Posts tagged Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Joya: AiR / Dylan Cram / Canada
photo Simon Beckmann

photo Simon Beckmann


“I came to Joya arte + ecología / AIR in another state of mind. Things were framed-in pretty heavily after getting my degree and applying for residencies and shows. But after being at Joya: AiR for a week I can honestly say that my perspective shifted on a somewhat geological level. It begins with the landscape; arriving at night it was the headlights chasing rabbits down the dirt road, and the stars like I haven’t seen in years. But very quickly, I adjusted to life around the dinner table, the long discussions forming an all-to-uncommon thread between art and experience which belong to both and neither at the same time.

In the broader sense, my project aim was to expand on my Master’s thesis, which investigated shifts between embodied media, forms of representation and technology. My intention was to engage in an open-ended search for transitory forms – something that speaks to a zone in between technology and nature, bridging the global and the specific; the impersonal and the personal. By analysing my surroundings, either through traditional or technological means, I could acquire information which could then be pushed into a transitory state, existing in more than one medium simultaneously – in various roles, or layers, to greater or lesser degrees. This is what I came in with, and I can say that it was achieved, but I learned something else that I now view as more important.

As the specificity of the place itself unfolded (that is, the broader project of Simon and Donna that is Joya arte + ecología ), me and my art process became noticeably affected. Art has often been considered a surplus activity, and achieving surplus while remaining carbon neutral in such an environment is anything but automatic. I quickly realised the connection between the wind turbine and my computer processor was not something to be taken for granted. To borrow a pun: the generative power of Joya is real, traceable and earned.

Somehow, the premise of my project allowed me to become integrated into the fibrous network of natural and man-made elements and events: swales, wind storms, meandering hikes and endearing conversations filtered directly in. As a result, I found myself and my art-attempts moving in perfectly concentric circles. While things orbited and spun in my studio, I circled out into the kitchen or to the piano, or into discussions with the others. Then, out to the borders of the house, and beyond into the garden to dig and clear, or out into the surrounding hills to walk up and down the tributaries, circling and scanning objects. This concentric formalism increased my understanding of the landscape, the people around me, and my work and it is not something I will soon forget.

Dylan Cram

Weimar, Germany

Joya: AiR / Katrin Bohn / Germany
Katrin Bohn

Katrin Bohn


“Cortijada Los Gázquez (Joya: AiR) is so happily situated within this dramatic and scarce, hence rich landscape, it is impossible to escape its spell. The site has an incredible section with the house right in its middle.
It is a site surrounded by food. The endeavour of local farmers to sustain their lives from and with the coarse soil is (still) visible everywhere. Almonds, almonds, almonds, olives, oats, figs, herbs, herbs, herbs, pomegranates; my favourite being the way the land is terraced to allow for food growing and natural irrigation. There is so little water! Except when there is too much, which I witnessed during my one-week stay in a rare ‘gota fria’.

Donna and Simon have embedded their house, their art practice and their lives ever so carefully into this landscape making themselves part of it. Their attention to detail and beauty also signals the future: the rural and the urban are not enemies to fight but contrasts to be played on creatively.

Being an architect and academic on a writing retreat, the ecology of the house became my key inspiration: what would have happened if our everyday lives had developed just slightly different? My context for this is the city, the block of flats, individuals’ homes and their urban networks. But my context is also the way in which Los Gázquez has embraced the necessity to work with the sun, the wind, the water, the food and the waste. I have written three articles about a slightly different urban present – a common future? - one about a washing machine, one about a letter box and one about a potato pantry. I’ll take them back to Germany tomorrow.

Simon and Donna, good luck with reinstating the old ‘embalsa’; what a great project! I would love to come back and see that basin full of water and lush fruit-tree-lined food-growing terraces being naturally irrigated again”.

Katrin Bohn

Katrin Bohn is an architect, urban practitioner and academic. Her main research interests lie in sustainable architectural and urban design and centre around the concept of CPUL City (Continuous Productive Urban Landscape) which she developed within Bohn&Viljoen Architects since around the year 2000.

Much of Bohn's design research deals with the relationships between urban space and food-productive urban landscape and bridges the gaps between environmental design thinking, urban space production and sustainable lifestyles. Since the UK's first urban agriculture conference Urban Nature (2001), co-curated by Bohn, she has contributed widely to conferences, publications, exhibitions and design and policy debates, both nationally and abroad. As an internationally recognised urban agriculture expert, she has also been advising on national and international research, policy documents and pioneer projects. Her work has been quoted by the UN and UNESCO and has influenced urban planning in the UK, as well as worldwide.

Bohn studied architecture at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany (Diploma in Architecture), the University of East London (MSc in Architecture) and the École d'Architecture de Nantes, France (DAAD Scholarship). Since 1998, she runs a London-based architectural practice and environmental research consultancy with André Viljoen (Bohn&Viljoen Architects). Before this, she trained in architectural practices in Germany, Brazil, France and Britain, including work for Jourda & Perraudin (Lyon) and Stefan Schrodt Architekten (Berlin).