SPARK is a collaborative platform located in Malmö, Sweden with the purpose of strengthening the interface between architecture, art, research, and societal advancement through exhibitions and lectures. The aim is to promote artistic processes in architecture and urban development by activating intersections between art, architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture.
SPARK aims at exhibiting works that provokes critical discourse in current city building through explorative, experimental, trans- and interdisciplinary practices. SPARK collaborates with Lund University Department of Architectrue and the Built Environment, Architects Sweden Skåne, and Molekyl Gallery.
Opening 5 May 18-21
Architecture generally comes with an expectation of stability and permanence: fixed matter, oblivious to the passing of time. A completed building seems to be the preferred state of architecture, its raison d’être; but before a house has even been completed, it has already started to decay. Completion, then, is perhaps more desire than reality. Far from fixed, architecture is in a continuous state of transformation; materializing an open negotiation between what has been, and what is yet to come.
Positioned somewhere between the unfinished and the decaying, UNBUILT is a study on architecture and transformation. Focusing on stages of a building often regarded as unintended or undesirable, the project is the result of a research project on vacant houses in Porto which started in 2021.
Within Porto’s urban fabric, ruínas (ruins) in various degrees of disrepair, repair or reconstruction are unavoidably present. Their role seems ambiguous. In their ubiquity, the houses become at once a debated and neglected part of the city’s architecture. They embody challenges but also potential in their past, future but also present state.
Like construction sites, a ruin’s broken forms can become a stimulus to the imagination. Bearing witness to past failures, they can also allow new imaginaries and trajectories to take shape. In revealing not only what is lost but also what is incomplete, ruins embody the past and the future in a single architecture.
The exhibition presents a series of concrete casts and photographs. An archive and abstraction of a ruination both petrified and interrupted. Solidifying snapshots from a building’s life, the casts intensify the already obscured relations between unfinished and ruined, shaped and haphazard, permanent and ephemeral.
UNBUILT refers simultaneously to recollection and projection. Reminiscence and anticipation. Memory and hypothesis converged into one fragmented composition.
Julia Strömland (SE, 1993) is an interdisciplinary architect and researcher, currently based in Engelberg, CH. After completing her master’s degree in Political Architecture at the Royal Danish Academy in Copenhagen, she worked for several years at Atelier Tomas Dirrix in Rotterdam. Currently, she works at Office Haratori in Zürich. She also practices as an independent architect and researcher at the intersection of spatial design, visual arts, and material research. Her practice is built around an explorative and process-driven approach to making, searching for alternative definitions and expressions of architecture. Within each of her projects , materiality is conceived as a reminiscence of hidden meanings, experiences, and potentials. Her work has previously been exhibited in Portugal, Germany, and The Netherlands.