fbpx Biennale Architettura 2021 | Igneous Tectonics
La Biennale di Venezia

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Igneous Tectonics

As Emerging Communities

Cristina Parreño; Sergio Araya


Image 1 – How will we live together?
In the context of this project, living together means understanding our role among other species and ecosystems in the larger carbon cycle of our planet. We propose a new tectonics of CO2, sequestered and embedded into resilient, sustainable, renewable rock constructive systems.

Carbon to Rock is strategic when environmental tactics are essential. Carbon to Rock incarnates a reversal, remedial, reformative mobilization of resources, technologies and human will to right a wrong, to turn our polluting excesses into second-chance resiliency.

We create tectonics of igneous nature, new tectonics of emergence and subduction, of untamed yet synthesized magnitudes. Molten, hardened, extrusive, compressed, sharp, polished, porous, smooth, darkened, reflective, massive, light.

Vestigial evidence of the rise and decay of civilizations, traces of our past and still thriving history can be found extant in rocks. We can re-learn from our past, lost material wisdom and constructive proficiency, now that our modes have driven us to the ledge. We can activate our ingenuity by repurposing and reorienting our methods and our goals, to work with our environment, not despite of it.


Image 2 – Sneak peek of the project
Carbon to Rock proposes a new relationship between humans and the planet; one that expands our perceptual time frame enabling us to tap into tectonic timescales that work with the Earth Cycles. Carbon to Rock moves beyond recycling our consumerist waste, aiming instead to capture decades of atmospheric poisoning that will be repurposed to cultivate the most stable and abundant form of carbon of our planet: igneous rocks.

The remineralization of air-released-carbon in the form of carbon dioxide, may not only reduce current emissions but also contribute to the removal of the current CO2 excess in the atmosphere as a way to mitigate climate change. Turning carbon back into rock, back where it belongs, is the most stable way of storing it for millennia, while transforming volcanic rock into a new resilient material, ready to be harvested by new paradigmatic architectures.

Carbon to Rock is the confluence of ancient material knowledge with current technologies of fabrication. Every rock block used in this project represents CO2 removed and trapped; it represents a flattening of the curve; it presents a new opportunity for architecture to shift away from the anthropocentric perspective, requiring from us more agency, not less; more deliberate design, not less. Carbon to Rock speaks for an architecture where humans, who have become a geological force, are both accountable for the decline caused by technological achievements but now also capable of stopping and reversing climate change.

Carbon to Rock is a position, a stance on discipline and practice to be able to continue living together.

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