Labor Pains

Labor Pains #1: Happiness

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In 2010, the British Conservative government, led by David Cameron, began to recognize the shortcomings of traditional economic statistics in measuring the health of a nation. High GDP no longer meant national prosperity, spending and consumption didn’t necessarily mean all was well in emotional worlds of their consumers. In the wake of the international Happiness Survey conducted annually by polling company Gallup, Cameron induced the United Kingdom’s Office for National statistics to ask the British population: “How satisfied are you with your life nowadays?”

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Labor Pains

Labor Pains

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In the build up to our next issue, #56 Playbor, we’ll publish a series of texts exploring not only the data produced by these international surveys, but too the conditions and criteria that defined their questions in the first instance. The task is to explore and deconstruct the terminology, methodologies, and perimeters of these polls and surveys whose goal it is to quantify the qualitative, to measure the ephemeral.

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Archizoom

Kashef Chowdhury: a climate balancing act

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In the Western imagination, Bangladesh is more likely to conjure up images of human and environmental disasters than of quality tropical architecture. Two years ago, the Rohingya exodus was just another in a long list of catastrophes that had punctuated the history of a country with a population greater than that of Russia and a land area barely larger than that of Greece.

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Interview

An Atlas to navigate the profession: Interview with Gianpiero Venturini

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Curated by Itinerant Office, the book ‘ATLAS of emerging practices: being an architect in the 21st century’ has just been launched at the New Generations Festival in Rome. Volume editor Francesco Degl’Innocenti sat down with Itinerant Office founder Gianpiero Venturini, to discuss the findings of their research on the European context, and break a few misconceptions about the profession.

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Article, Volume #55

All is Flux: Collective Memory & the Complex Whole

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The establishment of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH) in 2003 marked a profound shift in the custodial objectives of UNESCO as an organisation and the mechanisms it utilises preserve global culture. Since the introduction of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (WCH) in 1972, Unesco policy had, to that point, been driven and dominated by a single, concise, and ultimately incomplete mandate; namely, the evaluation and preservation of material structures.

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Review

X-Ray Architecture: Modernism and Tuberculosis

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In the hierarchy of major themes that shaped the modern spirit in architecture, hygiene, the imperative of a more salubrious habitat and city, is undeniably at the top of the list. With the book ‘X-Ray Architecture’, Beatriz Colomina, historian and theoretician of architecture and teacher at Princeton, chooses to make this a structuring principle, more to do with the fear of death and the repressed unconscious than the spirit of innovation. Is modern architecture as hysterical as that of the Baroque period?

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