João Gonçalo Lopes
Having graduated as an architect at Universidade de Coimbra and Escuela Técnica de Arquitectura de Madrid in 2011, I have since then worked in several architectural offices in cities like Lisbon, Madrid, Tokyo, Shanghai and London. This experience has given me a broad view on different ways of working and living and pushed me to adapt to new environments and understand different perspectives every time.
Since 2017 I am based in Leiria, Portugal, having been working as freelance architect as well as dedicating a big part of my time to ephemeral installations and developing the art of building and making.
In 2015 I have created with 4 more elements a multidisciplinary collective, based in Portugal, that is dedicated to ephemeral installations (www.otil.pt). This collective was born out of a common interest in processes of making promoting research of materials and social engagement. Since its formation we have worked with festivals like Museum Festum (2015 an 2017), Festival a Porta (2018) and Festival Andanças (2018) as well as giving workshops on natural building.
Together with other social and artistic partners, we are currently in a 3 year program to engage children from a social housing neighbourhood and empower them to intervene in their social context through making in a creative way.
Since we came together to form a collective, we have cherished our own critical view towards what we do. Our main drive is now based on social participation, sustainability of resources and cultural transformation through creativity.
As a practising architect I have been confronted with the challenge of dealing with a very constricted and complex reality. Having engaged with temporary structures allowed for a much closer and experimental approach. But in both cases it falls short if it cannot be part of a interdisciplinary discussion and collaboration. I see the RESHAPE as the opportunity to promote that potential.