PKMN [pac-man]

Artist selected by López Munuera, Iván at 2010
More artist content updated at 2016

PKMN [pac-man] is an architecture and design office and collective set up in Madrid in 2006 as an open group for producing and applying architectural and multidisciplinary thought, tools and projects by carrying out theoretical and practical forays into subjects, concepts and realities such as action, city, construction, body, identity, marketing, communication and memory.


As a collective of individuals, our architectural, artistic or simply creative work is the sum of ourselves… as are our answers to this questionnaire.


1. What made you choose art as a profession?
You often get to where you are by coincidence. What you end up doing gradually takes shape over time and none of us are doing what we imagined we’d be doing some years ago. I’m also not sure that what we do is art, but your affinities are important and influence what you do. Your work takes on the form of things you like and have around you, and we’re surrounded by stimuli we keep in our life experience that appear when we’re thinking up a project, whether we want to or not…


During my fairly quiet teenage years, numbed by myself and the national education system, I decided to pursue a respectable, entertaining and highly lucrative profession and make my parents proud of me. However, things change and I gradually discovered that what I’d thought of as simply entertaining was extremely stimulating and financially unsustainable, much to the chagrin of my family.


I still haven’t chosen yet…


I’m doing this purely by chance.


2. How would you define your work?
I think what defines our work is our way of working. We put a possible project on the table and then there’s this kind of infectious, inspiring energy that sparks new situations. We’re not conformists. Someone once called us Romantic Activists. That’s us.


A masterpiece.


We try to look for opportunities and do things… that’s it. When you do them, small things become something bigger than you and prove they have a life of their own outside your head.


My work isn’t mine; it’s ours and sometimes everyone’s.


I’d never define our professional work as artistic… Sometimes it’s even difficult for us to give an overview of what we do. We experiment with the limits of architecture and people’s ability to create it. We try to escape from the idea of the specialist as the only player in building a city, and look for the means to promote the public’s involvement in processes we think should be collective, shared decisions taken by each and every one of the city’s users. Architectural practice and participation should be about more than whether or not residents like the new paving in the square or the new streetlamps. Part of our contribution is almost pedagogical or at least aims to motivate more conscious public initiatives.


3. What subjects are you interested in?
Exchanging information. Working with people from different places and different backgrounds. The less you know about what’s ahead of you, the more you learn. Identity as an engine. The marks that define us and keep us moving. Catalogues. Fun. Making each decision as least boring as possible.




Taking objects and identity out of context. You end up throwing out ritual symbolism, even religious, and yet constantly come back to it. Individuals are so powerful… the city needs more individualism. We try to make the most out of social, cultural and economic situations unrelated to architecture and transform them for architectural purposes.


Action, exchange, dialogue, intervention, context, adapting, having fun…


4. What resources – formal or otherwise – do you use in your work?
Stop-motion, always lively background music, the combination of green and pink, nonconformity, Japanese fabrics and paper, provocation, cameos, table games and role-playing games…
The time economy in modern-day society shifts architecture away from being integrated in more spontaneous, fast, trail-and-error processes. However, the city and ways of using it are constantly changing at breakneck speed. We try to accelerate situations of change through direct action on the space.


Cheap labour, caffeinated drinks and peanuts.


5. What relationship does your work have with reality? What are your raw materials?
Our work is very human.


A major part is the search for identity, getting the public involved from the point of view of their image, their desires and not as a YES or NO, a number or code…


We often work directly with people and places.


6. What, according to you, is the point of art?
For me personally, art helps me see the best in people and get the best out of me. It inspires me, helps me concentrate and brings me closer to other thoughts and makes me learn. “Art is everything you can learn”; the point of art is learning.


The point of art is to separate poetry and money.


Plenty of ink has already been spilt on this subject; I don’t think I can say anything useful in two lines.
I read somewhere that art is the ability to make free, meaningful, delicate ties with aspects of your experience. Art tends to disappear or rather become less elite when it doesn’t need specific, stipulated places, circuits or exhibitions…


7. How do you hope the public will receive your work? What audience are you aiming at?
Judging by the audiences we’ve had so far, they’ve been ordinary people. Most of our work is either in the street or easy to access, so people can see what’s happening. It’s great to see people’s reaction. In some projects we deliberately set out to get a reaction from the public, since we were working on the observers’ identity. The idea was to get visitors to feel something and identify themselves amongst the crowd.


Exchange, communication: whispers, looks, sideways glances, voyeuristic peeks, snide comments, insults, slanders… We’re looking for a response.


It’s a bit confusing. The snobbish climate around us (including myself at times) would only want educated, select, cool people… but when you see 200 people getting excited by what you’ve done, visiting it, taking part, wanting more… you realise what a load of crap snobbery is. You end up sat in front of the computer screen in tears.

We don’t really have an audience as such; anyone can take part.


