Monday, June 29, 2020

An exercise in the evolution of form is My go-to Therapist, says Ar. Zulueta

IAnD Exclusive

Text & Photography: Alejandro de la Vega Zulueta
Courtesy: v2com
Read Time: 2 mins
Furula, stone sculpture formed by furulae that are woven together generating a lattice with transparency and shadows.(inset) Alejandro de la Vega Zulueta

Alejandro de la Vega Zulueta’s work as both an artist and architect transpire in parallel. When stuck on an architectural project, he often turns to his drawings and the manipulation of forms as a path to liberate his mind to overcome the architectural equivalent of writer’s block…

My inspiration is often derived from the process of problem-solving, but I am never far from architecture. If I am working on office design and I encounter a space that needs to be filled, I start to imagine how different shapes and forms can fill that void.

Face, formed by Parametric pieces cut by laser in Haya wood, of different measures to create shadows and shapes that define a face.

Consequently, my approach to art stems from what I see as a function, what I intend to build, and the materials I intend to use. Hand drawings and sketches help me leverage the power of modern technology, using digital techniques to bring my designs to life through parametric diagrams and 3D printing. Infusions of light then create variations of form, resulting in unexpected contours that animate my multifaceted sculptures.

Architecture without light is just a dark space. But by strategically placing light on the pieces, I am able to control the shadows and volume of the work.

Remodeling department in Antigua Santa FE
Silhouette - Concrete sculpture of 1.80 x 6.00 meters. representing chaos and order, located in the Legislative Palace of San Lázaro, Mexico.

This process can be seen in my commissioned work for Mexico’s San Lazaro Legislative Palace Chamber of Deputies, where manipulations of a flowing Silhouette sculpture evolved into a wall-mounted work entitled Chaos and Order. Using white concrete in variations of the original form, and a contrasting vermillion background, I was able to position pieces into a pattern of ‘organized chaos’. Rectangular light patterns create shadows that accentuate the multiple elements of the work, reflecting my interpretation of the chamber’s day-to-day interactions.

With the evolution of technology has come a new combination of art and science. Applicable to any material, including carbon steel, wood, sandstone and much more, my parametric designs can produce 60, 600, or 6,000 similar pieces, all with slight geometric variations.

In the past, architecture taught us that everything must be modular, like in the use of even-sized bricks in the construction of a façade. But new technologies and techniques have allowed us to break free of what we were taught, opening the door for building things, where every piece is slightly different.


In the marriage of art and architecture, I see possibilities as limitless as the imagination. I therefore, continue to apply parametric sculpturing techniques to new materials and new ideas, while envisioning ways to apply my works of art to my architectural works in progress.

Award-winning architect Alejandro de la Vega Zulueta is devoted to the marriage of art, interior design, and architecture. His diverse portfolio of projects comes with a focus on space, lifestyle, and function in the creation of exceptional experiences. His art, both conventional and digital, involves the manipulation of shapes, light, and shadows as finishing touches to works of metal, concrete, wood, plastic, and more. 

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