The Icon 20/20 Architects: Torolab 01.05.09

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Securitree installation for the Safe exhibition, MOMA, New York, 2005

Torolab takes its name from the Spanish word "laboratorio" and has a small stencilled rabbit as its logo. Operating since 2006 under the umbrella concept of "molecular urbanism", Torolab's main interest lies in the architecture of the very small.

"Molecular urbanism doesn't have anything to do with [Gilles] Deleuze and [Félix] Guattari," says Raul Cardenas Osuna, principal of the studio, "but comes out of research into food engineering. It helps me to visualise certain concepts, very minimal changes in the human body, such as balding, sweating, getting fatter or thinner, that alter your relationship to the space around you."

The group has worked with gastronomy students to create a new food product (a type of bread containing all the absent nutrients in a typical Mexican diet) and worked with musicians and artists to design gardens in Tampa, Florida. The organising concept is systems ("systems of food, system of architecture, systems of sound, systems of emergency") and the intent is pragmatic. "We want to improve people's quality of life," says Osuna, "beginning with our own."

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Image

Adam Laycock

 

Words

Justin McGuirk, Johanna Agerman, William Wiles, Anna Bates, Beatrice Galilee, Oliver Wainwright, Alex Pasternack, Matthew Barac, Sean Dodson

 

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