Artist selected by López Munuera, Iván at 2010

Husos is a platform for developing architecture and town-planning projects encompassing both research and direct action in the space. Based in Madrid, it operates regularly between the Spanish capital and the city of Cali in Colombia, making extensive use of new technologies. By following an ecological approach to everyday matters, HUSOS explores the possibilities and limits of architecture and town planning as tools for promoting preservation and the coexistence of different forms of life, both social and biological, in the context of a globalised world.


Husos is an initiative by Diego Barajas and Camilo García open to collaborations with other architects and professionals from different disciplines, including biologist Francisco Amaro.


1. What made you choose art as a profession?
Although Husos’s work is closely linked to architecture and town planning, we don’t like to pigeonhole projects within a specific profession. I think we’ve moved on from thinking in terms of professions. We try to start with a transdisciplinary approach and look for the best format for each project, be it a building, webpage, TV programme, photography reportage or simply a series of brochures.


Since each format requires specific technical knowledge, HUSOS works as an open collaborative platform for biologists, graphic designers, musicians and architects, amongst others. Our work has been classified as art, architecture, design, activism and research, depending on whoever is viewing it. We’re not really interested in closed classifications in general and even less in the case of creative processes.


2. How would you define your work?
We could start with what doesn’t define us. Husos’s work isn’t based on searching out the new and doesn’t aim to improve certain situations or find solutions to certain problems, although social commitment plays a key role in our projects. It’s more about appreciating certain aspects of what already exists – certain social or biological forms of life that in some way or other already talk to us from the present about certain latencies, a more plural, diverse and possibly more democratic world. It’s not a classical idea of conservation; it’s a more defiant conservation, conserving the future.


3. What subjects are you interested in?
Everyday experiences, ecology (understood as breaking down the traditional hierarchies between different forms of life), diversity in a biological and social sense, lifestyles and how these influence the construction of the world around us, globalisation not in an abstract sense, but as an everyday experience, the power of the media, the power of the imagination both as individual fantasy and as a force for social change, the roles played by objects around us, the city as an object of research and work.


4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
We’re not interested in formal resources, but we do want to set out a methodology based on careful observation of certain existing events and to ground our attitude in the recognition that any reality – no matter how apparently negative - offers visible or invisible social values, probably valuable social or biological forms of life that should be conserved. This commitment to conserving things that already have a value represents an ongoing, exhaustive research process understood not only as the methodical search for what we still don’t know, but also as a way of imagining and projecting what could come from reality itself.


5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
We’re interested in paying particular attention to small everyday events and experiences, what we sometimes call micro-realities: realities that might not appear that significant, but which often hide valid paths, possible models for building our environment in general. The everyday world is very important in our work because it’s where our life experiences take place. It’s the quintessential arena for our routine actions and the repository of our dreams and desires, as well as our dissatisfactions. As Henri Lefebvre pointed out, it’s the ideal sphere for political protest, where we can transform reality. Or, in Margaret Crawford’s words, “a platform for creative resistance”.


6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
We like to explore the constructive potential of art and creative practices, without losing sight of its limitations and the world around us, but above all trying to pay close attention and fostering the many possibilities underlying existing things.


7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
It depends on the project in question. We definitely hope for interest and above all a willingness to get involved. We’re keen for our work to relate to ordinary people who live in the city and who make everyday life here what it is. In our projects we try to explore the role that design plays between different forms of life and their environment, ie exploring the way certain objects or certain processes can promote or stimulate certain ways that social, economic or biological bodies relate to one another and activate certain dynamics based on these relationships.


For example, we can think in very basic terms of the role a dining table plays, the different kinds of conversations sparked by a long, rectangular table, with its hierarchical notions of ends and sides, as opposed to a round table, where everyone is in the same position. In both social and environmental terms, we’re very interested in the possible roles played by a given object because we think that coexistence between different forms of life is a fundamental point in the discourse of sustainability and ecology.


We’re not only referring to social forms of life, eg lifestyles such as those we studied in our project Dispersión, but also natural forms of life like those we worked with in the garden building in Cali. Like many of our generation, we’re aware that until now design has been conceived in an excessively anthropocentric fashion. This needs to change, above all, now that we know it’s neither sustainable nor feasible to separate nature and society.


8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
We studied architecture in Bogotá and then took a two-year Master’s degree in architecture and town planning at the Instituto Berlage, where there was a determined effort to keep a transdisciplinary focus. In fact, many people said and still say that what we do isn’t architecture, but sociology or art… We’re not interested in these classifications.


In any case, you can’t measure real education exclusively in the institutions where you studied; it’s in all the everyday experiences you’ve had. It’s about living in a chaotic city like Bogotá, rich in surprising events or working in Holland, the cradle of great mapmakers. We think these experiences have affected our way of approaching a project and the city.


9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
We’re happy with the results of each project. We don’t think about the future too much; we prefer to concentrate on the present and use it to slowly build a future without too many restrictions.


10. Many artists say it’s difficult to make a living from their work; how do economic considerations affect you when it comes to work? Do you think this has a bearing on your work?
Of course it has a bearing. It’s important for Husos’s work to be self-sufficient, although we’re still not there yet 100%.


11. What do you look for or expect from your relationship with promoters and curators? What advantages and difficulties have you found with these relationships?
Promoters and curators play a key role, but sometimes they focus too much on exhibiting produced work. Their backing is important, as is support from other cultural bodies for production.


12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
On the plus side: having such a marvellous laboratory as a backdrop. The city by day, the city by night, as a metropolis, a diverse, cosmopolitan city that lives life on the streets.


