Smiljan Radic is a remarkable figure in contemporary architecture. After obtaining his degree in Architecture from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile in 1989 and furthering his training in Venice and Greece, Radic went on to win Chile’s Colegio de Arquitectos award for most promising architect under 35 in 2001. Architectural Record included Radic as part of its “Design Vanguard” in 2008, and shortly thereafter the American Institute of Architects named him Honorary Fellow.
The lectured featured a short film prepared especially for the occasion, in which Radic shared examples of his work that challenged the conventional notion of design practice without straying from the act of making architecture. In contrast to the “clear-cut” modernism of the 1990s, he concentrated on the “diffuse” (at times precarious) realities and sensibilities of his own context. Examples of Radic’s architecture were interspersed with an array of what he called “soft data” —stories, anecdotes, bits of biography and chance— which are attached to his projects, a reflection of the embedded emotional and narrative elements that contrast the “hard” data of program and calculation that dominate traditional architectural presentation techniques. It perfectly transmitted Radic’s conviction of “projecting in the rough,” thoughtfully saturating things to draw out their essence.