9/28/2012

Symposium | Performing Architecture ı Princeton University


If you have an interest in curatorial practice, performance, theory, and socio-political topics in architecture today, add in you calendar this one-day symposium programmed for 13 October. Participants are Pedro Gadanho (MoMA), RoseLee Goldberg (Performa), who will explore questions of political and aesthetic representation in their respective curatorial practices; Vito Acconci (Acconci Studio) and Jill Stoner (UC Berkeley) will address the hermeneutics of performativity in the critical and material destructuring of space. Artist Mary Ellen Carroll will talk the performative gesture in her work, and question architecture's appropriation of the public. Alex Schweder will present an architectural renovation in real time. Victoria Øye (Canadian Centre for Architecture), Brynn Hatton (Northwestern University), Carlin Wing (New York University), and Timothy Simonds (Brown University) will discuss recent research on the materialization of performance in contemporary architecture.

Performing Architecture is a one-day symposium - on Saturday, October 13, 2012 — bringing together significant theorists and practitioners in the fields of architecture and performance and inviting a broader engagement with the artistic and academic community. In parallel with the art world's return to performance and a renewed search for architecture's social and political relevance, this symposium seeks to move beyond disciplinary hegemony in the dissemination of architecture today.
With the issues addressed at Performing Architecture, we hope to offer lasting provocations to how we think of the body, space, structure, and design in the disciplines of performance and architecture — and somewhere between the two.
So if you are in the Princeton area…
Date: 13 October, 2012
Where: James Stewart '32 Theater
Princeton University Lewis Center for the Arts, 185 Nassau Street, Princeton, New Jersey

More (registration, programme, schedule): here.

9/27/2012

Map | Energy | The Dialectical relation between energy and society

Today's map explores the dialectical relation between fuel and society. As the second volume of New Geographies titled Landscapes of Energy has clearly showed, society of the 20th century has been shaped by energy. This map below, originally appeared on The Economist, spotlights this triad of energy, economy and environment. Below is from The Economist,

More than half the world's oil supply is used to transport, and three-quarters of the energy used in transport is spent on the road, according to a new report by the International Energy Agency (IEA). But without new policies to spur efficiency, the amount of fuel used for road transport will double by 2050, with severe implications for carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions. Most of the technologies needed to improve fuel economy are already available and cost-effective, so what is needed are policies that steer businesses and consumers in the right direction. Fuel taxes, CO2-based vehicle taxes, fuel-economy standards and better product labelling are the four key policies recommended by the IEA. To judge the extent to which countries have adopted these, the IEA has created a fuel-economy readiness (see map). Most rich countries, especially in Europe and Japan, already have the right policies in place, whereas in North America there is still room for improvement. The worst offenders are major oil-producing countries like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, which encourage wasteful fuel use through subsidies.



Fuel Economy. Originally appeared on The Economist

9/26/2012

Making cities along with water: The Arnavutköy Municipality, Istanbul

Istanbul is home of nearly 13,5 million people — population growth over the last decades corresponding to 45%. During the last decades, the density per inhabitant is 2,523 /km2. Its land area tripled from approximately 1,800 km2 to 5,300 km2. If including another 1.5 million workers that circulates from suburbs to the city's center every day, its peak time population reaches 15 million. Istanbul comprises many neighborhoods among them, Arnavutköy, a neighborood part of the Besiktas district, located in the European side of the Bosphorus.
Istanbul is facing with rapid urban expansion. Observers estimate that its population will be rising to 22 million by 2025 — precisely a projected growth based on 14 people per hour from 2005 to 2025 [For data and further information: see LSE Urban Age].

Suggested essays
Istanbul city of Intersection | LSE Cities/The Urban Age

As a megalopolis, Istanbul combines interconnected issues of the impact of rapid growth in urbanization, vehicle use and industrialization, the effect of climate change,  on natural resources. Indeed, as a response to this expansion, the city is confronting with ecological pressures among them: water, natural resources, arable land. As urban density increases, natural resources, arable land, woods and water decrease. These constraints, thus, will also be having severe effects on quality of life, health, and well-being, food and wood. Air pollution is rising — average PM10 levels about 55 µgm-3 (LSE Urban Age) — and will be becoming one of the challenging environmental issues of the city and its region alike — quality of life, clean water, health. Hence the city administration's efforts to limit the population to nearly 16 million.

Suggested essay
Megacities as hot spots of air pollution in the East Mediterranean | Maria Kanakidou et al. || Atmospheric Environment ||| Elsevier

Making City Istanbul is a collaborative project led by the IABR and the Istanbul Design Biennial that will open this October. The design research is conducted by a landscape architecture firm and an architecture firm: Dutch H + N + S Landscape Architects and Belgian 51N4E and Architecture Workroom Brussels.
Arnavutköy is a typical site that must do with a juxtaposition of land demand, urban growth, and ecology pressures, as mentioned above. Largely a hydrologic area, it possesses ecological features — water basin and forests. The water reservoirs aside, the district is also known for being largely agrarian. The video below depicts main ecological and urban issues of Istanbul and a design proposal to adjust and recalibrate these issues. As this video says, Arnavutköy's features are under pressures due to increasingly energy-intensive large-scale urban developments — equipment, infrastructures such as airports, road and transport, among others — and population growth. These urban development intensify land pressures. As a consequence, these pressures will be causing not only water but also agriculture pressures. As urbanization increases, agricultural lands decrease causing agricultural crop loss, and, as a result of this, food pressures.

The aim to the design as showed in the video is to offer public amenities while preserving natural resources and the water basin. Because the water basin is central to the district — a network of water reservoirs provide the city with drinking water —, the design proposal consists to recognize the boundaries of the water reservoirs,  reinforce the conception of water as central resource. Intervention in areas like Arnavutköy requires the invention of a new vocabulary adapted to local contexts and shared value decision-making. In her essay titled Insurgent Ecologies: (Re)Claiming Ground in Landscape and Urbanism, Nina-Marie Lister proposes adaptive design,

Suggested books
Ecological Urbanism | Mohsen Mostafavi, Gareth Doherty (eds) || Lars Müller Publishers
The Landscape Urbanism Reader | Charles Waldheim || Princeton Architectural Press
Landform Building: Architecture's New Terrain | Stan Allen, Marc McQuade (eds.) || Lars Müller Publishers

to refer to an integrated, whole-system, learning-based approach to the management of human-ecological interactions, with explicit implications for planning interventions and resulting design forms.

