Mute Icons

Mute Icons

& Other Dichotomies on the Real in Architecture

Marcelo Spina, Georgina Huljich


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Mute Icons challenges fixed aesthetic notions of beauty in architecture as both, disciplinary discourse and a spatial practice within the public realm, by intersecting historic antecedents and present instances within contemporary projects wherein indeterminacy, monolithicity and defamiliarization play a speculative role in constructing withdrawn, irritant and yet engaging architectural images.

No longer concerned with narrative excesses or with the "shock and awe" of sensation making; the mute icon becomes intriguing in its deceptive indifference towards context, perplexing in its unmitigated apathy towards the body. Object and building, absolute and unstable, anticipated and strange, manifest and withdrawn, such is the dichotomy of mute icons. Dwelling in the paradox between silence and sign and aiming to debunk a false dichotomy between critical discourse, a pursue of formal novelty and the attainment of social ethics, “Mute Icons” reaffirms the cultural need and socio-political relevance of the architectural image, suggesting a much-needed resolution to the present but incorrect antagonism between formal innovation, social responsibility and economic austerity. Intersecting relevant historical antecedents and polemic theoretical speculations with original design concepts and provocative representations of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S recent work, the book aspires to stimulate authentic speculations on the real.


Marcelo Spina:
Marcelo Spina, is a licensed Architect in Argentina and in the United States. He is one the principal of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S. He received his B.Arch from the National University of Rosario, Argentina [1994], and a M.Arch from Columbia University, New York [1997]. In New York, he worked for Reiser+Umemoto and Keller Easterling before starting on his own. Spina is a Design Faculty at SCI-Arc since 2001, and the coordinator of the Architectural Technologies Program. He has been a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Yale, Syracuse, Harvard, Berkeley, Vienna, Innsbruck, and Di Tella among others. He is the Co-Author of Embedded [ACDCU, 2010], Co-Editor of Material Beyond Materials [SCI-Arc 2012] and Co-Curator of “Matters of Sensation” at Artists Space [2008]. His work has been published and exhibited widely and Spina has given more than 70 lectures around the world.|||Georgina Huljich is an architect and one the principals of P-A-T-T-E-R-N-S. She received her B.Arch from the National University of Rosario, Argentina [2001], and a M.Arch from University of California, Los Angeles [2003]. Georgina has previously worked at the Guggenheim Museum, Dean/Wolf Architects in New York, and Morphosis in Los Angeles. Huljich is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Architecture at UCLA and the Director of the Summer Program Institute. She has been a Visiting Professor at the Universities of Yale, UPenn and Syracuse, a Maybeck Fellow at UC Berkeley and a Visiting Critic at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. She is the Co-Author of Embedded [ACDCU, 2010] and Co-Curator of “Matters of Sensation” at Artists Space [2008]. Her work has been widely published and exhibited around the world.