Operative Modes


The work described represents an ongoing investigation on the methods and techniques of operating on the city. The word operative is used to define interventions which are precise and strategic. The scale of these interventions vary, however their general tendency suggests an urbanistic project. The proposals and ideas consider the city to be continuously changing and reject tabula rasa or static comprehensive master plans.

The projects range in location from the US and Latin America to Europe and Asia, as a result proposals vary in their intentions from ecological and industrial to social issues. Each proposed project strives to be contextual and to establish itself as a fragment working within a larger fluctuating system. Thus, aligned with the specificity of place, several operative modes have emerged. These modes encompass a series of maneuvers that may be applied as techniques as a way to effect desired results.

The Operative Modes include: Piecemeal Aggregation, Field Conditions, Rethinking the Street, Overlapping Infrastructure, Trans-formative Landmarks, Retrofitting and Speculative.


Piecemeal Aggregation

The premise for this operation is gradual intervention in phases and/or in fragments. These projects primarily lay down guidelines for subsequent development. The study and description of existing urban patterns and rules provide background information within which new procedures are strategically implemented.


Field Conditions

This organizing strategy tends to expand horizontally with the possibility of thickening intensity at various moments throughout. The field is defined as any formal or spatial grid capable of unifying diverse elements while respecting the identity of each.


Rethinking the Street

These projects question the role of the street in urban life. It is not only about the physical dimensions of the street but also how they become organizing agents and a place for social encounters. Streets are utilitarian and carry public services, but they also moderate the form and structure and comfort of urban communities.

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Overlapping Infrastructure

This technique considers the availability of additional planes for intervention when reorganizing infrastructure. Possible scenarios allow for new projects, under, above or in-between existing infrastructure. This approach combines a multiplicity of programs generating an intensity of use that would otherwise be mono-functional.


Trans-formative Landmarks

The insertion of valuable social architecture which radically alters its immediate surroundings. These projects are new singular proposals of cultural importance which restore and revive urban centers. Buildings are intended to be site specific, however they also have beneficial impact beyond their site.



The action of modifying and adding to existing systems with the intention of making the new whole a more complete system. Measures are taken that improve the quality of existing sites.



Experimental projects and/or research investigations which test ideas or provide critiques. These projects tend to be theoretical and engage thoughts conceptually.