Conceiving and designing unsolicited architecture is a recurring task for many young practices around the globe. By identifying possibilities and conditions, these professionals push forward the perception and the understanding of the built environment, bringing fresh thinking and new design strategies to the profession.

In the issue of Volume magazine dedicated to unsolicited architecture, Ole Bouman mentions that “architecture, whether designed by agents in the real estate market or the small elite of star architects, is giving up its Utopian impulse, only to become a modest player among many average building process." Within the actual status quo, unsolicited architecture operates independently and creatively finding “clients, sites and budget”, willing to develop alternative scapes to the gaps left by the system.

Rio de Janeiro is undergoing huge transformations. After decades of stagnation, the city will receive major investments in infrastructure and equipment due to the plans for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. These transformations are coordinated at an international level by decision makers and corporations, from where the details and textures of an urban scene cannot be perceived. There is a gap at the small scale, where simple solutions can make big differences.

The workshop poses the question of this impact at the neighborhood scale, on how architects and designers can identify and suggest simple transformations to improve everyday life.

Unsolicited Architecture is a joint initiative by Studio-X Rio (GSAPP Columbia University) and the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi), with the collaboration of the Undersecretary of Heritage, Urban Intervention, Architecture and Design of the City of Rio and the Modern Art Museum (MAM-Rio).


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