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Luis Berríos-Negrón

Environmental artist and experimental architect working with the forms and forces of global warming.

Works at

Associate professor at Umeå School of Architecture
Arkitekthögskolan, Östra Strandgatan 30c Umeå universitet, Arkitekthögskolan, SE-90187 Umeå

Luis Berríos-Negrón (Puerto Rico, 1971*) I am a Research Fellow at UmArts and an Associate Professor at the School of Architecture.

My qualifications are PhD in Art Technology & Design from Konstfack University of the Arts / Royal Institute of Technology KTH (2015-20); Master of Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2003-06); Bachelor of Fine Arts from Parsons New School University (2000-03).

My current postdoctoral work focuses on tree nurseries, researching their histories, geographies, related techniques, and how they can play a cultural role in nurturing the differences between forests and reforestation across hemispheres. I approach this research primarily through art methods, exploring cultural and technological approaches to reforestation as a just, decolonial form of geoengineering in the context of climate injustice. To learn more about my ongoing research project at UmArts (more information on the Research section above).

Recent awards and stipends include Finalist for Harvard University’s Wheelwright Prize for Architecture (2021); Resident Researcher at the art and science research programme hosted by the environmental NGO Para La Naturaleza in Puerto Rico (2021-22); Grants from the Nordic Culture Point & Nordiskultur Fond for the Caribbean-Nordic Transhemispheric Residency Programme (2019-ongoing); selected Danish International Visiting Artist, Arts Council of Denmark (2013); 1st Prize in the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Prize in the Visual Arts, MIT (2005); and 1st Prize in the Michael Kalil Fellowship for Smart Design, Parsons New School (2002).

Recent exhibitions, commissions, and large-scale installations include Sin Título / Untitled (POST Houston Texas 2022); Estratas, Viveros y Entrañas [Strata, Nurseries & Entrails] (PLN Las Lunas, Puerto Rico 2021-22); Anarquivo Negantrópico (Gammelgaard DK 2019); Wardian Table at Agropoetics (Savvy Contemporary, Berlin DE 2019); Impasse Finesse Neverness (Museum of Archaeology of Bahia in Brazil, 2017); Collapsed Greenhouse at Undisciplinary Learning (District Berlin DE 2016); and Earthscore Specularium at Experiment Stockholm (Färgfabriken Stockholm SE 2015). I was commissioned artist at the 3rd Biennial of Art of Bahia (2014), represented Germany at the 10th São Paulo Biennial for Architecture (2013), was core-collaborator with Paul Ryan in the Threeing project at Documenta13, and exhibited in Ute Meta Bauer’s Future Archive at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (2012).

I am the founder of the Anxious Prop art collective (Berlin 2009-14), of the Paramodular environmental design group (Berlin & San Juan 2011-present), and of the Transhemispheric Residency Programme / Transhemisférica (SE/DK/PR/FI 2018-present).

Greenhouse stories: a critical re-examination of transparent microcosms, Eindhoven: Onomatopee 2023 : 27-39
Berríos-Negrón, Luis
Agropoetics reader, Berlin: The Institute for Endotic Research 2020 : 181-199
Berríos-Negrón, Luis
Homecomings: 1, 2, 3, etc., Berlin: Archive books 2018 : 236-241
Berríos-Negrón, Luis
Legacy: generations of creatives in dialogue, Amsterdam: Frame Publishers 2018 : 234-239
Berríos-Negrón, Luis
OnCurating, Zürich: OnCurating.org 2018, (36) : 94-105
Berríos-Negrón, Luis
Architecture in effect: vol. 1. Rethinking the social in architecture: making effects, New York: ACTAR 2018 : 380-423
Berríos-Negrón, Luis
Planet B: ideas for a new world: [Planet B: Ideen für eine neue Welt]
Berríos-Negrón, Luis
Education: trial and error, Berlin: Aedes Network Campus Berlin 2016 : 44-47
Berríos-Negrón, Luis
Architecture and Resilience on the Human Scale: Cross-Disciplinary Conference, Sheffield, 10-12 September 2015, Sheffield: University of Sheffield 2015 : 71-71
Berríos-Negrón, Luis
Space matters: exploring spatial theory and practice today, Vienna: Ambra Verlag 2013 : 120-137
Berríos-Negrón, Luis

Theory of Architecture 2:1 | Life-affirming architectures on display (FW 2023-24)


Throughout my bachelor and masters education I sought teaching assistantships to arts educators Jean Gardner (2001-02) and Silvia Kolbowski (2002-03) at Parsons New School, and Joan Jonas (2003-04), Muntadas (2004), and Krzysztof Wodiczko (2005) at MIT. After finishing the masters degree, I sought my first independent teaching assignment in the form of a Public Art Workshop in Kabul, Afghanistan during a residency at the Bauhaus in Dessau, Germany (2006).

Ever since, I've conducted various teaching projects, both independent and institutional. As in Kabul, these projects continue to involve the collective production of 1:1 scale installations and exhibitions as key pedagogical approach. Examples range from the 'Stonemasonry in Context' workshop in Mallorca with MIT, ETSAM, and Cambridge Universities (2008), to the 'Living Archive' course that the Münster University of Applied Sciences in Germany (2013-14); and from the MFA research focus course 'Impasse Finnesse Neverness' ending as an exhibit at the Museum of Ethnography and Archaeology of Bahia in Salvador, Brazil (2016-17), to the 'Installing the Anarchive' workshop (2019), the latter two as part of my doctoral responsibilities at Konstfack.

I am very excited to work for the Arkitektshögskolan, starting with the chance to conduct the Architecture Theory 2.1 course. My goal is to show students how art, architecture and environment are interconnected, why art research is fruiful, and why it is beneficial to distinguish from architectural research. I draw from a variety of early art, architecture and environment practitioners while leaning on current decolonial and activist practices in new materialism, in-human geography, and multi-perspectival studies so to explore spatial practice as a broader cultural and environmental expression.

Since architectural theory is mostly in text form, I aim to not ignore simple AI writing and visualisation tools thoughtfully and carefully. However, my emphasis is not on personal expression but on utilising AI as a platform for group collaboration in developing environmental art and architecture theories. You can see an example of this approach in the link above to the Theory of Architecture 2.1 course description (2023-24).

To conclude, I served as Assistant Professor at the Technische Universität-Braunschweig (2010-2013) and as Visiting Lecturer at the Fachhochschule Münster in Germany (2012-2014). During the period of the PhD, I worked as Lecturer in the Master of Fine Arts programme, and in the Bachelor & Master of Furniture Design and Spatial Design programmes at Konstfack (2015-2019). And before starting my post in Umeå, I gave a two-semester seminar and field study as Visiting Lecturer at the Transdisiplinarity Programme of ZHdK in Switzerland (2021-22).