Open Letter to the Architectural Community:  A Call for Curriculum Change.

Dear friends and colleagues,

Our education has a key role to play in addressing the ongoing ecological crisis. Our generation will encounter unprecedented social, political and ecological challenges, and we all need to respond with the urgency these circumstances demand.

The crisis has grown out of a socio-economic system which depends on the intensive extraction of the Earth’s resources, ultimately driving our planet’s life-support systems to their limits. Furthermore, it is now clear that ecological breakdown and global inequality are intimately linked; they are related symptoms of the same process.

Architecture is an important factor in this. In part because of how it uses resources and shapes environments, but also because of the political and social systems it enables. Just as ecological breakdown is connected to many aspects of society, so too is architecture. Practitioners now and in the future must be equipped with a nuanced understanding of these connections.

We are concerned that at present our education does not give sufficient weight to the inherently ecological and political basis of architecture, nor to our responsibility to meet our uncertain future with socially and environmentally informed practice.

We appreciate and applaud the efforts of contemporary practitioners, but we ask you to join us in using the freedom and particular responsibility of academic institutions to push our discipline further in this direction.

To these ends, we invite you, the staff and students of our schools, to sign this letter and join us in asking this institution to make the following commitments:

  • To publish a response to this letter.
  • To set up working groups including staff and students, across all areas of the school, with a mandate to implement necessary changes.
  • To develop and publish a yearly implementation plan, including a framework of accountability.
  • To join us in asking RIBA and ARB to centralise the social and technical dimensions of ecological breakdown in their certification practices, and to expand their Code of Ethics to confirm that failing to engage with ecological breakdown is acting counter to the public interest.
  • To conduct annual environmental policy reviews, so that our schools may lead by example, integrating the highest standards in our own policies, divesting from damaging industries such as arms manufacturing and fossil fuels, and exploring new options for positive carbon and ecological contribution.
  • To jointly form and partake in a group of staff and students from other schools, to oversee collective efforts to these stated ends, so that we may move beyond competition and work in a spirit of collaboration and sharing.

Immediate efforts toward these commitments will not alone be sufficient, but that they are necessary is unambiguous. We look forward to working with you in this task.

Please see the link, if you want to sign the letter;

https://www.architectureeducationdeclares.com/

The decorated paper collection

The decorated paper collection is part of the KB’s Paper Historical Collection. It is among the most important collections in this field worldwide. The collections comprise c. 12,000 sheets and contains specimens of all forms and types of decorated paper. The most important groups are marbled papers, paste papers, brocade papers, block-printed papers and papers made by means of modern printing techniques. The decorated papers are classified by type, provenance and maker/publisher. The collection covers the period from the end of the sixteenth century to the present.

See the link: https://www.kb.nl/en/themes/book-art-and-illustrated-books/decorated-paper

from: KB / national library of the netherlands

Invitation to students possessing design utopias

Closing date for applications:
31 December 2018 (CET)

“Architecture which encompasses our entire lives.”
(Walter Gropius)

How can architecture be newly developed from its very foundations? This is the question the members of the Bauhaus asked themselves exactly a century ago and this issue has remained a repeated subject for discussion up to the present day. On the occasion of the centenary of the Bauhaus Dessau in 2019, this institution will be examining to what extent architectural radicalism remains topical in our time at the Architecture Festival RADICAL. What fundamentals would be necessary in our day and age to redesign architectures, permitting them to unleash a global impact equal to the effect of the Bauhaus constructions in their time?

In the summer of 2019, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation will invite individuals to attend the Architecture Festival RADICAL, which is one element of the three-part Festival Bauhaus Dessau consisting of School FUNDAMENTALArchitecture RADICAL and Stage TOTAL. These festivals are taking place to mark the centenary of the birth of the Bauhaus.

The historical Bauhaus was active within the fields of radical utopia, social visions and social reality. The objective of the Bauhaus in Dessau as a School of Design was to renew everyday life through contemporary design. The Bauhaus buildings were therefore more than mere architecture; envisaged as complete works, they represented tangible prototypes of modern life with which the Bauhaus astonished – and sometimes – shocked its contemporaries. And today, Bauhaus architecture is frequently only cited within a stylistic context while its constructed motivation and progressive concepts are fading into oblivion. Certain radical aspects which were then conceived and realised are today considered to be standard. Others were discarded, but many concepts continued to be further developed as they remain modern even after 100 years. This is the focal point of the Architecture Festival RADICAL.

Students from all creative disciplines who see construction and architecture as a utopian task are invited to apply with their concepts of radical newly motivated architecture with a written and illustrated personal statement (poster).