Lister goes on,

Adaptive design draws on current ecological science and is a response to urbanizing landscapes that are under pressure from competing resource demands and land uses. [It] constitutes decision making that is inclusive of multiple perspectives, adaptive to regular but unpredictable environmental change, and both resilient and responsive to these changes, responding, for example, to new ecological information in a timely way, before critical and irreversible thresholds are crossed.
Put it simply, adaptive design requires anticipation, adaptation, responsiveness, and flexibility. It must integrate site's topography, ecological issues, social and economic features, urban growth and conflicting land-use goals. Failures, as part of adaptive design, are also keys to problem-address areas that combine ecological issues and urban growth. The design proposed in this video lies in a cycle that connects water — city — agriculture. A design as tool to preserve water zones, ecological agriculture while integrating new patterns of growth, to combine the city's topography and its macroform. A design, then, that seems to stress anticipation, responsiveness and resilience as core elements to calibrate this site. 
A new vocabulary, as mentioned above, supposes responsive interventions, anticipation and adaptation strategies, in the form of scalable, mutable soft systems for such ecological complexities, but a design that, also, takes account of not only ecological features but also economic and social features as well as centuries of history of the city, here Istanbul. If I refer to this video, the design proposal based on the cycle water — city — agriculture attempts to elaborate an adaptive language consisting of the city as provider of the necessary resources for agriculture, and as protective tool for the water reservoirs, "which in turn feeds the city with clean water." An approach based on anticipation and adaptation strategies understands that it is possible to juxtapose urban density and natural resources.



Watch the video below for the presentation of the design proposal




credits
Local curator
Asu Aksoy (member of the 5th IABR: Making City Curator Team, Bilgi University Istanbul) Municipality of Arnavutköy
Design Team
Architecture Workroom Brussels
H+N+S Landscape Architects
51N4E
Partie involved
Istanbul Metropolitan Region Authority (including the Istanbul Metropolitan Planning Office), national government of Turkey, ISKI water services department and other administrative authorities, NL agency.

Source: Here.

9/25/2012

Little Publication | call for Submission | For CLOG ı Brutalism ı Guest-editor Michael Abrahamson

CLOG Magazine just announced its new call for submission. The topic: Brutalism.

Related Post
ULGC / The Architecture Post | The Review | Second edition featuring Julia van den Hout and Kyle May, Editors of CLOG Magazine (Podcast)


A defining architectural style of the postwar era — characterized by severe, abstract geometries and the use of cast concrete, block and brick — Brutalism arguably produced some of the world's least popular public buildings. The style's international propagation brought modern architecture to ever-larger constituencies, and some argue that the perceived shortcomings of these Brutalist structures led to the demise of the Modernist project.
While today often admired (and even loved) by architects, many Brutalist projects — Bertrand Goldberg's Prentice Women's Hospital, Marcel Breuer's Ameritrust Tower, Paul Rudolph's Orange County Government Center, Alison and Peter Smithson's Robin Hood Gardens, and Gillespie Kidd and Coia's St. Peter's Seminary, to name a few — are now threatened with demolition. Judging by the work of many contemporary practitioners, however, the influence of Brutalism only seems to grow. Before the wrecking balls swing, it is time to look back on, debate, understand, and learn from Brutalism.
Guest-editor to this issue is critic and designer Michael Abrahamson




More on deadline, submission requirements: Here.

Landscape Future | First Rock touched…

Still my fascination for this Mars expedition. September 23, NASA announces that Curiosity's arm touched the first Martian rock. Unsurprisingly, Mars and Science (fiction) enthusiasts certainly have enjoyed this news, me included.
This robot's task consists of taking photographs along with its arm-mounted camera — the Mars Hand lens Imager (MAHLI) — as the video below shows. As NASA reports, the aim is to analyze powder drilled from interiors of rocks.

The video below is a simulation showing rover Curiosity's first contact with the rock. With a software based upon an algorithmically driven grammar that integrates complex topographic features and environmental constraints such as Mars, the robot recognizes the specifics of the site's topography. The robotic arm moves back and forth to analyze the sol. When reaching its target, its ChemCam instrument shoots laser pulses at the rock. This rock, named Jake Matijevic in commemoration of the influential Mars-rover engineer Jacob Matijevic, has a smooth, grey surface with some glinty facets reflecting sunlight and reddish dust collecting in recesses in the rock, it is reported,

Jake Matijevic is a dark, apparently uniform rock that was selected as a desirable target because it allowed the science team to compare results of the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument and the Chemistry and Camera (ChemCam) instrument, both of which provide information about the chemical elements in a target. APXS, like MAHLI, is on the turret at the end of Curiosity's robotic arm. It is placed in contact with a rock to take a reading. ChemCam shoots laser pulses at a target from the top of the rover's mast.
This simulation below has been made with the Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program (RSVP),

Suggested essay: J. Wright et al., Driving on the Surface of Mars with the Rover Sequencing and Visualization Program
Jeng Yen et al., Sequence Rehearsal and Validation on Surface Operations of the Mars Exploration Rover

a set of software tools that are designed to work in this daily planning environment to support the rapid analysis of rover state information and creation of command sequences. (…) The RSVP tools include terrain model visualization and interaction, numeric data plotting and analysis, image display and interrogation, command sequence visualization, sequence rehearsal, kinematic modelling of rover and terrain interactions, and time-based modelling of spacecraft and planetary bodies for analysis of communication issues, incident solar energy, and shadowing. [ J. Wright et al.]




Curiosity's Rock-Contact Science Begins | NASA/JPL-Caltech
> "This image shows the robotic arm of NASA's Mars rover Curiosity with the first rock touched by an instrument on the arm. The rover's right Navigation Camera (NavCam) took this image during the 46th Martian day, or sol, of the mission (Sept. 22, 2012). On that sol, the rover placed the Alpha Particle X-Ray Spectrometer (APXS) instrument onto the rock to assess what chemical elements were present in the rock. The rock is named "Jake Matijevic" in commemoration of influential Mars-rover engineer Jacob Matijevic (1947-2012)."

