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THEORY

The eloquent discourse of Architecture.

Fragments and inventions

Thanks to Giovanni Galli's teachings at the Polytechnic School of Genoa and the research carried out together with False Mirror Office during the last five years, I came to consider architecture as an eloquent discourse composed of fragments of different nature, to be recomposed and re-enacted to create new fictions. 

One of the research addresses conducted by the group I am part of, false mirror office, has been to question the nature of these fragments and the creative procedures for their combination-composition. It is precisely within the framework of these questions that, always together with false mirror office, we turned to creative procedures taken from the world of the artistic avant-garde, from that of the cadavre-exquis, to certain creative procedures rooted in Pop Art. This research has been tackled through projects such as Crime and Ornament, an installation realized in the framework of xxxxxx, or The assemblage as a figurative text for architecture. A dialogue between UFO Group and False Mirror Office, an essay that led us to the rediscovery of the assemblages as a design tool through the use of the group of radical Florentine architects UFO.

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Crime and Ornament

Boris Hamzeian as False Mirror Office (with Andrea Anselmo, Gloria Castellini, Filippo Fanciotti, Giovanni Glorialanza)

Intervention at the Exhibition 12 Walls

curated by Paradigma Ariadné

Vezprém, HUNGARY

2018

Consisting of a text and a wall adornment, Crime and Ornament was born from a reflection on the role of ornament and decoration in contemporary architecture. Through the conceptual and semantic overturning of a famous accusation against ornamentation perpetrated by the precursors of the modern movement, false mirror office attempts to rehabilitate ornamentation by interpreting it as an interpretative figure of some mannerist and formalist tendencies typical of the contemporary context, within and without the field of Architecture Faculties.

The newest domestic Landscape

Thanks to Giovanni Galli's teachings at the Polytechnic School of Genoa and the research carried out together with False Mirror Office during the last five years, I came to consider architecture as an eloquent discourse composed of fragments of different nature, to be recomposed and re-enacted to create new fictions. 

One of the research addresses conducted by the group I am part of, false mirror office, has been to question the nature of these fragments and the creative procedures for their combination-composition. It is precisely within the framework of these questions that, always together with false mirror office, we turned to creative procedures taken from the world of the artistic avant-garde, from that of the cadavre-exquis, to certain creative procedures rooted in Pop Art. This research has been tackled through projects such as Crime and Ornament, an installation realized in the framework of xxxxxx, or The assemblage as a figurative text for architecture. A dialogue between UFO Group and False Mirror Office, an essay that led us to the rediscovery of the assemblages as a design tool through the use of the group of radical Florentine architects UFO.

The Evolution of the Pompidou Centre’s Air-Conditioning System. Toward a new figure of architecture.

The evolution of the Pompidou Centre’s Air Conditioning System. Toward a new figure of architecture, in James Campbell and alia (ed.), Studies in the History of services and construction. The proceedings of the fifth conference of the Construction History Society, Construction History Society, Cambridge, 2018, pp. 57-70.

Awards: Scholarship for Best PhD article of the conference

The integration of technical services in architecture played a crucial role in the history of post-war construction. The Centre Pompidou, conceived and realized between 1971 and 1977 by the architecture studio Piano and Rogers and the engineering firm Ove Arup and Partners, is an excellent example in this regard.

Instead of reverting to traditional solutions such as service areas or suspended ceilings, Piano and Rogers chose to exhibit all the services of the building – from the air conditioning ducts to the movement system of people and goods – both in the interiors and exteriors. Exiled outside the envelope and placed within the “three dimensional walls” of the building, or rather clipped onto them, the Centre Beaubourg services were designed to serve the principle of “the maximum flexibility of use”. During the design process the refinement of these elements and the surrender to the pioneering audiovisual screens intended to animate the Centre’s main facades, created an unprecedented aesthetic value. Initially conceived as simple functional tools, the Centre Beaubourg services became symbolic and didactic devices designed to make the building a man-scale machine, both joyful and understandable.

This paper focuses on one of the main services of the Centre Beaubourg, the air conditioning system, and aims to retrace the genesis and evolution of this element thorough all the phases of the design process, from the first ideas animating the preparation of the competition’s proposal to the prefabrication of the built solution.

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The assemblage as a figurative text for architecture. A dialogue between UFO Group and False Mirror Office

Boris Hamzeian, Andrea Anselmo et al., (for False Mirror Office), L'assemblaggio come testo figurativo per l'architettura. Un dialogo tra Ufo e False Mirror Office, in “PianoB. Arti e culture visive”, vol. 4, n. 2 (Collage di carta, collage digitale: concetti di architettura a confronto), February 2020, pp. 88-118.

Contemporary architecture is undeniably indebted to 20th century art. It is sufficient to think of the artistic procedures recovered and altered to turn them into design procedures aimed at overcoming a rationalism now reduced to simple formalism.

Among these operations, the assemblage, used since the beginning of the twentieth century in the context of the Cubist, Dada, and Surrealist avant-garde, was resumed and declined during the 1960s, involving objects of use and mass products in an ironic or critical key, as indicated by pop art, or insisting on the archetypal dimension of materials, as suggested by arte povera.

In its application to the discipline of architecture, starting from the 60s, the assemblage goes beyond the field of representation to become an instrument for the generation of architecture and is developed through the use of other references ranging from literature to semiology. Through this new orientation the assemblage finds an eloquent expression in the projects of one of the groups of the so-called Radical Architecture, that of UFO group, active between 1968 and 1978, and consisting of Carlo Bachi, Lapo Binazzi, Patrizia Cammeo, Riccardo Foresi, and Vittorio Maschietto. It is in the work of UFO group that the assemblage becomes a composition of significant objects, selected and juxtaposed to give life to eloquent environments, to be understood as real figurative texts. The presence of people in these assemblages is crucial in the construction of an interior design, that environment that spreads in the sixties, which becomes a sort of theatrical set design for the elaboration of a fantastic narrative. This is the last stage of a complex creative path that is charged with the demands made during the 1968 protests, taking shape in a playfully political discourse, at times using semantic games and at times inflatable pop forms.

On the wake of the spread of this process in other architectural groups in recent decades, False Mirror Office looks at the assemblage as a creative tool capable of juxtaposing objects belonging to a universally recognized collective imagination, sometimes modified to transfigure its meaning, to invent an architecture that is a deliberately ambiguous narrative able to open up to continuous reinterpretations.

Do not hesitate to contact me to discuss a possible project or learn more about my work.

© 2020 by Boris Hamzeian.

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Contact
EPFL
boris.hamzeian@epfl.ch
EPFL ENAC IA LTH3 
BP 4238 (Bâtiment BP) 
Station 16 
CH-1015 Lausanne
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bhamzeian@gmail.com
29 A Route de la Chocolatière
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