“Boundaries” in architecture and design in discussion at Rocagallery.com


Roca’s online platform for contemporary debate and research on architecture, design and sustainability presents its latest topic of the month.

Weekly articles revisit the concept of “boundaries” through a new lens.

At a time when physical, geographical, social and cultural barriers are shifting, what can architecture and design tell us about the idea of boundaries? The question is at the heart of Roca Gallery’s latest topic of the month, which revisits and reassesses the many meanings of the concept in a series of articles published weekly on the platform until the end of April.

By definition, the idea of boundaries is at the core of architecture and design: the limits between inside and outside, between up and down, between the public and the private, between inside and outside, between up and down, between the public and the private, between construction and nature. Yet, as the past year has shown, these lines are increasingly dynamic and unstable, as boundaries become the battleground of new realities at play.

Through a selection of curated writings from a transdisciplinary panel of leading architects, designers, urbanists and academics, Roca Gallery explores how boundaries both affect and reflect the social and spatial structures of homes, neighbourhoods and cities – with a far-reaching impact on everyday lives, collective identities and society at large.

Among the articles already made available, writer, consultant and curator Clare Farrow dissects the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on interior design trends and on the idea of home, while architect, academic and urban planner Zaida Muxí discusses “borders, frontiers and limits that are not always visible” and which give rise to social and urban inequalities, particularly for women.

On a different note, architect Jorge Arditti reflects on the importance of setting boundaries that can contribute to the balanced coexistence of humanity and explains how architecture can help this purpose, analysing his award-winning project for The Memory and Tolerance Museum of Mexico City. The American continent also provides the backdrop for an article by Josep Ferrando, who discusses the challenges of working outside an architect’s own geographical and cultural setting. In Africa, architect Albert Faus advocates new architectural languages to reconcile the many contrasts of Burkina Faso, where he has been directing construction and development projects since 2010.

Looking ahead

This global outlook continues in the articles still to come at Rocagallery.com until the end of April. Researcher, architect and humanitarian Nasr Chamma will examine the borders between neglect and resettlement at refugee camps, providing suggestions on where to locate them and how and why to promote integration instead. Through the lens of African-Brazilian artistic production, arts and design consultant Everton Barreiro will discuss the geopolitical, socioeconomic, cultural and racial boundaries between the global South and the global North.

As part of Roca Gallery’s continued commitment to supporting the best emerging talent from universities, the platform will also feature an article by UIC architecture student Cecilia Guillot, who will write about the intangible problems of cities as seen in the urban bubbles of Monterrey. Further ahead, the increasingly complex limits between the private and public spheres are the subject of an article by architect Pedro Novo, while the inspiring, dynamic qualities of boundaries between land and water will be discussed by Roberto Converti, architect and Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Design at UADE.

The debate will be rounded off with a conversation between architect and urbanist Maria Buhigas and University of California, San Diego professors Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman about the border neighbourhoods of Tijuana/San Diego – sites of cultural production from which to rethink urban policy, affordable housing and public space.

“Boundaries” is the latest in a series of monthly and bi-monthly topics that explore pressing global issues from the point of view of design, architecture, innovation and sustainability. All articles are available online in both English and Spanish at www.rocagallery.com, with further topics currently being prepared by the platform’s editorial committee, a group of leading experts and thinkers.

Further to the articles, “Boundaries” were also the subject of a debate about the realities of women in architecture, broadcast live at Rocagallery.com on the week in which International Women’s Day was celebrated. The session featured four acclaimed architects who are breaking barriers and shining a light on gender issues in architecture through their practice and academic work: Kathryn H. Anthony, Anupama Kundoo, Zaida Muxí (cited above) and Lucia C. Pérez-Moreno. The video of this thought-provoking conversation is available at: http://www.rocagallery.com/space-for-women-architects

Run by Roca, world leader in the design, production and distribution of products for the bathroom space, Rocagallery.com is the digital embodiment of the concept behind the Roca Galleries seen in Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, London, Shanghai and Beijing, which serve as meeting points where industry experts and enthusiasts can share knowledge and best practices. Since its launch in 2018, the online platform has featured over 160 diverse voices, including writers, photographers, artists and Pritzker winners, and has become a reference for news, trends and quality content in the fields of architecture and design.

Learn more at: http://www.rocagallery.com