Mars Hand Lens Imager Nested Close-Ups of Rock 'Jake Matijevic' | NASA/JPL-Caltech

Mars Rover Curiosity in Artist's Concept, Close-up | NASA/JPL-Caltech
> This artist concept features NASA's Mars Science Laboratory Curiosity rover, a mobile robot for investigating Mars' past or present ability to sustain microbial life. Curiosity is being tested in preparation for launch in the fall of 2011.
In this picture, the mast, or rover's "head," rises to about 2.1 meters (6.9 feet) above ground level, about as tall as a basketball player. This mast supports two remote-sensing instruments: the Mast Camera, or "eyes," for stereo color viewing of surrounding terrain and material collected by the arm; and, the ChemCam instrument, which is a laser that vaporizes material from rocks up to about 9 meters (30 feet) away and determines what elements the rocks are made of.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for the NASA Science Mission Directorate, Washington.


Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech > Curiosity's mission site

Source: NASA.

9/21/2012

News | What is Architecture in a Time of Crisis? Lisbon Architecture Triennale 2013 asks

As announced last month, I will post my first studio visit next week. Yesterday I visited, chatted and filmed this young French agency DATA Architects. I spent a great time. More next week or in one or two weeks. Next…

While the Venice Architecture Biennale is still open (until 25 November), The Lisbon Triennale is hardly working on the 2013 edition, named Close, Closer. Curators are Beatrice Galilee, Liam Young, José Esparza, and Mariana Pestana. Reading the booklet gives me sort of feeling that this edition will function as a think lab, certainly more curatorial than a triennale-like event. Below some glimpses from the booklet you can read visiting Close, Closer website.
The 2013 edition explores the multiple possibilities of architectural output through critical and experimental exhibitions, events, performances and debates across the city. As Beatrice Galilee writes,

By publicly interrogating the terminology, practicalities, inspirations, inventions and their influences on the city, we open spacial practice, one part of which is architecture, to be closer to vital new audiences and new publics.
Four curatorial projects will address distinct and discrete realms of spatial practice: Future Perfect, The Real and other Fictions, The Institute Effect and New Publics. Future Perfect, Liam Young writes,

brings together an ensemble of mad scientists, design mavericks, literary astronauts, speculative gamers, visionaries and luminaries to collectively develop the props, spaces, machines, cultures and narratives of a future city, an imaginary urbanism, the landscapes that surrounding it and the stories it contains.
Wander through our fictional city to explore possibilities and consequences of today's emerging biological and technological research. What things may come, in a Future Perfect…
The Real And Other Fictions, according to Mariana Pestana,
The Real and Other Fictions is an exhibition made of interdisciplinary spatial interventions at the scale of 1:1. All installations are fully functional, welcoming the visitor to eat, read, drink and even spend the night. As it explores the uncanny space between reality and fiction, the exhibition presents itself as an artifice composed of real spaces and programmes. It is an exhibition of hyper-real architecture. And it is alive.
José Esparza writes about New Publics,

New Publics presents a three-month-long public programmes that aims to be the central stage for the presentation of the plurality witnessed in the production of contemporary spatial practice, with the goal of providing a platform for the articulation of clear agendas with larger civic ambitions. It presents itself as a forum to materialize the multiplicity of arguments and collectively create effective strategies for structural change.
The last curatorial project The Institute Effect,

Some of the most influential authors of contemporary spatial practice are the institutions that establish and disseminate the ideas and movements of the time. The Institute Effect will invite 20 international institutions to exhibit themselves in Lisbon — from magazines to museums, independent groups and publishers — and create a rotating homage to the institution as a spatial practitioner.
Six digital publication will be published over the course of one year continuing the discussion on plurality in spatial practice.
The 2013 edition will open from September to December 2013 (precisely: 12 September - 15 December 2013). We will obviously be having more info on this edition to share over the year and the coming year…

This said, the curatorial team invites any of us to answer this question: What is Architecture in a time of crisis? You can add your answer: here. Any idea is welcome… in 100 words.

More: Here.




9/19/2012

Planning with floods. The case of Pakistan Flood Rebuilding Grant Program

As mentioned in August, I am working on my first guest-editing series, which may be transformed into a call-for-submission type of project (I am hesitating regarding the form). The problem of the form aside, this will not be this month as expected due to a huge amount of works, my new websites including, but in October at the very least.

Note that this call-for-submissions will open to all (unsurprisingly I will review these papers. The selected papers will be published here). But I will go back to this project soon. I recommend to read the latest issue of Domus (issue 961), in particular The 900-Kilometre-Long City, which explores settlements along the Nile Valley developing a new language, and strategies for intervention in rural and urban areas such as the Nile Valley, for an overview of this series on planning near water.

But firstly, a post that will offer the occasion to have a first glance at the content of this project mentioned above. A post that may interest those which research focus on building along with local contexts too.

The Architecture for Humanity has shared on Facebook this Pakistan Flood Rebuilding Grant Program - The Heritage Foundation, a project conducted by the Heritage Foundation. It is located in Khairpur, Singh, in Pakistan, one of the largest cities in the province of Sindh in southeast Pakistan. Khairpur District has a population of 1,515,000 (according to the 1998 Census. It is certainly much more than this estimation) with a density of 95.2/square kilometers (247/square miles) on an area of 15,910 square kilometers (6,140 square miles). In 1998, 23.23% of this area was urban with an average annual growth rate of the population at 2.71%.
Women's Center. Originally appeared on Open Architecture Network

The city of Khairpur has a population of 127,856 (according to the 2006 Census). It is located along the Khairpur East Canal, 18 kilometers (11 miles) of the Indus River. The area is confronted with increasing flooding events. Mariyam Nizam relates the recent events that impacted this area:
Plan. Originally appeared on Open Architecture Network


