Shortly after the release of Volume 53: Civic Space, we realized that we left out a crucial group of stakeholders, animals. Starting from the ecosystem designed for the ‘Chickenville’ project, we discussed our shortcoming with SKROZ Architecture. Our conversation, informally carried out via messaging apps, shone a light on yet another sensitive term of mediation often forgotten in architecture: humour.
It’s been seven years since Daan Roggeveen and Michiel Hulshof published How the City Moved to Mr. Sun, the story of mass urbanization in China. It looked specifically at the mechanisms behind this phenomenon and the challenge to host the next 300 million people during the coming twenty years (starting from 2010). After Ole Bouman’s reflection on the Venice Architecture Biennale two weeks ago, this is the second prelude to Volume #54: On Biennials with a special on the UABB\Shenzhen.
While the feeding robot slowly passes by, cow 9273 bumps with her nose against a big round brush. It looks like the ones in the carwash that clean the rims of your car, but then bigger. Food is not what she’s after right now, her itching back is demanding all her attention. Cow 9273 has to push several times before the brush starts slowly spinning, but when it does, she treats herself to a firm back massage. Welcome to dairy farm ‘The Promised Land’ where 1.5 fte and nine robotized computer systems manage a herd of 280 cows plus 180 ‘youngsters’.
When dealing with public space, time is rarely considered a variable in the equation. Quick to go to the square as the place where collective political action takes place, we often forget to think when such actions happen and what strategy might support them.
Jason Adams, Seattle-based media and political theorist, argues for political action on, in and through time – what might be called kairopolitics.
While the 16th edition of the Architecture Biennale in Venice is coming to an end, Ole Bouman reflects on its success, addressing particularly the overwhelming beauty and charm of the city’s architecture.
Although the intrinsic immateriality of the digital realm is by nature opposed to the tangible society we live in, its architecture has been designed and shaped by humans and comes with direct consequences in user’s lives and behavioural patterns. For years, the digital space has been the topic of numerous papers and studies; to Yin Aiwen, it is now time to work on a new school of thought that would be the foundation of a wider societal reflexion on the Digital, through the discipline of ‘Cyber-urbanism’.
As the Chief Government Architect of The Netherlands Floris Alkemade is advising the cabinet on spatial quality, upon request or at his own initiative. He does so together with two other members of the Government Board of Advisors. Francesco Degl’Innocenti sat with him to discuss his ambitions in that role and the reach and limits of his arm. The conversation went from Mies to Mahler and from prisons to loneliness in the city.
Recently I had to move my books. Unavoidably one starts reading. And, as the law of serendipity predicts, what the eye meets has a direct relation to one’s own preoccupations. In this case my eye was attracted by publications on public space and the role of design from the 1970s, 80s, and 90s. And it made me aware that those discussions were pretty innocent.
With a variety of authors, VOLUME #53 investigates these physical and virtual spaces –
and the kinds of agency used to negotiate them – through the lenses of Institutions and
Guus Beumer scrutinizes Justin Timberlake’s Super Bowl Halftime Show and detects a new role for the audience, with far-reaching consequences for design disciplines.