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Work in Progress by T38 Studio & Pablo Casals-Aguirre

Pablo Casals-Aguirre

Dirty Hands and Orange Vests


The unsung heroes of architecture are those who construct it with their own hands. Construction workers are the protagonists in this short film showcasing HDJ86 by T38 Studio. Contrary to most architectural films, the finished product barely appears at all. Instead, we experience the house in transition, through the eyes of the workers that built it block by block.

Our engagement with the construction team isn't limited to their involvement with the architecture. Clips of them breaking for a drink and playing soccer help us see them not just as skilled laborers, but as part of the community. The workers' relationship with each other and the process of constructing the house become a part of the architecture itself.

The title "In Progress" seems to refer not only to the house under construction, or even the future development of the neighborhood, but to the studio itself. HDJ86 is one of the first projects completed on a site intended for 11 single-family homes. Pablo Casals collaborated with T38 studio during the design of the project, playing the roles of both architect and filmmaker. The correlation between the design under development in the studio and the construction in the field highlights the relationship between designers in the office and their counterparts in orange vests.

Authors icon Credits

Architect: T38 studio, Pablo Casals-Aguirre
Mentioned project: Single and multiple family houses in Tijuana (2011-2013)
Project location: Tijuana, Mexico
Field Assistants: Alfonso Medina, El Guero, Mauricio Kuri & Oscar González
Music: Tony Anderson
Sound Design: Pablo Casals-Aguirre

Mexico 2014
Duration: 3'01''