[A Dutch version of this review can be read at Archined]
For once it is nice to be on a biennale that is not exclusively visited by a cynical art-crowd and intellectuals only. The Korean Gwangju biennale is visited by people from all strata of society, and with its half a million visitors in two months the best visited biennale in the world. It is heart warming to see the school classes shuffle by following the guide of the educational program who patiently explains the biennale. The biennale was once established as a living monument to remember the hundreds who have fallen in the democratization movement of 18 May 1980. The biennale is truly a festival of the people.
The thesis this biennale poses is that: Everything is design and everybody is a designer. Designers are those that draw and write a D.I.Y instruction for peaceful protests in Egypt, those that supply the screens of stock traders with numbers and graphs, and they are those athletes that submit their body to very specific training programs.
Hello, you probably know me, not necessarily me (Edwin Gardner), but at least you’ve been confronted with me one way or another. Through the Archis/Volume newsletter, posts on the Volume blog, bookmarks, tweets and facebook updates, in other words the whole social media arsenal which is at every web-editor’s disposal these days.
But alas, it is also Goodbye. In 2005 I started at Archis/Volume with a summer internship, and by making my first contribution to the Broadcasting Architecture issue (#3), and surely that won’t be my last contribution to the magazine, I’ll stay on the team as editorial consultant, I’ll stay blogging on the Action! blog (together with mr. Hyde), and dumping the occasional link through one of the before mentioned channels. Beside that you can follow my ongoings @edwingardner.
Then there is another Hello! A hello i’m proud and pleased to give. I would like to introduce you to Jeroen Beekmans and Joop de Boer from Golfstromen who will take over the helm of the Archis/Volume web-machine. Perhaps you know them from their prolific blog The Pop-Up City or Amsterdam’s Pecha Kucha night, If not you will become very ambiently aware and digitally intimate with them soon enough.
For now, adieu!
Saturday, 19 September, 7-9 pm
Studio-X, New York
Please join us for the launch of “Volume 20: Storytelling,” edited by C-Lab on Saturday, 9/19 from 7-9pm at Studio-X. Mark Wigley will offer an introduction and comments on the occasion of Volume’s milestone 20th issue. Drinks and music to follow. Sponsored by Studio-X.
With Contributions by: Lewis Lapham, Tom McCarthy, Bjarke Ingels, Neil Denari, Nicholas Lemann, Roger Dean
Catherine Hardwicke, Smiljan Radic and more…
180 Varick Street, Suite 1610
Between King and Charleton Streets
1 train to Houston Street
212 989 2398
23 to 25 September, Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam
PICNIC is a cross-discipline platform for creative conversation and collaboration. It’s a unique festival featuring a strategic conference, complimented by hands-on workshops and matchmaking sessions.
One of the themes sounds especially interesting when considering the built environment: Exploding Media
Exploding Media will showcase the latest changes in media technologies impacting user interaction, engagement, and communications with a special focus on gaming, connectivity and real-time social media.
This is the story of the extraordinary transformation of Media from all the creative and technological aspects. From traditional storytelling to the impact of gaming on education, from city interaction and augmented reality to the Metaverse, this narrative will feature the latest innovations and disruptions that the media industry is facing. We will look at the emerging opportunities and business implications for the creative industry that these changes will bring. Speakers will be the creative geniuses pushing the envelope on these new developments.
For a more elaborate analysis of what this years PICNIC has to offer those interested in the spatial implication of technology check out The Mobile City
1 & 2 October 2009, Westergasfabriek Amsterdam
Tommorrow, International Urban Planning Congress Amsterdam
Metropoles – world cities – are lead players in the global economy. Though they cover just 2 percent of the earth’s surface, cities consume 75 percent of the resources utilized by humankind.
In the early 20th century, when Alderman F.M. ‘Floor’ Wibaut (1859-1936), a pioneering steersman of Amsterdam’s urban development and social housing policy, was politically and professionally active, the growth of major cities around the world seemed to attain an absolute peak.
Endeavouring to steer the city’s ongoing development was therefore an exercise as urgent as it was logical. It was at this time that town and regional planning emerged in a fruitful interchange of knowledge and experience between administrators and specialists.
