On Thursday November 9th, a debate on alternative practices of architects was on at Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam. The premise is the critical and historical standpoint of the exhibition title The Other Architect curated by Giovanna Borasi, now on show at the institute.
GoogleUrbanism (GU) is a city management strategy making use of Google’s insatiable hunger for capitalization of ‘attention’ and quality data. Proposed by strategic urban designers/architects Nicolay Boyadjiev, Harshavardhan Bhat, Kirill Rostovsky and Andréa Savard-Beaudoin, GU intends to create a mutually beneficial relation between the commercial interests of tech companies and the city as political and social entity. In relation to Volume #50: Beyond Beyond, Denisse Vega de Santiago and Leonardo Dellanoce interviewed one of GU’s partners Nicolay Boyadjiev on the project.
The fourth edition of the Lisbon Architecture Triennale took place from 5 October to 12 December 2016. Chief curators Diogo Seixas Lopes and André Tavares created a program that included four exhibitions, a symposium, a series of talks and various publications under the umbrella title The Form of Form. Lilet Breddels visited the exhibitions and symposium, which clearly investigated a take on the profession of architecture as a specific type of knowledge. With the theme of Volume #50: Beyond Beyond still fresh in her mind, she asked the curators about their take on this notion of Beyond.
With Are We Human – the exhibition of the 2016 Istanbul Design Biennial – curators Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley are researching the very notion of ‘design’. Their historic, cultural and conceptual exploration attempts to unravel the various programs and ambitions behind a (mainly) market driven inventiveness, which is presented as progress. This is pushing the notion of design and the biennale as a format beyond their established definitions. Beatriz Colomina and Mark Wigley interviewed by Arjen Oosterman.
As introduction to the Total Space insert in Volume 50, Dirk van den Heuvel links (Dutch) Structuralism to current day developments, more specifically in the digital realm. Total Space is an ongoing research project of the Jaap Bakema Study Centre*, that’ll produce program and public presentation at Het Nieuwe Instituut in the coming years.
In a certain sense, looking at the beyond is something that we cannot do today, other than from the vantage point of a beyond the ‘beyond’. Looking at the connections between progressive political movements and planning/building practices in modernity and their ways of departing into ever new ‘beyonds’, beyond the boundaries of historically given urban and social formations – today, we are certainly beyond these dynamics.
In collaboration with Volume, KU Leuven’s Faculty of Architecture, campus Sint-Lucas Ghent/Brussels, selected recent graduate projects and reflected on the underlying ambitions of the school. The result is ‘Doing It the Belgian Way’, one of the two inserts in Volume 50. The insert presents three perspectives: Embracing Complexity, Embedding in the Local, and Un/Re-Learning. The following text is the introduction to this third chapter.
Denisse Vega de Santiago read all 49 issues to date and selected quotes that shed light on how ‘beyond’ was perceived, appreciated and defined by Volume’s contributors.
Moving forward implies looking back. When we started this research engine called VOLUME in 2005, economic, political, and social conditions were very different to how they are today. The intention to rethink the agency of ‘beyond’ as driver for change inevitably means historicizing the trajectory of the VOLUME project so far. That said, we really didn’t want to turn VOLUME itself into the subject of reflection. So we’ll instead talk about the present and, in so doing, find history creeping its way in whether we like it or not.
When Volume started as ‘magazine to go beyond architecture’ in 2005, the world was a different one. There was a lot of attention for the spectacular in architecture, for instance, and little for where society was going in relation to architecture: the urgencies and opportunities architecture could and should engage with. Since, Volume explored a wide variety of topics and terrains, each time looking for the added value of architecture.