Alejandro Aravena graduated as an architect from Catholic University of Chile in 1992. He continued his studies of Theory and Art History in IUAV in Venice. In 1994 he established his own practice, Alejandro Aravena Architects. From 2000 until 2005, he taught at Harvard University, where he founded the Do Tank ELEMENTAL with Andrés Iacobelli. In 2010 he was granted membership as an International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. He also curated the 15th Venice Biennale, and in 2016 he received the Pritzker Prize. Since 2001 he has remained principal director of ELEMENTAL.
Elemental consist of Alejandro Aravena, Gonzalo Arteaga, Juan Cerda, Victor Oddó and Diego Torres. It is a Do Tank founded in 2001, focusing on projects of public interest and social impact, including housing, public space, infrastructure and transportation. It's fundamental approach is based on its participatory design process, in which it works closely with the public and end users. Elemental has built work in Chile, the United States, Mexico, China and Switzerland. In response to the 2010 earthquake and tsunami that hit Chile, it was called to work on the reconstruction of the city of Constitución, where it was able to integrate the body of knowledge previously accumulated during similar experience elsewhere. Its methodology has proved useful throughout all of its urban undertakings concerning social and political conflict.
Teaching, Writing, Exhibitions
Aravena was Visiting Professor at Harvard GSD (2000-05) and is currently the Elemental-Copec Professor at UC. He is member of the Pritzker Prize Jury and has been named International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Professional Work include Educational facilities, Institutional, corporate and Public buildings, Museums, Houses and Housing, and his last product for Vitra, the Chairless. Lectures have been held in The London School of Economics and RIBA in the UK, America´s Society in NY, InterAmerican Development Bank in Washington, Experimenta Design in Portugal and Design Indaba Southafrica among other places.
His Books include Los Hechos de la Arquitectura, El Lugar de la Arquitectura and Material de Arquitectura and a monography on Elemental by Actar to be published in 2010. Publications on his work include the monography Alejandro Aravena, progettare e costruire by Electa, Kenneth Frampton’s 4th edition of Modern Architecture; a critical history, Thames & Hudson’s 60 Innovators shaping our creative future and books by Phaidon and Taschen. Magazines include GA (Japan), Icon, Monocle and Architectural Review (UK), Casabella, Lotus, Abitare, The Plan and Domus (Italy), Arquitectura Viva (Spain), Detail and Arch+ (Germany), Mark and Volume (Netherlands), Architectural Record, Dwell, Praxis and Perspecta (United States) and others in more than 30 other countries.
Exhibitions on his work have been held at Harvard GSD (2004), Sao Paulo Biennale (2007), Venice Biennale and Milan Triennale (2008) among other places. In 2011 he will be featured in MA Gallery in Tokyo.
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