Archis 2008 #2

Packaging Utopian Sustainability

— by

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 […]

Read More

Archis 2008 #2

Seeing Like a Society Interview with James C. Scott

— by

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 […]

Read More

Archis 2008 #2

Planning Paradise

— by

A precondition for starting a significant architectural intervention is to define a project in consultation with those parties involved in its implementation (the government, the local municipality, private investors, developers, construction companies, planners, designers and architects).’ This preamble to a recent international conference on ‘architectural interventions and transformations’ is typical for an ‘all-inclusive’ way of […]

Read More

Article, Volume #14

Design New Futures!

— by

How do architects retake ground, how do they develop a new method? Shamiyeh addresses these questions in detail, explaining a practice of searching for emergent opportunities by relating science theory to business and management structures. He argues that creative decision making and problem solving are fields in which architectural knowledge is more needed than ever before.

Read More

Editorial, Volume #14

A Profession Apart

— by

Unsolicited architecture is not a totally new practice. Recent years have seen a number of initiatives by architects and artists which could easily be gathered under the moniker of ‘unsolicited architecture’. Yet it does indeed need argumentation, explanation and active publicity.

Read More

Article, Volume #14

Out Now: Volume #14

— by

In order to actively grapple with the challenges of our age, architects have to transform themselves from extremely competent executors of assignments into entrepreneurs and producers. This issue of Volume discusses essential tools to reclaim professional autonomy.

Read More

Editorial, Volume #10

Agitation

— by

Maybe it is different in your part of the world, but in the US there is currently an agitation shortage. There is not much work that incites discord with the prevalent views held by the profession. There are few agitators, or figures who rattle the bones of our institutions by challenging established values. And there are few that feel agitated, or irritated, about this as the overall state of today’s situation.

Read More

Archis 2007 #4

Unsolicited, or: The New Autonomy of Architecture

— by

Volume’s former Editor-in-Chief presents the most concrete materialization of ‘unsolicited architecture’, an idea he has articulated in this magazine since its very first issue. Exemplifying how the notion of going beyond architecture can be brought into action, Bouman accelerates into a new dimension of critical practice by establishing the Office for Unsolicited Architecture. Remember when […]

Read More

Archis 2007 #4

Editorial: A profession apart

— by

by Arjen Oosterman The post-War period has witnessed astonishing transformations in architectonic production. A program concocted and hardly tested before the Second World War by a small circle was rolled out after the War across the Western world and all those parts of the world it influenced. Its suitability or success appeared to be more […]

Read More

Archis 2007 #3

Conversation with Ben Katz

— by and

Jeffrey Inaba We believe architecture public relations is still in its infancy and we suspect there is much more that architecture can learn from PR professionals in other fields an in particular the entertainment industry. We want to speak to you because of your knowledge of the movie industry to figure out possible ways for […]

Read More

Archis 2007 #3

Editorial

— by

Our field, and perhaps every field, is defined by ambition. To know ourselves we have to know ambition. But ambition is far from simple. It is never straightforward, never the singular drive it appears to be. Rather, it is a set of interacting forces in which often the means are mistaken for ends. This issue […]

Read More

Archis 2007 #2

Safety or Security

— by

Thousands of refugees seeking safety, and others seeking prosperity attempting to reach the so-called developed world is a ubiquitous fact of our globalizing world. If you want to get rid of them, design ways to police them. If you want to help first, that is altogether a different task. More than 35,000 African immigrants reached […]

Read More

Archis 2007 #2

The Dubai Experiment

— by

1. Accelerated Urbanism New building developments in Dubai, especially high-rises, are linked to the global network of trends, forces, finance and trading rather than being related to their locality and community. As such they are alienated from their geographic and physical location. Therefore a dose of self-stylization is necessary, like a surreal machine that reproduces […]

Read More

Archis 2007 #2

Last Chance?

