The Mexican architect Irma Del Valle Nachón has worked on various projects involving interior design, industrial buildings and heritage conservation. She is co-founder of the studio Taller La Semilia, which specialises in the development of architectural projects, and has collaborated frequently with local craftspeople.
During her residency at the Saline Royale d’Arc-et-Senans in 2019, Irma Del Valle Nachón examined the links between materials and craftspeople. Her project looked at the knowledge and memories of place, focusing on the relationships which link the building and its materials to local craftspeople.
She set out to study the technology of the site and its materials, and the production processes which created its different elements and which bear witness to a particular know-how and skill set.
Working at the crossroads of anthropology and architecture, she aimed to place the origin of materials at the centre of her work and, collaborating with local specialist craftspeople, presented a new way of looking at the history of the Saline Royale.