UNIVERSITY OF HONG KONG
FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE
Sony Devabhaktuni
Date:
27-Apr-2018
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Venue:
Room 730, 7/F, Knowles Building, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road Hong Kong
Title:
Chantier in Process: Building in the Open City
Speaker(s):
Sony Devabhaktuni
Assistante Professor,
Department of Architecture, HKU

Respondent:
Andrea Pinochet
Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture, HKU

Abstract         

The talk will reflect on an on-going building project for a guest house and assembly space in the Open City, a non-profit community of architects, artists and poets founded in the early 1970’s by faculty and students from the School of Architecture and Design in Valparaiso, Chile. As with many works in the Open City, no set of drawings guides decision-making for the construction. The guest house is instead built incrementally during brief periods of activity when time and resources are available. In this way, each team that encounters the project is asked to look anew at the work — at its state of completion, at its situation in the landscape and at the desires for the project — at each moment of intervention. These circumstances bring observation into direct relation with construction and make possible a questioning of design, authorship and collaboration. The talk will relate these issues to the speaker’s still nascent understanding of the larger project of the Open City: to make space for re-search into the relation between language, community and architecture whereby what is ‘open’ is the possibility that is offered — as both a gift and a renunciation — to dedicate one’s efforts to that searching.

With Raffael Baur and Patricia Guaita, Sony Devabhaktuni founded the Building Cultures/Summer Chanter project during his time at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne. Working in collaboration with David Jolly Monge from the School of Architecture and Design in Valparaiso (Chile), the workshop, now in its fifth year, explores open-ended construction at the Open City. With Patricia Guaita and Cornelia Tapparelli, he is co-editor of Building Cultures Valparaiso (EPFL Press/Routledge 2015), an edited volume that includes an extensive folio of drawings from the Open City’s inception. Since 2016, he has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong.

Biography

Sony Devabhaktuni is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). With Raffael Baur and Patricia Guaita from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (Lausanne), he founded Building Cultures/Summer Chantier, an ongoing summer workshop that explores collaborative design at the Open City/Amereida in Ritoque, Chile. Working with David Jolly Monge from the School of Architecture and Design in Valparaiso, the workshop has, for the past four years, brought students from Switzerland, Chile and Hong Kong to Ritoque for the incremental and open-ended construction of the Portico de los Huéspedes: an assembly space, guest house and administrative center for the Open City. With Patricia Guaita and Cornelia Tapparelli, he is co-editor of Building Cultures Valparaiso (EPFL Press/Routledge 2015), an edited volume that includes an extensive folio of drawings from the Open City’s inception.

“In order for nothing to change, all has to be changed”
il Gattopardo (The Leopard)
Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa interpreted by Luchino Visconti

The Department of Architecture launches its 2017-2018 Public Lecture Series, on the work of its faculty. The “In-Progress” series will critically examine the relevance of a vast number of issues in relationship to architecture. The Teaching staff will share their most recent work/ research/ publications in a 60 minute talk which, will be followed by a discussion chaired by a person of the speaker’s choice. The respondent will preferably be from other faculties at HKU or outside of the university. We look forward to your active presence and participation.

 

****No registration is required. All interested are welcome****

Enquiry: ivanchui@hku.hk

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