“Performance Architecture is an international ideas competition aimed at choosing proposals for five temporary urban interventions in the scope of Guimarães 2012 European Capital of Culture. The competition intends to draw up architectural and urban strategies that, in reactivating performance art approaches, provide new directions as to the roles of architects, artists and designers in the urban context. The competition selects multidisciplinary teams proposing temporary concepts and structures that will stimulate the appropriation of controversial public spaces by the city inhabitants.”
in Competition Open Call text
It breeds semi-mobile individual seats, conformed in concrete into a textile mold, serving the local population at designate locations around the city. These units become part of the urban landscape of Guimarães. They can be arranged in various public spaces serving different purposes: a concert, chatting between neighbors, occasionally stops for a rest, or just to hang out with friends. The fact of being semi-mobile will help to spread them naturally around public space allowing a direct configuration of the urban landscape according to its users needs. This same factor will also allow, in a long term period, the gradual insertion of the seats on the private community spreading its impact in the city.
Mounted on wheels, the machine can be moved between the various points of interest in the city in order to better serve and work for local events. The presence of the U N I D A D E should enhance the exploration and use of less central spaces thus creating new centers of interest in unexpected areas of Guimarães.
Sound will take an important role imposing the presence of the U N I D A D E in the city calling peoples’ attention for its working periods: a rotating siren marks the duration of the production and mechanical pieces are equipped with parts that vocalize the physical actions that are taking place, thus establishing this machine as a new sound-mark on the city. Although using a sound type (siren) that is usually associated with specific places (industry/schools) and very strict labour periods, the U N I D A D E re-contextualizes this characteristics in an informal time and space. Its sound-performance inhabits different places and sound-marks non previously established moments during the day.
The machine will be introduced to the local community in three performative actions of demonstration: the first one has a premiere and first public use of the machine. It will be performed by the U N I D A D E production team; a second action of demonstration where the production team will actively involve local people in all the production steps; the third action will correspond to the “key delivery” ceremony.
Pedro Ferreira + Ricardo Jacinto