To inaugurate the Launch Pad Conversation series that brings together artists and practitioners from different disciplines with mutual interests and intersecting lines of enquiry. Launch Pad was delighted to host an In Conversation between artist Johanna Unzueta and Michael Pawlyn, Founder of Exploration Architecture at Swedenborg House on February 10th, 2020.

Drawing on Unzueta’s and Pawlyn’s unique practices as artist and architect, and their shared concerns and questions, the Conversation touched on what it means to engage in a contemporary practice amidst an environmental crisis, when a shift towards a revised sustainability is imperative.

Johanna Unzueta (b 1974, Santiago de Chile) lives and works in Brooklyn and received her MFA from Universidad Catolica de Chile in 1999. Unzueta has exhibited widely in North and South America and Europe. Recent solo and group exhibitions include ‘Searching the Sky for Rain’, Sculpture Center, NY (2019), Broad Art Museum, Michigan State University (2019), Proyectos Ultravioleta, Guatemala City (2019), REDCAT, Los Angeles (2019), A.I.R Gallery’s 13 Biennial Exhibition, New York and Bronx Museum (2019), 7W57Arts, New York (2018), Tenth Berlin Biennale, Berlin (2018). A solo exhibition ‘Tools for Life’ opens at Modern Art Oxford in February 2020.

Michael Pawlyn established Exploration in 2007 and has built a reputation as a thought leader in regenerative design and the circular economy. His lectures have achieved international recognition, including a talk posted in 2011 on which has had over 1.8 million views. His book Biomimicry in Architecture has been the publisher’s best-selling title.

Prior to setting up the company, Michael Pawlyn worked with Grimshaw Architects for ten years and was central to the team that radically re-invented horticultural architecture for the Eden Project. He initiated the Grimshaw environmental management system resulting in the company becoming the first firm of European architects to achieve certification to ISO14001.