I was a student when doubt had already made itself felt. In the mid-1970s I walked into the Social Academy at Westblaak, Rotterdam – an 18-year old, embarking on my studies. You might say the social academy was one, if not the ideological center of the welfare state. Not only intended to shape the critical contours of everything that ‘social’ could achieve. It also provided the support staff of social workers, community workers and socio-cultural workers for an intricate infrastructure of temporary refuges/shelters, crisis-, community- and youth centers, and the like.
Shortly after I took over the editorship of Building Design in 1983, I met Cedric Price at an industry event, probably at the Building Centre on Store Street, opposite his office in Alfred Place. He suggested we might have breakfast at his office. It was the beginning of a long run of breakfasts, conversations, initiatives, magazine columns, and occasional excursions at home and abroad. It provided me with the architectural education that, as a history graduate, I had never had. Cedric actually thought that this was a good thing.
As the Research Director of CURE, Jesse Keenan leads many of the center’s projects, drawing on his diverse professional and academic background in law, sustainable development, and housing policy to shape a bold intellectual project for CURE’s research. Keenan talked with Volume’s Jeffrey Inaba and Benedict Clouette about the need for an ethical foundation in the practice of real estate development, and the role of disciplinary knowledge in informing the decisions of professionals.
Right before New Year we launched Volume’s 42nd issue, ‘Art and Science of Real Estate’. In the coming weeks we’re going to publish a selection of articles, and for those who are interested how the issue looks and feels we have uploaded a preview.
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!