Half the world’s population now resides in cities. Metropolises are sprouting up in Asia, Africa and South America at an unprecedented rate. Within 20 to 30 years some three quarters of the world’s population will be living in cities, giving rise to new issues. Cities elsewhere will over that same time-span need to find a response to population growth that is levelling off or even shrinking populations. The fields of urban development and spatial planning, now a century old, are faced with new challenges.
‘The future governance of Amsterdam will be focused on the material prosperity and mental welfare of the great mass of workers. Tomorrow the meaning of the word “prosperity” will be something quite different to what this word meant to Amsterdam in bygone times as chronicled by our historians and eulogized by our poets …. The advancement of prosperity as a responsibility of governments will in future entail the implementation of governmental provision of collective amenities across an ever-broader range of that great multitude’s collective needs, in every domain where collective services prove to be more efficient than individual provision. …
‘We are seeing the emergence of the view that the promotion of welfare – as far as this can nowadays be a task assumed by government – must be based on the exertion of governmental powers to introduce collective amenities for acknowledged needs wherever social expediency requires it.’
Dr F.M. Wibaut in his ‘Tomorrow’ speech (1925)
With: Ken Livingstone, Maarten Hajer, Hermann Scheer, Tim Lang, Eric Corijn, Dieter Läpple, LaDonna Redmond, Michael Madison, Kees Christiaanse, Irina Ivashkina, P.K. Das, Edi Rama
more info can be found here and in this PDF
This is the first of the FWD series, which summarizes hand picked content I find elsewhere on the web and would like to share with you.
from the In the Shadow of Progress a picture show on the GOOD website.
The stark reality of this moment in time is that many people are losing their jobs, their homes, and their ways of life. Yet amid what can seem like ceaseless news of loss, there are those who refuse to surrender hope. Nowhere is this more apparent than in Tent City, a temporary encampment below a freeway in Nashville, Tennessee, where hard-pressed and otherwise homeless strangers have come together to form a community.
– see the entire picture show on GOOD
From the harsh reality of Tent Cities we move to how the instruments with which we engage these problems are changing. In his piece The End to Movements on arthurmag.com(via Burak Arikan) Douglas Rushkoff poses a theory that the phenomenon of ‘movements’ as a means of civil activism has reached its limits. (Also check out the recent interview with Ruskhkoff and Kurt Andersen on Design Observer)
The waning revenue of print-publishing in the arena of newspaper’s and magazine’s would suggest that the future looks grim for architectural journalism on paper, but the magazines and journals that have been launched over the last months would suggest otherwise. Why would one start a new publication when magazines are dying, and advertising revenues are down. Big advertising dependent boys like Domus are surely having a hard time right now. Although when one follows this argument: “When the markets are down and the economic indicators turn south, the architect begins to think, to write, to theorize. When the markets are up we “do” and don’t think much” which makes David Gissen wonder how to actually map this. Some of this seems to make sense, introducing this argument at least makes a good excuse to make a list of the periodicals that have captured my attention lately.
First up is Conditions, a Scandinavian quarterly and perhaps the best to prove the above theory, since it’s founded by three architects and not by historians, academics or full-time theorists.
The driving idea behind beginning a new magazine for them as stated in their manifest:
In opposition to ignorance and superficiality this magazine is conceived in order to search for knowledge and predicaments of our continuously evolving society. It is organized in a fluctuating network of agents reflecting the present globalized state of a dynamic society, economics, politics and culture which are the motivators of architecture. Through a play of thoughts in an open ended forum, predefined “facts” will be unsecured and constantly reinvented. The forum will gather the architect, client, politician and the public, a communion of ideas creating conditions for evolution.
Clearly a reaction against the bubble before it bursted. Their first issue is themed: “A Strategy for Evolution” which already bolsters a contradiction between conscious planning and the unconscious processes unfolding in nature. The issue is not a making a single argument but presents a variety of voices, approaches and interpretations to the theme. Check out the table of contents of issue #1, and their call for submissions for their second issue “Interpretation & Copy”
While Conditions’ existence is dependent upon advertising the next series of publications are supported by institutions.