— by

We live in an era of completions, not new beginnings.  The world is running out of places where it can start over. Sand and sea along the Gulf, like an untainted canvas, provide the ultimate tabula rasa on which new identities can be inscribed: palms, world maps, cultural capitals, financial centers, sport cities… Yet, much […]

Read More

Archis 2007 #1

The Architecture of Destruction

— by

Ever heard of Kevin Sites? He is a reporter who runs a blog, currently under the banner of Yahoo!, to tell us about his experiences in the ‘Hot Zones’ of the world. Dozens of conflict areas, where he, armed with a camcorder and all on his own, tries to cover ‘how conflict feels on the […]

Read More

Article, Volume #5

The Rise and Fall of Superdutch

— by

Since the dawn of the people’s capitalism, where just about everyone is tied to the ups and downs of the stock market, the concept of the bursting bubble and rapid plume of shares attaining ‘a more realistic level’ has become a wide-spread cultural theme. Not just in financial markets, but in many social domains, we see how certain concepts, brands, and personalities are overvalued or promoted and how, as a consequence, counter-forces oblige them to make a reality check. Hype dies, the public gets distracted, and those who were only recently the center of attention are forgotten for the next big thing.

Read More

Volume #5

Out Now: Volume #5

— by

The first part of ‘Architecture of Power,’, ‘Power is in the Details’, zooms in on how seemingly minor details can incubate a new kind of sensitivity to the mechanics of power. Volume #5 is the first issue of a series of Volume issues dealing with ‘The Architecture of Power’.

Read More

Archis 2006 #1

Exploding Practice

— by

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 […]

Read More

Article, Volume #6

Neo-Money

— by

An unspoken revolution is occurring in architecture; a change that is slowly, sub-structurally altering the profession, from what we do, to how we do it and what we are being asked to deliver.

Read More

Article, Volume #6

Desperate Decadence

— by

Cities arise because of people’s basic need to live and work near one another. The city offers freedom, anonymity, trade, economy of scale, an immediately accessible consumers’ market, work potential – a swarming brew of ideas and innovation that fulfill man’s social, psychological, and economic needs. The city is the motor of progress.

Read More

Volume #6

Out Now: Volume #6

— by

After showing how power manifests itself in details ( Volume 5), Volume 6 discusses power at the scale of the building. Francesco Bonami, Ole Bouman, Zvi Efrat, Jeffrey Inaba, Jeannie Kim, Rem Koolhaas, Brendan McGetrick, Markus Miessen, Lina Stergiou, Robert Stern and many more on superchurches in the USA, the palaces of Saddam Hussein, penthouses taking over whole skyscrapers, entrance lobbies, detention centres, security fences, the perseverance of modernist utopias, and much more. Including a dossier on ‘desperately decadent’ megalo projects in the Gulf region.

Read More

Article, Volume #2

Towards a History of Quantity

— by

Not having enough to do, architects often do too much. Devoted with masochistic fervor to a profession whose expertise is routinely ignored, they treat each project as if it might be their last, turning it into an ark loaded with their best ideas compacted into an intense display of effects.

Read More

Article, Volume #2

Borrowed Scenery: In the Footsteps of Laurie Anderson

— by

At the most abstract level, the task for the artist and for the architect is essentially the same: to specify a frame. The artist’s frame may be entirely concrete or entirely abstract – from an ornately gilded rectangle to a spoken instruction – but always acts to define its contents as being artworks, whether they are newly created or nothing but found objects.

Read More

Volume #2

Out Now: Volume #2

— by

Can we do something by doing (almost) nothing? Can we achieve anything by doing too much? Can we do what we need to do, by doing just what is needed? How do we define doing too much, too little? How to think through doing anyway?

