Tatiana Bilbao Estudio // The House and the City: Two Collages

Banvard Gallery
January 30, 2019 - 5:00pm to March 1, 2019 - 5:00pm

The Banvard Gallery will host the Tatiana Bilbao Estudio exhibition The House and the City: Two Collages through Friday, March 1. An opening reception and gallery talk will take place on Friday, February 1 at 5 p.m. (previously scheduled for Wednesday, January 30, 2019 at noon). The House and the City is a traveling exhibition organized by T-Space, a program of the Steven Myron Holl Foundation.


More than 70 percent of the world’s urban population lives in urban areas. The megacities, those with more than 10 million population, concentrate the 8.3 percent of the population. By 2030, there will be 31 megacities.[1]

The accelerated densification of urban centers has caused changes in the way of inhabiting, not only in the private but also in the public spaces. “The living space of new generations is declining. Each person living in the private rented sector now has on average eight square meters less space than they did in 1996”.[2]

In houses of just 50square meters for all members of a family or mini apartments shared with friends or strangers, the need to find additional spaces becomes urgent. The city becomes an extension of the domestic space, in order to find a quiet place to read or meet with colleagues. Architecture must promote and create new ways of inhabiting spaces by blurring the established limits of the public and the private.

We need to rethink the concept of housing by reducing dimensions, creating flexible spaces, without hierarchy and with the ability to be easily transformed by the user. The houses must be designed to allow various activities to take place in a single room.

“The incomplete domestic program of each apartment, led to a greater interdependency between the house and the community, creating stronger social and urban bonds between the domestic and public spheres – without the kitchen, relations between the inhabitants were encouraged” Anna Puigjaner[3]

In this new concept of domestic space, we should not forget that our home is also a symbol of personal identification, as well as the space where we seek to elevate our quality of life.

“A house is a built psychogram. The history of civic housing is a history not just of self-projection, but also of efforts at self-discovery: the home is supposed to express something, tell something about oneself. Souvenirs turned the living room into a museum of one’s own past.” —Niklas Maak, Living Complex.[4]

In the need to extend the domestic space, the urban space should incorporate places where the daily tasks can be performed in the community. A person could live in a house without a kitchen, without laundry, without outdoor spaces and have the possibility to continue carrying out everyday activities.

New technologies and the rise of social networks offer society access to a new set of services that provides products without the burdens of ownership, giving rise to what’s called a “sharing economy”. With platforms, such as Uber or Airbnb there’s no need to own a car or a holiday cottage. Why architects don’t start thinking about “sharing spaces”?

Inventive definitions of public and private, property aim to blur strict boundaries in a range of intermediate concepts. The break from the individual to the collective should bring considerations of a series of steps and negotiations, ranging from the relationship with: our neighbors, our communities, our neighborhoods, until we meet the demands of urban life.

These drawings explore different projects at the urban scale, analyzing how complex cultural, historical, and economic dimensions are activated simply by acknowledging and responding to context. In the domestic it will explore the home as the basic unit of human space.

Tatiana Bilbao

[1] Wendell Cox, “World Urban Areas: 1,064 Largest Cities: 2018 Update”, March 11, 2018.  http://www.newgeography.com/content/005933-world-urban-areas-1064-largest-cities-2018-update

[2] Michael Savage, “Millennial housing crisis engulfs Britian”, Aoril 28, 2018.  https://www.theguardian.com/society/2018/apr/28/proportion-home-owners-halves-millennials

[3] Samuel Medina, “This Spanish Architect Wants to Revolutionize the Home – by Getting Rid of Kitchens”, March 19, 2018. http://www.metropolismag.com/architecture/anna-puigjaner-kitchenless-home/

[4] Niklas Maak, Living Complex. From Zombie City to the New Communal, (Germany: Hirmerr, 2015).

About the Team

The exhibit is curated by Paulina Sevilla, from Tatiana Bilbao Estudio.

Gallery team includes Graduate Assistant Samuel Tibbs, Banvard Gallery Chair Sandhya Kochar and Knowlton School students Sangyuhn Suh, Andrew Williams, Nour Al-Qarra, Xhoana Nikolli, Aisha Cheema, Maryan Warsame, Joy Griffin, Sammy Rupp, Brandon Holmes-Evans, Kevin Hong, Aubrey and Shriya Ravishankar.

About the Gallery

The Banvard Gallery is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Gallery is located on the first floor of Knowlton Hall on the campus of The Ohio State University.