Bracket is an annual publication with their first issue on Farming coming up this Winter, so we’ll have to wait and see what will be delivered. I’m curious what kind of publication it will be, because it the brainchild of not the smallest names on the web: Archinect and InfraNet Lab. Bracket will cover:
(…) issues overlooked yet central to our cultural milieu that have evolved out of the new disciplinary territory at the intersection of architecture, landscape, urbanism and, now, the internet. It is no coincidence that the professional term architect can also now refer to information architects, and that the word community can also now refer to an online community. [bracket] is a publishing platform for ideas charting the complex overlap of the sphere of architecture and online social spheres.
P.E.A.R, Paper for Emerging Architectural Research is the most recent addition to architectural publishing, they had their launch in London roughly a month ago. I haven’t seen it yet, but they call themselves an architectural fanzine which sounds refreshing: “P.E.A.R. aims to re-establish the fanzine as a primary medium for the dissemination of architectural ideas, musings, research and works.”
New Geographies is a new journal published by Harvard University Press, while I haven’t held one in my hands yet, the first striking encounter was that their first issue had an identical title to one of Volume’s, namely “After Zero.” Besides titeling, New Geographies also seems to be in sync with Volume’s efforts to go beyond the disciplinary boundaries of architecture, and to seek out new terrains which are mostly bigger in scale (‘geographies’) for the application of architectural intelligence.
New Geographies journal aims to examine the emergence of the geographic —a new but for the most part latent paradigm in design today—to articulate it and bring it to bear effectively on the agency of design. After more than two decades of seeing architecture and urbanism as the spatial manifestation of the effects of globalization, it is time to consider the expanded agency of the designer. Designers are increasingly compelled to shape larger scales and contexts, to address questions related to infrastructural problems, urban and ecological systems, and cultural and regional issues. These questions—previously confined to the domains of engineering, ecology, or regional planning—now require articulation through design. Encouraging designers to reexamine their tools and develop strategies to link attributes previously understood to be either separate from each other or external to the design disciplines, those questions have also opened up a range of technical, formal, and social repertoires for architecture and urbanism. Although in the past decade different versions of landscape and infrastructural urbanism have emerged in response to similar challenges, this new condition we call “the geographic” points to more than a shift in scale. (more here … )
Finally there is the already a bit older Footprint, established at TU Delft’s DSD in Fall 2007 (thus a pre-crash publication) is a typical academic journal. What makes it special is that all content is available for free download (pdf), all you need is a free registration.
Of course this is just a list, that happens to end here. I’m curious to know if there are more recently initiated publications worthy of knowing about? Leave a comment!
Register deadline: July 24, 2009 / Submit deadline: August 7, 2009
Student Edition Register deadline : October 16, 2009 Submit deadline: November 2, 2009
Paraphrasing the earlier WPA (Works Progress Administration) of 1939, this WPA (Working Public Architecture) is seeking to exploit the potential of the infrastructure investments of the Obama administration as a opportunity to exhibit the power of architecture’s imagination is applicable to more than generating icons. Architects are called upon to take back the streets, to apply their architectural intelligence beyond the traditional boundaries of their discipline.
cityLAB, an urban think tank at UCLA’s Department of Architecture and Urban Design, announces a call for entries to “WPA 2.0: Working Public Architecture.” WPA 2.0 is an open competition that seeks innovative, implementable proposals to place infrastructure at the heart of rebuilding our cities during this next era of metropolitan recovery. WPA 2.0 recalls the Depression-era Works Projects Administration (1935-43), which built public buildings, parks, bridges, and roads across the nation as an investment in the future—one that has, in turn, become a lasting legacy. We encourage projects that explore the value of infrastructure not only as an engineering endeavor, but as a robust design opportunity to strengthen communities and revitalize cities. Unlike the previous era, the next generation of such projects will require surgical integration into the existing urban fabric, and will work by intentionally linking systems of points, lines and landscapes; hybridizing economies with ecologies; and overlapping architecture with planning. This notion of infrastructural systems is intentionally broad, including but not limited to parks, schools, open space, vehicle storage, sewers, roads, transportation, storm water, waste, food systems, recreation, local economies, ‘green’ infrastructure, fire prevention, markets, landfills, energy-generating facilities, cemeteries, and smart utilities.