Read More

Archis 2005 #6

Power to the Client

— by

The world is changing, so what else is new? Not so much. Transformations of our daily life, our immediate environment, and even the more abstract dimensions of our existence such as working conditions, social contexts and frames of references are relentlessly molded to accommodate and facilitate the forces of modernization. This may sound thrilling, but […]

Read More

Archis 2005 #6

Futile Power

— by

Photographers, graphic designers and copyrighters are competing in this primetime contest to produce the wall as an iconic image to be engrained upon the historical memory as the emblem of what has become the most ambitious infrastructural project ever undertaken by the State of Israel: 759 km (more than twice the length of the Green […]

Read More

Archis 2005 #6

Desparate Decadence

— by

Cities arise because of people’s basic need to live and work nearone another. The city offers freedom, anonymity, trade, economy of scale, an immediately accessible consumers’ market, work potential – a swarming brew of ideas and innovation that fulfill man’s social, psychological, and economic needs. The city is the motor of progress. So it was […]

Read More

Archis 2005 #6

The Power of Architecture, Part II (Editorial)

— by

Meanwhile people keep asking us questions… A few examples of the questions we receive Why has this magazine become unreadable, with either too much or too little text? Why does this magazine change so often? Why isn’t this magazine about true architecture anymore? Why is this magazine not updating me with the necessary information? Why […]

Read More

Archis 2005 #5

The Power to Annihilate State and Architecture in France

— by

A number of recent events, which entailed the government canceling architecture rather than stimulating it, demonstrate that a fundamental change has come about in the approach to present-day architecture in France. In order to understand how the ‘Grands Travaux’ (1981-1995) could result in a period of architectural sabotage, one should consider the exercise of power […]

Read More

Archis 2005 #5

From the State as Client to the Client State

— by

The form of government that rules that state is hardly important. Whether an oligarchy as in Russia, a one-party system as in China, a two-party system as in the United States, a constitutional monarchy as in the Netherlands or a theocracy as in Iran, when the chips are down all disputes within the system are […]

Read More

Archis 2005 #4, Publications

Coming up!(Editorial)

— by

At most, these issues are paid lip-service with vague proclamations. Seldom are these proclamations connected to a sound analysis of the power structures determining architecture’s fading role but also its explosive potential. The consequence is an architecture that is either a subservient instrument for political strategies or the self-appointed therapist of its tormented self. An […]

Read More

Archis 2005 #3

The C-LAB case file on Broadcasting Architecture

The escalation in output was especially true for academic institutions. Schools of architecture put more titles into print than ever before. By subsidizing development and production, they enabled a wide range scholarly and experimental material to come onto the market that would have otherwise never seen the light of day. In the late 1990s we […]

Read More

Archis 2005 #3

Transnational Spaces

— by and

(the text below is part of the article ‘Transnational Spaces’ published in Volume issue #3) Since the early 1990s, the section of Istanbul called Laleli has been a center of transnational textile trade between countries of the former Eastern Block and Turkey. At the beginning of the 1990s, with the opening of the borders, cheaply […]

Read More

Archis 2005 #2, Archis 2007 #2

An Awakening in Dubai

— by

You have been considered dead for years, leading a vegetative life, dependent on a life support system. Like a somnambulist you murmur words that make no sense and gaze at things that are not there. Not responding to any stimuli, doctors do not know how to resuscitate you. They take you outside, to see if […]

Read More

Archis 2005 #2

A Few Centimeters of Asphalt

— by

Situated several hours north of Tokyo, the region of Echigo-Tsumari has always been a landscape primarily characterized by agriculture. Yet with the accelerating modernization of post-war Japan, the role of agriculture has steadily diminished, causing abandonment of vast swaths of land and the critical depopulation of many local communities. To counter this development, six municipalities […]

Read More

Archis 2005 #2

Doing Nothing is Almost All Right. (Editorial)

— by

Success depends on the fullness of the portfolio, on the size of the projects, on prestigious clients, on a deluge of publicity, and, last but not least, on narcissistic, compulsive and histrionic personalities for whom enough is never enough. Unbridled ambition is the hallmark of the famous architecture firms and schools, where ‘going home’ is […]

Read More

Archis 2005 #1

A new volume for architecture. (Editorial)

— by

All writing structures space. (This is certainly a metaphorical relation, but only insofar as any description of a non-material process is metaphorical. Thoughts fly and love is shy and hate burns and writing shapes space.) There is no distortion that intercedes, for me, between my activity as a writer and the shaping of space that […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #6

