ae.i.ou | An interview to Victor Nieto

ae.i.ou | An interview to Victor Nieto


Architect: Victor Nieto
TOS[er]: Alexis Estrada
Date: UPR May 2012-2013 SEM 01

Collective Objectives:

  • Ae.i.ou “is a design and research collective that proposes a return to fundamentals. ” [V. Nieto]
  • “A – E – I – O – U” is the first vowels of alphabet you learn in school.
  • “Design does not begin with the right proposals but rather with the right questions.” [V. Nieto]
  • The photomontages do not seek the “solution” to the problem, but raise a point of discussion.
  • Clarify problems of our present environment and find how to solve them through multiple disciplines.
  • The public sees the photomontages as “a way to “predict” the future of society”.


  • Puerto Rico Post-Montage, 2008
  • San Juan Submerged, 2009
  • 16 times 18, 2010
  • Metabolis, 2010
  • Des-control de Acceso, 2011

TOS[er] Reaction: The photomontages bring problematic consequences to the fore presenting to the public what could happen to our country as a result of irresponsible actions in the present. The ‘Puerto Rico Post-Montage’ presents multiple problems. The spectator – a member or student of any discipline – spontaneously questions: Is what I’m doing okay? Are my decisions appropriate?

According to Victor Nieto: “Taking this into consideration, we argue that design does not necessarily begin by providing the correct answers, but by provoking the right questions … Do we really understand the limits of our resources and our society? … Could something that reflects the worst in us, also bring out the best in us? For their capacity to communicate that our humanity is revealed at moments of great adversity, these scenes become tools of awareness with the capacity to frustrate and motivate simultaneously.”

I asked him if the actual social situation of Puerto Rico is our responsibility? Emphasizing that it is everyone’s problem, Victor states that, “Generally, the public ceases to be a citizen. There is lots of potential in different institutions with initiatives like ‘Ventana al Mar’ (designed by Andrés Mignucci) … the practice is limited due to the multiple responsibilities of the profession, this causes conflict because we ten to do specific things but the discipline is all-encompassing. This is why we’re trained to go beyond: viewing and presenting.”