It’s hard to summarise what architect Alfredo Maul, Director of G-22 is trying to achieve, but with principles like moderation, humility and creativity, it has to be positive. We arrived at G-22 headquarters, where Alfredo had invited us to stay during our time in Guatemala City, dripping wet and curious about this not-for-profit organisation.
Alfredo asked us up to his apartment for a cup of tea. He lives on the top floor of an industrial building that G-22 has repurposed to provide facilities for learning and sharing. It is a beautiful and unique space that uses natural and up-cycled materials to demonstrate many of the design principles Alfredo promotes in his work.
“We can give proof that it is possible to find a sustainable minimalism that provides comfort, but that also has the capacity to become replicable and a formative tool for anyone.”
I have seen that proof! He lives very comfortably and spends money on the things that bring him pleasure, like art or good local food. Not on electricity bills, thanks to solar power, not on an ever increasing stock of material possessions or on fuel, because the majority of his trips are made by bicycle.
With a vision to see individuals caring more for the environment through reducing their impact in construction and the consumption of every day life, G-22 has a few different projects underway across the realms of architecture, education and cycling.
What I found most inspiring was that Alfredo had spent lots of time living abroad, in the US and in France for instance, and despite some of the uncomfortable and problematic aspects of life here in Guatemala City, he felt a duty and desire to return and contribute.
Here is a short film about Alfredo and you can go to www.g-22.org for more information. They have a documentary coming out soon called Architects of the Future, so I’ll post it up when it is available.