Parts of the district, known as Kingri, had been affected by flood waters rising to a height of 6'0", that had washed away the mud houses and all the belongings of disadvantaged communities forced to live close to the water's edge. These areas locally known as 'Kaccha' that lay along the river bed, had not only been most affected by the floods but were also furthest off from the main urban areas.
Section. Originally appeared on Open Architecture Network

Contexts and conditions should be taken into consideration when planning in such areas — topography, environmental impacts, population, development, social issues, infrastructure,

The floods caused the death of 1,600 people and some 20 million citizens were displaced by this natural disaster. These devastating floods have had a serious impact on an already vulnerable population. It is estimated that, at one point, one fifth of the country's total land area are underwater. Much of the farming land, housing and infrastructures were completely destroyed, leaving millions of people living in precarious, sub-standard conditions. The population has since struggled with severe food shortages, lack of sanitation and access to clean, drinking water.
Wind Catcher Roof Plan. Originally appeared on Open Architecture Network

In this context, planning in complex areas requires more attentive considerations to generating positive outputs.

On floods:
MAP 004 | Floods | David Garcia Studio

A question then raises to ask if Architects and planners' current tools and methods are adapted to landscapes under environment pressures.
Village Darya Khan Shaikh. Originally appeared on Open Architecture Network

As Atelier Kempe Thill, Baukuh, GRAU, LOLA, and Ayman Hashem in their essay titled The 900-kilometre long city (See Domus 961, September 2012), about Nile Valley, a new vocabulary is needed for a better understanding of — and I add operation in — areas such as the Nile Valley avoiding the classical Western ideas about planning.
The Village of Darya Khan Shaikh. Originally appeared on Open Architecture Network

Same statement is the same when intervening in areas like Khairpur. As they pointed out, as "these areas do not fit into our current categories, new tools, methods and approach to planning are needed".
Mixing lime-sand mortar. Originally appeared on Open Architecture Network

This 190-square-meter residential project, namely, the reconstruction of 30 homes, in Khairpur is designed to be low carbon footprint and adapted at the very least to areas exposed to an array of complex issues. Local but sustainable materials are required: bamboo, mud, lime and stone. 
Tying Roof Structure. Originally appeared on Open Architecture Network

And GKV, a soil, Mariyam Nizam writes, being unable to support concrete structures. Nizam describes the technique of construction:
Prior to undertaking construction, a study was made of local materials and building practices. Upon excavation of the first unit it was clear that the foundations would also require an alteration. Firm soil could not be reached until excavations had been carried out till 5 feet or more. The usual methodology of constructing foundations up to 5 feet would result increase the cost exorbitantly, especially since stone was not available in close vicinity and would have to be carted from some distance. A study of brick availability was also carried out; however, in view of the cost of brick and use of energy in its production, preference was given to stone masonry in foundations. The project structural consultant provided an alternative methodology for construction of the foundations. Accordingly a replacement technique was adopted through which compacted pure sand would replace the soil thereby decreasing the wall masonry depth to only 2-3 feet below ground instead of the earlier 5-6 ft. In order to take advantage of the prevailing wind, a wind catcher was incorporated, the design of which was based on the studies carried out by Yasmeen Lari in the early 1980s, and drawings for which were available in her book 'Traditional Architecture of Thatta'. Another innovation that proved to be time-saving as well as increasing local economy was woven local reed matting. The matting was now made up as prefabricated panels produced in a nearby village. The matting panels were ordered to size and speeded up the construction activity enormously as they arrived as ready to be installed panels for roofs and walls. The weave of reed made it sturdy as well as long lasting. As we continue to build more units, the entire village is now engaged in this activity. Since direct purchases are being made, this has become a source of considerable income for the community.
This technique of construction might be adapted to the contexts and conditions of the area. But the most important here is to provide secure low-cost housing to the affected communities. In an era with increasing concerns with health and well-being for all, this program searches to combine architecture, health and well-being, and social outcomes in areas that suffer from health inequalities, difficult access to infrastructure, clean water, lack of sanitation and housing.
Demonstration to understand the structure of the Green Karavan Ghan. Originally appeared on Open Architecture Network

The latest edition of the Urban Age in Hong Kong that copes with Cities, Health and Well-being reminded us that the pressures of urban growth have contributed to the emergence of stark social and health inequalities in cities of the developed and developing world, and that health and well-being will be becoming the core objectives for liveable cities. 
Participants monitoring site layouts. Originally appeared on Open Architecture Network

In conclusion, as this project highlighted, the efforts to reengineering such areas confronted with environmental and social crises and a specific, adaptive and scalable approach to building are needed. 


Further information: Here.

9/18/2012

Lecture: The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Shapes the development of Nations

September 29th 2012, a lecture that explores how oil has shaped our society: The Oil Curse: How Petroleum Shapes the Development of Nations.
Those whose research focuses on Infrastructure and Energy, will probably be interested in attending it:

Countries that are rich in petroleum have less democracy, more conflict, and more economic turmoil than countries without oil. What explains this oil curse? Can it be fixed? And how should it change our understanding of the middle East and the Arab Spring?
Speakers are Michael Ross, Professor of Political Science also Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, at the University of California Los Angeles, and Dermot Gately, Professor of Economics, New York University.

I do not know if the debate will exclusively focus on economy, and geopolitics, it would be interesting to have further information as this question of the future of oil (as central and crucial to our society) is much more than a simple topic…

Location: 19 Washington Square North, NYUAD, if you have a chance to attend…

The Editor's Pick | Video | Update: DredgeFest Event at Studio-X NYC

This August, I shared this event DredgeFest programmed these Friday September 28th, and Saturday September 29th at Studio-X NYC.

Related Post
ULGC | The Editor's Pick: Yellow Bay Island 

September 10th, m.ammoth, the organizer, posted this video filmed by Alex Chohlas-Wood and Ben Mendelsohn.




For those who cannot attend for many reasons (me including as not being in New York), this video gives us a broad overview of what we will miss...

Source and video originally appeared on m.ammoth.

