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Interview Pilar

Interview Pilar Echezarreta is a recognized Spanish architect. Recently she made some ‘inflatable architecture’ from film material made of Biolice, a bioplastic manufactured by Limagrain Céréales Ingrédients from maize flour using a unique process in the bioplastics sector. Pilar was born in Barcelona and lived in Mexico City for around 20 years. After graduating in Architecture, she studied, worked and lived between Paris, New York and Shanghai. Parallel to these activities she’s been working during the last 12 years in an on-going research project on inflatable structures with materials that are not usually considered for Architecture: air, paper, and plastics. Every unit is 100% handmade. How did you discover Biolice? What triggered the idea of using Biolice in your art ? During the month of December, you can buy in Paris decorative plastic bags that are used as decoration at the bottom of the Christmas tree. Once holidays are over, you can place the tree inside and throw the whole to the waste, all being biodegradable. During January you’ll find these trees dressed in gold [golden pearls] under the rain. When I had the opportunity to build an inflatable in Mexico, I decided to contact Biolice. To my surprise, Biolice was very supportive to my initiative and sent me the necessary amount of material. The use of biodegradable film gave a new scope to the design and construction: inflatable architecture can also be biodegradable! Pilar Echezarreta What makes Biolice unique for you? I guess it is very simple. Biolice is a noble material. If I can compare it to textiles, Biolice will be the silk of films. Biolice’s films have a great balance between weight, resistance, performance at warehouse, and color, and most important, it is biodegradable. Where did you show this kind of art? In Mexico City in 2009 the solo exhibition Golden Pearl and other prototypes proposed a colony of inflatable architectures built with polymer, one of them built real size with capacity for 8 people. The installation remained one month installed at the gallery. Later in 2010 I was invited by the Istituto Europeo di Design [Madrid] to teach the Air Workshop. The constraint I gave to the students was to build an inflatable structure out of 32 golden bags. The final presentation was a performance in the Plaza de El Callao — one of the most crowded squares in Madrid The most recent construction was last November at the IV Festival Architecture and Performance, at Madrid. The project presented is a site specific unit called Assemblage with Air, an inflatable concert hall. The unit measures around 20m long, by 5m high and 5m wide. If not confidential, can you tell us what is the next step with using bioplastics: working with ‘biosac by calcia’ bag, the innovative compostable cement bag, in order to find a link between architecture and raw materials for construction ? Being a rigid material, biosac makes me think in the use of paper in Architecture. Traditional Japanese architecture has impressive examples on this. We’re still on a study phase, and promise to keep you posted on the next biosac construction. PDF This is an abridged version of a longer interview with Pilar Echezarret. The complete interview as well as more pictures can befound at 60 bioplastics MAGAZINE [01/12] Vol. 7

bioplastics MAGAZINE ePaper