Too good, not to share. A beautifully crafted animated infographic clearly making the point in favor of eating local produce, and illustrating the consequences of our globalized food industry. The video was produced by Canadian food movement mayonnaise brand: Hellmann’s
Hellman’s – It’s Time for Real from CRUSH on Vimeo.
via information aesthetics
International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam: Open City
from 24-9-2009 to 10-1-2010
With its young architecture biennale, Rotterdam will again make an effort to grasp the attention of the architecture world. After three architecture biennale’s on mobility (2003), ‘the flood’ (2005) and power (2007) on the 24th of September the fourth biennale will open, themed: Open City and curated by Kees Christiaanse
(…) an Open City is a place where different social groups co-exist, cultural diversity is present, differences in scale are visible, and urban innovation and probably economic development are taking place. When all these factors come together, it can have a positive effect. We can then speak of an Open City.
Open City is not a city; it is a condition of a part of the city. The word ‘condition’ indicates that the situation is finite, that the situation changes owing to other influences. And I’m only talking about parts of the city because it’s an illusion to think that the whole city can be designed as an Open City, or that this can be engineered. Usually for political reasons, every city contains areas that are potentially open, and other areas that will never be open.
– Kees Christiaanse, interviewed by Archined
This main theme will be worked out by international teams of curators in six sub-themes: Community, Collective, Refuge, Squat, Reciprocity and The Make-able City
Volume will work with sub-curators Bart Golhoorn of Project Russia and Aleksander Sverdlov, who work on the theme ‘collective’ to make a collaborative Volume issue (#21). Also Partizan Publik’s project Social Housing after the Soviets will be part of this issue and the IABR exhibition.
Currently at the printer (dieKeure), and early next week distribution (Bruil & Van de Staaij) starts and subscribers can start to expect the next issue of Volume on Storytelling in their mailboxes:
This past year numerous dramas have competed for our attention: sub-prime mortgages, banking meltdown, bailout, stimulus, pandemic, bankruptcy. The all-consuming effort to follow these events seldom leaves a moment to contemplate the explanations themselves. What is the stated dilemma, context or motive for any one of these problems? And most importantly, how does a problem’s formulation determine its proposed solution? Volume 20 is dedicated to the art of storytelling. It presents the storylines of current events and architecture to show that while the truth is important, so is the ability of fiction to elevate fact. Perhaps the best way to understand our era is through narratives that distort, pervert and animate reality?
From next week on be on the lookout for an issue bringing old and new narratives evoking strangely familiar feelings.
Deadline: 1 august 2009
Crisis! What Crisis?
Suburbia is getting its fair share of attention currently and with reason. As prophesied Volume’s 2006 #9 issue, the urgency to reinvent the suburban mode of living has never been greater. In order to address this urgency Dwell Magazine and Inhabitat.com have announced the Reburbia competition: a design competition dedicated to re-envisioning the suburbs.
With the current housing crisis, the sub-prime mortgage meltdown, and rising energy costs, the future of suburbia looks bleak. Suburban communities in central California, Arizona and Florida are desolate and decaying, with for sale and foreclosure signs dotting many lawns. According to the US Census, about 90% of all metropolitan growth occurred in suburban communities in the last ten years. Urbanites who loathe the freeways, big box stores and bland aesthetics stereotypical of suburbia may secretly root for the end of sprawl, but demographic trends indicate that exurban growth is still on the rise.
In a future where limited natural resources will force us to find better solutions for density and efficiency, what will become of the cul-de-sacs, cookie-cutter tract houses and generic strip malls that have long upheld the diffuse infrastructure of suburbia? How can we redirect these existing spaces to promote sustainability, walkability, and community? It’s a problem that demands a visionary design solution and we want you to create the vision!