Book Review | PD Smith ı City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age

We need to start seeing cities not as the problem, 
but as part of the solution to climate change.
City: A Guidebook for an Urban Age

Why city matters? Once again this question. However, it continues to occupy the scene as, and this is nothing short of a truism: city becomes more important as more people live in it. And books, conferences, articles, websites dedicated to cities will increase, particularly as it has been forecasted here and there that some 70 per cent or so of the global population will live in cities by 2050. Well, an urban age, in a way.
P.D. Smith | City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age, 2012

And a book, more like an UFO, difficult to categorize… while labelled as a guidebook (because of its title? Or the way the book has been structured?), it is too unclassifiable to be considered as such. This book, City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age, written by Peter D Smith, published this spring. 400 pages… A pavé (voluntarily in French in the text, meaning a massive tome).

As P.D. Smith writes in his acknowledgements:
In the middle of the twentieth century, New York became the world's first megacity, a metropolitan area with ten million or inhabitants. By 2007, according to the UN, there were nineteen megacities, a figure that is expected to rise to at least twenty-six by 2025. (…)
People are moving to cities in unprecedented numbers, particularly in the developing world. Half of China's population is expected to leave the countryside for the cities by mid-century. By then 70 per cent of its population will be urban and about half of the population will be urban, and about half of the populations of Africa and India will be city dwellers.
But as people gathering in urban areas, issues are rising:
But as the number of people living in cities increases so, too, do the problems they face. The climate of the earth is changing and as a result cities are bracing themselves to cope with threats from a more hostile environment, including flooding and extreme storms, as well as rising temperatures and water shortages.
They must also deal with profound social problems. For thousands of years, cities have proved highly effective at lifting people out of poverty.
Not new. But these two citations do not mean that P.D. Smith's book City: Guidebook for the Urban Age is a book dedicated to specialists, let's say: planners, architects, historians, economists, urban sociologists. Nor is it an architectural history of city. Instead this book is much more a guidebook for specialists and non specialists alike. In short for those who share a strong interest in cities, say why cities matter. So these two citations do not reveal something new about what makes cities so attractive. No! As it is not the aim either.

Again, the book can be read as a traveller's guidebook as well as a book for historians of city; a planner, an architect will certainly enjoy the content; An economist will even find a pleasure. In a way, a précis about cities, their mechanisms, their evolution…. A massive précis — 400 pages, I repeat.
I however confess not to have read this book as a guidebook. I rather explored cities through P.D. Smith's lens. Smith lives outside of London, a megalopolis which recently was put in the light, worldwide, this August for Para/Olympics Games 2012.

Smith is an accomplished writer. Nevertheless, as many noticed here and there, he is neither a planner nor an architect. However, as historians or economists which city is the object of their daily research, he puts city as central to human evolution. And for sure it is. We all need city to live, to work, to have fun. We love city or we hate it… City is the center of its own negation, constantly mediating itself…

So I was not disappointed. The book is worthwhile reading, in particular for its content as well as its structure. My version is the Kindle edition (I am both a digital and print format lover). I consequently did not experience the pleasure of the print version which is certainly (or not depending on whether you are more ebook than 'print' book and vice versa) as enjoyable as its digital version.


Following the rigueur of a guidebook, it is organized as follows: Arrival, History, Customs, Where to Stay, Getting Around, Money, Time Out, Beyond The City. These chapters however are much more a reflection of why cities matter — Parks, Wired City, Street Food, Eco-City, Walking, The Ruins (one of my favourite chapters), Going Underground (another one), Slum City, The Hotel…
Short chapters. These chapters then are accompanied with short notes — Surfing the Streets, Coffee Houses, the Bilbao Effect, Red-Light District… Note that you are not obliged to follow the Table of content: pick a chapter, and you are directly at the heart of the subject. I started with The Ruins (unsurprisingly). And then another one, and so on. You won't be lost in your read. The reason? Smith's style is very witty, eloquent and tellingly concise. It evacuates any straightforward narratives which may have made the book too tedious or pompous. No condescension here. Learned while modest,
In a future world with ever more people and fewer resources, it no longer seems fanciful to imagine the creation of 'megastructures' (a world coined by Rayner Banham in the 1970s), in which a whole city is contained within a single building. The Situationist architect Constant Nieuwenhuys proposed a utopian megastructure called New Babylon as early as 1956. If, as scientists predict, the glaciers melt and sea levels rise dramatically, then ship-cities such as Armada in China Miéville's The Scar, or cities built out across water, as in architect Kenzo Tange's elegant 'Plan for Tokyo' (1960) which extended the Japanese capital out into the bay, might become reality. Transparent domes protecting cities are another idea popular with science fiction authors. In 1968, American futurist Buckminster Fuller actually proposed covering part of New York City in a vast air-conditioned geodesic dome. And who knows — in an age of climate change, such a scheme might indeed be necessary to protect downtowns from violent storms or stifling heat.
In each chapter, Smith explores the mechanisms, history, driving forces that constitute city throughout its components, traces (graffiti), but also customs, habits, languages of its inhabitants (which at some moments reminded me Michel De Certeau's analysis in The Practice of Everyday life, in particular the second volume — but that concerns the French version only which is articulated into two volumes), urban life, street art, and events.
Let me take an example: In The Ruins, taking the example of lost cities, Smith relates how these lost cities, while having disappeared for various but surely tragic reasons, still act as reminders,
that, for all their splendour, human achievements are only temporary: even the greatest civilisations will one day fall. [I]n any city street you might come across a ruined house, its windows blinded with boards, or a church where congregations once prayed being, pummelled by the wrecker's ball: these urban memento mori are all reminders that, despite their flawless plate-glass walls and the seemingly eternal roar of the traffic, even the greatest cities can become ruins.
Those temples in Tokyo for instance are examples of reminders for Tokyoïtes as well as a pleasure for tourists and… Japan's lovers. Near where I live when I am in Tokyo, there is a small-scale temple hidden by trees… that reminds the architectural grammar of Edo and Meiji eras… 


Book in Review 
Peter D Smith | City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age | Bloomsbury Press, 2012, 400 pages. The book is available in hardcover format, $26,40, Kindle Edition $21,69, and on iTunes (As my iTunes is the French version, the price is in euros: 28.99€. Check out your iTunes version for the appropriate price).


