6/30/2012

The Architecture Post The Review Fourth Edition: David Garcia, MAP

Today's edition of The Architecture Post The Review, David Garcia talks MAP with us. MAP is an atypical little publication of architecture, unclassifiable as format, more a poster than a magazine, as he said.
It was a very great pleasure to discussing MAP with David Garcia.
MAP 005 Chernobyl
Photo: The Architecture Post/Urban Lab Creative/ Urban Lab Global Cities

MAP, also known as Manual of Architectural Possibilities, is a publication of projects and visions that arise through collaboration with researchers and the sciences, into territories, which can be concrete or abstract, but always challenged.
MAP 005 Chernobyl
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/
Urban Lab Global Cities

MAP is not a magazine (it only has two pages) and it is not a book (it is issued twice a year).
MAP 005 Chernobyl
Photo: The Architecture Post/Urban Lab Creative /
Urban Lab Global Cities

MAP presents itself as a A1-folded poster where informative is immediate, dense and objective on one side, and architectural and subjective on the other. MAP is a guide to potential actions in the built environment, a topography of ideas or a folded encyclopedia of the possible.
MAP 005 Chernobyl
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/
Urban Lab Global Cities

MAP 004 Floods
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/ Urban Lab Global Cities


Five issues have been produced: Antarctica, Quarantine, Archive, Floods, and Chernobyl.
MAP 004 Floods
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/
Urban Lab Global Cities

MAP's founder and editor-in-chief David Garcia is also the founder of David Garcia Studio, an experimental architectural platform which tests new methods and processes at all scales, with a focus on extreme environments.
MAP 004 Floods
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/
Urban Lab Global Cities


David Garcia Studio collaborates with designers, artists, and engineers.
MAP 004 Floods
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative
Urban Lab Global Cities


MAP 003 Archive
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/ Urban Lab Global Cities
MAP 003 Archive
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/
Urban Lab Global Cities

MAP 003 Archive
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/
Urban Lab Global Cities

MAP is also part of the travelling exhibition Archizines. Visit this exhibition if you have chance, once again, I warmly recommend MAP.
MAP 003 Archive
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/
Urban Lab Global Cities
MAP 002 Quarantine
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/ Urban Lab Global Cities
MAP 002 Quarantine
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/
Urban Lab Global Cities
MAP 002 Quarantine
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/
Urban Lab Global Cities

MAP 002 Quarantine
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/
Urban Lab Global Cities
MAP 001 Antarctica
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/ Urban Lab Global Cities
MAP 001 Antarctica
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/
Urban Lab Global Cities

MAP 001 Antarctica
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/
Urban Lab Global Cities

MAP 001 Antarctica
Photo: The Architecture Post/ Urban Lab Creative/
Urban Lab Global Cities


The Architecture Post The Review Fourth Edition is produced by The Architecture Post Broadcast, Urban Lab Creative and Urban Lab Global Cities.
Soundtrack: Artie ShawI Surrender Dear
More soon…

Teaser: The Architecture Post The Review Fourth Edition: Interview with MAP's founder, editor and architect David Garcia

This Saturday, The Architecture Post The Review will be back with a new edition. For the fourth edition, I will discuss MAP, also known as Manual of Architectural Possibilities, with its editor and founder David Garcia, founder  and director of David Garcia Studio. If you are not familiar with MAP (though I am sure you are), it will be an enjoyable occasion and opportunity to discover this little publication.
Below a teaser of this fourth edition:


The Architecture Post The Review is produced by The Architecture Post Broadcast, Urban Lab Creative, and Urban Lab Global Cities
Soundtrack: Artie Shaw | I Surrender Dear

6/25/2012

Video | ecdm | Creche and Logement de Fonction, Rue Pierre Budin, Paris

A building I filmed, this very rainy, gloomy Sunday: a white nursery completed by Parisian ecdm. The particularity here lies in the facade, an double-curved façade in white that generates an undulated affect.


ecdm-Creche-et-logement-fonction, Rue Pierre Budin from The Architecture Post Broadcast on Vimeo.

