Architecturan and spatial insights

The Fundación Antonio Perez de Cuenca


In a city like Cuenca, it being known for its medieval and baroque architecture it was a very unexpected encounter with abstract art and white minimalist interiors. The Fundación Antonio Perez de Cuenca is a very peculiar building due to its extreme contrast between interior and exterior. The essence of a very old, culturally rich façade faces the precipice standing on an old decaying piece of structurally unsafe land and its interiors clean sharp and hellishly simple. I experienced a museum with a vision of the world where objects are full of life, conceptual life where they perhaps have a purpose not a function. Amongst these pieces where objects such as street signs re-imagined and re- used, old oil barrels contortioned into new versions of themselves. A magical experience that has marked the beginning of my friendship with abstract art and its significance in the modern world.

V&A Dundee

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My initial feeling of gratitude after receiving the news of the investment soon to arrive to Dundee was not long lived as I questioned the suitability of the V&As architectural design to fulfil its objectives as the “living room of the city”. The basics of a living room are chairs or seats to “live in”. However the V&A doesn’t even meet the basics as it invites you to go up the stairs as soon as you enter the space, it does have chairs but they force you to consume at the bar if you were ever to sit on them. Once you leave up the stairs it invites you not to see the outside and its spectacular views of the Tay but instead to look down and see a half hearted view to the inside to contemplate the consumerism taking place in the shop, in the bar and even at the front desk and indeed it has already incorporated itself into a Dundonians heart and pride. You may say that it is impossible not to love the V&A but sometimes we must realise and speak about those difficult questions that roam our minds such as could it have been done better?

Graffiti once the biggest artistic vanguard slowly was engulfed by the mainstream market and the people responsible also converted however in the frontlines of experimental artistic expression are many people fighting for something that perhaps will never happen such as a society which compromises its wish to share and learn to become unique and experimental and this leaves me with one question, has there ever been a vanguard that has not ended up in the mainstream sea and that has survived in its uniqueness? My answer to that is a soul shattering no. Being an artist or a designer it is in our veins to re-invent, re-use and to experiment. But the sad reality is that with a consumeristic society such as ours we use and throw away trends, news and records as if they were worthless and most of the time those who hang on become exactly what they promised to defeat. The man who wrote the first words invented history but what he didn’t know was that symbols would take back over our communication 10,000 years later.