Founding Partner Urban-Think Tank; Adjunct Professor Columbia University, Chair for Architecture and Urban Design ETH Zurich
“Trained as an architect at Columbia University in New York, Alfredo Brillembourg founded the interdisciplinary design practice Urban-Think Tank with Hubert Klumpner in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1998. Since 2007, Brillembourg and Klumpner have been guest professors at Columbia University, where they founded the Sustainable Living Urban Model Laboratory (SLUM Lab), and have held a Chair of Architecture and Urban Design at the Swiss Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich from 2010. His work concerns both theoretical and practical applications within architecture and urban planning. Operating in global contexts by creating bridges between first world industry and third world, informal urban areas, Brillembourg also focuses on the education and development of a new generation of professionals, who will transform cities in the 21st century. Together with Klumpner, Brillembourg has been awarded the 2010 Ralph Erskine Award from the Swedish Association of Architects, the 2011 Holcim Golden Award Latin America and the 2012 Holcim Global Silver Award for innovation in architecture and urban design with regard to social, ecological and aesthetic aspects. He was also part of the team that was awarded the Golden Lion at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia for the installation ‘Torre David/Gran Horizonte’.”
Why do you want to be part of UCT Upstarts?
“Maybe because I have seen so much destruction in my home of Caracas, I now am interested in a diverse ecology that is alive in constant evolution, where novelty and selection occurs only with activity, unity and agency.”
How would you ‘Re-educate Education’?
“With Urban Think Tank we have made the point of looking around the word for answers on how we can build a more equitable city through education. Rapid advances in information and communication technologies and declining costs of production, processing and diffusion of knowledge are transforming social and economic realities worldwide. Slum Lab was formed with this very idea in mind! working like urban guerillas immersed in the knowledge revolution which is critically different from the past industrial revolution in that it is based upon a shift of wealth creating assets from physical things to intangible resource based on knowledge.”