ignacio g. galán
[ igg - office for architecture ]

New York / Madrid
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Design of a flag for the exhibition "Westopia"

Bice Bugatti Foundation, Villa Vertua, Nova Milanese (Italy) / 2017

Design by Lluis Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, Ignacio G. Galan, Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, Alejandra Navarrete Llopis and Marina Otero Verzier. Exhibition curated by Parasite 2.0.

During the debates preceding the Brexit referendum, a video of a hooded and allegedly British individual attempting to burn the EU flag went viral. After accusing the EU of taking away “our [that is, British] nationality, our identity, our free speech and our sovereignty,” the man approached the star-filled blue flag with a cigarette lighter. His action, however, produced no evident result: the piece of fabric—manufactured following EU regulations on flammable materials—would not light, forcing the man to give up his enterprise after two minutes. Ultimately, the video exposes how the EU flag not only embodies ideological constructs on identity and sovereignty, but also how belonging to the EU has material implications in the everyday objects of shared landscapes.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXKv07ghKIw sheds light on the materiality of flags by reasserting their phenomenal conditions. In the flag we propose, constructed entirely out of inflammable fire-protection foam, symbolic and aesthetic values rely exclusively on the manufacturing process. The flag emphasizes not the idea of belonging to abstract socio-political entities, but rather the materiality of those forms of belonging as such.

Acordeón Office Sidebar

  • About Open or Close

    [igg - office for architecture] is a design and research office, particularly focusing on architecture's role in the articulation of society. The designs of the office have been awarded in competitions including the First Prize for the New Velodrome in Medellín, and he was finalist to the 2014 Iakov Chernikhov Prize. His work has led to the production of several publications and exhibitions including the installation Cinecittá Occupata for the 2014 Venice Biennale by invitation of the general curator Rem Koolhaas, and is part of the permanent collection of the Pompidou Center.

    The work of the office unfolds through diverse media and platforms and is continuously informed by different kinds of conversations and collaborations. Together with the After Belonging Agency, Ignacio g. Galán is the Chief Curator of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale (Graham Foundation Award 2015). He previously collaborated in the research project Radical Pedagogies, led by Beatriz Colomina at Princeton SOA, and has co-curated its exhibition at the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale and at the 2014 Venice Biennale, where it was awarded a Special Mention of the Jury. 

    Galán studied Architecture at ETSAMadrid and TUDelft, he graduated as a Fulbright Scholar from the MArchII program at Harvard GSD, and has a PhD in Architecture History and Theory of Architecture from Princeton. He has been a Fellow at the Spanish Academy in Rome. He is Term Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at Barnard+Columbia Colleges and has taught studios and seminars at Columbia GSAPP and PennDesign.

  • Statement Open or Close

    We understand architecture as a key agent participating in the articulation of society. 

    We are concerned with architecture's relation to cultural cultural transfers, material exchanges, and population transience in a global context. The relation of these forms of circulation to architecture, conventionally associated with control, enclosure, permanence, and stability, remains a realm for further inquiry and intervention.

    We are additionally interested in the objects, media technologies, and institutions transforming architecture's individual occupations, collective operations, and diverse types of mobilization, particularly concerning the architectures of residence. 

    These emphases lead the work of the office and continuously challenge our methods of analysis and our design practice.