ALUMNI: CARLOS MEDELLIN, 25, ARCHITECT, BOGOTA
Last year at Strelka I chose studio SENSEable City, the subject of my thesis was «paracities», I tried to analyse the phenomenon of «parallel cities». The fact is that in Moscow, because of a certain attitude towards foreigners, certain gender and racial discrimination people are determined to create islands for a comfortable existence. That comes from the city’s background of closeness, oppression and conservative morals.
Nevertheless, I did enjoy studying at Strelka it put me in contact with many things that before I only saw from a distance – it was great having Rem Koolhass and Carlo Ratti as teachers, dealing with OMA, AMO directly. It helped me to understand many aspects of how architecture and design work in the real life in Europe, how everything is played, designed and understood.
When I came back I started to work in an architectural studio called Mazzanti Arquitectos. There I'm the director of competitions, conceptualisations and researches. We have just won a competition for developing a velodrome in Medellin, we are doing it in collaboration with Fake Industries, we're also building a student campus in Cartagena on the Caribbean. Also we're in a process of making two books about architecture, one of the them represents architecture as a game. We called it "We play, they play". It is about the interaction between the two crucial elements for us - people and architecture. The process of design is guided by the search of rules of approximation to the project so then we can develop pieces which we use to play and develop architecture. On the other hand the performance of our designs is focused on the people every day life, infiltrating activities and contradictory situations, focused on rethinking activities on different atmospheres.
Also I'm teaching at Universidad Javeriana and doing a research in Universidad de los Andes. My course is about the Magdalena river – we trying to find out what we can do with it. Although it is one of the most important rivers in Colombia it's somehow hidden and it's not used in a way it should be. The research is about the Magdalena river as well, it's developed with the South American project of Harvard University. We are trying to open the potential of this river and then show it to people. We’re thinking of some architectural solutions on how to make this river active as one of the main connectors between various cities in Colombia.