Architect Frida Escobedo, celebrated for dynamic projects that reactivate urban space, was in conversation with architect and educator Mohsen Mostafavi, architect and researcher Marina Otero Verzier and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Galleries, discussing the material and historical inspirations behind this year’s Serpentine Pavilion and the expression of time in architecture.
Frida Escobedo was commissioned to design the Serpentine Pavilion 2018. Harnessing a subtle interplay of light, water and geometry, her atmospheric courtyard-based design draws on both the domestic architecture of Mexico and British materials and history, specifically the Prime Meridian line at London’s Royal Observatory in Greenwich. Escobedo (b. 1979, Mexico City) is the 18th and youngest architect yet to accept the invitation to design a temporary Pavilion on the Serpentine Gallery lawn in Kensington Gardens. This pioneering commission, which began in 2000 with Zaha Hadid, has presented the first UK structures of some of the biggest names in international architecture.
Mohsen Mostafavi is Dean and the Alexander and Victoria Wiley Professor of Design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. An architect and educator, his work focuses on modes and processes of urbanisation and on the interface between technology and aesthetics. Mostafavi is the author and editor of many books, including Ecological Urbanism (co-edited 2010 and recently translated into Chinese, Portuguese, and Spanish); In the Life of Cities (2012); Architecture is Life (2013); Nicholas Hawksmoor: The London Churches (2015); Portman’s America & Other Speculations (2017); and Ethics of the Urban: The City and the Spaces of the Political (2017).
Marina Otero Verzier is an architect based in Rotterdam. She is currently Director of Research at Het Nieuwe Instituut and curator of “WORK, BODY, LEISURE,” the Dutch Pavilion at the 16th Venice International Architecture Biennale in 2018. With the After Belonging Agency, Marina was Chief Curator of the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016. Previously, she was based in New York, where she was Director of Global Network Programming at Studio-X, Columbia University. Her work, recently awarded by The Graham Foundation, Design Trust and the FAD Thought and Criticism Award, has been published in different books and journals. Marina has co-edited Promiscuous Encounters (2014), Unmanned: Architecture and Security Series (2016), After Belonging: The Objects, Spaces, and Territories of the Ways We Stay In Transit (2016) and is editor of Work, Body, Leisure (2018). She studied architecture at TU Delft and ETSA Madrid. In 2013, as a Fulbright Scholar, she graduated from the M.S. in Critical, Curatorial and Conceptual Practices in Architecture at Columbia University GSAPP. She completed her PhD at ETSAM in 2016. She currently teaches at RCA in London.