Des-Habitat – 3rd Edition
We are thrilled to republish Des-Habitat on the occasion of the Brazilian pavilion at the 2023 Venice Architecture Biennial, curated by Paulo Tavares and Gabriela de Matos. Entitled Terra, the exhibition—which in May was awarded a Golden Lion—challenges the construction of the Brazilian capital, Brasília, which was built by appropriating Indigenous lands—an issue also taken up in Tavares's engaging monograph Des-Habitat.
With Des-Habitat, Paulo Tavares intervenes in Habitat—the arts and design magazine edited by Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi in the 1950s. At the time, the magazine propagated images of modern art and architecture, but also images of popular and Indigenous crafts and artifacts. In this way, it simultaneously introduced its audience to the vocabulary of modernism and vernacular and native forms of cultural expression. In Des-Habitat, Brazilian architect, curator, and activist Tavares investigates how the aesthetic language of Habitat framed such objects and images. The project mobilizes a series of design strategies central also to Habitat itself, such as re-appropriation, collage, and displacement. By focusing on the context from which materials were originally taken Tavares shows how, by virtue of its modern visual language, Habitat functioned as a framing device to conceal its own coloniality, and offers readers an engaging history dealing with questions of oppression, complicity, and decolonization.
P A U L O T A V A R E S is an architect, author, and educator. His practice dwells at the frontiers between architecture, visual cultures, and advocacy. Operating through multiple media, his work opens a collaborative field aimed at environmental justice and counter-narratives in architecture. Tavares’s projects have been featured in various exhibitions and publications worldwide, including Harvard Design Magazine, The Architectural Review, Venice Biennial, Oslo Architecture Triennial, Istanbul Design Biennale, and São Paulo Art Biennial. He is the author of several books questioning the colonial legacies of modernity, most recently Des-Habitat (2019), Lucio Costa era Racista? (2022), and Derechos No-Humanos (2022). Tavares was co-curator of the 2019 Chicago Architecture Biennial and is part of the advisory curatorial board of Sharjah Biennial 2023. The project Terra, in collaboration with Gabriela de Matos, was awarded the golden lion for best national participation at La Biennale di Venezia 2023. In Brazil he leads the spatial advocacy agency autonoma and teaches at the University of Brasília.
[PT] Semelhante a outras publicações “modernistas militantes” que floresceram na época, a revista Habitat – publicação de artes e design editada pela arquiteta Lina Bo Bardi nos anos 1950 – não apenas propagava imagens de arte e arquitetura moderna, mas também imagens de artesanato popular e artefatos indígenas. Desta forma, introduzia o seu público simultaneamente ao vocabulário do modernismo e formas vernaculares e nativas de expressão cultural. Des-Habitat investiga a maneira pela qual a linguagem estética de Habitat enquadrava tais objetos e imagens. O projeto mobiliza uma série de estratégias de design baseadas em layout, reapropriação e colagem – procedimentos centrais à linguagem gráfica de Habitat – para interrogar o contexto a partir do qual essas imagens surgiram como significantes modernos nas páginas da revista. Isso envolve observar como políticas de estado de pacificação de grupos indígenas, que forçaram deslocamentos e apropriação de terras, levaram à circulação de artefatos indígenas e suas imagens para as elites urbanas. Em virtude de sua linguagem visual moderna, Habitat funcionava como um enquadramento que ocultava esse contexto colonial, bem como sua própria perspectiva cúmplice.
Paulo Tavares, Des-Habitat. A book-length essay, translation, and design by Paulo Tavares. With a preface by Marion von Osten
33 x 23.5 cm
Full color, numerous images
ISBN: 978-3-947858-54-5 [EN/PT – Third Edition, 2023; in stock]
978-3-947858-20-0 [EN/PT – revised Second Edition, 2021; out of stock];
978-3-947858-05-7 [EN/PT – sold-out First Edition, 2019; out of stock];
978-3-947858-06-4 [PT/EN – sold-out First Edition, 2019; out of stock]
Published by K. Verlag most recently in June 2023