Embracing the disciplines of both traditional architecture and new technologies, Co-Founder of Architecture Intelligence and Research Lab (AirLab) in Singapore and Partner at Subarquitectura in Spain, Carlos Bañón is addressing a range of design challenges across continents and scales.
“I co-founded Subarquitectura in 2004 as an exploratory and forward-thinking design practice. Our work is in challenging the typology of buildings by turning old typologies into new opportunities; redefining public spaces as well as houses. Then, in 2014, I was invited to take a faculty position at Singapore University of Technology and Design which gave me the opportunity to set up AirLab with the goal of integrating new technologies, advances in architecture and provocation into meaningful designs. We love exploring the possibilities of using new technologies in sustainable design: upcycling, recycling and trying to build lighter or less materially-dense structures all while challenging new aesthetics.”
Carlos’ professional and academic practices are closely linked, he says. He describes his teaching, research and professional practice as a 3-legged table that gives him the balance that he needs as an architect. “It’s quite synergistic. At SUTD I teach design studios which highlight the fundamentals of geometry and form as the drivers of architecture and at Subarquitectura we really work closely with form and how the form can determine certain behaviours in people. At AirLab I use the same rationale, but even more research-driven. We test the boundaries. We do prototypes. The Lab allows us to look into the future by experimenting with new ideas that at some point can be implemented in actual buildings.”