But ruins are far from being as beautiful as my temples in Tokyo. Pompeii, Pripyat (I let the recent (Japan's) 3/11 event aside for this time) are among these tragic ruins which were as vivid and modern as our megapolis are now. In few minutes these flamboyant cities became… ruins, as buried under dust, debris and mineral deposits:

On the morning of 24 August ad 79, the Roman administrator and poet Pliny the Younger noticed a column of smoke rising 'like an umbrella pipe' above the volcano of Vesuvius on the other side of the Bay of Naples. The cloud climbed some thirty kilometres into the sky, eventually turning day into night. People were terrified, believing it was the end of the world. For those unfortunate enough to be living in the Roman towns of Herculaneum and Pompeii it was indeed the end. The following day, an avalanche of hot ash, rock fragments and super-heated volcanic gases engulfed both towns and their inhabitants, burying them under more than thirty feet of mineral deposits. There they remained until a surveyor rediscovered Pompeii in 1748. It was a perfectly preserved time capsule — Roman streets and houses, many with wall paintings still intact, bakeries, shops, bath houses and brothels (complete with obscene graffiti). To walk through the city was like stepping back two thousand years.
Sure that Enthusiasts of history of cities will delight it (in particular throughout Smith's style). 
Not to mention urban explorers. Imagine a city, for various but sad reasons, abandoned. It will certainly be populated by… trees, flora, wild animals, goats and whatever. Pripyat…,

Pripyat, in Ukraine, was once a modern Soviet city of about fifty thousand people. But after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, it was evacuated and abandoned. Within a decade, the concrete paving stones in the city squares had been broken and lifted up almost a metre by tree roots, 'as if a giant earthquake had struck'. Today, wild animals such as deer and boar move freely around the overgrown city, which has become a modern ghost town.
Imagine again you are landing in a city after decades of spatial (or temporal or whatever) exploration, a city full of ruins, dusts, debris, and other remains. A city emptied of people. The melancholy of a city that not long ago was as a popular (or not) modern city. You don't recognize this city but you act as an archaeologist or urban explorer. Smith writes:

In Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970), astronaut John Brent (James Franciscus) discovers the ruins of New York preserve underground — the façade of the Stock Exchange, the Public Library, Radio City and St Patrick's Cathedral. He also finds a cult worshipping a deadly piece of twentieth-century technology — a cobalt doomsday bomb. It is a reminder that if there were a third world war, future archaeologists might find very little indeed of our cities, just ashes and carbonised remains. For the technologies of mass destruction perfected during the twentieth century mean that whole cities could be annihilated — literally wiped off the map — at the touch of a button.
And there is plenty of examples like these ones. 

Writing a little while back on this review, I fear I may have sounded more enthusiastic or, worse, glib than I meant to. But this translates the pleasure I had this summer — I confess to have read the book four times always with the same pleasure — in reading this City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age.
With evidence, PD Smith's City has several functions on this manner. I decided to focus on what I particularly appreciate in cities: urban exploration (among others. Note that my second read was under the scope of urban exploration. The third was dominated by sustainable cities…). I will read it once again but through the architect's lens — with a focus on The Skyscraper, Norman Foster's Masdar City — and that of the planner — with a focus on Wired City (another pleasure), Eco-Cities, The Park, Traffic, Slum City. So the book won't quit my bedside table soon.

9/11/2012

Video Interview | Archizines ı Elias Redstone, Curator

I met Elias Redstone, the curator of the travelling exhibition Archizines, currently at L'École Spéciale d'Architecture, in Paris, until September 27, 2012. Other locations are available on Archizines.
Started at AA School, in London, Archizines is now in Paris, and Osaka until the end of September, and will open in Helsinki, tomorrow, and soon in Tokyo.
The video below is the interview I did with him Thursday 6 2012.


Archizines: interview with Elias Redstone, Curator from The Architecture Post Broadcast on Vimeo.

For those like me having a very passion for print magazines of architecture (and for my personal interest, I will add: art, theory, politics, theater, cinema, literature…, in English, French, etc. so I let you imagine my collection of magazines…), this exhibition is a pleasure. If you have a chance, go and enjoy these publications. This exhibition is worth visiting.

Spaciocontrol | Banned areas in London

I will post later today a video interview of Elias Redstone, the curator of the travelling exhibition Archizines. This aside…


The Guardian posted this morning an interactive map that maps the 435 banned zones in London. This map is designed by The Manifesto Club, a cvil liberties group which campaigns against the "hyper-regulation of the everyday life".
Banned in London, © The Manifesto Club 2012


Simply put, alcohol consumption, protest, gathering in groups, leafleting and dog walking are banned, as Owen Bowcott reports. Josie Appleton, director of the Manifesto Club said:

The map shows that ordinary freedoms and legal protections have been suspended in large areas of public space. An everyday activity can be an offence if you do it on the wrong street… At the very least, these zones should all be marked: it is fundamentally unjust that people could be punished for offences they did not know they were committing.
An interesting map that reveals these "invisible" zones in London. These "dramatic loss of liberty in public space", to paraphrase the Manifesto Club,  exist in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Berlin, Beijing, or Rio, and Beirut. Beside these exclusion zones, public surveillance is another form of loss of liberty in public space. In general, these zones are not marked with forbidden signs, however as the Manifesto Club writes:
Within a dog exclusion zone, you can be fined or prosecuted just for walking your dog. Within a no-leafleting zone, you be fined or prosecuted for handing out leaflets without a licence. In an alcohol confiscation zone, officials can confiscate your alcohol without justification, and arrest or fine you if you refuse. In a dispersal zone, a police officer can order you to leave the area for 24 hours, and it is an offence to return within that period. In a regulated protest zone, it is an offence to use sound amplification equipment.

On both site, The Guardian and Banned London, you will find this interactive map.


Last but important point: Forensic Architecture, a laboratory that maps, images, and models sites of violence within the framework of international humanitarian law and human rights has its website under the direction of Professor Eyal Weizman. You will find all the information on urbicide, spaciocide and forensic architecture, video, audio, lectures included. 

