The work of Andrés Jaque and his Madrid/New York-based Office of Political Innovation is everything but ordinary. From the titles of the projects—House in Never Never Land, TUPPER HOME, or Hänsel & Gretel’s Arenas—to their physical manifestations—usually a series of assemblages of mass-produced objects—Jaque and his team are putting forward a unique and personal view of the world. Ironically, it is from parts and pieces of ordinary life that the projects are generated. Personal stories, human interactions, and mass-produced objects all come together to create this unique universe. As Mimi Zeiger points out in her conversation with Jaque in relation to his Different Kinds of Water Pouring into a Swimming Pool project exhibited in REDCAT in Los Angeles in 2013, Jaque “sidesteps conventional notions of architecture, preferring to make work that stirs up questions around community, consumption, and political engagement.”1
His work reveals hidden urbanisms, such as the social, political, and physical infrastructures that shape our lives. Not only does he make those infrastructures visible, he makes them inhabitable—making us aware of the issues at stake and inviting us to participate and engage with these unexpected and often surreal worlds. They are environments in which the vision of the architect, the participants, and the physical objects are required to coexist to perform the daily routines in unusual ways. Ultimately, they are visual manifestations of a world that is always present, yet not explored.
For this issue, Jaque and the Office of Political Innovation create a visual chronology of their work, an assemblage of ideas through the years showcasing their unique approach. It is an ever-expanding world of performances, installations, and built projects that give shape to our diverse, chaotic, and always fascinating everyday lives.