From all applications, 100 students will be selected to take part in three intensive festival days at the Bauhaus in Dessau from May 31 to June 2, 2019. In groups of ten students, each accompanied by one of the ten invited renowned architects – atelier le balto (Berlin), Sam Chermayeff (Berlin), Frida Escobedo (Mexico City), Donatella Fioretti (Berlin), Andrés Jaque (Barcelona), Anupama Kundoo (Madrid/Pondicherry), Jürgen Mayer H. (Berlin), Ippolito Pestellini (Rotterdam), Philippe Rahm (Zurich), Umschichten (Stuttgart) – the students work in workshops with lectures and open space conferences, think and design, live and celebrate together in an atmosphere that creates space for visions and utopias. At the end of the festival, the ideas developed in the workshops and selected application posters will be exhibited and awarded prizes.

The headquarters of the festival will be located in the historical Employment Office designed by Walter Gropius, which will become the Office for radical contemporary design during the three-day festival. A further experience venue will be the open stage at the then not yet opened contemporary Bauhaus Museum Dessau. The open call winners will experience the highly varied programme points of the festival in both locations, for example the Signature Architectures with which the renowned architects will transform the festival locations into a discussion landscape alongside screenings of historical and contemporary architectural films and performances.

https://www.bauhaus-dessau.de/en/centenary-2019/open-call-festival-architecture-radical-2019.html

AN EXHIBITION FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS

AN EXHIBITION FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS by Vladimir Abikh, https://gogovafoundation.org/project/4#&gid=null&pid=1

The idea of a journey, or at least some missive through time has been inspiring humanity for a long while. The time capsules buried in 1967 to be unsealed at the Revolution’s centenary have revealed how childlike and naive contemporaries’ take on the future could be, idealising it, portraying future descendants as more evolved and human, causing an artless impulse to share the labours of present-day reality with them. The history never unveils itself as joyously as we want to imagine, and living in the times depicted by last century sci-fi writers we do not pilot flying cars and have not yet colonised Mars — not even the Moon. I do not want to repeat the same mistake as the Soviet pioneers convinced in the imminent supreme reign of Communism. I am reluctant to put any hopes into or entrust any mission to our future generations, and rather accept the idea that humanity may well fall into regression. Therefore today to convey my missive to the descendants I choose the most primitive images and the most primitive and, simultaneously, reliable primordial material to carry them. Sandstone has delivered us data about ancient civilisations across millennia, and will introduce people of the future to the super fast and virtual history of our times.

On the ground floor symbols and icons of the present transform into ancient artefacts. The second floor contains the author’s mythologisation, as the attempt to insert their name into the global chronicles is one of fundamental ambitions of every artist. But making contemporary history no longer seems possible to me. One can only take a leap to immortality and become a fossil through the past. Mystification then appears common practice and not cheating. There hardly exists a chronicle of any land that has not been tampered with, for “Who controls the past controls the future”. The third floor is dedicated to the endless conversation history represented by the primitive pictorial writing of modern man as the ultimate body of history that we will leave behind.

This exhibition is addressed to you, future generations!

Vladimir Abikh

Please visit: https://gogovafoundation.org/project/4

Paysage Artificiel, Constant

01

Paysage artificiel by Constant, Photography by Melis Baloglu

New Babylon is the work of the New Babylonians alone, the product of their culture. For us, it is only a model of reflection and play.*

*(Written by Constant, for the exhibition catalog published by the Haags Gemeetenmuseum, The Hague, 1974.)

See the link below to discover more;

https://stichtingconstant.nl/work/paysage-artificiel-0

Constant

   

In art, freedom manifests itself in its highest form. 
The creative imagination. 
Art creates an image of the world that didn’t exist before.
No. More than that. 
An image that was unthinkable before. 

Constant, 1991
Quote from Constant’s acceptance speech Verzet ook nu after receiving the Verzetsprijs in 1991, published in Verzetsprijzen 1991(1)

(1) https://stichtingconstant.nl/biography-of-constant-nieuwenhuys accessed on 14.09.2018

*Architectural models or sculptures by Constant Nieuwenhuys, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Photographs by Melis Baloglu

Constant

This week, we will see Constant’s utopian projects. Please share your thoughts as a comment! 

