolves in the making, that it is formalist, and could be characterized as more cinematic than architectural. Where architecture was once made out of geometry, it’s now made out of images. He feels his work stresses virtuosity instead of cleverness. Diaz Alonso discusses two important influnces–Francis Bacon and Enric Miralles–in terms of their use of traditional materials to untraditional ends. He surveys early work that generated forms from a single surface, including the U2 tower for Dublin, which was his first project to be characterized as “grotesque,” a quality he has embraced. The P.S. 1 installation was a collection of cells, each mutated into a unique form. The installations for exhibits at the MAK in Vienna and SFMOMA were further opportunities to translate cinematic effects into physical form. Diaz Alonso describes the Hammer Museum commission to design additions to Lautner’s Chemosphere as the first use of Platonic geometric forms in his work, providing a contrast in exotic and familiar geometries. He describes several product design projects for Alessi, including silverware, bottle-openers and paperweights. The use of flowers in the so-called “Mexican Funeral” installation in the MAK garage leads to a discussion of a museum for the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection. Diaz Alsonso concludes with a discussion of his rediscovery of Argentinian culture, specifically gaucho outdoor cooking as explored by chef Francis Mallmann, leading to projects such as a library for Helsinki. He concludes with a clip from the Fight Club, hoping that the students will find that every moment of their life is a strange one.

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