Arjen Oosterman is Editor-in-Chief of Volume.
Brendan Cormier is Managing Editor at Volume.
Let’s talk about law and faith. The law requires a certain faith – faith that it will perform in our collective best interest. Last year in particular, it was easy to lose that faith. Several high-profile cases brought to light incongruities in our judicial systems that unduly exonerated some, while persecuting others. Take the case of Wall Street. Following the 2008 crash, the US government put together its best legal team to root out what went wrong and who were the culprits. In a case where rapacious greed and gross misconduct were clearly at play, the government failed to prosecute a single major banker. Or look to the cold-blooded murder of Trayvon Martin by neighborhood vigilante George Zimmerman. Using Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, lawyers were able to justify the racially-charged murder of a defenseless boy. Then there’s Guantanamo Bay, a prison run by the ‘most democratic nation’ in the world, still holding people stripped of their rights. All of this is technically legal.
We’re calling on the Volume network to share examples of laws and their unintended consequences in preparation for our end-of-the year issue.
That’s a wrap. The dust has settled, the ink has dried, and copies of Volume 36 have been shipped off to subscribers, newsstands, and the gracious contributors that made it all possible. With some respite now at hand, I wanted to take time to write out some thoughts and reflections on the production of the […]
‘Ivory towers’ and ‘paper architecture’ are common put-downs used to question the agency of critical and speculative thought. After the theoretical hangover of a Deleuze et al architectural education, many young critical thinkers turned to practice as a means to put their thoughts into action. We sat down with Markus Miessen, who has spent the past several years researching critical and spatial practice, to see what this means for the field of criticism.
Here’s your chance to have your photographs featured in Volume. For our upcoming issue we’re re-evaluating the role of criticism in architectural production. For a feature called ‘Likes and Dislikes: The New Critical Economy’ we’re reducing ourselves to a Facebook-style crowdsourcing of likes and dislikes among Volume readers; and we’re asking for your contribution.
Question of the Day: With our next issue, Volume dives into ‘ways to be critical’. We’re examining the current condition of architecture criticism and the various ways it’s broadcasted. So our question: What are your go-to sources for architectural criticism? Which medium do you prefer? Print, tumblr, e-book, etc. Shoot us your response to: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Dutch Rathenau Instituut started in 1986 as a technology assessment center to advise Dutch Parliament. It has since developed into a broader think tank studying the organization and development of science systems, while regularly publishing and stimulating debate about the social impact of new technologies. Volume talks to the Institute’s Rinie van Est and Virgil Rerimassie to hear about the main trends in synthetic biology and related disciplines. They paint a picture of the world where biology and technology have converged, and where our fundamental way of working through scientific problems has shifted.
Crisis? What Crisis? This was the title of Volume #9, which came out in the summer of 2006 speculating on the decline of the suburbs and the need for a grand plan. Seven years and several crises later, today, you like many others might be facing your own personal financial crisis. But that shouldn’t stop you from feeding your intellectual hunger and searching for inspiration! To help out we’ve extended our 20% discount for students to one year after graduation and introduced a special introductory subscription price for first-time subscribers. Click here for the details.
For more than eight years artist Koert van Mensvoort has been working on a project to redefine our concept of nature. Through his platform Next Nature he has published books, held talks, ran workshops, maintained an active blog, and even developed a hoax, all in effort to communicate that there is no absolute nature, but that technology and nature are deeply intertwined; a biosynthetic nature so to speak. Can the development of a Gillette razor be considered in Darwinian terms of evolution? Is the fake nature of an indoor ski slope any less legitimate than the Alps? By fundamentally shifting the way we conceive nature, he believes we will be better able to cope with the oncoming climatic and environmental challenges ahead.
In architecture a rat race is going on. Not another record-breaking tower – that wouldn’t be new(s). The race is about the application of a fairly new technology in the building industry. What at first seemed a cute and somewhat clumsy machine to produce architectural models and small objects, is now being tested to ‘go live’. I’m talking 3D printing of course and the ambition of at least two architecture offices, in Holland alone, to be the first to print a full-scale building. One is pursuing a pavilion, the other an Amsterdam canal house, complete with gabled roof.