Cruz Garcia & Nathalie Frankowski

Hyde Chairs of Excellence in Architecture for the 2018/2019 Academic Year

Cruz Garcia and Nathalie Frankowski are co-founding partners of WAI Architecture Think Tank, a studio created to contribute to the collective intelligence of architecture by focusing on its understanding and execution from a panoramic approach. Following the foundation of WAI Think Tank in Brussels in 2008, Garcia and Frankowski have been based in Beijing since 2009, where they collaborate in art and curatorial projects, and where they are founding curators of Intelligentsia Gallery, a critically acclaimed alternative space for the development, exhibition and diffusion of positions and discourses in the realm of contemporary art with which they explore broader intellectual and cultural questions beyond the reach of architecture.

Garcia and Frankowski integrate a wide range of mediums and strategies to their practices, including designing culturally and socially sensible buildings, publishing critical texts and manifestoes, teaching and workshops around the world, innovative research and curatorial projects, film, installations, book design and children’s installations and publications. Recent projects include their shortlisted design for the National Centre for Contemporary Art (NCCA) in Moscow, the design for a boarding school for student-athletes in Puerto Rico, and the design of several exhibition and research spaces in Beijing. Of growing international interest, their work has been presented in exhibitions and festivals at the Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology (MAAT) in Lisbon, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York, the Vitra Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, the inaugural Chicago Architecture Biennial, Arch+ / Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin, the Chengjian Video and Photography Biennale in Chongqing, the Shenzhen / Hong Kong Urbanism and Architecture Bi-City Biennale, the Wrong Digital Art Biennale and many more.

Garcia and Frankowski are former Visiting Teaching Fellows at the School of Architecture at Taliesin (former Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture) where they taught studios on Narrative Architecture, led their students to found WASH Magazine and transform a discarded early 20th century school in the town of Miami, Arizona, into a social condenser with teacher’s housing. Their writings, manifestoes and narrative architecture projects have been published worldwide and translated into Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Arabic, Russian, German and more. Recent publications include ‘Pure Hardcore Icons: A Manifesto on Pure Form in Architecture’ (Artifice Books on Architecture); Shapes, Islands, Texts: A Garcia Frankowski Manifesto (Vibok Works); and the independent zine ‘What About It?’ Currently they are working on the publication of a manifesto on Narrative Architecture supported by a grant awarded by the Graham Foundation; on a research and curatorial project on the universalist legacy of Suprematism; on a series of books on the program of Intelligentsia Gallery; and on the publication of a series of children’s books including The Story of the Little Girl and The Sun.

Cruz & Nathalie