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Nick Axel is an unlicensed architect, urban practitioner, independent scholar, aspiring curator and general conceptual synthesist, currently based in Barcelona, Spain. He engages with the discipline of architecture through a variety of mediums including theoretical projections, speculative myths, and critical reflections. His research interests have manifested themselves in various international publications on topics such as: the politics of urban memory in the street art of Santiago, Chile; the ethical and political power inherent to the architect as an intrinsically abstract role of labor; the immanent effect of an object and its transcendental metaphysics of presence, among others. His current research endeavors to meditate on the delicate relation between the (im)possibility and inevitability of an ethical and autonomous architecture.
I view architectural design is a highly existential, and therefore a highly personal, process. This affective and emotional power is the basic reason for architecture's existence, and ultimately why we seek out architecture. Architecture can relate one's day-to-day existence to the essence of each individual through the use of spatial techniques, such as transparency and privacy, and aesthetic qualities, such as ornament and style. These two 'wings' of architecture are unified by an underlying logic that speaks to what we mean when we talk about our selves. The role of the architect is therefore something like a populist psychoanalyst that engages and interprets the client of the architecture-to-come. We engage in the architectural design process because the depth of our being is unknown, cannot be known, but architecture is the operation with which we can begin to reveal that thing we may call soul.