Some pictures of this small scale, small size white volume, located rue Pierre Budin, Paris 18th arrondissement:
Crèche, rue Pierre Budin, Paris © ecdm
Photo: ULGC/The Architecture Post/Urban Lab Creative
Crèche - Rue Pierre Budin, Paris © ecdm
Photo: The Architecture Post/ULGC/Urban Lab Creative
Crèche - Rue Pierre Budin, Paris © ecdm
Photo: The Architecture Post/ULGC/Urban Lab Creative
Crèche - Rue Pierre Budin, Paris © ecdm
Photo: The Architecture Post/ULGC/Urban Lab Creative
3D Section façade, Rue Pierre Budin, Paris © ecdm

Credit: Video and photos: ULGC/The Architecture Post/Urban Lab Creative
section: ecdm
Camera: iPad2

6/22/2012

Call for Submissions: CLOG National Mall and everything else

I am particularly busy this week (until mid-september) with some interviews on which I am working. Not to mention some future plans in the coming future, including new features and videos. I am afraid that a project on which I was working that concerns housing in France may be cancelled, or at least delayed. Anyway, it will have to wait, I am sorry. Time is a matter that we can't control.
By the way, I hope to be back with The Architecture Post The Review next Saturday (or at least in two weeks) with a very interesting interview. I will say more as soon as possible…
This said, today, a call for submission.
CLOG, a little publication based in New York, is calling for submission for their fourth issue: National Mall. I interviewed two of the editors — Kyle May and Julia van den Hout — of this new print magazine two months ago. For those who are not familiar with CLOG yet, I warmly recommend the interview I did with Kyle May and Julia van den Hout.
Back to this call for submissions:
In 2009, nearly two million people gathered on the National Mall to witness the inauguration of the forty-fourth President of the United States, Barack Obama. Almost fifty years ago the same grounds, Martin Luther King, Jr delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech. "America's Front Lawn," the National Mall was not only designed for large political and social gatherings but also to collect and showcase America's culture. Located in the heart of Washington D.C., the Mall is an historic yet evolving example of urban design.
Visited annually by approximately thirty million people, the Mall is also a victim of its own success as its grounds and monuments have been steadily eroded by overcrowding in addition to budgetary and administrative pressures. In response to this decline, the newly-formed Trust for the National Mall recently sponsored a competition to redesign key areas of the National Mall. A number of other significant projects are also underway on or near the Mall including the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Education Center at the Wall, the Eisenhower Memorial, the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Memorial, the Hirshhorn Museum Bloomberg Balloon, and the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool renovation.
In an election year when America is debating and deciding its trajectory, it's time to critically discuss the space that perhaps more than any other reflects what the nation was, is, and wants to be — the National Mall.
While CLOG is about architecture, we encourage individuals from any field or background to contribute. We are interested in all forms of critique and commentary, including, but not limited to, images, graphics, diagrams, and /or text. Ultimately, the form of each contribution should be determined by whatever most effectively communicates the idea.
Further information can be found on CLOG. This includes submission requirements. Note that submissions are due by midnight on July 20, 2012 and this new issue will be launched in November 2012.

6/19/2012

Call for Submissions: MAS Context ı Next Issue | 15 | Visibility Fall 12

MAS Context announced a call for submission for the fall issue. The subject for this issue is Visibility. This journal was founded by Iker Gil and his MAS Studio. Its goal is to address issues that impact the urban context. MAS Context is one of my favorite journals of architecture, unfortunately very hard to find in Europe. When a friend visits me, S/he usually brings me a copy — when s/he can. You can also order a copy via lulu.
MAS Context is part of the travelling exhibition Archizines so go and check out MAS Context in your nearest exhibition space or visit Archizines.

Making visible the invisible. That was the little of our interview with interactive designer George Legrady published in our INFORMATION issue and the name of one of his most known projects. Conceived for the Seattle Public Library, it visualizes the circulation of books going in and out of the library's collection.
This issue will continue to make visible the invisible conditions present around us that inform the way we engage with the city. At the same time, we are bringing forgotten landscapes, hidden away systems and lost environments back to the forefront of the discussion, all of them significant in our history and waiting to be reexamined.
For this issue, we are soliciting submissions of unpublished critical articles, design studies, analytical diagrams or photographic series that examine the significance, opportunities and consequences of these conditions in our built environment.
Note that submissions are to be sent until July 9, 2012. Check out MAS Context for further information.

Architecture to Infrastructure: Seabrook Floodgate Complex, New Orleans

At last, New Orleans will have new flood walls which aim is to (attempt to) prevent the city from flooding events! As John Schwartz reported on The New York Times, the former flood walls revealed America's haphazard approach to critical infrastructure



When Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the city's hurricane protection system became a symbol of America's haphazard approach to critical infrastructure. The patchwork of walls and levees built over the course of 40 years was still far from complete when the storm came, and even the Army Corps of Engineers admitted that this was "a system in name only." Flood walls collapsed, and earthen levees built from sandy, dredged soils melted away.



