Transversal routines
Lisbon, PT

rar.studio is a Lisbon-based architectural practice founded by Rita Aguiar Rodrigues, joined currently by Inês Chambel Borges and Ana Ponce Suero, designing and producing places and objects, research and critical thinking. Transversal to the nature of the exercise, the scale of intervention or the respective client typology, the studio’s work inherently involves the design of solutions deploying sensitive, critical and responsive perspectives on the context and the contingencies prevailing.

Recognising ecosystems

I am interested in researching and comprehending the meaning and operation of phenomena. Seeing and understanding things not as things, but as phenomena – as a series of links between several things. And thus, driven by decoding and establishing connections between different phenomena. This also relates to an ecosystemic understanding of the world – and each place – as a set of sometimes fragile relationships between various parts, and their environment. Each project is an ecosystem. 


Transversal routines

Time is a scarce resource and, simultaneously, the most valuable of all. We manage the office calendar and our personal work schedule bearing in mind that almost physical dimension of time – our time at the studio is equally relevant as the time to disconnect from it and connect to other stuff. Counteracting the cliché of working late nights, and the archetype of the monothematic architect is key. Our lives should be as diverse and transversal as our work. And vice-versa.


Happy hours on Fridays

Apart from administration work which is mainly done by me, everyone does a bit of everything. This can be more stimulating, but also means a more shared sense of responsibility. We get together to discuss and organise work, but we encourage and value autonomy. Controlling every aspect of the project until conclusion is paramount. But chaos reigns on Fridays from 6pm, with (very) long and crowded happy hours in the patio.


Understanding reality

I am not interested in specialising in any kind of project typology. I would rather have a shot at many different exercises than getting comfortable at doing a specific type. I acknowledge the learning and evolution that results from repetition- and that is definitely something you see with the due critical distance – but it is not what we are driven by. And reality does not always meet the expectations here.


Aspiring to facilitate diversity

I enjoy and value the meaning and perks of a small studio. Our aspirations are not about the work scale, but rather about its diversity. And having the necessary circumstances and resources to be able to work on self-initiated projects, allowing us to explore and cross the limits of our own work.  My heroic aspiration for the studio would be to see it as a hovering multitasking octopus – an evolving, autonomous and multiskilled structure. And a generous facilitator for those who orbit around it.


1 Rita Aguiar Rodrigues Pedro Sadio

Photography Pedro Sadio

2 Studio rar.studio

Photography Courtesy of rar.studio

3 Studio rar.studio

Photography Courtesy of rar.studio

4 Musa da Bica Tiago Casanova

Photography Tiago Casanova

5 Palatina I Francisco Nogueira

Photography Francisco Nogueira

a project powered by Itinerant Office

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