Alejandro Ribadeneira

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Virtual Reality Like Tobacco

In A Sense of Place, 12. SOP 2.0 by Alejandro Ribadeneira

About five years ago my family thought that it would be brilliant to give my seventy-something year old grandfather an electric cigarette. This old man who smoked tobacco since he was a teenager, and loved it, did not say thank you for the gift. Instead, he said—“this is like having sex with a sex doll, I do not want it.” …

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The Capital P-Place

In A Sense of Place, 9. Placelessness by Alejandro Ribadeneira

I spent three years moving around the world with about 35 other students, 12 teachers, and some residence life advisors. Settings changed very often—every three to six months we would be in a different city, trying to call it home. However, people did not change. A funny thing occurs with this phenomenon, the common links we make regarding certain people and …

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On Living Pipes

In 8. The Vernacular Landscape, Uncategorized by Alejandro Ribadeneira

A recent interest of mine is that of urban gawking. More romantically, I like to call myself an architectural flaneur with a love for iPhoneography. This interest was manifested when New York City started to speak to me, in unexpected spaces and moments. My eye for objects turned into an eye for seeing objects anthropomorphize and, effectually, be part of …

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Just like Christmas on the Equator

In A Sense of Place, 7. Sprawl and New Urbanism by Alejandro Ribadeneira

Growing up in the global south (with innumerable inputs from North America in the media) can be seen as a series of disappointing circumstances. Firstly, Christmas as a phenomenon cause severe cognitive dissonance. All of those Christmas trees, snowmen and women, woolen hats and sweaters, they simply did not fit in Ecuador—but they were the image that the TV portrayed of …

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A Dangerous Corbusier

In A Sense of Place, 6. Shock of the New by Alejandro Ribadeneira

Le Corbusier’s proposals on how design should instruct dwellers and compose cities for his imagined city of the future appeal to me — in terms of urban planning —  as attractive paper design and insipid physical work. This is not to say that I do not admire his work seen individually, in a close picture. Le Corbusier’s house and mixed-use …

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Apartment 4B

In A Sense of Place, 2. The Spirit of Place by Alejandro Ribadeneira

Everyone in my mother’s family would agree that my grandfather’s apartment held an interesting aura. Many would argue it did not have a wonderful one, and I agree. In recent years the place was inhabited by my eclectic grandfather, his assistant, and the occasional cleaner. However, many more people lived there with him in the past, and left remnants as …

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In A Sense of Place, 1. The Experience of Place by Alejandro Ribadeneira

It is always a bit uncomfortable to first sit down in an airplane — I possibly just made the old woman on the window seat move because she sat on my place, my belt is pushing into my stomach, I already have to pee. Regardless, I place my backpack under the front seat, take off my shoes, and gently slide …