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Renata Lucas, desague (drains), 2015, asphalt, cast iron, steel, stainless steel, PVC, water, 3 1/8 × 17 3/8 × 20 7/8".

Renata Lucas

neugerriemschneider

Renata Lucas, desague (drains), 2015, asphalt, cast iron, steel, stainless steel, PVC, water, 3 1/8 × 17 3/8 × 20 7/8".

A few years ago, Renata Lucas was asked what she thinks art is for. She replied, “Perhaps it’s one of the few things left that allows us to declare that we don’t fit the given standards.” Her own investigation of those given standards operates in the field of urbanism—more specifically that of metropolitan architecture. Studying the relationship between public squares and private spaces, the intricate workings of traffic hubs, or the ways in which sidewalks form trajectories of experience and social life, she deftly devises ways to break prevailing architectural and social molds, often with minimal means.

What, one might ask, are today’s urbanistic standards? Since the days of functionalism, and perhaps even before then, planners have mainly been concerned with the city’s smooth operation. Formal choices, the quality of the materials, the layout of streets and squares, the

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