Once upon a time technology was a word to define all those tools that humans used to do things, being them compasses or cranes. As technology became ubiquitous and much more complex the term acquired a much vaguer meaning: it started to indicate the very condition we live in. Perhaps the previous use was too partial, I agree. But when DNA can be edited with a software, Internet is supported by satellite infrastructure, cars can drive themselves and Google knows your routine better than your own friends; where do you start speaking about technology? and in relation to architecture?
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.
Jaap Bakema and the Open Society is the first extensive book publication on the Dutch architect Jaap Bakema, his ideas and ideals for society at large. Throughout the post-WWII decades Bakema was inspired to build for a democratic and open society. His body of work, his teaching and writing, and his international presence are testimony to the vicissitudes of the welfare state and the roles played by architecture and planning in its construction.
From its inception at the dawn of the millennium (2001), Archiprix International has proved to be an adventure with enormous ambition. To collect, once every two years, the very best graduation projects from architecture, landscape architecture, and urban design schools around the world is no small feat. To comprehensively exhibit this material is also a challenge, and to create a meaningful and productive event around the award session—giving center stage to the selected graduates and their projects—is a task akin to walking a tightrope. And yet, this is what they are achieving.
Once every two years architecture schools around the world are invited to submit their single, finest graduation project to the Archiprix International competition and exhibition. Since its inception in 2001 (born out of the Dutch Archiprix), an ever increasing number of schools choose to participate. This year, Archiprix International selected Ahmedabad, in India, to exhibit the results. Volume spoke to Archiprix Director and “Mister Archiprix” Henk van der Veen.
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.