n this photo series, Robert Harding Pittman acutely documents the exportation of the Los Angeles-style model of urban development to other countries such as Spain, France, Germany, Greece, United Arab Emirates and South Korea.
From the construction boom up until the current building crisis.
Anonymization presents under an implacable light a landscape of anonymity made of shopping malls, vast parking lots, arrays of unfinished houses that look exactly the same, green golf courses in the middle of desert areas, etc
From enhanced-CCTV surveillance to bench handles, various tracking and prevention systems are employed in controlling the users of public space. These systems are often neatly designed and seamlessly integrated in the existing architecture, acting in a persuasive way on its users. While preventing unwanted interactions between the authorities and citizens, these systems leave no space for discussion or disobedience
Star Wars movie sets silently decaying in the deserts of Tunisia, eccentric monuments on Peru’s public squares, decline of Lima’s (analogical) record industry, fragments of technological obsolescence, etc. Six artists show work that consider the -sometimes fictitious- relationship between historical monuments and urban ruins
My conversation with speculative architect Liam Young is going to focus on Under Tomorrows Sky, a project that was born last Summer, at the MU Foundation in Eindhoven, where Liam was joined by a group of scientists, technologists, futurists, science fiction writers and even special effects artists to collectively imagine and build a room sized miniature model of a fictional, future city
‘What does performance have to do with architecture?’ and ‘How can a building perform, and how can we perform a building?’ Call me an ignorant but i had never heard about Performing Architecture so i’m gathering here a few notes i wrote down during the Late at Tate night
From abstract and conceptual visual interpretations of structures to more traditional architectural renderings, the featured work is divided into thematic chapters, ranging from ‘Adapt/Reuse’ to ‘Clandestine” ‘Mobile” ‘Radical Lifestyle’, ‘Techno-Sustainable’, and ‘Worship’. Along with arresting and awe-inspiring illustrated content, every chapter also features an essay exploring its respective themes.
Highlighting visions that exist outside of established channels of production and conventions of design, Architectural Inventions showcases a wide scope in concept and vision, fantasy and innovation
A Guide to Archigram 1961-74 is a compact history showcasing the group’s most interesting and influential schemes, from walking cities and plug-in universities to inflatable dwellings and free time nodes. This book, the most comprehensive guide to Archigram’s voluminous output, collects the critical responses of the period, in addition to hundreds of drawings and photographs
‘What if?’ scenarios with which to proceed on the journey towards becoming an architect; towards the conception of a design vocabulary that expresses everyday lives; and the creation of buildings and urbanities that embrace the irrational and celebrate the social.
‘As a Palestinian born in Gaza I am not authorized to return to the West Bank, so I delegated a Palestinian photographer to carry out these photos. They are out of focus, clumsily framed, imperfectly lighted. In this territory, one cannot install the heavy equipment of the Bechers or take the time to frame the perfect position, let alone afford to wait days for the ideal light conditions.’
Officials in the federal government tasked with protecting American citizens and communities in the event of a nuclear attack relied on architects and urban planners to demonstrate the importance and efficacy of both purpose-built and ad hoc fallout shelters. For architects who participated in this federal effort, their involvement in the national security apparatus granted them expert status in the Cold War. Neither the civil defense bureaucracy nor the architectural profession was monolithic, however, and Monteyne shows that architecture for civil defense was a contested and often inconsistent project, reflecting specific assumptions about race, gender, class, and power.
A few years ago, Z33 House for Contemporary Art invited established names and young talents to visit several sites in the region, pick up the one they’d like to work with and then submit a project that would engage with the cultural background of the area and entice passers-by to look differently at the surroundings. The result is pit – art in public space
Ilona Gaynor’s new project, works with police reconstructions, cinematic culture and with ‘Forensic Aesthetics’ to design the perfect bank robbery. And i don’t know how she did it but she managed to convince the FBI New York Dept of Justice and the LAPD Archival Department to help her in her study
Our society is governed by all sorts of systems and structures that organise and steer life. No system, however, whether political, judicial, economical, socio-cultural or spatial, can comprise life in its entirety. Every system has gaps, leaks and ambiguities.