So, this new Seabrook Floodgate Complex is under construction. This complex will consist of a 133-mile chain of levees, flood walls, gates and pumps, John Schwartz reports.
This complex will be consisting of:
> Construction last month on the Seabrook Floodgate Complex in New Orleans. The overall
defense system includes the biggest pumping station on the planet.
Photo: Jennifer Zdon for The New York Times

At the new Seabrook floodgate complex, climb up three steep ladders, open a trap door, and step out into the blazing sunlight atop a 54-foot tower that was not here just two years ago. From there one looks out over a $165 million barrier across the shipping canal that links Lake Pontchartrain, the Mississippi River and the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway.
These defenses also are made up of:
Two "lift gates," 50 feet across, can be lowered to block the waters of Lake Pontchartrain. A navigation gate 95 feet wide, whose curved sides weigh 220 tons apiece, can be swung gently but mightily into place. When open — which will be most of the time — the gates will allow easy boat traffic.
A real system of defense… This of course seems very reassuring… at first glance. For now it however is impossible to measure the efficiency of this system facing with rush of water but June is the month of hurricanes, dare I say. 
As John Schwartz noted, Katrina made us realize decay of current infrastructure:

When Katrina hit New Orleans in 2005, the city's hurricane protection system became a symbol of America's haphazard approach to critical infrastructure. The patchwork of walls and levees built over the course of 40 years was still far from complete when the storm came, and even the Army Corp of Engineers admitted that this was "a system in name only." Flood walls collapsed, and earthen levees built from sandy, dredged soils melted away.
Recent flooding events intensified accordingly the urgent task of reconsidering our modern infrastructure all over the world.

Suggested articles: Javier Garcia-German | Infrastructure and Time: Apropos anticipation and adaptation | Quaderns 262, 2011

There are many strategies of protection. David Garcia has listed some of them in his little publication MAP 004 Floods; these includes land reclamation, rotating-gate barriers, sluice-gate barrier, drain pipe, among many others.


—> Buoyancy Barrier: A series of retracting buoyancy flap gates prevent storm surges into the Venetian Lagoon-Mose Project, Venice 2012 | David Garcia Studio | Protection | MAP 004 ı Floods, 2011. 


But the question to pose is whether these protections are efficient enough to withstand environmental pressures. We confront a remarkable dilemma: maintenance of current infrastructure will have a massive cost so that, with this economic crisis, few societies can afford such a drastic task of repair. It appears that while modern infrastructure proved its efficiency during the 19th and 20th at various scales, in the beginning of the 21st century, it is no longer the case with new external contingencies — economic and environmental crises, population expansion, urban migration. As Javier Garcia-German wrote in Infrastructure and Time: Apropos Anticipation and Adaptation:


This in turn has given rise to closed systems with behaviours that can only respond to certain initial conditions — to a specific flow of material, energy and information — and which fall into obsolescence when they are subjected to new regimes and are unable to adapt.

In 2009 a project Otra/Another 09, organized at Woodbury University School of Architecture, explored the state of current infrastructure considering that urban condition across continents is forcing our infrastructure(s) into critical states of distress.


Back to the Seabrook Floodgate Complex for another focus: resilience which seems to be behind the purpose of this new complex announced to be a 100-year protection. As John Schwartz reports:



The new system was designed and constructed to provide what is informally known as 100-year protection, which means it was built to prevent the kind of flooding that has a 1 percent chance of occurring in any given year.

Resilience is a system capable of maintaining its structure and functioning through continual responsiveness and adaptation to external conditions. But resilience supposes a framework capable of optimizing its characteristics. This may not be the case of New Orleans no matter how big efforts are/will be:
Protecting New Orleans. © The New York Times Company, 2012



But New Orleans has seen storms far more damaging than the 100-year standard. Katrina is generally considered to have been a 400-year storm, and rising seas and more numerous hurricanes predicted in many climate-change models suggest harsher conditions to come.

In this respect, questions concerning the efficiency of this protective system raise as rapid as rush of water. Will this system be enough to prevent New Orleans from surges? Should we rather reengineer infrastructure but in different ways? If so which ways?


Suggested article: John May | Infrastructuralism ı The Pathology of negative externalities | Quaderns 262, 2011.


