Alvaro Velasco Perez

Alvaro Velasco Perez is a PhD candidate at the Architectural Association School of Architecture where he previously studied a masters on History and Critical Thinking on Architecture. In 2012, he obtained his degree on Architecture by the University of Navarre, Spain. He has collaborated in teaching positions with First Year Design Studio at the AA School as well as participated in crits throughout the school. He has also formed part of research projects with the Design Department of the School of Architecture of the University of Navarre and associated with 4th Year design course in the same school. Alvaro has collaborated through design and theory in offices in London, Spain and New York. His current research inquires into the relevance of the iconological meaning of the desert in the political involvement of architecture during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Exile on Main St.: The desert as internalising territory

Supervisors: Dr Marina Lathouri, Fabrizio Gallanti

Empty and barren, along the Twentieth-century deserts were saturated of narratives, fictions and representations of the foreign. Re-exploring these narratives the thesis argues that the desert has become a territory for internalising exteriors. With internalization I point to the movement with which a set of relationships—‘grand narratives’ such as Western culture, Modernity, or global economy—appropriates or absorbs within what was excluded or defined as its outside—the exotic or Oriental, the irrational, the foreign. In this movement, the construction of an exterior which is defined implies a key moment for the effective transferral and appropriation: the desert has been considered a propitious territory for it.