9/04/2012

The Editor's Pick | Land Use | Charlotte, North Carolina, 1768-2012

Charlotte, known to be the largest city in the U.S. State of North Carolina. A population estimated at 751,087 (2011 Census) for a density of 948.67/sq km (2,457.0/sq mi) on a total area of 771sq km (297.7 sq mi.
The map below shows how the city grew up from its limits in 1768 to become this largest city of the state of North Carolina in 2012.
Charlotte, North Carolina Annexation History.
Originally appeared on Charmeck

9/03/2012

"Drawing, Drawing, Drawing and Architecture" continues…

Following my previous post "Drawing, Drawing, Drawing and Architecture", I would like to share with my readers this "opinion" which author is Michael Graves. The title: Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing.
In my view, his opinion is very interesting as it poses the question of, not the speculated death of drawing, but this shift, I myself noted. A new generation of architects rather using computer than paper, (or the tablet, to paraphrase Michael Graves). While this article cannot be coarsely summed up in few words, allow me for concentrating on one/two general points I found particularly critical to share. I however let his question "I'm personally fascinated not just by what architects choose to draw but also by what they choose not to draw", that articulates his essay, aside as a larger space to discuss is needed. And I admit to be fascinated by this question, too. An investigation is needed… though I do not know if this will fascinate anyone else than… my curiosity.

Related post:
ULGC | Drawing, Drawing, Drawing and Architecture | September 1, 2012


My fascination to the reason why architects draw or do not draw (or no longer draw) finds his first response with Michael Graves' relation to drawing:
For decades I have argued that architectural drawing can be divided into three types, which I call the "referential sketch," the "preparatory study" and the "definitive drawing." The definitive drawing, the final and most developed of the three, is almost universally produced on the computer nowadays, and that is appropriate. But what about the other two? What is their value in the creative process? what can they teach us? The referential sketch serves as a visual diary, a record of an architect's discovery. It can be as simple as a shorthand notation of a design concept or can describe details of a larger composition. It might not even be a drawing that relates to a building or any time in history. It's not likely to represent "reality," but rather to capture an idea. These sketches are thus inherently fragmentary and selective. When I draw something, I remember it. The drawing is a reminder of the idea that caused me to record it in the first place. That visceral connection, that thought process, cannot be replicated by a computer. 
The second type of drawing, the preparatory study, is typically part of a progression of drawings that elaborate a design. Like the referential sketch, it may not reflect a linear process. I personally like to draw on translucent yellow tracing paper, which allows me to layer one drawing on top of another, building on what I've drawn before and again, creating a personal, emotional connection with the work.
With both of these types of drawings, there is a certain joy in their creation, which comes from the interaction between the mind and the hand. Our physical and mental interactions with drawings are formative acts. In a handmade drawing, whether on paper, there are intonations, traces of intentions and speculation. This is not unlike the way a musician might intone a note or how a riff in jazz would be understood subliminally and put a smile on your face. [Michael Graves | Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing || The New York Times, September 1, 2012]

Edge of a city: Spiroid Sectors, Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas, 1991 ı Architectural Drawing, watercolor on paper | © Steven Holl
Originally appeared on SFMoMA

Drawing, industrial designer, creative director and illustrator Craighton Berman said, is a medium for collaborators to work and talk through. An observation shared by Michael Graves:
Years ago I was sitting in a rather boring faculty meeting at Princeton. To pass the time, I pulled out my pad to start drawing a plan, probably of some building I was designing. An equally bored colleague was watching me, amused. i came to a point of indecision and passed the pad to him. He added a few lines and passed it back.
The game was on. Back and forth we went, drawing five lines each, then four and so on.
While we didn't speak, we were engaged in a dialogue over this plan and we understood each other perfectly. I suppose that we could have a debate like that with words, but it would have been entirely different. Our game was not about winners or losers, but about a shared language. We shared language. We had a genuine love for making this drawing. there was an insistence, by the act of drawing, that the composition would stay open, that the speculation would stay "wet" in the sense of a painting. Out plan was without scale and we could as easily have stay "wet" in the sense of a painting. Our plan was without scale and we could as easily have been drawing a domestic building as a portion of a city. It was the act of drawing that allowed us to speculate.
One general difference between drawing and computer-based design above all appears to be the fact that drawing allows for collaborating, sharing ideas, with others. Computer-based design seems to be too "autistic" for collaboration. Indeed, the relation can be summed up in this way: between the architect and its computer. Yet, this is certainly the way we communicate that has changed the architect's tools. My take is that computational design generates the three essential phases that Michael Graves developed above: referential sketch; preparatory sketch; and definitive sketch. 

Vision for Madrid Block, 2012 | © Zaha Hadid
Originally appeared on Architectural Review Tumblr


The difference is the support — computer — that leads to a shift in the architect's methods. Then, as mentioned in my previous post, the real-time perspective of the digital era leads to a new design methodology that is mainly based upon computer. See the affection of some of the new generation of architects for algorithmic interests, and you will understand their affection for computer from the referential sketch to the definitive sketch and beyond… Drawing is a language that cannot be limited to a support: paper, (now) tablet, computer… It appears that it does not evolve… at first glance. Put it simply, drawing just adapts to the current specific needs of the architect. Allow me for saying it more coarsely: now as computer is contaminating and shaping our society — from daily use to a deep shift in economic activities (to quote only but interesting example: I am thinking of the emergence of the web developer/journalist, namely the journalist who must combine journalism and knowledge in web development (html5, css3, javascript, python, and other ajax languages) at the very least) — into a new but uncertain society, this is not surprising that computer is becoming the dominant instrument in the (some of) new generation of architects' practice.

I warmly recommend the read of Michael Grave's excellent take: Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing. The article is available in the New York Times.

9/01/2012

Drawing, Drawing, Drawing and Architecture

And the Venice Architecture Biennale 2012 is now open. Urban-Think Tank, Grafton Architects, and the Japanese Pavilion are awarded while, Cino Zucchi, and the Polish, Russian, and U.S. Pavilions received special mentions. I let the Biennale aside until… November 23rd. I will attend one of these sessions that the Spontaneous Interventions curatorial team organized for U.S. Pavilion: Session #7: Cittàdino: What is the city without citizens? This lecture will be directed by Jordan Geiger, Joyce Hwang and Mark Shepard of the University of Buffalo, State University of New York, Buffalo.