Like many regions now in their weaker state in the face of flooding events, New Orleans is facing with environmental crisis. Let's suppose an explanation: damaged landscape, disappearance of wetlands, high land consumption, poverty. And the list goes on. As John Schwartz pointed out:

Building greater than 100-year protection might not be simply a matter of building walls ever higher. It will also come from restoring the coastal environment that slows and buffers storms and their surge. It means restoring wetlands that have been rapidly disappearing, and perhaps creating barrier islands to act as speed bumps for storms.

This is also true concerning other coastal regions, let's quote but one: Tohoku, Japan which faced in 2011 a massive earthquake of magnitude 9.0 triggering a terrible tsunami. While flood walls were built to block surges, waves of up to 23 meters in height hit the coastal areas, causing over 20,000 casualties, damaging thousands buildings and infrastructure, and submerging more than 50,000 hectares of land. Over the past century, like New Orleans, Tohoku's wetlands have been greatly impoverished due to land conversion into rice paddies and other uses. 


Suggested article: Masayuki Kurechi, Restoring Rice Paddy Wetland Environments and the Local Sustainable Society — Project for Achieving Co-existence of Rice Paddy Agriculture with Waterbirds at Kabukuri-numa, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, 2007.


Losses of wetlands and qualitative changes in environment have major negative impacts on natural habitats as it may have partly contributed to 3/11 events. 
External events also unveiled limits of protective barriers and infrastructures, as being inert, static, and, unsurprisingly, incapable of prevent coastal cities from environmental constraints. These events also stress the limit of our current idea of resilience. Now that resilience is becoming an environmental as well as economic prescription to a better planning in a society under pressures, it will be more logic to envision new design tools and new ways of planning that integrate ecological principles into the urban and rural environments. 
Indeed, in my view and as aforementioned, it is time to readdress the question of infrastructure. A large number of observers pointed out that modern infrastructure all over the world is in a derelict state.
As Brendan Cormier reported, in 2009, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the country an overall grade of D for the state of its infrastructure.

The evaluation included infrastructure related to aviation, bridges, dams, drinking water, energy, hazardous waste, inland waterways, levees, public parks, rail, roads, schools, solid waste, transit and wastewater. Not one of these individual categories was able to score higher than C+ for its performance. The potential hazard associated with such poor infrastructure in any of these categories is paramount.

High quality infrastructure but that fits within natural world setting is required. Loads of questions raise and we only choose two among them: How can we reinvent infrastructure? How can we problem-address infrastructure for a soft and mutable system adapted to critical state of environment?

—> Causes of flooding: Heavy rain, storm, monsoon, tropical depression, torrential rain, cyclone, typhoon, hurricane, tsunami, frozen/saturated ground, snow, and ice jam | David Garcia Studio | Floods ı MAP 004.
The 20th has been dominated by decision-makings which outcomes are destroyed landscapes, unsurprisingly, landscape patterns change, and other consequences that affected world's landscapes… rather than being protective and efficient. The bitter observation that we can draw is that this complex may not be protective enough in regard with the increasing complexity of environmental constraints. As the same Brendan Cormier pointed out:

[T]he infrastructure crisis is not just about restoring infrastructure to a pre-existing standard. Concern about environmental impact means infrastructure is expected to operate at a higher performative level than it ever has before. Building more ecologically sensitive systems will no doubt offer cost savings in the long run, but testing out new methods of sustainable design will have higher up-front costs.
The question to ask, I repeat, is how to reinvent infrastructure? A response can be to link architecture with infrastructure. Stan Allen envisions infrastructure as a catalyser to rethinking practice of Architecture, Historian Kazys Varnelis wrote:
[Stan Allen] called for a renewed practice of architecture based on infrastructural ambition, a practice that would allow architecture to turn away from the dead end it had reached as a discursive practice, returning it to its status as a discipline concerned with material. Eschewing both modernism's excesses and postmodernism's obsession with the local and idiosyncratic, infrastructural urbanism instead embraced the basic organizational strategies of network culture of our day: instead of singular, overarching plans, it tuned to emergent, bottom-up schemes, produced by countless actors.
Suggested article: Kazys Varnelis, Infrastructural Fields, Quaderns 261.


