elii [oficina de arquitectura]


126 · Awomawo

A Wolrd of Many Worlds

Design  of the Simon Space ar Casa Decor 2020, Madrid 



"In the Anthropocene, Humans are now at war not with Nature, but with [...] the Terrestrials. [...] To put it in the style of a geohistorical fiction. Humans living in the Holocene epoch are in conflict with the Terrestrials of the Anthropocene.

Bruno Latour, Face to Face with the Planet

The 2020 edition of Casa Decor was held this year in an emblematic building designed by the architect José Espelíus Anduaga, located in the Madrid’s upscale Salamanca neighborhood. From this early 20th century building, the Simon space will give Casa Decor visitors pause to reflect on the world to come in the 21st century.

AWOMAWO (A World Of MAny WOrlds) is a meeting place for different worlds. The project is set up as a space within another space, a place to experience a world of many worlds, a cosmos that can be transformed through light...

Upon arrival at AWOMAWO, the visitor is welcomed by the first zone, an orderly passage of well-defined geometries: this is the space where humans live. Enveloping this first space are a number of diverse, living and changing ecosystems: this space is the one that encompasses the rest of the Terrestrials. A light, continuous boundary connects and separates each zone, configuring a succession of enveloping environments: the plane of interaction between the two, a cosmopolitical front where Humans and Terrestrials must face their desires, interests, and needs.

The Simon space for Casa Decor 2020 has been designed by the elii architecture office together with the artist María Jerez. The team devised an interior landscape of light, plants, minerals, and everyday objects: a vibrantly colorful multiverse that creates ambiguous relationships between entities, ephemeral compositions of diffuse materialities, ghostly images of mixed bodies, of multiplied and crossed gazes... that place the spectator in an ambiguous position blurs the line between who is the subject and who is the object.

In times like now in which we live in a new climate regime, AWOMAWO offers visitors a place to experience and reflect on the problematic place that humans take on the planet and their responsibilities. As part of its commitment to the theme of this year’s Casa Decor, the materials used to stage the Simon space will be recycled after the exhibition. The plants will be donated and replanted. All the wood used will be recycled. The Tarkett flooring will be reclaimed by the manufacturer for treatment in a recycling program. And finally, the lamps will be taken down and stored by Simon for future events. The space will thus be given a new life.


1. A world of many worlds. Different practices, different knowledge and different contexts 'make', 'comprise' and 'mobilize' different worlds. As Marisol de la Cadena would say, we live in complex cosmoses that do not have to be part of the "one-world world".

Being open to otherness: pluriverse.

2. The cosmopolitical proposal. As Isabelle Stengers asks herself: "How to present a proposal that is not intended to say what it is, nor to say what it should be, but to make people think?

Should architecture solve problems and/or spark discussions?

3. Conflict. According to Bruno Latour, in the Anthropocene, Humans are at war with Terrestrials. In this geo-historical fiction we need the tools of Moebius' 'Associated Humanoids' to face the conflict with the Terrestrials of the Anthropocene".

We were at war and didn't know it?

4. Spatialize problems. Architecture always unfolds (in) controversial spaces.

Political ecology.

5. Lightweight architecture. Spatial experiments in lightweight architectures that can be dismantled can provide spaces to rehearse, reflect, question and speculate (with) our present.

Multiply the power of acting with others.

6. The device. The geometric arrangement puts the spectator in an ambiguous position, where it is unclear who is the subject and who is the object, or who is the set and who is the actor.

Challenge the political hierarchy that favors sight.

7. Dramaturgy. Adding lighting and performance techniques to put problems ‘on stage’.

A (in)animate material world.

8. Ambiguous spaces. Ecosystem relationships are often not evident: their effects occur at complex, deferred scales of time and space.

Subvert literalism and encourage curiosity.

9. Positioning vs. pedagogy. In the experience of the tour itself, visitors are invited to play an active role and take a stance on the problems of our times.

Ward off pedagogical paternalism by stimulating criticism.

10. "Natural contracts". Ecological construction materials inscribe the construction processes in large-scale ecosystemic processes. As Michel Serres would say, they are "natural contracts".

Aesthetics is an inter-scalar battleground for ecosystemic debates.

11. Many lives in one. Projects are material re-assemblies that can be re-assembled.

Construction detail always unfolds an ecosystemic covenant.



  • Architects:
  • elii - Uriel Fogué + Eva Gil + Carlos Palacios
  • Art and landscapes:
  • María Jerez
  • Architect coordinating the project:
  • elii – Ana López 
  • Colaborators:
  • elii - Lucía Fernández, Raquel García, Marta Vaquero 
  • Light programming:
  • David Herranz - Dasoingenieros
  • Graphics:
  • elii - Characters inspired in Moebius (Jean Giraud)
  • Developer: 
  • Simon
  • Construction: 
  • Aniceto Jiménez
  • Joinery: 
  • Alfredo Merino Caldas
  • Photography: 
  • Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)
  • Pablo Gómez-Ogando 
  • Luis Hevia
  • Video: 
  • Imagen Subliminal (Miguel de Guzmán + Rocío Romero)
  • Collaborating companies:
  • Simon - Light
  • Juan Ruíz-Rivas - Sculptures
  • Tarkett - Pavement
  • Valenntine - Paint
  • Samsung - Tablets
  • Colorker - Ceramic pieces
  • Surface:
  • 38,28m2.
  • Dates: 
  • 2020
  • Location:
  • CasaDecor 2020, C/ Velázquez 21, Madrid