Mobile Architecure

My friend Barbara asks:

“How would you archive mobile buildings? Buildings that (dis)assemble like Legos…”

She is referring to the work of Alberto Mozó, an architect based in Santiago, Chile.


Mozó has the idea that pre-fab mobile architecture–buildings which can be assembled and disassembled with ease, or the parts re-purposed at will–has great value for Architecture and Urbanism today. The architect’s statement about the office building pictured above introduces the theme of “Transitividad” or transitivity to describe the quality of in-betweeness, or openness to disassembly, that the building embodies.

To get back to Barbara’s question, if the building embodies transitivity then how could it be archived? Well my first suggestion is that the method of archiving, the archival practice, must also have a transitive quality.

To be transitive is to be characterized by transition, to be intermediate, to pass over to or affect, or be affected by something else. Transitivity refers to relations, usually (in mathematics, logic and grammar) relations between three things, a first, second and third. In which the three elements are implicated, or linked, or involved, by way of the second, as in a triangular or circular relation, not a linear one.

So what could a transitive archival practice be? One which, like Mozo’s building, tries to link things in relations of mutal becoming. The first, via the second, becoming implicated in a third, and on and on.

I think collecting things creates these sorts of relations between disparate objects. Also telling stories, especially orally, creates close transitive links. I think dancing, moving through different shapes and forms in time and space might be an archival practice that matches Mozo’s architecture.

What do you think?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s