Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The intriguing poetics of the inside-outside in an open space

I've been at the Shipley Nature Center, which has been opened in 1974 with the aim of educating children on how was California (I should say Southern) 100 years ago.
There are several trails, with different objects, including boomerangs and stones that help the teachers to explain history and indigenous life.
Next to one of the trails I've found two wooden tables with objects aligned on it, which I presume are old musical instruments. The shadows were hard and I was delighted to see the game of light and shadow inside the apse surrounded by trees and wilderness.
And I had this feeling of asking myself if I was inside of a special "room" or outside in the open air, it was confusing, specially when I moved around and could capture the darkness while the tables were in full sun.

So, after downloading my pictures, I grabbed one of my favorite books, Gaston Bachelard's The Poetics of Space and open it randomly, and found these words that helped me reflect on my experience:

"To benefit by all the lessons of modern psychology and all that has been learned about man's being through psycho-analysis, metaphysics should therefore be resolutely discursive. It should beware of the privileges of evidence that are the property of geometrical intuition. Sight says too many things a one time. Being does not see itself. Perhaps, it listens to itself. It does not stand out, it is not bordered by nothingness: one is never sure of finding it, or of finding it solid, when one approaches a center of being. (.....) Sometimes it is in being outside itself that being tests consistencies. Sometimes too, it is closed in, as it were on the outside. (...)
If we multiplied images, taking them in the domain of lights and sounds, of heat and cold, we should prepare a lower ontology, but doubtless one that is more certain than the ontology that reposes upon geometrical images". 

REF. Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space. P. 214-215. USA 1994.

Though taken out of context, I think Bacherlard's words apply to my subject.
Please do not download my pictures without permission.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Artist's architectural 3D models from L.A. Art Show 2017

 I love the way these tridrimensional metal models have been done, somehow they look 2D, depending on the point of view, or even 3D renders, but they are mass models attached to one single color panel. This is the work of Kim Byungjoo. Exhibited at Los Angeles Art Show 2017, my pictures taken yesterday.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Strange landscapes. An exercise with morphology, colors and reflections

As the title says, I´m creating landscapes with mountains that I create taking the advantage of reflections with different sources of color on Aluminum foil.
The exercise, apart from having interesting artistic results, has moved me to simulate organic architectural structures -that are so well known today- which I will analyze under fractal concepts and will define which is the best way to measure them. This will be part of another post or publication.
I´ve selected Aluminum to achieve a comparison with metals, specially Titanium.
Please do not reproduce without permission.

Monday, January 18, 2016

AR (t) CHITECTURE. Call for papers

An International Conference at The Technion – Israel Institute of Technology Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning 19-21 April 2016

Call for Papers 
 Good architecture brings forth a thick reality of experience. To create poetic local places (buildings, landscapes, and urban design projects), the architect has to embody the environment in which his architectural creation takes place. Meaningful architectural making always reflects and addresses the time, place, desires and needs of a shared context, but at the same time interprets, ponders, questions and manipulates it, while bringing forth the living subjectivity of the architect. Artistic creation, in its different forms, allows the artist to embody the world poetically. Through drawing, painting, sculpture, film, music, dance, etc., the artist addresses collective cultural topics in a personal manner, questions, criticizes, and illuminates them, and thus actively participates in the shared reality. It is not uncommon that architects immerse themselves in art making. Usually their artistic creation has been regarded as separated from their architectural work. The conference will investigate the intricate and fascinating ties between artistic and architectural making. It will aim to question, exemplify, and evaluate the connection between these two fields. Why do architects preoccupy themselves with art making? What are the relationships between their artistic works and their architectural design? Does their art making enrich their architectural designs? Papers may articulate theoretical relationships between art making and architectural making, approach the relationship between these two fields as modes of thinking in recent decades. Papers may also attest to the relationship between art and architecture through case studies of specific architects, or shed light on the ties between specific works of art and architectural projects. Collaborative, multidisciplinary and historiographical papers are welcome. Important Dates: We are inviting historians, theoreticians, researchers and scholars of various fields and backgrounds to submit a paper proposal for one of the below listed topics. Please email a 500 words abstract, describing the paper proposal to the following email address:
 by March 7, 2016. Accepted abstracts will be notified by March 14, 2016. All accepted papers (based on abstract acceptation) would be included in a publication in the form of proceedings. Guidelines: Please keep title short and appealing. Mention the topic (from list of topics to be discussed in the conference), which your paper addresses. Images (72 dpi) may be included as part of the abstract if they enhance the text and are an integral element of the abstract. 