The artists in the exhibition Mind the System, Find the Gap seek out these gaps. They set forth from this intermediate position to unveil, circumvent or criticise ruling systems and structures
Sebastian Stumpf’s photo documentation of his performances in the ‘gaps’ of Tokyo architecture. The artist is literally filling in the hiatus in the dense architectural structure of the city, squeezing himself in the overlooked spaces between the buildings. The action makes us suddenly aware of this ‘urbanism interrupted’, and calls our attention to what is in-between, behind, or beyond
The project is miles away from what you’d expect from an architecture work. No model, no plan. In fact, it looks more like an essay made of photos, short videos and texts. Together, they reflect on immoral architecture, unsympathetic machines, reality filtered by technology and more generally, our symbiotic relationship to technology. In fact, Madhav Kidao likens his project to “an exaggerated caricature of our present and near future relationships to technology as is stands.”
What would happen if the regulation of air rights was given free rein, if air became a commodity that could be bought and sold? How would the trade physically manifest itself? Can we imagine that one day an Air Bank will open in the heart of Manhattan?
The Sky’s the Limit serves as a compelling exploration of these seemingly impossible, yet surprisingly practical structures and spaces. Unleashing the creative potential offered by the latest developments in design and construction, this book presents spectacularly formed buildings, façades, and interiors as well as inspiring temporary projects and urban interventions by both young and established talents. The projects featured here have all been built, are actively in use, and transport us to the outer limits of our spatial imagination
‘HMPark Life’ is a prison located in Brockwell Park, South London. It questions this drive to turn a prison population into a cheap labour force – one that works not just to provide skills to inmates in the name of ‘rehabilitation’ but forces offenders to be both visibly productive and punished to quench the public’s ever-present blood thirst for justice
For some obscure reason i haven’t been able to locate the wikipedia entry about Haus-Rucker-Co. but if you’re curious about their work, there is a lot to (re)discover at the retrospective of the Viennese group currently hosted by WORK Gallery, near Kings Cross: inflatables capsules for two, parasitic structures, breathing devices, utopian ideas, helmets and pneumatic prostheses. It’s critique of architecture and architecture as critique at its best
An architectural Time Machine by architect Heechan Park explores how to create an architectural time-based event.
As the machines blow vapour rings that double as ephemeral scent zones, the public not only experience a visual performance of smoke vortices travelling through space, but they also perceive scents that are temporally spatialised and visualised
The Cold Coast Archive project investigates and explores human beings’ efforts to preserve civilization and defy the inevitability of its demise. We look at the vault as a whole: its practical, political, historical and symbolic structure, its arctic location, as well as its infrastructure and cultural nuances, with all the research concentrated at this site, as a backdrop to explore the human relationship to time between now and eternity
‘ZOO, or the letter Z, just after Zionism’ starts at page number 437 of ‘The Atlas of the Conflict’ and continues into a fascinating exploration of ideas, snapshots and associations, that could be raised once seeing a white donkey tied with a rope, covered with beige tape and being transformed into a zebra by a beautiful Palestinian boy
There is nowhere else in the world quite like Chungking Mansions, a dilapidated seventeen-story commercial and residential structure in the heart of Hong Kong’s tourist district. A remarkably motley group of people call the building home; Pakistani phone stall operators, Chinese guesthouse workers, Nepalese heroin addicts, Indonesian sex workers, and traders and asylum seekers from all over Asia and Africa live and work there–even backpacking tourists rent rooms. In short, it is possibly the most globalized spot on the planet
70% of chicken, the UK’s favourite meat, is currently produced in an unethical and unsustainable manner. The welfare provided in intensive farming systems is insufficient and always will be. At the Centre for Unconscious Farming, welfare is eliminated. Chickens have their brain stem separated from their neocortex and are unconscious throughout the growing period. Their homeostatic functions continue but they are oblivious.
With HORTUS, the architects from ecoLogicStudio are inviting the public to become cyber-gardeners and “invent new protocols of urban biogardening.”
There’s a bright green carpet on the floor and hundreds of intravenous-style bags are suspended above our heads. The bags are in fact photo-bioreactors and they form a ‘greenhouse’ that hosts nine different species of algae, from chlorella to algae found in London’s canals. Visitors can blow into flexible plastic tubes, fostering the growth of the algae with their carbon dioxide and activating the oxygen production
Weaponized Architecture is an examination of the inherent instrumentalization of architecture as a political weapon; research informs the development of a project which, rather than defusing these characteristics, attempts to integrate them within the scene of a political struggle. The proposed project dramatizes, through its architecture, a Palestinian disobedience to the colonial legislation imposed on its legal territory
The exhibition at Somerset House shows 28 projects shortlisted for a competition that invited architects, engineers, students and designers to submit proposals that reclaim overlooked spaces across Greater London. Inspired by success stories such as New York’s High Line, the competition aims to demonstrate how alternative way of thinking about urban space can inject new life and energy into some of London’s most neglected corners.
