Ever since coming into contact with Jofebar’s work, I have been fascinated by the company’s curious logo: a figurative silhouette of what appears to be a Barcelos rooster (a widely recognised emblem of Portugal) in an intense red, with an abstract white cross occupying the position of the animal’s heart.
Whenever I pause to contemplate this interesting design, I always find it to be highly charged with intentionality. The way I see it, this pleasant logo embodies a promise, on one hand, of high-quality, local artisanal work “made in Portugal” – represented by the romantic symbol of the rooster – and on the other, of the precision of Swiss technology, represented here by the reference to the country’s minimalist flag.
Indeed, Jofebar’s elegant logo, the Portuguese rooster with a Swiss heart, intelligently and optimistically depicts the company’s desire to offer an intermediate technology, somewhere between artisanal work and industrial production, capable of effectively and flexibly meeting the demands of the complex world of construction.
FOR AND INTERMEDIATE TECHNOLOGY.
These days, those who, like us, work in the world of architecture – and consequently in the world of construction – find themselves in a peculiar situation. The constructional excesses of a society deeply affected by the untrammelled growth of the extravagant early years of this century and the devastating crisis that followed have caused people to distance themselves from architecture and construction technology.
For various reasons, ordinary citizens now reject the technology of radical industrialisation inherited from the modern culture of the 20th century as a result of its inability to address the more delicate problems of construction and architecture in today’s society. Accordingly, those same citizens seek a more human use of construction technology and the construction industry.
Faced with this situation, today’s society demands a construction technology with an intermediate character, able to blend the industrial with the artisanal in a balanced manner, side by side, on equal footing, combining the best of both worlds. The need for a more accessible construction technology implies a prevalence of the humanist logic of construction over the inhuman logic of uncontrolled mass construction.
This more human approach to construction, currently advocated by various sectors of society, is based on the principle that construction technology – one of the manifestations of human knowledge – should be an instrument whereby living conditions – and consequently our habitat – are improved.
There is therefore a need for construction processes to adopt new strategies which make them more sustainable and human. Accordingly, the time has come to demand an intermediate technology better suited to the needs of people and society.
Today’s society requires an intermediate technology which enables more human and personalised construction processes than those proposed by indiscriminate industrialisation as the only instrument of contemporary architecture. Today’s society requires an intermediate technology which allows freer and more effective experimentation in a more open environment, with a closer involvement of people, of society itself, breaking down the limits between architecture, construction and other disciplines.
BY PEOPLE, WITH PEOPLE AND FOR PEOPLE.
Through its collaboration with leading architects from all over the world, Jofebar has always defended this intermediate role of technology in meeting the needs of people and a constantly changing society.
Since its formation, Jofebar has successfully combined high-tech knowledge (using large glass surfaces with thicknesses reduced to a minimum, complex glass heating systems or electromagnetic sliding mechanisms) with low-tech culture (characterised by in situ artisanal assembly, invariably accompanied by ample professional support so as to leverage material experience, prototypes, scale models, etc.) in line with the purest tradition of local artisanal metalwork.
Indeed, Jofebar has always been a company made up of specialists in intermediate technology; specialists in the combination of technology with artisanship, or global industry focussed on material and economic optimisation with local knowledge based on the artistry of the professions and traditional knowledge as instruments for the optimisation and humanisation of construction processes.
In this way, driven by a constant desire to oscillate between the industrial and artisanal nature of the finest contemporary architecture, Jofebar caters to a widespread yearning to reclaim the human scale and the personalisation of industry, seeking to keep its use of technology to an absolute minimum while respecting the scale of the location, genuinely at the service of human beings and society.
… After all, Jofebar takes pride in offering society an intermediate technology made by people, with people and for people.