Joana Rafael (b.1979) is an architect, researcher, lecturer and ghostwriter, currently based in Porto, Portugal, working between architecture, (issues of) ecology and visual culture. She holds a PhD (2017) in Visual Cultures and an MRes (2009) in Research Architecture from Goldsmiths, University of London, an MA (2008) from the Metropolis Graduate Programme in Architecture and Urban Culture, run by the Centre for Contemporary Culture, Barcelona and a degree (2002) in Architecture from the University of Minho, Guimarães. Joana teaches Contextual Studies and Contemporary Culture -related courses, and is a member of ID+ (Research Institute for Design, Media and Culture) and CEGOT (Center for Studies in Geography and Spatial Planning). Joana is also a certified sustainable agriculture and biological farming practitioner.
A Letter to the Zoologists
Published in Innocence, San Rocco magazine, no I
In June 2005, The Guardian published an article by Will Alsop entitled "Flight of fancy" to announce a lecture part of the Doubt, Delight and Change, retrospective exhibition of Cedric Price`s work. Tracing his influence and lines of thought through the experience as collaborator in his office, Aslop professed Price to be interested in nature and, among a wealth of praiseful descriptions argued that the London Zoo`s Northern (Snowdon) Aviary was designed for a community of birds and the idea was that once the community was established, it would be possible to remove the netting.
Taking the word of the coworker into account, questioning its potential and drawing a eulogy upon it, A Letter to the Zoologists advocates the coherence of such an idea within efforts to preserve zoological species, and methods to perpetuate zoological facilities. The argument is sustained both by the attempt to engage with animal territorial behavior and with architectural standard procedures, with the wish to trigger a dialogical space for the best of the birds housed, the zoological and the work of the architect.