aldayjover architecture and landscape, Aranzadi Park, Aranzadi Meander, Pamplona
aldayjover architecture and landscape, Aranzadi Park, Aranzadi Meander, Pamplona, 2008

Abend Family Visiting Critic Endowed Lecture: Margarita Jover

October 12, 2020
5:30p CDT

Margarita Jover, cofounder of the Barcelona-based firm aldayjover architecture and landscape and associate professor in architecture at Tulane School of Architecture, will deliver the annual Abend Family Visiting Critic Endowed Lecture, titled Cities & Rivers.

The lecture is free and will be delivered online via Zoom. Register here>>

Cities are complex coupled human and natural ecosystems (Alberti 2007). The 20th-century single-use urban infrastructures such as levees and channels planned for "predictable" water performances are becoming obsolete because climate change patterns are uncertain. Today's socio-economical context of an eroded public sphere is leaving infrastructures with low to no maintenance, while their occasional privatization—as is the case with prisons or food systems—tends to augment the prospects for profit by scaling up in size and avoiding redundancy. In this context of increasingly unpredictable weather patterns, intense suburbanization dynamics, and less resilient urban infrastructure, the conflicts are latent and the catastrophe recurrent. Lessons from ecological thinking such as strategies of resilience, redundancy, integration, cohabitation, and interdependence should become the new drivers for innovation and urban reform of public spaces, infrastructures, and architecture in the city.

aldayjover’s research-based practice has been designing "cities & rivers" as spaces of cohabitation for two decades now, as well as the urban integration of infrastructures of mobility and energy. The book Ecologies of Prosperity (Wall & Jover, 2016) argues in favor of globally establishing a new condition of a citizen of the planet, a planetzen. This new condition should lead us to reform cities with the imperative to make them "digest" their wastes, and co-produce their energy and food at an intermediate scale. Design fields should commit to questioning the validity of 20th-century infrastructures increasingly large and out of sight, such as landfills, prisons, and powerplants that often harm citizens and regions bearing the burdens. Architecture as a design field can innovate, searching for new architectural archetypes to respond to today's socioecological crises.

About Margarita Jover

Margarita Jover earned a Master of Architecture degree from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in 1995.
Together with Iñaki Alday, she founded the internationally awarded firm aldayjover architecture and landscape in 1996 in Barcelona, Spain. The multidisciplinary, research-based practice focuses on innovation, and is particularly renowned for its leadership in a new approach to the relationship between cities and rivers, in which the natural dynamics of flooding become part of the public space.

Jover has taught at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the University of Navarra, the University of Vic, and the University of Virginia. At the University of Virginia, she was Research Faculty (2012-15), first Professor of Practice of the School of Architecture (2015-17) and tenured Associate Professor (2017-18). She is co-author of the book Ecologies of Prosperity (ORO Editors, 2018) and The Water Park (ACTAR, 2008). She has been a juror for honor awards such as the FAD Architecture Prize and the Mies van der Rohe European Union Prize for Architecture (2015), and of international competitions such us the Glories Square in Barcelona and the Hainan Eco-Island in China.

Both in academic research and in practice, Jover promotes a broader understanding of Architecture that aims to contribute to mitigate and reverse socioecological crises. Her academic research line discusses the reform of our cities by promoting a specific socioecological urbanism.