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Jimena Hogrebe

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Jimena Hogrebe Rodríguez, CDMX (2020) - Bordar Arquitectura is an intimate project, which proposes architecture as a multiple and diverse activity. Born between a travel experience to Germany, a piece by Britta Marakatt-Labba and a visit to the workshop of the artist Gimena Romero, embroidering architecture proposes a millenary technique - embroidery - to represent space - what one sees - with time as matter. If embroidery demands work and patience, its constant exercise allows us to notice the details and main features of the works. Unlike drawing, which seeks to quickly capture general features and generally fulfills a didactic function, embroidery as a complementary exercise to design practice, directly links reflection with memory and architecture with its register. Embroidery, as a critical exercise, seeks to recover thought and propose it as a useful practice to represent reality, both personal and collective.


We asked Jimena about Embroidering Architecture and the importance of intimate processes in contemporary architectural production.


Jimena Hogrebe Rodríguez es arquitecta por la UNAM y estudió un MA in Architectural History en The Bartlett School of Architecture en Londres. De forma independiente y en colaboración se ha dedicado al diseño y al desarrollo de proyectos arquitectónicos, a la investigación, a la escritura y a proyectos alternativos que mezclan prácticas artísticas. Actualmente, además de diseño arquitectónico, está desarrollando (con apoyo del Sistema Nacional de Creadores del Fonca) Geografía narrativa de una ciudad, una indagación de la Ciudad de México a través de su literatura, y Bordado arquitectónico / Bordando arquitectura, una exploración del bordado como técnica artística para la arquitectura. Con cerca de diez años de experiencia docente en distintas instituciones, hoy es profesora de asignatura en la Facultad de Arquitectura de la UNAM, y profesora e investigadora de medio tiempo en la Universidad Anáhuac México.

What is the origin of the project?

 The project was born out of my visit to Documenta 14 where I came across Britta Marakatt-Labba's History, a twenty-four meter long canvas showing embroidered scenes of the history, mythology and daily life of the Sami culture. The piece caught my attention because of its narrative style and its play of scales. I had to walk around the room to see it complete, and at the same time it contained a continuity of Swedish landscapes. I was also interested in what was achieved with the threads and the canvas, a structure in tension that at the same time generated textures and depths.

 I left the exhibition thinking that I had found something that I wanted to integrate into my architectural practice. Some time later I arrived at the studio of the Mexican artist Gimena Romero to learn how to embroider and so the experimentation began.

Why should we talk about intimacy and personal processes in contemporary architecture?

 It seems to me that talking about intimacy and personal processes is a way to understand and clarify what one thinks and what one desires. In this sense, I consider it important to do so because it allows us to know clearly where we want to direct our practice, what we have to do today to build the future we are looking for.

On the other hand, I think that keeping intimacy and the personal in mind can lead to a deeper connection with the other, which in architecture is essential as it is a practice whose basic and ideal approach is the constant imagination of better worlds for everyone.

What is Bordado Arquitectónico?

 Bordado Arquitectónico is an exploration of embroidery as an artistic technique for architecture, an exploration to narrate the architectural through other media, taking into account that in the mixture there is richness and possibility of creation. In addition, it is a space of ease and reflection whose rhythm is opposed to the voracity of current architectural production.

Why the work of Burle Marx? and How were the buildings presented chosen?

 I decided to approach Burle Marx in the framework of The Future is Today because it seems to me that he was a modern tropical utopian who committed himself to seeking dialogue and balance between nature and culture; his work shows that there are ways to inhabit the world without having to end it.

 I chose the works from an interest in showing the variety of his work: squares, parks, walks, gardens and roof gardens. In addition to considering existing landscapes and other imagined ones, drawn with his painting skills. The embroideries are just a glimpse, an invitation to approach him as a reference for today's world.

How does your practice relate to architecture, and where do you see its impact on the future of the discipline?

 I see my practice as completely linked to architecture because, whether I am practicing design, teaching, research, writing or some other experimentation, it is always from an architectural perspective; although I seek to enrich it with ideas from other disciplines.

 I would like the impact of my practice to be to promote asking questions, to invite critical reflection on the possibilities it may have for the future. In addition, I hope that my work can be, for anyone who approaches it, an example of how it is possible to invent one's own way of practicing architecture. Also, to be able to be a reference for young women architects to see that, although historiography has not shown it, this discipline is also feminine. On the other hand, I would like my work to activate positive experiences in those who live or experience it, contributing less and less to the current world crises.

Are you interested in Jimena Hogrebe's work?
These are some texts that have inspired their practice (Download the PDFs)

The Eiffel Tower

Roland Barthes

El nuevo Triannon, 1957 - 1967

Silvana Rubino y Marina Grinover

Armada de palabras

Dennise Scott-Brown

Architecture Depends

Jeremy Till

Mrs. Dalloway

Virginia Woolf