Calling all future-forward architects, urban designers, renegade planners and imaginative engineers:
Show us how you would re-invent the suburbs! What would a McMansion become if it weren’t a single-family dwelling? How could a vacant big box store be retrofitted for agriculture? What sort of design solutions can you come up with to facilitate car-free mobility, ‘burb-grown food, and local, renewable energy generation? We want to see how you’d design future-proof spaces and systems using the suburban structures of the present, from small-scale retrofits to large-scale restoration—the wilder the better!
for more information check the Reburbia competition website
Platform21 Prinses Irenestraat 19, 1077 WT Amsterdam (view on map)
13 March – 30 August 2009 / Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 – 18:00 / Free entry
Marty’s Camera Repair (via platform21)
Platform21 keeps on celebrating the DIY attitude, after they showed us how we could hack Ikea (as did some blogs), they now bring us a re-appreciation of the ‘repairing’.
Platform21 = Repairing starts with the idea that repair has been underestimated as a creative, cultural and economic force. If we don’t start looking at repair as a contemporary activity soon, an incredibly rich body of knowledge – one that contributes to human independence and pleasure – could be lost. The situation is especially puzzling when you consider current global interest in other ideas related to sustainability, such as recycling and the cradle-to-cradle philosophy.
With Platform21 = Repairing we aim to raise awareness of a mentality, a culture and a practice that not so long ago was completely integrated into life and the way we designed it. It is not too late.
Also check out Platform21’s Repair Manifesto in English or in Dutch and the commentary it got.
Your web-editor is presently traveling around the former Soviet Union, last week in Tblisi and this week residing in Moscow doing research on how people are dealing with life the Microrayon, the large-scale social housing projects developed throughout the entire former Soviet Union. The Social Housing After the Soviets project is a comparative study of the opportunities and the urgencies of public and private use of the Microrayon. Research will be published in Volume and at the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam: Open City, as a part of the exhibition by sub-curators Bart Goldhoorn, Alexander Sverdlov and Anna Bronovitskaya under the sub-theme: Collective
Follow how the research is developing on the Social Housing after the Soviets blog
Bauhaus City – Get on Site!
The Bauhaus Dessau calls students from around the world to attend its anniversary year Summer School.
From 22 – 31 July, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation will hold an international Summer School entitled ‘Bauhaus City – Get on Site!’. On the occasion of its 90th anniversary, the institution invites young artists, architects, designers as well as the interested public to come to Dessau and explore the Bauhaus architecture on site. Parallel to the anniversary exhibition ‘Modell Bauhaus’ which will be shown in Berlin at the Martin-Gropius-Bau, the Summer School in Dessau offers students from all over the world the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the Bauhaus at one of its original sites.
In six workshops the examples of Classical Modernism built here will be examined through performative actions and urban interventions. Hidden traces and connections will be brought to light. The Summer School will look at the experimental housing estate Dessau-Törten, the Bauhaus buildings, the Masters’ houses, the employment office and the restaurant Kornhaus. The workshops are run by INTERBORO, New York; MUF, London; Michael Zinganel, Graz; Wochenklausur, Vienna; Kuehn Malvezzi, Berlin and Gods Entertainment, Berlin. A series of public lectures accompanies the Summer School programme.
On Friday June 5th, 2009 Al Manakh’s series of international Debates on Tour took place at the ADACH Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale of Art. For this occasion architect Rem Koolhaas and curator of the ADACH Pavilion Catherine David engaged in a conversation with Ole Bouman on the curiosities and conditions that has drawn their practice and vision to the Gulf cities such as Abu Dhabi. In this, they discussed the specific urban conditions of cities in the region, and how these influence and are determined by the social/economic make-up and cultural manifestations of the city itself. Also discussed is how exposure to these circumstances has influenced the practice and personal perspective of these two internationally acclaimed cultural producers.
Comments and questions from audience members – such as Mishaal Al Gergawi (of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority) and Kaiwan Mehta (Mumbai based architect and particpant in the ADACH exhibition) – supplemented the discussion with further insight to the relationship between the cultural ambition and political will, as well as the relationship between cultural frameworks and the actual urban plan of a city.
In 1972 the Club of Rome published The Limits to Growth in which they explored the scenario of what would happen in a world driven by limitless growth using finite resources. About 40 years later we are experiencing the clash of these colliding vectors. The bigger the boom the worst the bust, and there is no place on the globe were the spatial implications of the unfolding scenario of The Club of Rome is more evident: Detroit, Michigan.