Unsafe sex

— by

But conceptual art radicalised the idea to an independent entity, with an effect which can still be felt today, not only in art but in the whole culture. And even in the economy. You can even wonder whether branding of objects would have been as successful if conceptual art had not provided a model to […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #6

Light as creator

— by

The libraries resemble one another in that they both aim to attract a wide public and to provide quality surroundings for their users. In Seattle, for example, the library is meant to boost the liveliness of the business district, while the Utrecht building hopes to draw additional crowds onto the university campus. However, the respective […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #6

Demolition art

— by

The underlying idea is rather modest: it is hoped that such a metamorphosis will offer better protection against further deterioration than the view of a row of boarded-up houses or the presence of a wasteland. In practice, the impact is much greater. The effect of alienation is unusually strong; people become intrigued. The photographs appear […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #6

The Matrix

— by

It’s hard to believe, but a large part of modern-day culture can be reduced to this antithesis. Or this one: On the one hand: Material. We think of objectivity, tangibility, experiential, a certain resistance. But also unwieldiness, immobility, dullness. On the other hand: Immaterial. Beautiful associations: transparent, nimble, spherical. Or rather: hot air, emptiness, obscurity. […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #6

Liberation or straitjacket?

— by

Or how might they get by not entirely without concepts but without the unquestioned status of the concept? What, in other words, would remain of the creative spirit if it had to survive without the automatism of this era’s artistic alibi? How often hasn’t the concept been put forward as the part that really matters, […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #5

Islam doesn’t exist

— by

If Western and non-Western scholars have been ‘contributing to a huge animosity’, as stated in the question, they also did agree on something: the term Islam is used to refer to many different things at once. This, by itself, generates huge misunderstandings. Some have in mind a system of norms which they consider to be […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #5

Islam is on my mind

— by

Archis sent out the letter below to several authorities on the inside to ask about the cultural power of the Islamic world and about the possibilities for interaction and exchange with the West. Carlos Betancourth explored what the cultural model of cosmopolitanism contains and how it compares to Islamic cultures to discover the possibilities for […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #5

Cosmopolislam

— by

The whole world is on the move, migrating and hoping. The rich world, above all Europe and North America, faces the rising determination of a hundred latecomer nations who were once silent under the blanket of colonialism and backwardness. How do we learn to live together, and at three levels: in an international system, in […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #5

From European city to Vinex fortress. New traditionalism in the Netherlands

— by

Throughout the world, the Netherlands is still seen as an unprecedentedly modern country. However, while a few Dutch architects are scoring triumphs with dazzling images of their work and high-flown analyses, it seems that what still remains of Dutch public housing and urbanism is exhibiting increasingly traditional features. This current traditionalism is even more problematic […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #5

In the graveyard of good intentions

— by

There are various reasons for taking this step, the most obvious being that as you become increasingly international you’re faced at a certain point with the question of whether it is still useful to voice one specific national situation, especially at a time when both architecture and culture are subject to globalisation. When your readership […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #5

False Flat Indeed (editorial)

— by

Simply lunging downhill isn’t descending, it’s crashing. Usually it results in serious damage. Dropping out. Injury. Disillusionment. For a descent, you need vision.   No doubt you think I am talking about the noble sport of cycling, and am about to launch into some a feeble analogy with civilization in decline. Not at all. Today’s […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #4

Wars of the Cities

— by

The following text is an extract from the full article published in the #4 2004 Archis magazine.   On the one hand, in the West and advanced capitalist cities, there is a growing awareness that even the most basic urban event or malfunction – the wheel falling off a subway train, a subway driver with […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #4

Anti-architecture

— by

As I drive around the parking lot in my rental car one Saturday morning in March, I am already spotting the early birds, busily handling their overflowing shopping carts and Sports Utility Vehicles. Since I haven’t come to shop here but to study the Wal*Mart phenomenon, I attract the attention of a security guard who […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #4

