31 October 2008

Public Support

Ivan Hernandez Quintela
I do not know if it is Luis Barragan’s fault, but Mexican walls facing the street tend to be huge
blank surfaces. I have nothing against this aesthetic, but I do think that a blank public wall is not very inviting or inhabitable, and I am all for architecture that is inhabitable.
As a response, I wanted to develop a project I call Public Support, an intervention that would make public façades into spaces of habitation. I took notes on how people lean against walls, whether is to rest, to wait for public transportation, or actually to find a place to sleep, and out of these notes I have shaped a series of bumps that could be stuck to facades where no urban furniture exists. The shape and height of where the bumps are placed insinuate possible positions for the body to take while waiting for the bus or a friend.
As a result, what used to be a blank façade transforms into a comfortable surface to lean on. Public Support becomes a way to gain back the street, to make of that membrane that tends to separate the private from the public, the exterior from the interior, the house from the street, a more porous surface – an inhabitable surface.

Hernandez, Ivan. 'Public Support' On Site review, no. 19 Spring/Summer 2008
©Ivan Hernandez Quintela and On Site review

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