Both de Azambuja and Hanaei are fascinated by the universal language of modern architecture and urban planning. In their own ways, they try to reconstruct and deconstruct this universality to reveal a hidden subjectivity within the built environments they come from. In de Azambuja’s works, a site-specific spatial identity is defined through the medium of concrete. This process resembles a long history in non-European countries such as Brazil and Japan where ‘concrete’ architecture emerged from the presence of a global and universal discourse but turned into an attempt to escape the restrictions of this discourse by adapting it. In all his works, de Azambuja engages with pre-existing things and transforms them into memorable settings of future by the association of a relevant story or a noteworthy past: the previous life of a concrete block, a monument or a host of industrial elements.
Similarly, Hanaei also deals with the past. In his works, the suburbs of Paris become the realisation of Derrida’s theory of ‘hauntology’. The present is historicised and it is the past that haunts it in the form of the future-to-come. The cities of future are ideas from our past, and the futures that haunt our now were once promised in the past. Nonetheless, the bio-colonisation of Hanaei’s specific housing project on an outskirt of Paris frames a rebirth and hence, the latent but suppressed life in abandoned built forms. This biological uprising goes hand in hand with de Azambuja’s reconstruction of buildings where, ‘An imaginary city grows up from scratch in London where Brutalism once emerged in the 1950s as a promise for future cities.’ Marlon de Azambuja.