Please include: Author's full name (surname first) Author's credentials (i.e.: Ph.D., Master Student, Professor, Architect, Artist etc.). Author's affiliation (i.e.: university, office or organization). Author's contact info: Full address, email, and phone number. More than one abstract may be submitted per author. Registration fees are 300 USD per academic professionals, and 250 USD per students. Registration deadline: April 10, 2016. 
 Venues: The conference will take place at the Faculty of Architecture and Town Planning at the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology between the 19th and the 21st of April, 2016. Israel's prominent technological institution, the Technion is located in Haifa on the Carmel Mountain. As the center of the northern Israeli metropolitan, Haifa offers a unique view on local region and culture. 


 Topic 1). Theoretical and philosophical aspects of art making as modes of poetic embodiment of the surroundings and interpretations of the relationship between artistic and architectural making. 
Topic 2). Historiographies of relationships between art and architectural making, with emphasis on their conditions and significance in the contemporary era of enhanced technology and globalization 
Topic 3). Case studies dealing with the artistic and architectural work of architects worldwide, and the ties between specific artistic and architectural projects, methodologies and products. 
 Topic 4). Case studies focusing on artistic and architectural work of Israeli, Palestinian and Mediterranean architects. 

Scientific Committee: Prof. David Leatherbarrow Prof. Architect Joerg Gleiter Architect Zvi Hecker Prof. Architect Iris Aravot - Chair Dr. Architect Dana Margalith Architect Anna Shapiro Architect Yoni Avidan Architect Maya Weissman-Ilan ** For more information please visit our website at: 

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Colorful welding and the aesthetics of ruins

¨In August 2013, the Newport Beach City Council authorized the City Arts Commission and City staff to implement a temporary sculpture exhibit in Civic Center Park. The City Council approved the installation of ten sculptures in Phase I of the project and additional ten sculptures in Phase 2. The sculptures installed in year one are on display for two years and will be removed and returned to the artists in 2016. Those installed in year two, or Phase 2, will be removed in 2017.¨

Here I´m showing some details from the sculpture ¨Pretty Boy¨ by David Buckingham.
And this is not that I´m delighted with the sculpture but with its details. I took a lot of pictures of the welding and colorful metal, while thinking how this sculpture will end up in more than one year. What the artist will do with the remnants.

Because if you look in detail, the sculpture has corrosion everywhere already, and maybe this is part of the artist´s intention, that the demon (it´s a demon) would honorably die when he has to be removed from the park.
It also reminded me Albert Speer´s ideal of ruins:

¨ Albert Speer, el arquitecto de Hitler, avanzó sobre el tema en la década del ´30, proponiendo la idea de valor de las ruinas, en su publicación ¨Die Ruinenwerttheorie¨ (La Teoría del Valor de las Ruinas), donde el edificio debía ser diseñado de tal manera que en caso de su eventual colapso, dejaría en pie ruinas estéticamente agradables que pudieran perdurar sin mantenimiento. Speer, no sólo construyó el modelo del Zeppelin en Nuremberg, sino que también mostró cómo aparecería en ruinas luego de cientos de años. Su expectactiva residía en que los restos torcidos de hierro despertaran el mismo heroico entusiasmo que los grandes edificios del pasado que habían conmovido a Hitler¨. 

