Rebel Architecture

What is your goal when you design a building? To create something beautiful? To meet the client’s specifications?

Rebel Architecture is a six-part TV documentary about the bravery and conviction of people who skirt the law to design for the public good. The Al Jazeera series profiles “architects who are using design as a form of activism and resistance to tackle the world’s urban, environmental and social crises.”

Rebel Architecture came to our attention through Link Festival, an Australian “anti-conference” about design, technology and social change. Filmmaker Ana Naomi de Sousa is speaking at the conference in Melbourne in February (get tickets here) alongside Cities by Citizens’ Lucinda Hartley and David Week.

The entire series is available to view online – the episode below, about guerrilla architect Santiago Cirugeda, is one of our favourites.

Guerrilla architect

Can Spanish self-build legend Santiago Cirugeda turn an abandoned factory into a vibrant cultural centre?

The series’ website explains, “Santiago Cirugeda is a subversive architect from Seville who has dedicated his career to reclaiming urban spaces for the public…

With his expert knowledge of urban planning legislation, Santiago is not afraid to ‘occupy’, or squat, abandoned space and to use his knowledge of the law to enable community building…

‘What we’re doing here is not a quick-fix for the crisis – this is coming up with a new way of doing things.'”