8. What qualifications have you got? What do you value most from your time in education?
We all studied architecture, but then we’ve each had our own experiences that have added individual qualities. We’re really very different. Some of us have had an education closer to drawing and painting; others, closer to music; and others, closer to drama and poetry.


Skipping certain budgetary considerations to see things in another way, based on these educational foundations, obviously.


A budding architect. Checking the limits of the dream.


9. How would you define your current professional situation? And in the future?
It’s pretty fucked up. Only imagination can save us (from the global excess of everything… not even sexual favours buy you anything; only the imagination has any currency).


The current economic downturn could be a good time to change certain things, stir up stagnant processes… Crises always come from excess and create a moment to stop to think or revolt, and that’ll be good – tough but revitalising.


The fact we set up the collective whilst we were at university and started our professional career somewhat prematurely let us shape our principles and ways of working very informally and spontaneously. Managing to keep these premises without any loss of professionalism is one of my main motivations.


Always halfway there.


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?
It’s a fucker… but it can also stimulate you to produce better work.


There are still some things that need to lose money before they can make it. It’s tough to make a living from what you like (and if this isn’t yet profitable) and is often dependent on healthy family economics. The family is still the economic engine of Spanish youth and that’s dangerous. The State doesn’t help much and if your parents can’t either, then it’s not easy… you need to work at least an 8-hour day to pay for your life.For me the main problem is the instability. You often create projects that don’t come from market needs. So before analysing how economically effective your studio is, you think about the framework in which you can carry out what you’re interested in and believe in. At the moment, not all the projects have been profitable, but we’ve been able to carry on working. In addition, the structure of the collective gives us a bit more margin, especially when you’re just starting out as we are.


Our next project is gift-wrapping the Moon.


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?
Honesty and communication.


We don’t have the same direct relationships with curators as artists do. The intermediaries we work with are more like customers than curators. The occasional contacts we’ve had have been very positive and helped give us a push forwards on our professional career.


The relationship shouldn’t hamper the work of the other; it should be mutually enriching.


12. What do you think sets the arts scene in Madrid apart from elsewhere? What would you say are its pluses and minuses?
In Madrid people are very outgoing and often outdoors, which makes it easy to make contact with people, as opposed to places where people are more introspective. The street offers great opportunities to carry out actions, to experiment with public space and its inhabitants. On the down side, there’s not much risk in general. Anywhere. People stick to what they know, both artists and promoters and curators. This creates a comfortable, conformist atmosphere. I think that in Madrid people in the “arts scene” live too comfortably and this leads to a loss of creative and productive tension.


Madrid’s very expensive.


There are lots of obstacles to setting up self-run spaces, yet plenty of investment in institutional spaces; it’s more about cultural image than culture itself.


Curriculum vitae

PKMN [pac-man]
Madrid, I/2006.
Viven y trabajan en/Lives and Works in: Madrid.


Actualmente formado por: Rocío Pina Isla (Madrid, 1983); Diana Hernández García (Cáceres, 1983); Carmelo Rodríguez Cedillo (Toledo, 1981); David Pérez García (Asturias, 1981); Enrique Espinosa Pérez (Cuenca, 1981).


En los proyectos Ciudad crea Ciudad o eventual-virtualmente en otros se ha extendido y extiende a: Alejandra Navarrete Llopis (Caracas, 1980); Carlos Mínguez Carrasco (Barcelona, 1979); Almudena Mestre Martínez (Madrid, 1982).


Formación Académica/Education
Arquitectura, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid; Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid.


Exposiciones Colectivas/Group Exhibitions
AlNorte 2010, IX Semana de Arte Contemporáneo de Asturias, Museo Barjola, Gijón.
EME3 2010, Mercado. Feria de Arquitectura de Barcelona, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, CCCB, Barcelona.
PostPostPost, Nueva arquitectura iberoamericana. Post Arquitectura, Buenos Aires, Medellín, Quito, Boston, Madrid.
Festival Madrid Futuro, III Congreso Internacional de Arquitectura Construtec-COAM. Nuevos modelos de gestión pública, Matadero Madrid, Madrid.


Freshlatino, Instituto Cervantes, Madrid; Frankfurt; Hamburg; Lyon; Porto; Bucureşti; Rio de Janeiro.
Festival eme3 COLLAPSE, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, CCCB, Barcelona.


V Encuentro de Artistas, Espacio-Arte El Dorado, Fundación Amelia Moreno, Quintanar de la Orden, Toledo.


FreshForward, Fundación COAM, Madrid; Museo de Arquitectura, MARQ, Buenos Aires.


