Publication

  • Mute Icons: A Pressing Dichotomy in Contemporary Architecture
    Georgina Huljich and Marcelo Spina
    Authors
    Princeton Architectural Press, 2016
  • GRANTEE
    Georgina Huljich & Marcelo Spina
    GRANT YEAR
    2015

P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S (Marcelo Spina and Georgina Huljich), digital image, Keelung Crystal, 2013, Taiwan. Courtesy of James Vincent and Karim Moussa.

No longer concerned with narrative excesses or with the "shock and awe" of sensation making, the mute icon has become intriguing in its deceptive indifference towards context and perplexing in its unmitigated apathy toward the body. Object and building, absolute and unstable, anticipated and strange, manifest and withdrawn: such is the dichotomy of mute icons. This project dwells in the paradox between silence and sign, and aims to debunk false parallels between critical discourse, the pursuit of formal novelty, and the attainment of social ethics. Mute Icons reaffirms the cultural need and sociopolitical relevance of the architectural image, suggesting a much-needed resolution to present conditions, but an incorrect antagonism between formal innovation, social responsibility, and economic austerity. Intersecting relevant antecedents and polemic theoretical speculations with original design concepts and provocative representations of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S’s recent work, the book aspires to stimulate authentic speculations on the real.

Georgina Huljich is an architect and principal of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S. She received her BArch from the National University of Rosario, Argentina (2001), and an MArch from University of California, Los Angeles (2003). Huljich has previously worked at the Guggenheim Museum, Dean/Wolf Architects in New York, and Morphosis in Los Angeles. She is currently adjunct associate professor in the Department of Architecture at UCLA and the director of the Summer Program Institute. She has been visiting professor at the universities of Yale and Syracuse, a Maybeck Fellow at Berkeley, and visiting critic at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. Her awards include the Architectural League's Emerging Voices Award (2012), the "Arch is" Award from the AIA’s LA chapter (2012), and an USA Artists Fellowship (2013). She is coauthor of Embedded (ACDCU, 2010) and cocurator of Matters of Sensation at Artists Space (2008). Her work has been widely published and exhibited around the world.

Marcelo Spina is an architect and principal of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S. He received his BArch from the National University of Rosario, Argentina (1994), and an MArch from Columbia University (1997). In New York, he worked for Reiser+Umemoto and Keller Easterling before starting out on his own. Spina has been on the design faculty at SCI-Arc since 2001, and is the coordinator of ESTm Program. He has been visiting professor at the universities of Yale, Syracuse, Harvard, Berkeley, Vienna, Innsbruck, and Di Tella, among others. His awards include Architect of the Year (3rd Prize, 2003), the Architectural League's Emerging Voices Award (2012), the "Arch is" Award from the AIA’s LA chapter (2012), and a USA Artists Fellowship (2013). He is coauthor of Embedded (ACDCU, 2010), coeditor of Material beyond Materials (SCI-Arc, 2012), and cocurator of Matters of Sensation at Artists Space (2008). His work has been published and exhibited widely, and he has given more than seventy lectures around the world.