In-Person: An Evening with José Gelabert Navia, AIA


Date: 12/12/2022

Time: 6:30 pm

Books & Books is thrilled to present an in-person evening with Jose Gelabert Navia, AIA to discuss his latests books: China; Italy; and Taos- SantaFeae e-SanDaanntta .
***Please note: This event will take place at the Books & Books in Coral Gables at 265 Aragon Ave. Tickets are FREE and books will be available for purchase at the event.

About the Books:

CHINA: For a country that has of late been focused on the future, I have been fascinated by the search for a true contemporary regional language in traditional Chinese architecture and painting. The intricate and careful composition in relation to landscape and light has been a continual revelation, as evidenced by the Summer Palace on the outskirts of Beijing and vanishing water towns such as Zhujiajiao, known as the “Venice of Shanghai.”

In my drawings I have tried to understand the enduring value of this tradition and to learn the lessons that might allow us to create for our time while never forgetting the past.

ITALY: I have always been eager to capture the faded beauty of cities and buildings. This obsession would inevitably draw me to Venice and Sicily. Wandering amidst the shadows of the Venetian light I have tried to portray the beauty of this luminous city. No part of Italy has as many layers of history or been inhabited by so many different peoples as Sicily. From the Greeks who colonized Siracusa and Selinunte, to the Romans in Agrigento, to the Normans in Palermo.

My drawings are fugitive visions of this complex and multi-layered landscape. They pay homage to one of the world’s richest artistic traditions, and my own transformative personal experience as an architect.

TAOS-SANTE FE: Few places in the world have such a deeply rooted relationship between the natural and the man-made. Towering above Taos are the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, home to many Native American peoples, casting a mystical shadow on the ancient settlement below. A ghost of an earlier time, the Taos Pueblo provides a glimpse of Pre-Columbian life in North America.

Like Taos, Santa Fe is also a place of ancient and modern myth. In Santa Fe, the Spanish and the Native traditions come together. My own drawings pay homage to Vierra and the spirit that inspired them.

About the Author:
JOSE GELABERT NAVIA is an architect, teacher and artist. Residing in Miami, Florida Mr. Gelabert-Navia has over thirty-seven years of experience as an architect and is Regional Director for Latin America of Perkins+Will, Architects, AIA. Mr. Gelabert- Navia is currently a Professor of Architecture and formerly the Dean of the School of Architecture at the University of Miami.

A graduate of Cornell University, Mr. Gelabert-Navia’s primary teaching focus is Architectural Design and History of Colonialism and Globalization in Architecture. He was the founder of the University of Miami School of Architecture’s Rome Program and teaches a course in Italian Culture. He is the author of many publications, including CUBA Memories of Travel/Recuerdos de Viaje.

As the child of two architects, Mr. Gelabert-Navia was immersed in the world of architecture practically from birth. His earliest memories of life in Cuba and later of Puerto Rico, consist of driving from building to building to visit their growing practice.

Exile from Cuba shaped the path of Mr. Gelabert-Navia’s career. He developed a global curiosity, moving from country to country, learning from each new location. This experience afforded him a level of comfort when he made Miami his home – he found he could easily relate to the diverse cultures that make Miami so unique.

Mr. Gelabert-Navia has dedicated his career to projects with a positive social impact. When analyzing new opportunities, he asks how they can improve the quality of life for their future inhabitants.

Mr. Gelabert-Navia previously held the position of Dean at the University of Miami’s School of Architecture where he started the school’s architecture program in Italy. He credits the trips to Italy and other parts of Europe as being transformative to his career. These experiences helped to place what the Miami studio of Perkins + Will does architecturally into a broader historical and cultural context.