Alfredo Brillembourg

Alfredo Brillembourg founded the Urban-Think Tank (U-TT) collective in 1998 as an informal multi-disciplinary research group in his home in Altamira, Caracas. In 2001, Brillembourg invited Hubert Klumpner to co-found the U-TT NGO and later in 2007 to co-found the U-TT company in Caracas, Venezuela. Brillembourg and Klumpner continued their partnership in Zürich, which lasted until 2019. In 2020, U-TT Norway was established by Brillembourg to expand socially and environmentally sustainable projects with Scandinavian funding and new partners of the global U-TT Design Group.

U-TT’s approach has always centered on bridging academia and practice in order to deliver innovative yet practical solutions to real-world problems. To achieve this, Brillembourg has brought together specialists from different fields, including architects, civil engineers, environmental planners, landscape architects, urban sociologists, and communication experts, to explore and respond to people’s needs in a holistic and human-centered manner. Building on his extensive design and academic experience, Brillembourg continuous to be driven by the ambition to create positive change with each project.

Brillembourg as a social entrepreneur has expanded the U-TT activities through numerous partnerships and running a number of still-active U-TT offices. This includes: establishing a New York branch Urban-Think Tank Design Partners while leading a GSAPP design studio at Columbia University; expanding into the South American market with a new Brazilian branch of the office U-TT/Sao Paulo to build a music school; an office in Cape Town, South Africa with Andy Bolnick of Ikhayalami Development Services to build Empower Shack housing; and U-TT Oslo run by Tord Isdal to advance solar energy solutions and tech applications.

In addition to all of his built work, Brillembourg has used different media to bring the topics of inequality and the politics of design to a wider audience, including publishing numerous books and producing several award-winning films. Currently, Brillembourg is releasing a new full-feature doc film with his production company Grand Horizonte Media Gmb.

Ricardo Bofill

Ricardo Bofill was born into a family of builders in 1939 in Barcelona, Spain. He studied at the Barcelona University School of Architecture and graduated from the School of Geneva. At the age of seventeen Ricardo Bofill designed his first project, a summer home in Ibiza, and by twenty-three became lead architect of el Taller.

He continues to lead the international architectural and urban design practice Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura. Over fifty years later, Bofill still leads Ricardo Bofill Taller de Arquitectura, with over 1000 projects to date in over 50 countries.

After accomplishing a series of world class buildings such as Shiseido, in Ginza, Tokyo, Christian Dior Headquarters, Cartier Headquarters, Rochas Headquarters, Axa Headquarters, Paribas Bank Marché Saint Honoré, all in Paris, The Shepherd School of Music, Rice University, Houston, The Metz Auditorium, Metz, France, the Barcelona Airport, The National Theatre of Catalonia, in Barcelona, The New Palacio de Congresos, Madrid, SWIFT Headquarters, near Brussels, Bofill has demonstrated his expertise and know-how to carry out class A buildings all over the world.

Outstanding amongst the most recent projects designed by the architect is The Donnelley Building, a 55 story granite and glass office tower. Other relevant projects, such as The Grand (the tallest residential building in the world), Project 2000 (the tallest office building in the world), and Dearborn Center (Dearborn and Adams) are presently under construction or development in Chicago. Famous residential buildings by Bofill are Abraxas, The Arcades du Lac, Belvedere St. Christophe, Les Echelles du Baroque in Paris, Pa Söder Crescent in Stockholm and Monchyplein in The Hague.

His vision of urban design has resulted in many examples such as The City of Antigone (4 million square feet built) in south France, Plateau Kirchberg in Luxembourg, Port Praski in Warsaw and The New Castellana in Madrid. Bofill Arquitectura has offices in Barcelona and Paris, and is currently collaborating with prestigious architectural firms in Chicago.

He has a multifaceted, international design team that undertakes projects in collaboration with local architects and engineers for a wide variety of projects, from city planning to interior design.