NotM: Ludens + Aikido Architecture

[quicktime]http://archleague.org/av_podcast/ludens_streaming.mp4[/quicktime]

[Double-click the movie above to play – if you don’t see anything, click anyways and the video should start]

I like to think of myself as a Japanese warrior, who moves so slowly that you do not see me coming.
~ Ivan Hernandez Quintela, Ludens

Our first featured ‘Ninja of the Month‘ is Ivan Hernandez Quintela, Mexico-City based founder [2002] of Ludens [which some of you should remember from this post], and self-proclaimed practitioner of Aikido Architecture – making him the perfect selection for this debut feature.

A graduate of the School of Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin [1999], Ivan founded Ludens in 2002 after working for a year with UN Studio and then 2 more years with his brother in Mexico.

Ivan named his practice Ludens as a direct reference to Huizinga and Homo Ludens – the idea of play in society – and the work of Constant NieuwenhuysNew Babylon project, with the idea that people would constantly be involved in constructing/manipulating their own space. Interest in the ideas put forth in these works has led Ivan to consider that ‘space must be conquered and that friction is a constant condition’ – which he attempts to respond to through the creation of “tools for everyday living”, ‘mechanisms that become extensions of the body and if they do not try to solve the friction, they surely try to make it evident’.

This interest in how we interact with our physical and social environments drives Ivan to investigate many ‘everyday necessities’ – for instance: ‘How do you share a bed with your partner? How do you balance a conversation while sharing a meal with someone else? How do you share a room with someone else while maintaining some privacy?’. His solutions are often times ad-hoc, informal constructions. Interested in the power of the ‘small gesture as a way of activating public space’, Ivan describes his work as ‘Aikido Architecture’ – where he ‘invades the public sphere with ‘Urban Prosthetics’, structures meant to help users ‘conquer’ public space through adaptation and reinvention.

Our next NotM post [this coming Monday] will get into Ivan’s work itself, beginning with his ‘Urban Prosthetics – small structures meant to promote the appropriation of public space’.

::all quotes from Ivan Hernandez Quintela::

Posted: July 24th, 2008
at 9:00am by orangemenace


Categories: architecture,featured ninjas,videos,firm profile,Ninjas of the Month

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