Modernity at large

— by

The following text is an extract from the full article published in #4 2004 Archis magazine.   Open, flexible, inevitable   A remarkable process has been taking place in recent years in large parts of Asia whereby, within a short space of time, cities develop from regional hubs into transnational centres. The scale and the […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #4

Archis is without mercy

— by

As an architect, you do not count unless you are capable of formulating an underlying motive. Essential is the premiss of some or other secret agenda, a purposeful intervention to alleviate a certain deficiency, chaos or reprehensible situation. You rarely hear of an architect being satisfied with a simple statement that he was merely doing […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #3

Unplanned vitality. How everything might just turn out well with the spatially planned Netherlands

— by

In the last edition of 2003 Ole Bouman, prompted by the report in the IKC-RO Newsflash (the news bulletin of the Netherlands Institute of Spatial Planning and Housing), provided a provocative view of the current situation in spatial planning in the Netherlands, which raised the issue of the discrepancy between dream and fact.1 Fred Schoorl […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #3

Bucharest S&M city

— by

Coincidence or not, this fact fits with the imagology of the city, as it has developed over the last half-millennium.   The daily routine of medieval settlements – earthquakes, epidemics, famine, fires, riots, military invasions – kept working on the personality of Bucharest until the 19th century, coming back with a vengeance in more recent […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #3

Archis is Dead or Alive

— by

As long as there is reflection about the nature of things, there will be two schools of thought. In one, people are adamant in their attempts to understand the world, to structure it, to contain it in a single theory, or to unravel a rational order. They want, as it were, to stand above things. […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #3

National Spatial Strategy (editorial)

— by

Take, for example, just the last century. The Beurs of Berlage, the Rietveld house, the Sanatorium Zonnestraal van Duiker. The reclaimed land from what used to be the Zuiderzee. The Delta works. The housing schemes for workers’ families. Also, more recently, the Netherlands has received international recognition for its architecture. A whole generation is now […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #2

At work

— by

It seems as if the silence of architectural criticism, awaiting some new inspiration (where is architectural criticism still carried out more or less independently?), is urging architects to take matters into their own hands. They praise their wares in bulky monographs or, for the sake of decency, arrange to have them praised by hired copywriters. […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #2

Euroscapes

— by

The authors, all practising architects, planners and urban designers, say that Europe finds itself once more at a crossroads. Increasing ethnic migration, increasing touristic and commercial movement, and the ever more closely intertwined communication and financial networks are all having their effect. There are urgent questions about the kind of space these flows and networks […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #2

At work

— by and

It seems as if the silence of architectural criticism, awaiting some new inspiration (where is architectural criticism still carried out more or less independently?), is urging architects to take matters into their own hands. They praise their wares in bulky monographs or, for the sake of decency, arrange to have them praised by hired copywriters. […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #2

The Map as Saviour. Usefulness and Disadvantages of mapping: the case of “The Ultimate Atlas of the 21st Century”

— by

This approach requires some commentary, however, which similarly applies to other ‘maps’ or map-like presentations currently in vogue such as OMA’s ‘eurocore’ and ‘volkswagen stadt’; MVRDV (the ‘region maker’); Must (‘euroscapes’); work by Scape and Schie 2.0.(1) Some of these maps are not just maps or even models of an existing geography but environments and […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #2

Political (correct) mapping

— by

The graphic rendering of this information – the map – illuminates vital spatial relationships that often remain hidden in nebulous clouds of tables and text. Since the duration of their validity rests on the accuracy and timeliness of their information, maps, especially those related to politics, are particularly vulnerable to the motions of time and […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #2

To defend a position, to pursue an ideal (editorial)

— by

There has been a time-honoured belief that at least two things could be read from maps: the place where something is and the direction that something could take. This was supported by the hypothesis that place and motion are two aspects of territoriality, issues of spatial determination. However, those who truly study what the different […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #1

Kunsthaus Graz. The convention of an alien object

— by

Graz seized its nomination as the 2003 cultural capital of Europe in order to realize buildings planned long ago. Two large events halls, a house for literature, a children’s museum and a floating theatre next to the new Kunsthaus serve as architectural attractions designed to give the city a new impetus.   The Kunsthaus Graz […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #1

Exposure Time. Two media art installations.