From my article About the Aesthetics of Ruins, in Spanish, Albert Speer, who was Hitler´s archictect, advanced on the subject in the 30´s proposing the idea of a value for ruins, in his publication ¨Die Ruinenwerttheorie¨, where he stated that the building had to be designed in such a manner that its eventual collapse would leave aesthetically pleasing ruins that could endure without maintenance. He, not only built the model of the Zeppelin in Nuremberg, but also showed how it would look like in ruins, after hundreds of years. His expectation was on the twisted steel that would encourage the same heroic enthusiasm than the great buildings of the past that had moved Hitler.

After all, my pictures are showing ¨Pretty Boy¨ parts as abstract art. 
All pictures by Myriam B. Mahiques, please do not reproduce without my permission.

These are the legs of  ¨Pretty Boy¨ and the grass behind

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Shutters perspectives or the art of shutters. Perspectiva de persianas o el arte de las persianas

Plastic shutters unusual perspectives with the sun of 7.30 AM through them. Or how to look at banal architectural objects from an artistic point of view.

Perspectivas inusuales de unas persianas de plástico con el sol de las 7.30 AM a través de ellas. O cómo mirar los objetos banales de la arquitectura desde un punto de vista artístico.

Para ilustrar con palabras acerca de encontrar el arte (la estética) en las pequeñas cosas, citaré a Benedetto Croce:

¨....algunas expresiones harto complicadas y difíciles aciertan a manifestarse con excelencia y se las llama obras de arte. Los límites de las expresiones -intuiciones que se denominan arte, con relación a las que se califican de no arte- son empíricos y es imposible definirlos. Un epigrama pertenece al arte; ¿porqué no una palabra sencilla? Un cuento pertenece al arte; ¿porqué no una simple nota de información periodística? Un paisaje pertenece al arte; ¿por qué no un esbozo topográfico? (.....) así tampoco puede haber una ciencia de las grandes intuiciones y otra de las pequeñas, una de la intuición común y otra de la intuición artística, sino una sola estética, ciencia del conocimiento intuitivo o expresivo, que es el hecho estético o artístico. Esta estética se corresponde perfectamente con la lógica, que abraza, como cosas de la misma naturaleza, la formación del concepto más pequeño y ordinario y la construcción del más complicado sistema científico y filosófico.¨

Benedetto Croce. Estética. pp 98-99. Ediciones Nueva Visión, Buenos Aires, 1969

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Details from ¨Sacred Realms: Temple Murals by Shashi Dhoj Tulachan¨


Sacred Realms: Temple Murals by Shashi Dhoj Tulachan From the Gayle and Edward P. Roski Collection.

I´ve been enjoying this great exhibition today at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana. It´s impossible to capture the beauty of the whole temple murals but at least I am sharing some details. Please do not reproduce without my permission.

¨ The nine oversized paintings shown in this exhibition are all the work of one extraordinary 69-year-old Buddhist monk named Shashi Dhoj Tulachan, a second generation thangka artist living
in Tuksche, a remote village located in Mustang, Nepal's northernmost district adjacent to Tibet.
Shashi Dhoj Tulachan has devoted much of his life to the restoration of a nearby 16th century gompa (Tibetan monastery) known as the Chhairo Gompa.
He is part of a local initiative, the Kali Gandaki Foundation Trust, which is dedicated to raising money to preserve the Chhairo Gompa.
The practice of thangka painting is centuries old and is an art carried out by highly trained monks for the purpose of teaching about Buddha and the tenets of the Buddhist religion. The overwhelming amount of detailed imagery in each painting includes deities, mythologies, and the use of repeated and abstracted design. For those seeking enlightenment, thangka paintings exist as objects of meditation.
The paintings in this collection are not thangkas in the traditional sense. Thangkas are usually much smaller and are rolled on canvas so that they can be easily transported and hung anywhere for teaching. The thangkas exhibited here are similar in size to mural paintings found in monasteries. These paintings also deviate from the rules for the creation of a thangka where the exact use of color, shape, proportion, characteristics and qualities of the imagery are all strictly regulated.
Shashi Dhoj Tulachan has painted this set of images by combining the traditional motifs of one of the foremost schools recognized by high-level monks in Tibet today, the Tibetan Karma Ghadri School, with images that are purely and cleverly of his imagination. The vibrant colors he used are made from natural mineral pigments.¨

