Architecture in Rio de Janeiro has always played a key role in stimulating the political and aesthetic landscape of a city blessed with an incredible natural setting between mountain and sea. In the exhibition ‘Portraits of Nature’ students from MArch Unit 18 from the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL show their adventurous interventions in Rio. Exploring the city as culture and natural force the exhibition highlights Rio de Janeiro’s three-dimensionality, contours and patterns, utilising old and new technologies to accentuate them in new forms. Fourteen projects are displayed in evocative drawings and intricate physical models. As a show highlight two three meter high digitally fabricated portraits interpret the city and the proposed projects in unison. Between Brazilian surrealism tradition and contemporary digital technologies, the large portraits are inspired by Oswald de Andrade’s Anthropophagic Manifesto.
Curated by Brazilian architect and Unit 18 tutor Ricardo de Ostos the exhibition was designed and conceived in collaboration with Unit 18 students, Isaie Bloch and Ricardo’s own studio NaJa & deOstos. Unit 18 is taught by Isaie Bloch and Ricardo de Ostos and explores the relationship between materiality and the politics of the environment in cities today.
The Bartlett School of Architecture is one of the world’s most exciting architecture schools, in one of its most inspiring cities. The name stands for provocative ideas, boundary-pushing research and high-achieving lecturers and students.
The Embassy of Brazil will also be hosting a roundtable discussion about the exhibition with the curator, Ricardo de Ostos, and special guests on 25 October. More information to follow soon.