Ana Peñalba

Ana Peñalba approached her RAIR residency with a very particular project in mind: to reproduce iconic Philadelphia architecture using waste. But while her project was specific, her parameters were loose: she defined no rules about what materials should be used from the trash piles, or how the structures should be built. Peñalba found that the intensity and unpredictability of the recycling yard had a transformational effect on her working method, pushing her away from clean and detailed sculptural work toward “big and dirty” microarchitecture. As her first opportunity to explore the territory between sculptural and architectural scale, the RAIR residency broke down the barrier between Peñalba’s identity as artist and as architect.

Coming to RAIR is like planning a trip to the moon. No matter how much time you spend planning things, you don’t understand the potential until you arrive
— Ana Peñalba