C360_2018-08-29-12-40-45-686

Architectural models or sculptures by Constant Nieuwenhuys, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Photograph by Melis Baloglu

New Babylon was a city based on total automation and the collective ownership of land. With no more work, citizens were free to move around, with, New Babylon inspired by a gypsy encampment and designed to facilitate such a nomadic lifestyle. Divided into a series of interconnected sectors, the city operated on a network of collective services and transportation. Through a large number of models, drawings and collages, Constant explored the various sectors, floating above the ground on stilts, interconnected with bridges and pathways; above and below traffic flowed whilst the inhabitants traveled the sectors by foot. Whilst the city’s physical reality was explored through drawings and maquettes, architecture itself was conceived as social relations in which Constant elaborated a critique of bourgeois, utilitarian society. The degree to which the details of the city had been worked out and Constant’s own discourse showed that he viewed this as a concrete proposal for a future city rather than just a polemical project.*1

C360_2018-08-29-12-39-36-215

Architectural models or sculptures by Constant Nieuwenhuys, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Photograph by Melis Baloglu

New Babylon ends nowhere (since the earth is round); it knows no frontiers (since there are no more national economies) or collectivities (since humanity is fluctuating). Every place is accessible to one and all. The whole earth becomes home to its owners. Life is an endless journey across a world that is changing so rapidly that it seems forever other.*2

C360_2018-08-29-12-40-17-694

Architectural models or sculptures by Constant Nieuwenhuys, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Photograph by Melis Baloglu

C360_2018-08-29-12-41-15-858

Architectural models or sculptures by Constant Nieuwenhuys, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Photograph by Melis Baloglu

Thank you, Constant for your imagination!

*1 http://www.spatialagency.net/database/the.situationists

*2Written by Constant, for the exhibition catalog published by the Haags Gemeetenmuseum, The Hague, 1974.

What if?

What if we build up one side and down the other?

Collage by Melis Baloglu

Heidi Voet, When all the world is a hopeless jumble, 2018. Heidi Voet, 1978, BE.

Heidi Voet, When all the world is a hopeless jumble, 2018. Heidi Voet, 1978, BE.

 

From June 23 till Novemeber 11, 2018, the Belgium town Kortrijk invited curators Hilde Teerlinck (CEO Han Nefkens Foundation, Barcelona) and Patrick Ronse (Director Be-part, Waregem) to develop a brand new city festival. Under the title PLAY, they present a series of ambitious, sometimes spectacular or interactive outdoor and indoor interventions, undertaken by 40 international contemporary artists.

The concept of the project is based on the important scientific publication by Dutch anthropologist Johan Huizinga (1872-1945) entitled “homo ludens” (The Playing Man). It is an analysis about the importance of “play” in human evolution which turns people from working persons (“homo faber”) into more creative and more intelligent beings. Huizinga is not the only scientist fascinated by the analysis of this phenomenon however. Several psychologists and sociologists have followed his example, trying to define the importance and impact of “play” in our society.

Notwithstanding the advantages, time for free “play” has been markedly reduced in society today, being perceived as unproductive. Between personal and professional responsibilities, a hurried lifestyle, an increased attention to academics, there is no time to “play.” This is why we thought it to be the perfect time to create an Art Project that invites the visitor to PLAY.

Coming to Kortrijk will be a real adventure for the whole family: you will have the chance to play football on a surrealist field created by Priscilla Monge, enter the fake casino of Guilaume Bijl, punish yourself by sitting in Leo Coper’s voluntary prison cell, take a jump from Piero Golia’s ramp, dance with hoola hoops, ride the colourful art-bikes of Gavin Turk and watch TV in Pipilotti’s living room where you will feel like Peter Pan…

–Patrick Ronse & Hilde Teerlinck, Curators Play Kortrijk

See —– https://www.playkortrijk.be/en

what is space?

The living room of the city, Malaga, Spain, by melis baloglu

somewhere in between

the limit is;

house number < phone number

by melis baloglu

The construction

The footprint of a construction.

By melis baloglu

High hopes
High Rents
High rise
Voila! The Flying house -ing

by melis baloglu

 

Forensic Architecture

 

Forensic Architecture (FA) is a research agency, based at Goldsmiths, University of London. We undertake advanced architectural and media research on behalf of international prosecutors, human rights organizations and political and environmental justice groups.

Forensic architecture is also an emergent academic field developed at Goldsmiths. It refers to the production and presentation of architectural evidence – buildings and urban environments and their media representations.

Link: https://www.forensic-architecture.org/

Xenographics

Xeno.graphics is a collection of unusual charts and maps, managed by Maarten Lambrechts. Its objective is to create a repository of novel, innovative and experimental visualizations to inspire you, to fight xenographphobia and popularize new chart types.

The xenographics collection will keep on growing. If you know of one that isn’t here already, please submit it. You can also expect some posts about certain topics around xenographics.

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