As part of the London Festival of Architecture 2018, ft’work has sponsored an exhibition of photographs by Iñigo Bujedo-Aguirre. The theme of the Festival is identity and Castles in the Air explores the idea of urban territory and identity – the relationship between the city, its architecture and its inhabitants.
“Positioned at a prudent distance, I looked at how these urban landscapes have been transformed by the inhabitants that have appropriated and conquered them”. The human presence, although noticeable in the photographs, rarely takes central stage. His aim has been to make a contemporary visual map of the landscapes created by Europe’s different political ideologies and to explore the urban aesthetic that has come to represent our identity and social aspirations.
Modernist social housing is one of the most widespread building typologies of the twentieth century, driven by utopian beliefs that cities, indeed the human condition, could be improved through rational design. After WWII cities across Europe were transformed through the wide-spread construction of slab and tower blocks built to accommodate low income families and waves of post-war immigrants. Many came to represent the worst effects of public housing design — crime, social neglect and material decay — and some continue to do so. It is only recently in Europe that high rise residential living has again become fashionable; many of these housing estates have become iconic while, over time, their inhabitants have developed a very strong sense of community. Once neglected and entirely apart from the prevailing urban iconography, they are now seen as pivotal to how these cities expanded and have become an essential european urban archetype.
Born in Bilbao in 1967, Iñigo Bujedo Aguirre graduated in Social Sciences and Journalism and work as a photojournalist before he went to London to study an MA on Image, Communications and Photography at Goldsmiths College, University of London. It was then that his interest shifted to architecture and the urban ladscape and he began to work as a freelance architectural photographer while I continued pursuing his interest in documentary photograpy projects. His photographs are regularly published in leading architecture magazines and he has exhibited in Brazil, USA, Japan, Finland, France, Spance, Italy and the UK.