Interviewed in Madrid on 22 June 2016
Architect, writer, publisher and editor, curator, teacher and educator, cultural agitator. To describe Luis Fernández-Galiano as a leading figure in global architectural thought may be a summary of all the above (and some more), activities he restlessly exercises, or it may be the simplest way to affirm the respected position this prudent and meditative figure has attained over the years. His ubiquitous activity and the privileged plateau, from which he contemplates not only architecture, but also unveiling trends, changes and socio-political events, recurrently turn a conversation with him into a foray towards the risks and opportunities of the present moment; a crude, albeit illuminating, thermometer for contemporaneity.
ORIS — I have heard that part of your schooling took place in the uk and that this experience led you to reach a broader and more global understanding of the world early on.
Luis Fernández-Galiano — Indeed, I spent two years in the UK, on a grant from the Fundación Juan March at the Atlantic College, in southern Wales, which was an international institution with some two hundred students from almost fifty different countries. It was on the Bristol Channel and was part of the network of coastguard stations, since strong tides as well as nautical catastrophes are common there. The students and professors themselves actively helped with nautical tasks, participating in activities that ranged from the design of zodiacs to rescue chores. The Atlantic College followed the vision of the German pedagogue Kurt Hahn, who believed that all training had to integrate intellectual activities with the need to be practical. Even if this meant running risks, every once in a while.