DF_DC is an architecture and urban design practice based in London and Lugano, founded in 2016 by Dario Franchini and Diego Calderon.
The practice has built a series of private houses, housing blocks and public spaces in Switzerland, the UK and Mexico, with current projects in France, Italy and Mozambique. DF_DC were recognised with a Mention of Honour in the Jalisco Architecture Biennale in 2020.
Our work is based on observing the different contexts around a project and weaving them as the medium to constructing space. As projects are subject to nonstop contingency, we have learned to work with strategies rather than with design per se. These strategies free us from the usual constraints of scale and building type and allow us to approach a project with an almost ingenuous view. Territory, society and culture are contexts of departure, but there is no pre-conceived way in which they combine with others. We try to conceive projects as a clear constructive idea, but also recognise that logic alone is not enough to produce strong atmospheres.
We run a horizontal structure, not only within our practice, but also with the network of engineers, landscape architects, craftsmen and other specialists we collaborate with. In a constant cycle, the deeper, long-term spatial inquiries of the practice, react and blend with the one or two key interrogations that come with a new project. There is an intrinsic internationalism not only in how we operate (from two countries), but also in how we think about architecture. Through our academic work, we try to continue the cycle of reflection and conjecture about space, which is as much about awareness of the world as it is to making architecture.