The Revered Brazilian Designer Lina Bo Bardi Believed in Architecture for the People. See Her Groundbreaking Sketches and Models Here

While museums are closed to the public, we are spotlighting an inspiring exhibition somewhere around the globe each day.

Lina Bo Bardi at the construction of the Sao Paulo Museum of Art on Avenida Paulista next to the prototype of the glass easel with reproduction of Vincent van Gogh's The Schoolboy in 1967. Collection Instituto Bardi / Casa de Vidro, São Paulo. Photo: Lew Parrella.

Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat
Museo Jumex, Mexico City

 

What the museum says: “Bo Bardi’s singular contributions to the fields of architecture, design, and museum practice are the subject of this exhibition, which also aims to critically frame Bo Bardi’s process of unlearning, and marking a critical distance from the Western and modernist canon, as a pivotal aspect of her work and thought.

Like her peers, Bo Bardi’s position called for other ways of thinking and doing that would place the human being at the center, and that in the process opened up space for other epistemologies and ecologies, breaking away from the logics of progress and profit of modernity and capitalism.”

Portrait of Lina Bo Bardi, 1978. Photo: Bob Wolfenson.

Portrait of Lina Bo Bardi, 1978. Photo: Bob Wolfenson.

Why it’s worth a look: While architecture enthusiasts will recognize Bo Bardi’s vision in the legacy of her buildings, the best example being the Sao Paulo Museum of Art—a glass-encased rectangular building suspended above the ground—this show reveals many little known aspects of the designer’s work.

A prolific furniture and stage designer who dabbled in jewelry and edited the magazine Habitat, Bo Bardi maintained that humans should stay at the center of her designs, and as a staunch communist, she was adamant that they be accessible to everyone. In this exhibition, many of Bo Bardi’s illustrations and architectural sketches are on view alongside reproductions of her designs. Some of the most impressive are a cyclone-shaped staircase she designed that is inspired by wooden ox-carts, and the concrete-based glass easels, which are utilized in the exhibition to dramatic effect.

What it looks like:

Installation view, "Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat" at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view of “Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat” at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view, "Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat" at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view of glass easels seen in “Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat” at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view, "Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat" at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view of “Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat” at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Lina Bo Bardi, Preliminary Study- Practicable Sculptures for the Belvedere at Museu Arte Trianon (1968). Photo: MASP.

Lina Bo Bardi, Preliminary Study- Practicable Sculptures for the Belvedere at Museu Arte Trianon (1968). Photo: Sao Paulo Museum of Art.

Installation view, "Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat" at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view of “Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat” at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Reproduction: Habitat Magazine nº 1, 1950.

View from the window of the sports complex of SESC Pompéia, undated Photo: Sergio Gicovate

View from the window of the sports complex of SESC Pompéia, undated. Photo: Sergio Gicovate.

Installation view, "Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat" at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view of “Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat” at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view, "Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat" at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view of “Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat” at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view, "Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat" at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view of “Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat” at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view, "Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat" at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view of “Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat” at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

View of the staircase at Museu de Arte Popular in Solar do Unhão, 1959 Collection Instituto Bardi / Casa de Vidro, São Paulo

View of the staircase at Museu de Arte Popular in Solar do Unhão, 1959. Collection Instituto Bardi / Casa de Vidro, São Paulo.

Installation view, "Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat" at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.

Installation view of “Lina Bo Bardi: Habitat” at Museo Jumex. Photo: Ramiro Chaves.


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