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.
People scatter heaps of data to the wind, knowingly and unknowingly, but only a few outside of tech institutions truly understand how data is being used and the simulations that it feeds. Mainly because ‘Computer Simulation’ is a tricky concept, perceived as one of two: either a practical engineering tool such as wind simulators and economic models; or as a copying tool, an agent of digital fakeness – special effects in movies, Google’s Earth and the blue-skyed images made to sell apartments before they are built.
Last year, Felix Madrazo and Adrien Ravon led the ‘Ego City’ research studio at The Why Factory at
TU Delft. It was one of a series of studios that explored the themes of density and desires. Ego City
focused on the individual and ways to claim and create space. In doing so, it questioned traditional
methods of using design to create a better future for all and probed the viability of post-design
Since its early days, the humanoid we call Homo sapiens has always been obsessed with gaining control.
Creating optimal conditions for its safety and comfort is the story of its life. The way Homo sapiens, aka ‘the
human’, confronted this self-imposed challenge was by design.
As recent technological advancement became more and more pervasive and sophisticated, its consequences became more dramatically evident. In this context, design takes on a new relevance, in organizing and managing spaces, individuals, relations and ultimately societies. But if this is clear, several questions have to be answered: Who is driving it, who are the participants, who are sitting around the table? Does spatial design currently have a say in this, and if not, how can it participate and intervene
The issue is literally taking shape. That is good news of course, but as the finalization is nearing, the patterns behind voluntary and involuntary choices become clearer. It means that a increasincgly clear picture is emerging of what V51 is and will be as a whole.
Our own approach to the field is also becoming evident to ourselves, witnessing a file rouge emerging between pragmatic and speculative contributions, projects and poems, images and diagrams.
If history is always written by the winners, then the exhortation to “make new history” means that there are battles to be fought and won for new histories to be written. The second edition of the Chicago Architectural Biennial, titled ‘Make New History’, borrowed its mantra-like title from Ed Ruscha and opened last week at the Chicago Cultural Center and venues across the city.
While working on the theme of V51 we did not only learn new facts on technology, but we were also confronted by the different ways in which technology is perceived, especially from certain architectural communities.
In a city where the roof of a building is the fifth facade for advertisement and billboards function as fences, streets and sidewalks are the places where space is negotiated by the citizens. In this speculative and subjective article, Yasmin Mardini argues that the arterial system of Cairo represents the public space where mutually exclusive localities are temporarily brought together.
In the last post, we stated our intention to map the field of technology and to dig deeper in certain areas. After discussing possible categories we focused on evaluating the critical tools at hand to craft V51, in particular questioning the efficacy of mapping.