— by

Both were night-time, outdoor public spectacles, both used digital data as the raw material and artificial light as the expressive medium, and both partially relinquished artistic control to computer randomization. In each case, invisible aspects of the digital realm were made visible, rendered in light at scales and speeds available to human perception. Immanent global […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #1

Shrinking cities

— by

Welcome to Liverpool/Manchester, the fastest growing city in the world.(1) Manchester and Liverpool, linked and strengthened by the Manchester-Liverpool Canal, reached their industrial prime in the 19th century. Today they are marked by the decades-long process of deindustrialisation and migration. Both cities have nowadays only half as many residents as in the 1930s. But their […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #1

Shrink, cramp, narrow-mindedness

— by

We cannot state it more succinctly. This is the sequence that generally determines the cultural agenda. It starts with the assessment that the end of growth is in sight, that there are signs of recession or retrogression; then, peoples’ minds start filling with fear as the rhetoric of doom spreads, until, finally, sweeping measures are […]

Read More

Archis 2004 #1

Why architecture (editorial)

— by

Architecture and its cultural context have never been taken note of. There always remained the search for the cultural significance of architecture, for its potential to act as a cultural medium that serves a greater purpose than its own continued existence. Het Katholiek Bouwblad, Goed Wonen, Wonen/TABK, and finally Archis wanted architecture to mean something. […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #6

Islands. The geography of extraterritoriality

— by and

Cut apart by linear borders, the state system – a territorially based juridical formation – appeared to dominate all forms of sovereignty over individuals and action. But various fault lines have now fractured this Euclidian political surface. Just as along the Norwegian coasts – fjords, islands and lakes break the coherent continuity of both water […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #5

Re: Matrix for urban renewal

— by

by  / Inbo Must’s matrix is firmly geared to urban development by coalition, in other words, the creation of broad-based support. The approach is very much solution-directed. An overview is given of the elements at issue in the renewal process. These elements are subsequently used by the various parties working together to develop an urban […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #5

Grace (editorial)

— by

This is the schematic representation of a village community in which the member’s dilapidated houses are ranged along what passes for the main street. Elm Street is in the middle. Left and right is an irregular scattering of compartments, the floor plans of the houses. Inside are the names of the inhabitants. For the rest, […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #4

Radical reuse

— by

When alternative residential areas like Drop City (California, in the late 1960s) began producing their own food and using refuse from the production-consumption cycle as construction material for self-built shelters, they were putting into practice an alternative to the much-despised consumer society. Since then, the more radical forms of reuse have been tainted with a […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #4

Utopia. On the utility of public space

— by

All people have the same possessions, everybody is usefully employed and the tasks are taken in turns. Everyone thus has the same activities, develops in the same way and is paid the same wage for their efforts. The year is 2003. On a vast site to the northeast of ‘s-Hertogenbosch, bordering the River Maas and […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #4

Heritage preservation at 120 kph

— by

The impression of the Netherlands gained from this mobile viewpoint is undergoing change. The more traffic corridors are lined by buildings and noise screens, the stronger the feeling of overcrowding and alienation. This gives rise to the paradoxical situation in which automobility produces simultaneous feelings of freedom and claustrophobia. The motorway and the landscape: friend […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #4

A true end of history

— by

2003. A year in which Jews, Moslems, Christians, Hindus and atheists, all with their own historical calendar, are fighting one another in a singular Now that appears to be the same for everyone but which in fact revolves around the question of whose history shall be called universal and whose history shall be regarded as […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #4

Architecture as a lie (editorial)

— by

In a totally mass-mediated world, it is much more interesting to broach the scandalous reverse of such issues and in particular to pursue the lie with which someone has tried to gain an advantage. The media are constantly helping people to spread lies only to turn around and unmask them as liars. A veritable perpetuum […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #3