Detroitification is the fear of every American city. But Detroit is also giving birth to the ideas that will perhaps transform it from a symbol of despair into a beacon of hope. Detroit and other cities in the Rust Belt area have abandonned the idle hope for another boom. In the Detroit areaa a new paradigm is emerging that can help to break the negative spiral. This new spark that has entered the Detroit mind is the shrink paradigm. The spatial implications of this paradigm will be such that the urban landscape will become less urban, a hybrid between a rural landscape and the metropolis, a type of ’21st century countryside’.
Largely hidden from the view of the city dweller, a worldwide network of food producers and supermarket chains takes care of our supply of daily food. This is very convenient, but it is also the cause of many problems. A handful of distributors decides what we eat. For the most part the people who produce the food are invisible. The natural seasons are passed by. Transport puts a heavy toll on the environment and climate. Supply is dependent on the amount of fuel available. There is hardly any knowledge of how our food is actually produced. The return of food production to the city might help to increase this awareness and might also create healthy and safe food within the boundaries of a more sustainable city. This requires a new way of looking at the city, where nature, the production landscape and the recreational landscape are linked to urbanism in a more ‘natural’ way. With Foodprint Stroom aims to explore the possibilities of The Hague as a production landscape and to develop utopian, appealing and feasible proposals.
Henk de Zeeuw, Paula Sobie (CA), Debra Solomon, Katrin Bohn (UK), André Viljoen (UK), Jan Willem van der Schans, Janneke Vreugdenhil, Christina Kaba (ZA), Nils Norman (UK), Menno Swaak, Paul Bos, Onno van Eijk, John Thackara (UK), Bart Pijnenburg, Gaston Remmers, Tracy Metz, Christien Meindertsma, Joep van Lieshout, Nicole Hoven, Maarten Doorman, Will Allen (VS), Jago van Bergen, Vincent Kuypers, Dick Veerman, Carolyn Steel (UK), Gerwin Verschuur, Winy Maas, Annechien ten Have en Rob Baan.
Drawings, photo-montages, renderings and models have always been powerful means to convey ideas, present scenarios and research the future. The publication Beyond Architecture provides us with a bulky collection of sometimes intelligent and mostly enchanting and simply stunning imagery of how artists are dealing in their work with architecture and the city.
For architects it is interesting to see ‘their’ subject approached by other disciplines. Many artists are using similar architectural techniques, but the difference lies in that for artists the drawing, model and photo-montage is the final product, where for the architect it is a means to an end i.e. to build. According to Lukas Feireiss the book: “charts novel ways of discovering and negotiating the potential of the urban in visual culture, thus also providing alternative and valid critical insights into understanding the city” Where architects in general produce their imagery as means to project the future, the artists in Beyond Architecture are investigating the potency and problematics of the present. The book presents the imagery without accompanying judgement or analysis. The absence of accompanying essays or a framing of the content is a missed opportunity and result in confusion.
Imaginative Buildings and Fictional Cities
Beyond Architecture is the first publication of its kind to document the creative exploration of architecture and urban propositions in the contemporary arts. The projects collected in this book demonstrate how not only architects and designers, but also artists are taking architecture as a starting point for experimentation. They range from performance, installation art and crafted sculptures to architectural models, alternative ideas for living spaces and furniture, as well as illustration, painting, collage and photography. Through stunning photography, visuals and complementary texts, these visionary concepts reveal the hidden creative potential for architecture and urban environments in inventive ways.
Editors: R. Klanten, L. Feireiss
Release: February 2009
Price: € 44,00 / $ 65,00 / £ 40,00
Format: 24 x30 cm
Features: 208 pages, full colour, hardcover
get Beyond Architecture
16 June 2009 – 26 June 2009 at Berlage Institute – Botersloot 25, Rotterdam
Imagining Recovery is an exhibition based on an international competition charging designers to collectively imagine innovation recovery through design. Designers were asked to offer their expertise in designing a means of getting from the present to the image of recovery.
On 20 January 2009, the first day of the Obama presidency, began the current administration’s commitment to transparency, participation and collaboration in government. On 17 February, President Obama signed the Recovery Act into law and launched Recovery.gov, a website publishing the spending of recovery funds in the name of transparency, offering “maps, charts, and graphics” to illustrate the distribution of funds.
