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ARQ (Santiago)

versión On-line ISSN 0717-6996

ARQ (Santiago)  no.100 Santiago dic. 2018 



Francisco Díaz1 

1 Editor revista ARQ, Profesor Asistente, Escuela de Arquitectura, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

In 1455, a few years after inventing movable types, the first book that Gutenberg printed was the Bible. Perhaps that is why we inherited the idea that printed matter is not only what must be available for the public sphere - ‘published’- but also what deserves to be preserved in a physical medium: paper. Although that intention may still be valid, the massification of printing in recent decades allows questioning the format: does everything need to be published and preserved? Could it rather be that we publish following the anxiety for inserting ourselves into a bigger story, with the faint hope that the future will reckon what we are doing today?

The publishing excess must be checked against the mathematical impossibility that everything is worthwhile. Of course, that includes us. In this age of suspicion, as defined by Boris Groys (2018:41), critique - and above all self-critique - is an intellectual duty. That is the spirit behind this issue 100 of ARQ. Since despite the drive to celebrate, we could not stop wondering, what should we celebrate? Mere survival? Clearly not. Or at least, that is not what prompts us.

Still, there is room for tributes such as Fabrizio Gallanti’s surrealist exercise, whose seductive incoherence rejects any attempt to present ARQ as a monolithic organ. Or that of Alberto Sato to Montserrat Palmer, editor of our journal throughout its first 30 years, focusing on her physiological curatorial strategies. However, instead of bragging about what has been accomplished in the 38 years during which these 100 issues have been published, we intend to ask ourselves what is the meaning of what has been done.

To expand this self-critical look, we present one hundred projects published in the previous 99 issues. Avoiding the tyranny of rankings - and the waste of testosterone they imply - we chose a different strategy. We invited ten architects to select ten projects. Each of them offers a specific argument that frames the selection. We present thus a plural vision to ARQ’s historical archive that, raising divergent arguments and coming from different generations and intellectual positions, allows us to look at our journal in unexpected ways.

Diego Grass selects projects that mixed generations or brought together different architects, as a background for the genealogy of “Patrician Architecture” he introduces. Romy Hecht observes the (in)visibility of women in the architecture published by ARQ, highlighting the prejudices embedded in our journal. Cristian Izquierdo seeks those arguments that, despite being formulated a long time ago, still remain valid. Patricio Mardones - ARQ’s editor between 2010 and 2014 - spots the moments when the journal was proven right in backing certain unknown projects and architects. Pia Montealegre presents cases where spatial justice was the argument behind the publication of certain architectures. Through photography, Cristobal Palma takes the skeletons out of the closet to show how some of the buildings published in ARQ have better withstood the passage of time than that of critique. Jose Quintanilla demonstrates, through his ten examples, how the magazine has considered heritage as an important branch of architecture. Across her selection, Camila Reyes argues that ARQ has been a promoter of alternative practices and, therefore, a means to discuss the boundaries of our discipline. Wren Strabucci presents those published examples that were influential to debates that took place within the School of Architecture UC - to which the journal belongs. Finally, Nicolas Stutzin detects those projects published extemporaneously arguing for an understanding of journals as devices capable of making mistakes and correcting them a posteriori.

But not everything can revolve around self-indulgence or self-flagellation. We must also present new issues andproblems. Thus, Celedon and Garcia de Cortazar study how the building of Chile’s National Library introduced the architecture of cataloging and storing a hundred years ago. And Gonzalo Carrasco observes that the 10 × 10 squares of Monopoly are not only a mirror of the ways in which we understand the city but also a model that helps to naturalize the economic logic of a metropolis. Both texts take the number 100 - yes, the figure - as an excuse to explore more comprehensive problems. After all, that’s what a journal should be about, isn’t it?

The worst thing that could ever happen to an architecture magazine is that the reader flips through it only to confirm that everything remains the same. That is to say, that its pages echo common sense or fashion trends and, after browsing it, it leaves us right where we started. Just like for Bordieu (2014:65) the role of science was to discuss common sense, ARQ must overcome commonplaces and explore unknown territories. Since (among other things) we are a scientific journal, we have a duty to advance knowledge. Such path involves risks and mistakes, but it is certainly more refreshing than the comfort zone. The impossibility of knowing whether what we are doing will matter in the future or not allows us to look at the present without anxiety. 100 issues ago, it was uncertain how far the magazine would go. Today, we do not know either. That is the beauty of it.


BORDIEU, Pierre, «Profesión: científico». En: Pierre Bordieu, Capital cultural, escuela y espacio social. Trad. Isabel Jiménez (Buenos Aires: Siglo XXI Editores, 2014). [ Links ]

GROYS, Boris. «La producción de la sinceridad». En: Boris Groys, Volverse público: las transformaciones del arte en el ágora contemporánea. (Buenos Aires: Caja Negra Editora, 2018). [ Links ]

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