The selected entries range from underground climbing tunnels to Atlantic salmons in the Thames, firepits in Crystal Palace, bee keeping, rooftops of tower blocks turned into social hubs and artist studios nested inside church spires
This exhibition examines Russian avant-garde architecture made during a brief but intense period of design and construction that took place from c.1922 to 1935. Fired by the Constructivist art that emerged in Russia from c.1915, architects transformed this radical artistic language into three dimensions, creating structures whose innovative style embodied the energy and optimism of the new Soviet Socialist state
Geraud Soulhiol’s extraordinary drawings portray existing football stadium that are not only crumbling but have also been colonized by more traditional icons of architectures such as cathedrals, local monuments, skyscrapers designed by starchitects, fortresses, factories, etc
The projects presented in the book explore how current challenges for architecture, mobility, and energy as well as the logistics of food consumption and waste removal can be met. Text features by both architects and theorists give added insight
Post-it City phenomena emphasise the reality of the urban territory as the place where distinctive uses and situations legitimately overlap, in opposition to the growing pressures to homogenise public space. In contrast to the ideals of the city as a place of consensus and consumption, temporary occupations of space reaffirm use value, reveal different needs and lacks that affect given collectives, and even promote creativity and the subjective imagination
Since 2003, young photographer Charlotte Lybeer spent extended periods of time in gated communities and contemporary theme parks to document how these places neatly designed around a central theme managed to give an illusion of safety and dream lifestyle
Artist Rodrigo Derteano’s autonomous robot plows the desert ground to uncover its underlying color, using a technique similar to the one of the Nazca lines, the ancient geoglyphs located in the Nazca Desert in southern Peru. Guided by its sensors, the robot quietly traced the founding lines of a new city that looks like a collage of existing cities from Latin America
The project is based on two opposing inspirations; research trips to learn about intentional communities like the Amish, who carefully select technologies for their community, and an extrapolation of current scientific research which embraces technological alteration of nature. The outcome of the project is a fantastical caravan, a nomadic module of illusionary freedom, which explores our belief in technological progress
“At first glance the attempt to plan a bank robbery might sound like a post-adolescent prank. But it’s not, of course. Such a project claims most of the core competences of an architect. i.e. research and value the site (if of necessity), find out weak/strong aspects, think, imagine, anticipate, sense and develop a concept, sketch, think, design, rethink, reimagine etc., prepare action plan documentation, plan the time schedule, the costs. And well, in this case also an escape plan was asked”
A time machine, a giant self-balancing mechanism, a highly frustrating pinball machine, forensic photography that captures your movements before the picture was taken, etc. Each work in the room looked at a different type of energy –electric, mechanical, potential, mass, sound, thermal, chemical, and gravitational– in a way that makes us realize how little we know about energy
Founded in Berlin in 2000 by the brothers Jan and Tim Edler, realities:united have built a unique reputation for their spectacular art and media extensions to buildings all across the globe. Working together with some of the most prominent figures of contemporary architecture realities:united have established an ingenious type of collaboration they refer to as featuring. Usually invited by architects to cooperate on a project, realities:united have a special gift to detect the idiosyncratic strength of a design and amplify its qualities by techniques and procedures that exceed the realm in which architects usually work. Inversely, realities:united can only work their magic by designing in a dialog with an architect featuring them
Trucks, Containers, Collectives is an initiative by Santiago Cirugeda (Recetas Urbanas) which has inspired more than a dozen collectives to get involved in creating a network for spaces that are self-managed by the entire Spanish territory. This is no longer a matter of experimenting with individual, isolated situations, a process which Cirugeda initiated fourteen years ago and, in any case, is being reassessed during these times of recession. Rather it’s a self-organised and joint action taken by small citizen groups who unite their efforts
Currently on view at Tate Modern’s Level 2 Gallery, Out of Place features four artists who explore the relationship between dominant political forces and personal and collective histories by looking at urban space, architectural structures and the condition of displacement
Jerram’s interest in perception takes many forms: a kinetic sound installation controlled by the movements of the Moon and Sun, a miracle toaster, an engagement ring etched with a sound message that can be played back with a miniature record player, street pianos left for the public to play, etc. His most spectacular exploration of perception is Sky Orchestra, a series of performances in which hot air balloons fly over a city at dawn and broadcast music designed to turn the dreams of the sleeping public into an artistic experience. There is a lot to like and write about in his portfolio but i’ll just focus on two of his most recent projects: Glass Microbiology and Aeolus – Acoustic Wind Pavilion