Beyroutes: A Guide to Beirut
As a supplement to Volume #22, we also present the separate publication Beyroutes, a guidebook to Beirut, one of the grand capitals of the Middle East. Beyroutes presents an exploded view of a city which lives so many double lives and figures in so many truths, myths and historical falsifications. Visiting the city with this intimate book as your guide makes you feel disoriented, appreciative, judgmental and perhaps eventually reconciliatory. Beyroutes is the field manual for 21st century urban explorer.
With contributions by Maureen Abi Ghanem, Romy Assouad, Hisham Awad, Cleo Campert, Joane Chaker, Tony Chakar, Zinab Chahine, Steve Eid, Christian Ernsten, Christiaan Fruneaux, Edwin Gardner, David Habchy, Mona Harb, Pascale Harès, Jasper Harlaar, Janneke Hulshof, Hanane Kaï, Karen Klink, Niels Lestrade, Mona Merhi, Elias Moubarak, Tarek Moukaddem, Kamal Mouzawak, Joe Mounzer, Alex Nysten, Nienke Nauta, Ahmad Osman, Haig Papazian, Pieter Paul Pothoven, Rani al Rajji, Joost Janmaat, Jan Rothuizen, Ruben Schrameijer, Reem Saouma, Michael Stanton and George Zouein.
Beyroutes was initiated by Studio Beirut in collaboration with Partizan Publik, Archis and the Pearl Foundation. Supported by Prince Claus Fund, Fund Working on the Quality of Living and the Netherlands Embassy in Lebanon.
Archis Never Walk Alonely Planet series – city guides with an eye for people.
The Netherlands has two new prizes, the Geert Bekaert Prize for Architecture Criticism and the Simon Mari Pruys Prize for Design Criticism. They’re promoting ‘a vibrant design culture’ by stimulating writing and reflection and awarding the prize to one critique, not to a critic. Initiated by Archined and Design Platform Rotterdam they were awarded for the first time in Amsterdam on March 20th 2014. For architecture the award went to Plain Weirdness: The Architecture of Neutelings Riedijk, a text in El Croquis by the former Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute, now Director of the Cincinnati Art Museum, Aaron Betsky. The Simon Mari Pruys Prize went to Sander Manse for his essay on the use of models in designing design.
What is essential about the work of Neutelings Riedijk is its plain weirdness. The two aspects of this definition are essential. The use of form and materials that are familiar, simple, and sometimes even primitive grounds the strangeness, the baroque involutions, and the haunting quality that gives the work its power. These architects know how to mine the vernacular to find within it the material that both grounds us and connects us to something bigger, stranger, and older than we are. Their buildings use this basis to teeter between abstraction and reference, creating a blur that allows us to intuit forms, images and spaces that the designers only imply. Finally, Neutelings Riedijk’s buildings become stages on which we can act out the roles to which we would like to become accustomed, sometimes as masques in which both the structures and we are actors, and sometimes directly, when the buildings’ interiors become, more often than not, stages.
As you may know our exhibition The Good Cause is currently on show at Stroom in The Hague. This spring Stroom will be hosting a side program accompanying The Good Cause, that consists of a number of tours, a congress, an Archis RSVP Event and a number of expeditions. Most of the events are free of charge.
Last month we officially launched Volume’s 39th issue, ‘Urban Border’. In the past weeks we have published a selection of articles, and for those who are interested how the issue looks and feels we have uploaded a preview. Enjoy! Click here to learn more about Volume #39.
Shenzhen is currently upgrading its industry; this results in empty factory buildings and huge demographic changes within the migrant population. It also implies a transition from a blue-collar to a white-collar society. Shenzhen’s economic success is based on cheap labor. Nonetheless, blue-collar migrants are considered to be both problematic and vulnerable. But do we really understand and appreciate the economic and social value of the current generation of migrants in Shenzhen? ‘Da Lang Fever’ is a story about the potential of a self-organizing migrant society in the neighborhood Da Lang. It showcases the empowering nature of bottom-up activities for migrant workers.