Saturday, October 31, 2015

'Culture in Urban Space: Urban Form, Cultural Landscapes, Life in the City' Call for Papers

'Culture in Urban Space: Urban Form, Cultural Landscapes, Life in the City'
22-26 August 2016, Copenhagen, Denmark
Call for Papers

The city cannot be understood in terms of its buildings, infrastructures, and physical geography alone. Urban materiality is inextricably linked with city life: Urban spaces are influenced by the cultures that inhabit them, and urban form shapes these cultures in turn. This conference brings together researchers, planners, designers, policymakers, and architects from around the globe to explore the mutual influence of urban culture and urban form.

Impacts of past urban planning reverberate long after original rationales have become obsolete: Fortifications (walls, moats, fortresses), transport infrastructure (railways, highways, city gates), and other elements of the built environment structure future development. Aspects of urban form contribute to dividing the city into neighbourhoods, determining which areas will flourish while others decay, encouraging shifts from industrial to tourism or leisure use. The city’s architectures affect the cultures of the people who use them: Different kinds of housing foster different forms of sociality or isolation, and different networked infrastructures promote different pathways to the internal cohesion and/or citywide integration of urban cultures. Whether urban cultural landscapes evolve gradually over time or result from decisive, top-down planning, they reflect and influence the city’s multitude of identities, industries, cultural politics, ethnic relations, and expressive cultures.

Presentations will address such issues as:
How do design philosophies influence lived culture?
How does urban morphology change over time alongside livelihoods and cultural expectations?
What forms of cultural resistance arise to challenge top-down urban design?
Why do neighbourhoods develop within urban space?
How are elements of the built environment re-purposed?
What can planners and designers do to promote cultural flexibility or sensitivity?
How is ethnic diversity reflected in urban form?
Should designers seek to reinforce or add flexibility to expressions of cultural difference in the city?

Keynote speakers: Ronan Paddison (University of Glasgow) & Henriette Steiner (University of Copenhagen)

About the conference.
Culture in Urban Space is one of Island Dynamics' ‘Community Explorations’ conferences, allowing delegates to contextualise knowledge and engage with community members. On 22-24 August, delegates will explore Copenhagen’s morphological and cultural distinction, visiting neighbourhoods such as Nordvest (ethnically diverse and characterised by early-20th Century utopian urban planning); Nørrebro and Vesterbro (rapidly gentrifying neighbourhoods beyond the old city walls, with abiding reputations for ‘edginess’ and crime); Sydhavn (deindustrialising working-class neighbourhood, being transformed by land reclamation and construction of upper-middle class residences); City Centre (structured by the city’s former fortifications and coastlines, central Copenhagen has become the heart of Danish political, tourism, and retail culture); Christianshavn (former warehouse, industrial, and military zone, which has transformed into Copenhagen’s pre-eminent built heritage landscape, combining elite residences and workplaces with the countercultural stronghold of Christiania). Delegates will also visit Tivoli Gardens, a historic amusement park that has developed into a key site for Danish identity building and cultural expression. Conference presentations take place on 25-26 August.

How to make a presentation.
Presentations last 20 minutes and will be followed by around 10 minutes’ question time. The deadline for abstracts is 28 February 2016, but to take advantage of early registration rates and ensure that you have time to seek funding from your institution or government, we recommend that you submit your abstract early. You can submit an abstract here:

To learn more, please visit the conference website:


Related Posts with Thumbnails