So, this Seabrook Floodgate complex must proved durable. It must be scalable, mutable, transforming as it will be facing with natural constraints. It must be capable of problem-addressing New Orleans' specificity and absorbing each threat. Indeed, as coastal flooding being different than other types of flooding, coastal cities, having its own particularities, require adapted and scalable instruments to respond to constraints.
Photo: Jennifer Zdon for The New York Times.
> A streamlined process for obtaining environmental permits helped speed work on the system.
—> Coastal Flooding: Occurs when winds and/or tides cause a rise in the sea level and drive sea water inland | David Garcia Studio | MAP 004 ı Floods | 2011
Source
John Schwartz | Vast Defenses now Shielding New Orleans || New York Times
All the images originally appeared on The New York Times

6/14/2012

The Editor's Pick: Architecture: Velo Towers, Asymptote

Recently The Yongsan International Business District proposals have been revealed with various approach in terms of skyscrapers. I have already written on BIG's Yongsan Towers proposal in a previous post. Another two-in-one tower has been unveiled today; Asymptote recently revealed its Velo Towers proposal. Yongsan is geographically situated in the center of Seoul, South Korea, with an area of 21.87 sq km (8.44 sq mi), a population of 227,400 and a density of 10,000/sq km (27,000/sq mi).
Velo Towers, Yongsan International Business District, Seoul, South Korea
© Asymptote Architecture

Many blogs have noticed the singularity of this tower in form in comparison with the other proposals… except that of BIG — a pair of towers, too —, similar, not in form, but strategically. This strategy can be explained given regulations in Seoul known to be very strict. If so, the treatment of BIG's and Asymptote's parcels require specific solutions, at least different than proposals of SOM, Kohn Pedersen Fox associatesREX, Dominique Perrault Architecture, Tange Associates, among others.
Velo Towers - Exterior of ground level, © Asymptote Architecture

Suggested articles: Architecture: BIG Unveiling plans for Yongsan International Business District, Seoul, ULGC.
also: Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates: Yongsan International Business District - Block H, Designboom.
Yongsan International Business District 'Project 6'/REX, archdaily.
The Blade | Dominique Perrault Architecture, archdaily.
Pentominium | Murphy/Jahn, archdaily.
YIBD Block C1-20 | Tange Associates, archdaily.

I am particularly curious about the choice for such a design — I was curious about BIG's design strategy, too. First in Asymptote's Velo Tower, bridges are used as connectors in a similar strategy as in BIG's Yongsan Towers. Here is my point of view. The highly, densely concentration of high-rise buildings in the center of global cities may make centers vulnerable to disruptions in terms of quality of life, work and leisure; these include air, views and natural light.
Velo Towers - Faceted facade, © Asymptote Architecture

These elements are essential in terms of making place attractive in comparison with other places — this means a high competition between places within cities at various scales. For example, central Seoul is known for its scarcity of land due to high concentration of human activities.
Velo Towers - Entrance to lobby © Asymptote Architecture

Recent urban developments on the center may affect not only the quality of existing places — living conditions, health, jobs, leisure, as well as people as places and people interact. Hence, the inclusion of placemaking as tools in architects' projects now becoming a norm.
Velo Towers - site model, © Asymptote Architecture.
Note BIG's Yongsan Towers on the left.
As cities have become more powerful economic actors in the world economy, architects must develop more intuitive and efficient strategies, design tools, and architectonic and construction systems that promote attractive, safety, community vitality and economic growth.
Velo Towers - Sky bridge, © Asymptote Architecture
In this context the concept of 'smarter growth' and the redefinition of 'placemaking' have captured the imagination of architects as new opportunities to re-interrogate, if not to break down, the conventional typology of skyscrapers.
Velo Towers - Sketch, © Asymptote Architecture

Place and people mix seamlessly — we now work, live and play in the same place. In this context, these two towers — BIG's Yongsan Towers and Asymptote's Velo Towers — illustrate shifts in architects' research that include placemaking as aforementioned.
Velo Towers - Elevation, © Asymptote Architecture
Velo Towers - level 23-27 © Asymptote Architecture

Back to the Velo Towers. One my have noticed a similarity in the treatment of the pair of towers in BIG's Yongsan Towers and Asymptote's Velo Towers: multi-use bridges as connectors as well as courtyards on top. The first bridge on the ground has a large cut-out section at the center that allows for diffusion of natural light and air as multiple direction; the inclusion of green features as a programmatic strategy.
Velo Towers - Section, © Asymptote Architecture

Then, not only does the rotation create voids between each volume maximizing views, light and air, but also it facilitates the inclusion of terraces with green features making these surfaces accessible to users. On the ground, a park, designed with the same ambitions as the tower, surrounds the skyscraper.
Velo Towers - Diagram, © Asymptote Architecture


Building fact

Project: Velo Towers, Yongsan International Business District
Architects: Asymptote Architecture
Location: Seoul, South Korea
Status: Competition, 2012

Source and images originally appeared on designboom.

