Lina Bo Bardi

Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992)

Lina wanted Brazil to become an industry based in the abilities to be found in the hands of the people, in the eyes of creativity…if the old could be re-made – the consumer world, would have some resonance in our hearts. Lina was the kind of person who helped one to think along these lines, prosperity for everyone, a beauty that could be reached, attainable” Darcy Riberio

Working in Brazil just years after Le Corbusier, Lina dismissed the notion of the architect as a figure of imposition, and instead, was in search of finding a true and deeper understanding of the people and context that built up the very soul of the architecture itself. Educated in the tradition of Ecole des Beaux Arts, Lina moved away from their self-referential approach to architecture with its defined notion of beauty, and was rather in search of the crude, ugly and true character of architecture and its people – of an unfinished, constantly moving and evolving architecture. 

Dona Lina had the most profound vision of the forces behind the popular creative aspects of the Northeast. She made a theme of the force of the region’s popular culture, and clearly stated that it was not folklore or the documentation of an exotic style, amusing or curious, but it was a genuine cultural force”  Caetano Veloso

She was a key believer in the notion of ‘historical presence’ whereby; the past is something that cannot be learnt academically, but rather, only by living, through confrontation and action. By inventing to discover,she looked at the present as something full of historical charge and presence.

Closing the gap between design and build, she liberated herself from drawings that would separate, alienate and cut off workers from their personal knowledge. Instead, she took on a very collective approach, and used annotation in her sketches as an open platform, to enable discussions to happen between herself and the builders.