• Suprarural: Architectural Atlas of Rural Protocols of the American Midwest and the Argentine Pampas
    Ciro Najle and Lluís Ortega
    Actar Publishers, 2017
    Ciro Najle & Lluís Ortega

John Sohn, Systems of Irrigation, 2012, Midwest, United States. Courtesy of the author.

The research project develops an Atlas of Rural Protocols as an alternative approach to the existing models of relationship between the urban and the natural grounded on palliative, decorative, or hygienic ethics. Against the grain of these models and superseding their nostalgic frameworks, the notion of the “suprarural” seeks to unveil, reframe, systematize, and empower the unexplored architectural forces latent in rural organizations, particularly focusing on those related to agricultural production and livestock farming. Rather than “naturalizing” nature from the functional perspective of the urban, the aim of the investigation is to develop techniques to straightforwardly “urbanize” with and through those of the rural domain. For this purpose, the target of the investigation is the design and editing of an Atlas of Rural Protocols across two regions: the Argentinean Pampas and the American Midwest, understanding both as coherent pieces of a territorial-scale architecture, yet to be unleashed.

Ciro Najle is the dean of the Universidad Torcuato Di Tella School of Architecture and Urban Studies and Design Critic at Harvard University's GSD. He was the cofounder and director of the Landscape Urbanism Graduate Design and Diploma Master at the Architectural Association, and has taught at Columbia University, Cornell University, the Berlage Institute, the UTFSM Valparaiso, and the Universidad de Buenos Aires. He is director of General Design Bureau, an architectural office and research laboratory in Buenos Aires. His work has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; the Prague Biennale of Art; and the Beijing Biennale of Architecture, where he was curator of the London Pavilion. His work has been published in Quaderns, After the Sprawl, Oris, UR, Plot, Summa, and the 2G Monographs on FOA and MGM. His is coeditor of the books Tokyo Bay Experiment and Landscape Urbanism, with Mohsen Mostafavi, and is currently working on Material Discipline (Princeton Architectural Press), and The Generic Sublime (Harvard University).

Lluis Ortega cofounded F451arquitectura, rebranded as Sio2arch in 2014, an internationally awarded collaborative practice based in Barcelona, in 1999. Their work includes architecture, exhibition design and curatorship, interior design, urban design, and landscape architecture. He is currently associate professor at the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, and he has previously taught at University of Illinois at Chicago, at the Escola d'Arquitectura La Salle in Barcelona; the Akademie der Bildenden Kunste in Wien; the ETSAM, Madrid; and Harvard University's GSD (where he was assistant professor from 2006 to 2009); the ETSAB, Barcelona; and the University of Alicante. Ortega has edited or coedited several architectural publications, including Quaderns d Aquitectura: Urbanisme between 2003 and 2005; the 2G Monograph 14, with Gustavo Gili; Saques de Esquina in Pretextos, with Moises Puente; La Digitalizacion toma el Mando (Digitalization takes Command), with Gustavo Gili; and Platform 2008, with Actar.