6/10/2012

The Architecture Post Review | Cosa Mentale. Journal of Architecture

At last, the Architecture Post The Review is back, after busy months. Today I look at French little publication Cosa Mentale. Cosa Mentale is produced by young editors, some are architecture students others are young professionals; others are not architects — accountant, etc. They are ten and considered themselves as being in resistance. I met three of them on May 23rd at le Bar Le Chéri, a typical bobo-styled (Bourgeois-boheme in French) bar, in Belleville 19th arrondissement, Paris.

Cosa Mentale ı Construire 008, 2012
I only have two issues: Modestie and Construire. I heard of this journal in January, this year. I was searching magazines and books at a bookstore when I saw this newspaper-typed publication.
Cosa Mentale ı Construire 008, 2012
Cosa Mentale ı Construire 008, 2012
Cosa Mentale ı Construire, 008, 2012
The journal is mostly unilingual with interviews of foreign architects published in both versions: French one and original one.
Cosa Mentale ı Modestie, 007, 2011
Cosa Mentale ı Modestie 007, 2011

Like many periodicals, despite a fragile economy, Cosa Mentale shares this energy of offering a new and fresh vision of architecture.
Cosa Mentale ı Modestie 007, 2011
Cosa Mentale ı Modestie 007, 2011






Credit: The Podcast Cosa Mentale is produced by The Architecture Post
Credit Photo: ULGC and The Architecture Post

6/08/2012

Project: Urban Tactics. Temporary Interventions and Long Term Planning | Killing Architects

Rapidly, just to share a link initially shared by dpr-barcelona, radarq net (see also their Tumblr), Manu Fernandez and urbano humano: Urban Tactics. Temporary interventions and Long Term Planning, a project produced by Killing Architects, a studio for research and design in architecture and urbanism, based in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
I have not read it entirely yet but this is worth reading in my view. An abstract of the introduction to give a rapid glance at Killing Architects' project:
This research looks at four very different case studies of temporary use to try to draw general conclusions about the social, economic and political contexts conducive to these projects' success. To try to establish a comprehensive view of the process of realising a temporary project, this study was based on a series of interviews with a range of stakeholders in each case study — with representatives from the local municipality, with curators of the festivals and biennales which provided the framework for many of the temporary projects to take place, and with the designers and cultural planners who were actually trying to realise the interventions. The study focuses in particular on the relationship between the temporary projects and longer term planning and (re)development processes…
So this weekend will be studious (me included…).

Project
Killing Architects' Urban Tactics: Temporary Intervention + Long Term Planning

Who are they?
Killing Architects is a studio for research and design in the fields of architecture and urbanism. The studio works across a range of scales, from that of an individual building up to the scale of a city, from initial feasibility studies through to construction.

Event: The Senior Moment, Volume Project, C-Lab at Studio X

I am currently finishing the audio editing of an interview I conducted with the already mentioned French journal of architecture, Cosa Mentale. This explains the lack of posts this week. This podcast will be launched here tomorrow.
Then I have many interview that I am also planning. I hope to interview before mid-July: the editors of San Rocco that I once again warmly recommend to grab their new issue Fuck Concepts! Contexts; those of Volume (the dream is a conversion between editors of Volume and guest-editors Kate Davies and Liam Young of Unknown Fields Division but we all are reliant on… schedule. In particular as summer holidays are coming quicker than expected) about this current issue Guilt Landscape; and David Garcia Studio, the editor of MAP (for Manual of Architectural Possibilities). I will do my best to provide all these interviews right here in this blog.
But this aside (at least until tomorrow), for now, Volume which launched last year an issue entitled Aging: Fight or Accept (issue 27, April 2011) will organize an event The Senior Moment with the Columbia Lab for Architectural Broadcasting at Studio X, on Wednesday 13 June from 5:45 to 9pm.

