Javier Arbona works at the overlap between architecture, landscape, theory, and geography. He recently completed a PhD in Geography at the University of California, Berkeley. His doctoral research focused on the transformation of military areas into urban parks in the San Francisco Bay Area. He practiced design and construction in Los Angeles, a city where he became more curious of the links between everyday landscapes and the region's politics. His articles have appeared in several publications. He recently founded the Demilit collective with Bryan Finoki and Nick Sowers. Together, they practice experimental forms of exploring military landscapes and everyday space. Their work has been featured at the Headlands Center for the Arts, the Istanbul Design Biennial, and the UCSD Art Gallery.
Previously, as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Arbona researched the military bombardment of Vieques, Puerto Rico, and studied how military occupation and the production of the landscape shaped Arcadian nature readings by protest and opposition groups that could detract from the social struggle for land rights on the island (pdf article link). Arbona also collaborated with colleagues on a number of competitions in the past, including the proposal for an experimental pleached home with Mitchell Joachim and Lara Greden (known as Team HED), published in The HOME House Project: The Future of Affordable Housing (edited by David J. Brown, MIT Press). The project was an Index Award Finalist, and has been widely covered by the international press and exhibited worldwide.
Arbona was on the undergraduate faculty of the School of Architecture at Polytechnic University, Puerto Rico, and was invited as a Visiting Critic to Cornell University during the Spring of 2009. He served as the Chief Editor of Archinect.com. Several articles are available at his website (see below).
Footprinting Secrecy (with Demilit), Volume, number 36, Summer 2013. link
Architecture's Avatars, Fulcrum, number 69, Architectural Association, April 2013. link
The Rise Of the Darists, PLAT Journal, Issue 2.5, Rice School of Architecture, Fall/Winter 2012. link
Journey to the Transnational Narcopolitical City, Domus, August 24, 2011. link
“Spaces for Architectural Discourse, and the Unceasing Labor of Blogging,” MAS Context: Information, Number 7, Fall 2010. link
“Dangers in the Air: Aerosol architecture and its invisible landscapes,” Alphabet City: Air, Number 15, MIT Press and Alphabet City Media, 2010. link
“It’s in Your Nature: I’m Lost in Paris,” (On the work of Francois Roche and RSie), Territory: Architecture Beyond Environment, Volume 80, Issue 3, pages 46–53, May/June 2010. link
“Vieques, Puerto Rico: From Devastation to Conservation and Back Again,” Traditional Dwellings and Settlements Review, Volume XVII, Number 1, Berkeley: The International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments, 2005. link
Adjunct Professor, Architecture