About the Conference :
‘Walls of Air’ was part of the Brazilian pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale and consists of high-end models of 17 buildings and their explanation panels, which were selected through an open public call. This section presents architectural objects that encourage the transposition of walls present in our cities. The selected proposals share the drive to investigate new ways of dealing with the limits, divisions and ruptures within urban fabrics. At the same time, they raise to surface the pressing need to use design as a way to transform conditions of exclusion into possibilities of bringing people together. The projects were chosen for their inspiring and tangible ideas, sharing the clear desire to transform their environment into one that is more fluid and inclusive. These projects aimed to show a plurality of solutions that engage - through different lenses - with the concept of Walls of Air.
The projects address issues such as: how to bring people together to fight for a common cause against forces of pure financial land speculation; how to rethink our technological limitations; how a community can learn by building collectively; how to merge industrialized construction processes with vernacular techniques; how to disrupt legal frameworks through the proposition of innovative architectural and urban forms; how to make use of punctual strategies to generate a network for fostering urban renewal; how to use the void as a way to stitch two sides of an informal community; how to bridge large infrastructure corridors; how to densify uses as a means of bringing a community together; and how to rethink preserved areas as carefully calibrated public spaces, among other strategies.
About the Speaker :
Architect and Curator based in New York City. She received her Architecture Degree from Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City in 2002 and a Master of Science in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University GSAPP in 2008. She has worked with Alberto Kalach (TAX) in Mexico City, Rolinet & Associés in Paris and Samoo Architecture in New York, where she gained experience in design and coordination of larger and more complex projects.
In 2010 she established FIERRO, a studio based in New York City which operates in Mexico City, São Paulo, New York and Miami in the fields of architecture, urban planning, design and consulting for the industry. The line of work is postulated on the understanding of the built environment as a physical and cultural landscape with tangible and social repercussions. The approach is to place materials and methods of construction above formal assumptions, in response to aspects of place, time, function, and client goals. For each set of circumstances, the studio strives to identify and employ the appropriate crafts and technologies, through ongoing investigation and innovation. We are committed to research through the built work, that provides a three dimensional laboratory which cannot be represented through other modes of practice. In this context, tangible decisions are given priority over design theory, ensuring that physical experience supersedes the ideas that form it. Good design should be forceful but not imposing; it should both structure and improve lives. Good design should possess internal diligence and efficiency, but must also transcend that structure to enrich human experience.
She created LED [Laboratorio Experimental a Distancia], a platform dedicated to a multi-disciplinary research addressing the built environment and the urban dynamics. The laboratory runs parallel to the practice, with the genesis of the realization that solutions can be found across disciplines, places, people and time; creating a nexus of sources connected by communication technology. All the existing tools of communication have given the impetus for an intensified exchange of information, ideas, solutions, and new ways of expression that can be transmitted or diffused in a more efficient way. The XXI century has generated an ideal playground to make experiments in communication a very nourishing experience. Tools like Dropbox, Skype, Go to Meeting all the way to social networks like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have created a vortex in which rhythm and communication have accelerated. Four people from different disciplines, different countries, located in different cities, and with different backgrounds develop a project as a group. The possibilities are vast and the result is a collective memory that generates answers to and for the people of the world. Depending on the type of project and level of knowledge needed, each intervention counts with the collaboration of different professionals. LED has the potential to expand and become a community of architects, urban planners, researchers, artists, scientists, economists and more that would change in order to enrich the growth and richness of its proposals.
Her work has been published by Braun Publishing, LEAF Review, PIN-UP, NESS, Architect’s Newspaper, Hyperallergic among many other publications. She was co-curator of Walls of Air : The Brazilian Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. Laura Gonzalez Fierro is also a registered architect in the State of New York, São Paulo and Mexico and a member of the American Institute of Architects.