This event will be the occasion for the editors and contributors to continue their discussion on this important question aging society. The event will explore this issue from housing and environmental design to emerging technologies and social networks. Participants are:
Linda Fried, Elyzabeth Gaumer, Aubrey de Grey, Jeffrey Inaba, Stephen Johnston, Thomas Kamber, Jesse Mintz-Roth, Caryn Resnick, Richard Rosen, Jeffrey Rosenfeld, and Georgeen Theodore.
The event is free and open to the public, so lucky readers living in New York, save this date…
More: Here.

6/03/2012

Radio: Invisible Cities an episode of Between the ears | the BBC Radio 3

I warmly recommend to listen to Invisible Cities an episode part of the excellent programme Between the Ears produced by The BBC Radio 3. What it it? This episode is inspired by Italian writer Italo Calvino's novel "Invisible Cities".

Suggested book: Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities,  Harcourt Brace Jovanovich publishers, 1978 (English version).

This episodes attempts to reveal hidden, fantastical and surreal stories caught between the cracks of the modern city.
In this episode you will hear contribution from writers, urban explorers and mapmakers, among others PD Smith, an historian of city.
See also: PD Smith on Tumblr.
Note that this episode is available to listen for 7 days afterwards on BBC Radio 3 website, and as we are Sunday, you are only 6 days left. So go and listen to if you don't mind…

Today's map: warming hole over the eastern United States due to air pollution

First, the podcast on French journal of architecture Cosa Mentale is delayed for next Saturday due to a high amount of works and a project not yet confirmed so I can't say more yet. I haven't finished the audio editing yet.

Two maps that I discovered yesterday while following an live-stream event Designing Geopolitics 2 via twitter. For those of you who have interest in those questions of sovereignties, infrastructures and identities go to twitter (if you have a twitter account) and check out #desgeo2012 for more details. Tweets are available there with links of notes taken by the participants.
These two maps are a measure of how worrying threat of temperature rising is. They show a "warming hole" over the eastern United States due to air pollution, as reported in the Earth Observatory. The first map is designed based on data from NASA's Surface Temperature Analysis (GISTEMP), parts of the United States even cooled between 1930 and 1990.
Surface Air Temperature Change Due To Aerosols (°C).
Originally appeared Earth Observatory.

The Earth Observatory describes this map as follows:
Areas of the greatest cooling are blue; those that warmed are red.
Very easy to understand. According to climate specialists, this large area of cooling is known as "warming hole", because:
[T]he areas surrounding it have warmed at a faster rate.
Environment specialists' diverse studies show that natural variations in sea surface temperatures as well as sulfates — a type of aerosol —, produced by coal power plants. As the Earth Observatory notes, this aerosol is:
[K]nown for causing acid rain.
As seen in the first map Surface Air Temperature Change Due To Aerosols, sulfates are in light-colored. Not only do these sulfates produce cooling by scattering and reflecting sunlight, but also, they lower temperatures indirectly by making clouds more reflective and long-lasting, we learn.
The second map observes surface temperature change as its title Observed Surface Temperature Change indicates. This research is led by a former researcher of the Harvard University, — now researcher at the MIT. With his team, Eric Leibensperger used global models to estimate the cooling effect sulfates on the climate of the United States since 1950. The team notes that between 1970 and 1990 sulfates were at their highest levels. This impacted temperature with nearly 1°Celsius (1.8° Fahrenheit) cooler in areas such as Arkansas and Missoury. For the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic, the researchers recorded temperatures being about 0.7°Celsius cooler. Sulfates also impacted sea surface temperatures with 0.3°Celsius cooler.
Observed Surface Temperature Change (°C).
Originally appeared on Earth Observatory.
We learn however that cooling effect from this aerosol is declining due to the Clean Air Act. As a result, according to Eric Leibensperger Team's research,
temperatures over the central and eastern United States have increased 0.3°Celsius between 1980 and 2010. 
Additionally, these researchers note that given that sulfate concentrations have decreased sharply, the impact of future decreases won't be nearly as substantial.
What I learn from these maps is that environmental crises may be if not impossible at least tough to solve. As it has been said at the Designing Geopolitics 2 event:
Problems we're faced with are complex, demand cooperative solutions between people who never will agree.  
In this respect, global warming — I am afraid to add food security, water, natural resource shortage, and other environmental crises — can be viewed as a "super wicked problem", as one of the participants of this event noted, that is: a problem, to paraphrase Wikipedia, that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. In this context, I am wondering how we will problem-solve, or at least, do with environmental crises, not to become pessimistic, but…

Source: Earth Observatory

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