The exhibition calls upon designers of all types to imagine the futures these maps, charts, graphics and accounting figures serve to anticipate, and to interpret for the public the lived experience of this future by producing an image of recovery.
This moment of change offers an opportunity for designers to rethink their role in our society. Imagining Recovery promotes collaboration by pairing designers with policy makers to collectively write the competition brief, proposing a model wherein designers can actively participate in the initial imaginings of the policies they will be called upon to implement.
the Masters of Intervention event with a lecture by Nader Vossoughian, titled Happy City the next issue of Volume ‘Architecture of Hope’ will be presented at Felix Meritis (Amsterdam):
Sunday 5 april 2009
14.00 – 17.00
Teekenzaal – Felix Meritis, Amsterdam
Special Masterclass at P!ONEER
Can we build a happy city? Can we engineer happiness?
A Masterclass on creative industry, social cohesion, participatory planning and creating new worlds
What is left of the highmodernist ideals? How do they translate into the Wijkaanpak,the national push to uplift the Dutch ghettos? And what instruments have we got to engineer society and change people in their beliefs and behavior?
Nader Vossoughian wrote on the global polis and its engineer of happiness Otto Neurath. He has a strong vision on the knowledge economy, how it creates ignorance and intelligence. Is ignorance bliss? Or do we set course to develop a responsible participatory community? What is the ethics of urban transformation?
Free entry for applicants for this program, reservation is necessary: email@example.com
For more information on the Masters of Intervention go to engineeringsociety.wordpress.com [NL]
Al Manakh launches its website at Art Dubai and Sharjah Biennial 9
16-21 March 2009
The team responsible for Al Manakh 2 is expanding its network in the Gulf with researchers, correspondents and photographers. Yesterday, March 16, Rem Koolhaas one of the editors of Al Manakh gave a lecture at the Sharjah Biennial 9, sharing his experiences in the Gulf region over the last five years. Koolhaas touched upon his respect for the region and how his insights to the Gulf have developed through professional experience. He approached the Gulf as a mirror for the Western mind set, as the ultimate extravaganza that architecture worldwide suffered from. Largely developed with Western stakeholders, Dubai heard its first dismissal from those same sources. Now when the credit crisis -generated by the West- is hitting the Gulf region, that same Western world that hugely profited from the wealth is now the first to proclaim its decline.
Last week(end) Volume has been present in an exposé of magazine culture around the world. Tokyo and Luxembourg to be precise. In Tokyo, Volume was exhibited in the We ♥ Magazines Library
which opened last week in Omotesando Hills, Tokyo.
Colophon2009 – Luxembourg (see slideshow full screen)
Another celebration of the independent periodical took place in Colophon2009 in Luxembourg. Magazine makers from all over the world gathered in a congregation discussing, lecturing and networking in concert with publishers, distributors, designers and other magazine enthusiasts. Volume was invited as one of the ten Magazines to outfit an exhibition space, capturing some of the spirit of the our publication. Volume’s exhibit was titled “The Situation Room,” referring to the crisis management space under the White House, and evoking imagery of Ken Adam’s War Room he designed for Dr. Strangelove.
On the 7 meter high walls of the Volume situation room two windows on the world were projected, one with imagery of the various RSVP events that were organized since 2004, on the other textual commentary and analysis of the RSVP events. A dialogue between image and text. Between these two projections an eight seat conference table where the agenda’s for architecture that emerged from these events be discussed. Surfacing one of the central drives of the Volume project: uncovering new urgencies an opportunities for architecture.
Volume Bootleg Edition by C-Lab for Urban China
As the second installment in an ongoing editorial project between Urban China and Volume, we have produced this limited edition publication on the occasion of the exhibition Informal Cities at the New Museum. Inspired by the unofficial compilations sold by fans at music concerts, we offer a bootleg issue of Urban China. The bootleg is a DIY format for assembling and disseminating work within a circle of hardcore fans, typically consisting of live work recorded, sequenced and edited by the concertgoer. Unlike a pirated copy or fake which tries to assume the identity of an authorized product and is motivated by a desire for profit, a bootleg announces itself as an improvised, illegitimate work and is largely motivated by a wish to share. Given the urgency of the topic, C-Lab has borrowed the bootleg format to quickly distribute observations, initiated in dialogue with Urban China, on the crisis and its management.