The matrix. A strategy for urban renewal plans

— by

What clever contrivances lie hidden in buildings or on drawing tables, waiting for a wider application? What research if any is taking place in architectural offices? On which architectural frontiers can movement be detected? Is there (still) a role for architectural firms in the development of new typologies or products, in finding answers to new […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #3

Eating authorship

— by

Practically all the books they published, often many years later, depart from Corbusian narratives, critiques and manifestos, only then to confront them in a veritable dialectic with Miesian ideas and thereby synthesize their own work. Without Rhetoric (1973) could be read as a parable of that creative tussle. While the book opens with ‘When Le […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #2

Could everything be temporary?

— by

The older principles of collection, research and display have become boring to the politicians who support the cultural industry; competition for the public increases constantly. Museums and Kunstahllen (exhibition halls) are to some extent in trouble and looking for new directions. If total biennalization is to be avoided, we must take up the challenges raised […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #2

Time-based design. Ephemeral Structures 2004

Indeed, given the temporary nature of the structures involved, the theme of time was inherent in the competition brief. But time also played a role of one sort or another in the purpose and operation of the proposed structures. At Archis’s request, four of the competition organizers appraised the 470 entries on their handling of […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #2

The tempo of the city

— by

Moving from one place to another is a daily activity, and it largely determines the way we experience our environment. And more important than the distance covered in this way, is the time spanned. Time is our yardstick for drawing up a mental map of the city. This notion of time is so important that […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #2

Time-based architecture

— by

Neither the arduous genesis of the concept, nor the refinement of the sketch, nor the battle for quality of execution, nor even unforeseen uses, those mutations of real life, provoke as much reflection as that one pure moment when the world seems perfect. The question I wish to raise in this article is what happens […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #1

Chandigarh in intensive care

— by

It differs from most planned cities, where the ideal is projected with technocratic consistency onto a tabula rasa, and the old structure is disavowed (the most radical example being Le Corbusier’s ‘Plan Voisin’ [1922-1929], in which much of the centre of Paris would have made way for a system of skyscrapers, motorways and green spaces). […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #1

The karma of a gigantic village

— by

The faith in control, operating from the top down, has gradually yielded to a greater tolerance for chance, allowing for the continuous adjustment of perspectives and individualism. In the West we have come to understand that no blueprint is proof against the sheer complexity of the planning task, against the often subversive effect on the […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #1

If the people don’t want change

— by

But there are also places where mentality or magnitude make such ambitions seem rather futile, or where they have been so long disavowed that they appear to have died out. One such place is India, a country where designs, master plans, development projects and all other forms of spatial reorganization seem to founder on an […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #1

If the people want change. A brief taxonomy of populism

— by

Society, one is told, must be given back to ‘the people’. But that’s not all. The gulf between people and experts must also be bridged. And there’s an even deeper gulf between the people and the so-called elite: the faceless power brokers with their backroom politicking, the professionals with their impenetrable jargon, the academics with […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #1

Taste is waste

— by and

The Valley is not a suburb. It is as economically self-sufficient and culturally dense as major cities. Should the Valley secede, it will be the 6th largest US metropolitan area. It will have the highest concentration of aerospace firms, the 3rd greatest number of entertainment companies and the 6th most manufacturing headquarters. While these statistics […]

Read More

Archis 2003 #1

Indian angel

— by

But by then it was too late. Before the capital was completed, India had won its independence. Contacts with Western architecture were maintained, however. Shortly before the Second World War, Le Corbusier was commissioned to design the new capital of Punjab by Prime Minister Nehru and he also designed villas for several industrialists. Chandigarh, as […]

Read More

Archis 2002 #6

On wilderness

— by

This gardening concept spread its influence as far afield as the antipodes where its bearers projected it onto an ancient landscape. The ‘discovery’ and colonization of Terra Australis Incognita, the missing continent, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries filled a conceptual hole in a modern mind-map of the world and fuelled the imagining of this […]

Read More