Juan Bordes Conference at FAUP

Finally, after almost 7 mounts, I ended the editing of the video recorded during the Juan Bordes Conference at FAUP with the title "Los Juguetes que han construído la Vanguardia". This conference was inserted in the course Architectural Toys - Processos Complementares de Reprodução Disciplinar em Arquitectura that I teach at Faculty. It is a amazing narrative because the spanish architecture, sculptor, professor and collector joins several lines between education, arts and architecture following the main idea that vanguard movements were present in the childhood normal life and not only in the academies. Indeed, as Juan stressed, the role of the university education is quite little when compared with the child education that create the very first and more important intellectual bases of each subject. It is incredible to see the correspondences between certain pieces of art and some toys used by child during the beginning of XX century. They are real evidences of a silent relationship that existed in the backstage of the "official" historical narrative.
Please, enjoy the movie…

Urbacraft - Urban design toy

Few weeks ago I discovered a very interesting architectural toy designed by a couple of architects from Beirut called Urbacraft. The construction system is based on only two different pieces and an interlocking system that allow to easily create orthogonal shapes that represent a first three-dimensional approach to urban scale design. Indeed the child can create several buildings which can be "filled" by different kind of surfaces in order to manage the relationship between interior spaces (private) and exterior spaces (public). Therefore, through the toy it is possible to approach several different architectural and urban themes, since basic shapes to human relationships, a real "City Crafting System".
As Ayssar Arida, one of the authors, explained to me last week along a meeting, a model made by Urbacraft can be customized or completed with other materials in a very easy way. So it is possible, with the same structure, use different architectural languages that can be inspired by the local reality.
The toy has a very strong "personality" because the unique material and the particular shape; actually it reminds me SuperCity, a great american plastic construction system that is no more produced. Even when the construction is not a building, Urbacraft can be used for several different shapes and forms in several scales, from the small object to the large scale installation.

Urbacraft  is completely developed and produced in Lebanon and it is already for sale in two boxes, one smaller and another bigger. You can check the Facebook page to see more and to keep you updated: https://www.facebook.com/urbacraft