Tatiana Bilbao on creating architecture that enhances the human experience

In conversation with STIR, the Mexican architect discusses her ideas for a future city, creating stronger communities through design, and questioning social and spatial hierarchies.

by Dhwani ShanghviPublished on : Dec 09, 2022

Elke Krasny, an Austrian cultural and architectural theorist, in her work Critical Care: Architecture and Urbanism for Broken Planet, along with Angelika Fitz, establishes how “Architecture provides a primary form of care.” An interpretation of this ideology is at the core of Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO’s work. Tatiana Bilbao founded her eponymous studio in 2004 after her role as an Advisor in the Ministry of Development and Housing of the Government of the Federal District of Mexico City.

  • Research Center of the Sea of Cortes | Tatiana Bilbao| STIRworld
    Research Center of the Sea of Cortes Image: Courtesy of Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO
  • Research Center of the Sea of Cortes, Social Landscape project, Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO | Tatiana Bilbao| STIRworld
    Research Center of the Sea of Cortes, Social Landscape project, Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO Image: Courtesy of Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO

Disillusioned by the bureaucracy and concurrent political agenda of the powers that be, Bilbao focused her attention on creating architecture that would enhance human experience by facilitating good health, consciousness, and knowledge.

Site Plan for Collegium | Tatiana Bilbao| STIRworld
Site Plan for Collegium Image: Courtesy of Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO

In conversation with STIR, the Mexican architect expresses her disdain for architecture that is informed by capitalist structures and stresses on the importance of designing towards creating social justice, stronger communities, and a healthy ecosystem. Her projects discard typified spatial and programmatic organisations to create spaces that question existing hierarchies—social as well as spatial.

Collage for Research Center of the Sea of Cortes | Tatiana Bilbao| STIRworld
Collage for Research Center of the Sea of Cortes Image: Courtesy of Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO

In Ways of Life, the brief asked for a domestic space that would accommodate a cohesive live-work relationship. The studio recognises domestic care and reproductive labour as instances of spaces that have historically combined live-work scenarios, and responds by understanding what kind of activities and emotions a space can promote, instead of focusing on the program of the space.

Conceptual Collage for the Ways of Life | Tatiana Bilbao| STIRworld
Conceptual Collage for the Ways of Life Image: Courtesy of Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO

The concept for each project is extracted through the physical act of hand drawings, which Bilbao believes—helps her manifest ideas of the physical world. Through a series of models and montages composed of hand drawings and digital photographs, an iterative design process emerges. The Mexico-based architecture studio, however, eschews the binaries between analogue and digital. She believes that humans are not binary but in fact operate as processes, grades, scales, and moments. She thus concludes that tools—both digital as well as analogue—have a specific purpose. 

  • Hand drawings and digital photographs that are used in the design process | Tatiana Bilbao| STIRworld
    Hand drawings and digital photographs that are used in the design process Image: Courtesy of Tatiana Bilbao Estudio
  • Hand drawings and digital photographs used in the design process of Research Center of the Sea of Cortes| Tatiana Bilbao| STIRworld
    Hand drawings and digital photographs used in the design process of Research Center of the Sea of Cortes Image: Courtesy of Tatiana Bilbao ESTUDIO

Subsequently, Bilbao elaborates on her concept of a future city, a city she believes should be perceived as a post-carbon city, or a city of care. She stresses on the importance of a critical disposition and advocates questioning existing canons, in order to bring about a change in the status quo.

Ways of Life, a brief that asked for a domestic space that would accommodate a cohesive live-work relationship Tatiana Bilbao| STIRworld
Ways of Life, a brief that asked for a domestic space that would accommodate a cohesive live-work relationship Image: Courtesy of Tatiana Bilbao Estudio

Tap on the cover video to watch the full conversation.

What do you think?

About Author

Recommended

LOAD MORE
see more articles
4215,4084,4080,4196,4359

Keep it stirring

get regular updates SIGN UP

This site uses cookies to offer you an improved and personalised experience. If you continue to browse, we will assume your consent for the same.
LEARN MORE AGREE