Once upon a time, not so long ago and also not that far from where we are now there lived an architect. He, because it was a he, had the ambition to build big, real big impressive projects. He had a vision, or actually he had several. But something was preventing him to execute his ideas. He couldn’t find an investor or a developer who would support his plans. It made him miserable. But he wasn’t the kind of guy that gives up easily. So on a sunny day, it must have been November, he said to his wife and children and to some neighbors that visited his house: “I have a dream, I have a dream that one day I will be able to create what I envision. That one day, I will be able to make this place a better world.” That’s what he said. And everyone in the room applauded and was impressed. Everyone? Not his eleven year old daughter. She walk over to him, pulled his sleeve and asked with her sweetest little voice: “But why don’t you do it yourself, daddy?” The little rascal. She obviously had hit a sweet spot, because he burst out in tears. “Because”, he stuttered between his sobs, “my fellow architects won’t let me”.
In today’s rapidly changing world, the role of real estate has been affected deeply. To such a degree that the Center for Urban Real Estate at Columbia University sees an opportunity to transform the profession from within, stressing its creative potential and introducing an ethical code. This issue of Volume is dedicated to CURE’s ambition to create a continuum between architecture and real estate, as part of the design disciplines.
The GDELT Project, “a real-time network diagram and database of global human society for open research”, has created an intriguing map that provides insight in protests and conflict situations around the world.
VI·BOK is a studio dedicated to thinking and critical action on living spaces. Last month they published an interview with Volume editor-in-chief Arjen Oosterman and former Volume managing editor Brendan Cormier about their main editorial coordinates and the process of editing.
Make sure you don’t miss Malkit Shoshan‘s seminar on 27 November about the impact of peace-keeping missions. To get a preview on her ideas on the matters at stake, read her article in Volume #40: Architecture of Peace Reloaded.
The Connected exhibition program is coming to a closure. This weekend is the last opportunity to see the exhibition in New Energy Docks in Amsterdam, however. Don’t miss it!
Who rules the city? The traditional set of players who determine planning and management of cities has gone through a major shift. The financial crises since 2008 were a major trigger, but also more social and cultural incentives can be indicated as forces in play. Private partners, city urbanists, city governors, housing corporations, developers, and citizens try to redefine their roles in new constellations. Who sets the new rules and what effective regulation helps to facilitate citizens to co-create their environment?
Following Word War Two, London embarked on a highly prolific rebuilding campaign. But it wasn’t simply putting the pieces back together. The ambition of the welfare state combined with new ideas in architecture to produce radical new designs, altering the British landscape. The organization behind this was the London County Council, and in particular the Architects’ Department. Ruth Lang discusses the machinery of the bureaucratic system that enabled one of England’s most innovative periods in design.
Hong Kong and Macau aren’t independent nations, yet they appear at the Biennale regardless. As recent appendages to China, they are undergoing an often-uncomfortable transition to a new political reality. Thomas Daniell explains how both pavilions give different responses to the unification question. Hong Kong emphasizes its inclusion in a larger regional network, the Pearl River Delta, while Macau places focus on its cultural distinctiveness.
With Rem Koolhaas ‘couch surfing’ has acquired a new meaning. Anyone lucky enough to actually get an interview with Koolhaas will most likely end up on his couch. The back seat of his BMW that is. Some private conversation time, wherever the journey takes you, accompanied by the deep hum of the V12 sports engine. Volume became member of this back seat club to discuss some intentions behind Fundamentals and perspectives on architecture it produced.