Andrew Santa Lucia is a Cuban American architect, activist and critic based in Portland, Oregon, whose work engages the myriad ways architectural discipline mediates culture. Andrew directs Office Andorus, a practice that develops architectural research and design speculations as well as curating exhibitions and designs installations. He is also a partner at Asquared Buildings and Objects based in Chicago and Portland, providing professional design-build services.
Andrew connects design, pedagogy and criticism through the creation of plastic propositions for lifestyle–drawn, written, performed and/or built–to change the way his audiences receive and experience architecture. This type of architectural understanding resists late-capitalist definitions of lifestyle-as-commodity and promotes life-as-style, a post-growth space that supports new forms of living and practice.
As part of the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial, Office Andorus designed No Place like House, a two-room installation of ritual and performance altars inside of Mies van der Rohe’s McCormick House at the Elmhurst Art Museum in Illinois. In addition to disciplinary projects, Office Andorus provides design services to community activists working in complex social situations in an attempt to influence public policy through architectural disciplinarity. This is most evident in their most recent project Safe Shape, a collaboration with sociologist Dr. Greg Scott and the Chicago Recovery Alliance. Safe Shape is a mobile Supervised Drug Consumption Room exhibition traveling around the United States and highlighting spaces architects resist working in while developing a format of public engagement outside typical Neo-Liberal social practice.
Andrew has taught design studios and research seminars at the Illinois Institute of Technology, School of the Art Institute of Chicago and Florida International University. He has lectured and exhibited work in the United States, South America and the United Kingdom. In late fall 2016, Office Andorus will have its first solo exhibition of recent work, Self-Titled on Self-Titled, on display at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee SARUP Gallery.
Andrew’s writing can be found in a broad range of media including Ampersand, Architect’s Newspaper, Artlurker, Bad at Sports, Dichotomy, EVOLO, Fresh Meat, Keep it Dirty Journal and Luxury Home Quarterly. His forthcoming book Feedback (co-edited with Eric Goldemberg; EVOLO, 2016) is a compendium of essays by artists, theorists and designers that focus on architecture’s relationship with disciplined control, projective processing and noise.
Andrew’s current research, Strange Optimism, develops a discourse between culture and shape linking Jacques Ranciere’s theories on critical art, namely the introduction of a strange product to the highly public ways that Transamerican architects project an optimistic architectural instrumentality that affects public participation.