El Madrileño del Año (marca de prestigio ciudadana), acción urbana/urban action, La Noche en Blanco, Madrid.
Being Rem Koolhaas (des-idolatrador arquitectónico), exposición colectiva PostPostPost. Nueva Arquitectura Iberoamericana. Post Arquitectura.
Burgos crea Burgos (experiencia pedagógica), comprensión, participación y apropiación del plano de Burgos por parte de sus ciudadanos, Burgos.
Faked ArchID’S (interacción lúdica), baile para un Star System de la arquitectura, III Congreso de Arquitectura ARQUITAXI’09, Granada.


Performing Architecture, acción urbana/urban action, Matadero Madrid.
INOPIA: proceso, Centro Arista, San Sebastián.
Las azoteas del Sur, La Ciudad viva: I Muestra documental-audiovisual sobre la ciudad, Congreso Internacional de Arquitectura y Ciudad, Quito.


Cáceres crea Cáceres, acción urbana/urban action, Cáceres.
Arqueología del Futuro, proyecto de investigación, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universidad Politécnica, Madrid.


Toledo crea Toledo, acción urbana/urban action, Espacio Contemporáneo Archivo de Toledo, ECAT, Toledo.


Actividades Académicas Relacionadas/Academic Related Activities
Freaks: Factoría de Monstruos, Circo. Festival de Arquitectura ETSAC 2009, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de A Coruña. (Taller/Workshop)


Piensa Madrid, La Casa Encendida, Madrid. (Taller/Workshop)


"Reflexiones: PKMN", FUTURE arquitecturas n.16/17, Madrid, VI/2009, pp. 12-21
"Eco-desarrollos. Ciudad crea Ciudad: PKMN", AV Proyectos, Madrid, VI/2009, pp. 22-23.
"AZCA. Madrid", Madrid, Fundación Asprima, 2007.


Becas y Premios/Awards and Grants
IX Becas AlNorte 2010, Apoyo a proyectos expositivos noveles, IX Semana de Arte Contemporáneo de Asturias. (Seleccionado/Selected)
Concurso restringido para la ampliación del Museo Municipal de Alcázar de San Juan, Ayuntamiento de Alcázar de San Juan, Ciudad Real. (1er Premio/1st Award)
Europan 10, European Competitions of Urban Projects, Europan Europa. (Finalista/Finalist)


X Bienal de Arquitectura y Urbanismo Española, Ministerio de la Vivienda, Madrid. (Prefinalista: proyecto/Prefinalist: project Ciudad crea Ciudad)
Concurso restringido para la construcción del nuevo Centro de Producción Artística Inopia, Centro Arista, San Sebastián. (1er Premio/1st Award)
Premio Nuevos Escenarios, Festival eme3 COLLAPSE, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, CCCB, Barcelona. (1er Premio/1st Award)
Green Water City Competition, Qingpu, China. (3er Premio/3th Award)


Proyecto de investigación: Pedagogías Arquitectónicas, Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia; Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Madrid. (Beca de investigación/Research Grant)


Europan 9, European Competitions of Urban Projects, Europan Europa. (Finalista/Finalist)
Ciclo de exposiciones ECAT’07, Espacio Contemporáneo Archivo de Toledo, ECAT, Toledo. (Seleccionado/Selected)


Concurso para la reforma de la Plaza Domingo Gascón, Ayuntamiento de Teruel, Teruel. En colaboración con/In collaboration with Mi5. (1er Premio/1st Award)
Construtec 2006, Feria de la Construcción, Ifema, Madrid. (2º Accésit)
Concurso de ideas: activación del espacio público de Azca, Fundación Asprima, Madrid. (1er Premio/1st Award)


EME3 2010, Barcelona, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, CCCB, 2010, Cat. Exp.
Europan 10 European Results, Inventing Urbanity. Europan Europe, 2010, Cat. Exp.
Europan 10 España, Madrid, Ministerio de la Vivienda; Europan Europe, 2010, Cat. Exp.
Europan 10 Sweden Result Book, Europan Sverige, 2010, Cat. Exp.
Asociación Cultural ADN, eme3 COLLAPSE: Nuevos Escenarios, Barcelona, Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona CCCB, 2009, Cat. Exp.
Cantis, Ariadna; Jaque, Andrés, "Piensa Madrid", La Casa Encendida, Madrid, 2009, Cat. Exp.
Zapata, Paula, "Emprendedores: proyectos de arquitectura a coste 0", El Economista: diario socioeconómico, Madrid, 17/III/2009, p. 35.
Entrevista: Pac-man, El ojo crítico, Radio Nacional de España, Madrid, 2/I/2008.
Europan 9 España, Madrid, Ministerio de la Vivienda; Europan Europa, 2008, Cat. Exp.
"FreshForward", Madrid, Fundación COAM, 2007, Cat. Exp.
Hernández Riaño, Peio, "Utopistas: Cómo ser Rem Koolhaas", Calle20: La revista de la nueva cultura, n.20, Madrid, IX/2007, p. 10.


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