Sérgio Ferro: Architecture from Below

Silke Kapp, Mariana Moura

Mack, 2024


For the French-Brazilian architect, theorist, and painter Sérgio Ferro, looking at architecture from below means putting the building site and building workers at the centre of architectural enquiry. Instead of new trends or big names, Ferro strives for an approach ‘that enables one to see both head and feet at the same time – the magnanimous ideal and the muck down below’. The process of building rarely features in architectural history and theory. Ferro argues that this persistent dismissal and neglect of building labour is no mere oversight, but instead a structural necessity of capitalist development which serves to deny labour as the source of value, to make capital’s command appear mandatory, and to maintain the profession’s capacity to act ‘on’ and ‘over’ the building site.
Written between 1967 and 2019, these ten essays introduce Sérgio Ferro’s vital thinking by confronting architecture with critical theories ranging from Marx to contemporary authors. They draw on concrete cases in different historical and geographical contexts – from Strasbourg to Brasilia, via Dubai – to disclose how capitalist relations of production have transformed architecture and its relations to artistic practices such as painting and sculpture.


ISBN: 9781915743374

320 pagina's, illustraties in z/w, 22,5 x 16,5 cm, hardcover, Engels