Alejandro Aravena (*1967), architect of the Universidad Católica de Chile (UC), founded the Alejandro Aravena Architects office in the year 1994. He was guest professor at the Harvard GSD (2000-05) and is now Elemental-Copec-Professor at the UC. He is a member of the Pritzker-Prize-Jury and was named the International Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects.
Educational institutions, institutes, businesses and public buildings, museums, houses and homes count to his works.
He received the Erich Schelling Architecture medal 2006 (Germany), the Silver Lion at the architecture Berlinale in Venice 2008, the Avionni Innovation Award 2009 and the Marcus-prize for architects 2010, amongst others.
Amongst his books there are Los Hechos de la Arquitectura, El Lugar de la Arquitectura and Material de Arquitectura, moreover a monograph about Elemental, published in the year 2010 by Actar.
Publications about his works: the monograph Alejandro Aravena, progettare e costruire, Publisher Electa; Kenneth Framptons fourth edition from Modern Architecture; a Critical History; further 60 Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future by Thames & Hudron and books by Phaidon and Taschen Magazines: GA (Japan) ; Icon, Monocle and Architectural Review (UK); Casabella, Lotus, Abitare, The Plan and Domus (Italy); Arquitectura Viva und Verb (Spain); Detail and Arch+ (Germany); Mark and Volume (Netherlands); Architectural Record, Dwell, Praxis and Perspecta (USA); and more in more than thirty countries.
Expositions of his works took place in Harvard GSD (2004), at the Sao Paulo Biennale (2007), the Architecture Biennale in Venice and in the Triennial Milan (2008) amongst others.
Since 2006 he works as an Executive Director of the ELEMENTAL S.A., a profit-oriented society with social interests that works at projects in the infrastructure, transport, public rooms and living areas and adopted a partnership with the Universidad Católica de Chile and the COPEC (Chilean Oil Company).
The appearance of “Chairless” and the cooperation with Vitra
”No question, along the years numerous things emerged, advance has manifested itself in form of sophisticated demands and wishes in our lives. But it also occurs that many things and demands haven’t changed since the beginning and that were satisfied on an extremely easy way: this includes the wish of sitting comfortably on the floor.”
The cooperation of Vitra with the architect Alejandro Aravena began with the planning or a workshop-building on the Vitra Campus in Weil am Rhein. Aravena calls as philosophy for his works the principle “irreducibility”, meaning the reduction to the essence in each of his planned projects.
An Ayoreo-Indian attracted Aravenas attention who sits on the floor with a tensioned rope around his knees and back. The simplicity of what he called a chair – the reduction until the “irreducible” – fascinated Aravena and he understood the potential of this sitting tool.
Website by Alejandro Aravena