ignacio g. galán
[ igg - office for architecture ]

New York / Madrid
igg@ignaciogalan.com
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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 based in New York City and led by Ignacio G. Galán, PhD. The work of the office focuses on architecture's role in the articulation of society through design projects, research, and pedagogical endeavours. The designs of the office have been awarded in competitions including the First Prize for the New Velodrome in Medellín and are part of the permanent collection of the Pompidou Center. The office was a finalist to the 2014 Iakov Chernikhov Prize as a result of its contributions to design culture. 

    The work of the office unfolds through diverse media and platforms and is continuously informed by different kinds of conversations and collaborations. Galán's research 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. Together with the After Belonging Agency, Galán was the Chief Curator of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale (Graham Foundation Grant 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 among others.

  • Statement Open or Close

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

    We explore the ways in which architecture contributes to the definition of new ways of being together.

    We are concerned with architecture's relation to cultural transfers, material networks, and diverse forms of population transience in a global context. The relation of these forms of circulation challenge our understanding of architecture (conventionally associated with control, enclosure, permanence, and stability), requires new imaginations for our ways of being together and consequently remains a realm for further inquiry and intervention.

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

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