Blog, Volume #47

Cloud Urbanism: Towards a Redistribution of Spatial Value

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A billboard advertisement for Manhattan Mini-Storage. The green background and mention of “the cloud” is a direct reference to MakeSpace. Via Business Insider & MakeSpace

Two recent trends have recently emerged from the United States’ real estate market that pick up on societal transformations in the way architecture and the city is inhabited. If synchronized, they stand to alter the principles underriding contemporary logics of urban development. They do so by embodying an alternative system of values, framing its spatial articulation as a critical design project.

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Blog

Little Plans

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The Urban-Data Complex (Forensic Architecture)

On February 28, the Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture (UABB) ended its three-month run. The venue will be demolished as part of the transformation of the Shekou waterfront district from factories and warehouses into a cosmopolitan cultural destination. This is indicative of the incredible energy being exerted on developing the city, and the money available to do so.

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Article, Volume #46

The Human Ratio

Interspecies synanthropic urbanism in Shikotan.

Life is rough in the concrete jungle; only the strongest survive. Yet when it comes to things like plants or animals, qualities of agility and dexterity trump physical size or brute force. Indeed, we like to think that the city is ours – that it belongs to us humans – but pests thrive in the city much better than us. The city can be alienating and make us feel like we are completely detached from nature, when in fact ‘nature’, the non-human, is all around us. Urban Fauna Lab reports on communities from throughout the globe who look for love in all the obvious places – so obvious we might not think to look.

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Archis 2008 #2, Article

Paris’ Slums by Steven Wassenaar

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Banlieue_1

Photographer Steven Wassenaar his work on Paris’ slums has been nominated for de Zilveren Camera 2015. Steven made contributions to Volume, among which his article ‘Coping with Slums and Slabs’ for Volume #16: Engineering Society, which focuses on France’s urban policy towards slum-living.

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Article, Volume #46

Parallel Clouds

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The RAM House (Space Caviar)

The introduction of digital technology into spatial contexts of refuge mobilizes a virtual geography of information, such as how many refugees are there, how many are HIV positive or pregnant, and where are they moving to. By inserting digital technology in the process of basic aid, human rights have been transposed to the digital sphere, yet incorporating advanced digital infrastructures in contexts where bricks and bread would be more than enough initiates a self-eliminating hoax, seeing as how, frankly, it is the exact same digital technology that keeps famines in place, targets relief-hospitals with drones and leaves migrants to drown. When we are all just one scan and click away to be saved, are we also too easily and often left to fate?

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Interview, Volume #46

Practices of Decentralization

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Hexayurt at 2011 Burning Man (credit: Robin Gane-McCalla)

Ben Vickers – Curator of Digital at the Serpentine Galleries and initiator of unMonastery – sat down with Vinay Gupta – one of the world’s leading thinkers on infrastructure theory, state failure solutions, and managing global system risks – to speak about practices and politics of decentralization. In 2002 Gupta invented an open-source solution to ‘house the world’. The hexayurt shelter is designed to be manufactured anywhere in the world at any scale and from local materials.

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Editorial, Volume #46

Shelter is a Verb

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Volume46-Cover

It’s still one of the world’s major concerns: shelter. Last year saw a sad record in the number of people seeking shelter: fleeing violence or hopeless poverty, looking for safety, stability and perspective. This year won’t be any better. And despite its complexities, public and political discussion reduced it to the all too simple question who will be sheltered, where, and who will provide for this.

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