This month Archis trains its spotlights on ecology. Whatever that might mean. Ecology in some or other guise is of course a thematic presence in practically all the articles. They forward various ideas about the link between architecture and environmental consciousness. The potentials for a more nature-aware architecture are explored from a variety of different angles. And all the authors are interested in the balance between the reserves of worldly riches and their social consumption. All in all, the contributions have enough in common for us to speak of a special issue. In this respect, Archis is trying to do justice to a social sector, a domain of thinking and an important force field in our culture. Yet the subject of ecology is too broad to stay in a little world of its own. Ecology is an umbrella concept that covers far too much for there to be any such thing as ‘an ecological issue’. It is a subject that relates to everything: to matter and mind, art and science, market and society, heaven and hell, earth, air, water and fire.
Are carbon neutral cities, Eco-cities and sus tain able cities discursive cover ups for synthetic design in the desert of Abu Dhabi or something stemming from an honest utopian desire? Questioning Foster’s scheme for Masdar, Matt Lewis reaches revealing conclusions on the marketing of design in the Gulf.
In a world in which human egos dominate, where more is better, bigger and taller are the only aspirations. Places like Dubai are an architect’s playground. Here we see one ego trip followed by another through an architecture of excess. In a parallel world, however, the Mies van der Rohe’s words ring true again, though in a different context. ‘Less is more’ now applies to our carbon footprint and an architecture of performance. Yet as these two worlds begin to intersect a new competition is born – the race to become the world’s first sustainable city.
Scott is one of the most profound critics of high-modernist human development planning. He believes that the process of state-building, leading to what he calls the legibility and standardization of society, fosters control and domination rather than enlightenment and freedom. Scott started his academic career studying small village communities in the forests of Malaysia. When he left the rain forest he took with him a number of vital observations on how nation states organize their society. His monumental book, Seeing Like A State (1998), became the basis for a fundamental and elaborate critique of how governmental planning for the advancement of society can go utterly wrong: compulsory villages in Tanzania, scientific forestry in Prussia, high-modernist Brasilia, industrial agricultural planning in the USSR and its modern day variant the Millennium Development Goals. According to Scott, these are all examples of rational-utopian blueprint thinking that proved fatal.
Recent bidonvilles (slums) and decaying dalles (large urban centers built on slabs), two extreme urban forms in Greater Paris – harsh reality and a bygone utopia – are both regularly the theatre of police violence. It is a situation full of contradictions: the dalle as an architectural expression of the ultimate capacity to design a lifestyle, the total city for model families; the slum as a fortuitous miscellany with which the poor demand a place, make their existence visible, and evade official architecture.
All the same, their histories intertwine, for it was in the 1960s that immigrants living in shantytowns built the new towns and the slabs for the middle class, with flats whose keys would pass into the hands of the slum residents themselves a decade later. What do local authorities and other official bodies in France do when they are confronted with slums and slabs? How do they deal with the residents?
Publics are globalizing, public spaces are fragmenting. Modern institutions of knowledge, e.g. the library, the archive and the museum, are morphed into multi-experiential post-spaces. As a result of digitalization and worldwide webbing, searching and finding gains a radical different spatial dimension. What about the transformation of the library as a building and an institution?
Jeffrey Inaba, INABA/C-Lab, GSAPP; Mark Wigley, Dean, GSAPP; and Richard Flood, Chief Curator, New Museum, will discuss philanthropy, education, architecture, and other forms of influence. Presented in conjunction with Inaba and C-Lab’s project for the Museum, “Donor Hall,” and the release of Issue 13 of Volume Magazine. Followed by reception and music by Jamo and Nick Kay.
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How does ‘architectural journalism’ extend ‘architectural intelligence’ beyond ‘bricks and mortar’? In one way only, a way that is common to all writing: that is, by structuring space.
Definitions are determined by institutions, committees and dictionaries, which try to find a consensus on the practice of terms and concepts in society at large. Practices are determined by practitioners who are not interested in fixed definitions but in the endless possibilities of usage of terms, except those practices which claims to be the ‘original […]