On the down side: there often aren’t enough routes to get to commissions, projects and grants genuinely based on merit and not other mechanisms.


Curriculum vitae

Diego Barajas (Bogotá, 1975)
Camilo García (Cali, Colombia, 1975).

Viven y trabajan en/Live and work among: Madrid y Cali, Colombia.

Formación Académica/Education
Diego Barajas

Curso de Doctorado, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid ETSAM; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.


Máster Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Berlage Insitute, Rotterdam.


Grado con Honores en Arquitectura y Proyecto de Grado Meritorio, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá.

Camilo García

Licenciado en Arquitectura, Universidad Europea de Madrid, Madrid.


Máster Arquitectura y Urbanismo, Berlage Institute, Rotterdam.


Grado en Arquitectura, Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá.


Estudios de Arquitectura, Mackintosh School of Architecture, Glasgow.

Exposiciones Individuales/Solo Exhibitions

Dispositivos para la preservación y estimulación de latencias, Alianza Colombo Francesa, Bogotá.


Dispersión, Witte de With, Centre for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam.


Belhuis: Infrastructures of reterritorialization, AIR Foundation, Architecture International Rotterdam, Rotterdam.

Exposiciones Colectivas/Group Exhibitions

Belhuis at the IABR. Rotterdam Belhuis Web Guide, Multifunctional de-territolializator, Leaflets&Moroccan Cyber Chill Out, International Architecture Biennale, IABR, Rotterdam.
FreshLatino, Instituto Cervantes, Madrid; Frankfurt; Hamburg; Lyon; Porto; Bucureşti; Rio de Janeiro.


Biennale di Venezia, Mostra Internazionale di Architettura, Experimental Architecture, Venezia.


FreshForward, Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid.


Making Of, Liquidación Total, Madrid.


Primera muestra de arquitectos Colombianos de España, Fundació Met.Room, Barcelona.
Dispersión, Festival PHotoEspaña, Casa de América, Madrid.


Panorama Emergente, IV Bienal Iberoamericana de Arquitectura, Lima.
INbetween, Map of Maps, NAI Nederlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam.


Individualization, Berlage Institute, Rotterdam; NL. Universität für die Künste, Wien.

Actividades Académicas/Academic Related Activities

Vivienda Productiva, Nuevos Modos de Habitar, Manchester University-Instituto Cervantes, Manchester.(Conferencia/Lecture; Mesa redonda/Discussion Pannel)
“Dispositivos para la preservación y estimulación de latencias”, Universidad del Valle, Cali, Colombia.


HUSOS: Trabajo, Universidad Camilo José Cela, Madrid.

La Cultura Arquitectónica al servicio de un desarrollo urbano sostenible, Espacio Público, Europan 9 Forum, Europan Alemania, Hamburg. (Mesa redonda/Discussion Pannel)


Un lugar bajo el sol, Centro Cultural de España en Buenos Aires.

HUSOS: trabajo, Escuela de Arquitectura de la Universidad de Buenos Aires.


Notas para una arquitectura para cuerpos globalizados, El Ojo Atómico, Madrid.

Husos: trabajo, Making Of, Liquidación Total, Madrid.

Dispersión, Unidad Docente Juan Herreros Guerra, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.


Dispersión, Congreso Archilab04, The Naked City, Orleans, France.


Bogotá In-formal, Cape Town University, Cape Town, South Africa.

Becas y premios/Awards and Grants

Zumtobel Group Award for Sustainability and Humanity in the Built Environment, Berlin.
(Nominación del proyecto/Project nominate Edificio Jardín Hospedero y Nectarifero para Mariposas de Cali)
Beca de ayuda a la movilidad para creadores, Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo AECID. (Beca/Grant)


Beca Colfuturo, Berlage Institute, Rotterdam. (Beca/Grant)

Obra en Museos y Colecciones/Works in Museums and Collections
Historish Museum Rotterdam, Rotterdam.
Archilab04, Orleans, France.


"4th Architectuur Biënnale Rotterdam, Open City: Designing Coexistence", Rotterdam, Sun Publishers, Cat. Exp.


"Experimental Architecture, out there, Architecture beyond building", 11th Biennale di Venezia, Mostra Internazionale di Architettura, Venezia, Cat. Exp.


Gallanti, Fabricio; McGrane, Sally, "Butterflies House", Abitare magazine, n.487, Milano, pp. 66.


Barajas, Diego, "Un Lugar bajo el sol, los espacios para las practicas creativas actuales/ revisión y análisis", Aramburu Nekane Ed., Buenos Aires, CCEBA.



Barajas, Diego, "Notes for an Architecture for Globalized Bodies", Baumeister, Ruth; Lee, Sang Ed., The Domestic and the Foreign in Architecture, Rotterdam, 010 Publishers, pp 243.


"Nuevas geografías urbanas translocales", Europan Alemania Ed., Public Spheres, A Europan Discusión, Hamburg.



Amaro, Francisco; Barajas, Diego; García, Camilo, "Edificio Jardín Hospedero y Nectarífero para Mariposas de Cali, Arquitectos", n.179, Madrid, pp 46.


Cantis, Ariadna, "Proyecto: Dispersión", Ciudad PHE05, Madrid, La Fábrica Editorial, Cat. Exp. Dispersion,



"Archilab report 2004", Orleans, The Naked City, Cat. Exp.


Panorama Emergente Iberoamericano, Lima, IV Bienal Iberoamericana de Arquitectura, Cat. Exp.
Barajas, Diego; Grootens, Joost; Sigler, Jennifer Ed., Dispersion.



"A Study of Global Mobility and the Dynamics of a Fictional Urbanism", Rotterdam, Episode Publishers.

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