Related Post:
The Architecture Post in conversation with Jordan Geiger

I am planning to interview some of the participants of this seminar, at the very least. I, then, will visit most of the pavilions. I hope to see more workshops or other projects similar to those of the U.S. Pavilion. But I will go back on the Biennale later on (in November).

Then, still concerning the Spontaneous Interventions Project, a debate articulated into four topics:

  1. Are we fighting with or against 'The Man'?
  2. Is tweeting for action enough?
  3. But how do you fund it?
  4. Who is community, anyway?
I posted some comments on two of these four topics. Be free to go, read, and participate, if you want. Another but similar project is led by the Philip Johnson Glass House Conversation, with this question: In your experience, what strategy is most valuable: spontaneous intervention or critical compliance? why?
I opted for 'spontaneous intervention', though a definition of 'spontaneous intervention' is seriously needed. The conversation is led by Molly Heintz, contributing editor, The Architects Newspaper. Note that, if you want to participate (and it's free and online): only 3 days left…
As you can see, collaboration, community appear to be central to some pavilions. The US Pavilion aside, the U.K. Pavilion explores this topic of collaboration with this Re-thinking Neighborhood Planning: From consultation to collaboration. I will visit projects in the U.K. Pavilion such as this short piece Roundhouse Foundation by BLDG Blog and Smout Allen, Center for Land Interpretation, the Housing Crisis, etc., but also the Russian Pavilion and its i-city, the Chilean, Poland, and French Pavilions.

Now let's the Biennale aside…
Spatial Blooms, proto-formal drawing from the project Spatial Blooms [2009] | © Perry Kulper
Originally appeared on dpr-barcelona

What is drawing in architecture? The recent issue of French little publication Cosa Mentale is devoted to drawing ('dessiner' in French meaning literally 'drawing' in English). Drawing as the architect's primary tool of ideas. And this issue explores the importance of drawing practices in the architect's work while discussing drawing in art — Cy Twombly, Edgar Degas.
PoroFont, 2012 ı Digital Print | © Alisa Andrasek.
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

Needless to say that drawing is a tool not only for creative ideation as well as for a control and authorship of the project.

Little Publication: Cosa Mentale ı issue 9 ı Dessiner (Drawing), Cycle III, 2012


However, in this network era, new tools are transforming, in depth, drawing practices — parametric modeling, computational design, Building Information Management (BIM), digital design.
Storefront: (de)Border Threshold (Cultural Coyote), 2012 ı Digital collage | © Teddy Cruz
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

Yet, Cosa Mentale does not tackle this shift. However while concentrating on the simple but essential act of drawing in the architect's work, this issue 'Dessiner' touches upon this shift.
Little Publication: Cosa Mentale ı issue 9 ı Dessiner (Drawing) ı Cycle III, 2012

Let's quote an example: In the interesting conversation between Patrick Giromini and Brunetto de Batté named Monde Extra-Ordinaire (literally Extra-ordinary world), Brunetto de Batté mentioned, albeit partly, architect's growing interest for real-time computational design.
Storefront is a Livingroom in the galaxy!!, 2012 ı Pen, felt-tip pen and markers on paper | © Andrés Jaque
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

The new generation of architects seem to rather use digital drawing (computational design). My personal view is: the question is not if one tool is more valid than another, but rather how the role of sketching — digital or not — contributes to the evolutionary phase of a project and reflect upon architects' work. The emergence of digital drawing, then, is critical to understanding of recent paradigm shifts — computational design, parametric, morphogenesis, protocell… — of architecture.
Wine's 2003 drawing for the Residence Antilia, a private residential tower, which sits on top of a hillside overlooking Mumbai | © James Wines
Originally appeared on Blueprint

I have been told that architecture such as social networks, seems to absorb a new rhythm… speed, real-time process while 'traditional' (I acknowledge that 'traditional' may confuse some of my readers) drawing requires time, patience, and a certain relation with space. Perhaps… But the most important point, as I mentioned above, is less the competition or debate between 'traditional' drawing and computer-used drawing than how this shift reflects the architects' work and thought.
+/- 868 SF, 2012 ı Ink on watercolor paper | © Interboro Partners
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

Aesthetics/Anesthetics at the Storefront for Art and Architecture showed a series of architects' drawings, including: Alisa Andrasek, Teddy Cruz, Perry Kulper, Sam Jacob/FAT, MOSJimenez Lai, Interboro Partners, among others. This September, Zaha Hadid's exhibition, featuring paintings, furnitures, installations, will travel in Madrid, at the Ivorypress Space Gallery. The exhibition is announced to feature a series of paintings among many others and images of Hadid's participation at the Venice Architecture Biennale.
EUR New Congress Centre in Rome, 1999 ı Painting | © Massimiliano Fuksas
Originally appeared on Fuksas:Building, Actar, 2012

It is interesting to see what role drawing plays in architects, designers, engineers' work. As  industrial designer, creative director and illustrator Craighton Berman said to Stephen Killion for MAS Context:

At its best, sketching is a medium for collaborators to work together and to talk through. Bringing an idea into a tangible physicality is a great way to bring everyone up to the same level of understanding about a project. A sketch is universally accessible in that it is a lo-fidelity form of representation. It is a raw and honest form of communication. One that is not perfect, and I think that is what makes it so approachable.
Storefront back of house, 2012 ı Ink on paper | Jimenez Lai
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

Indeed, an example: Steven Holl whose drawing is playing a central role in his design process. We go on with:
Drift, Screen Capture No.33, 2012 ı C-print on polished plexi | © MOS
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

For the architect, drawing is a work tool, a form of learning, assimilation, communication and transformation: it's a method used in the design process. The architect also has other tools available but nothing can take the place of drawing without leading to negative consequences. The ideation of an organized space and the calculated approach taken to the existing situation and what one hopes to achieve there are all filtered through the intuitions that drawing feeds instantaneously into the most logical and agreed upon constructions, thereby nourishing them. Every gesture that we make — including drawing — is charged with history, unconscious memory, and incommensurable and unknown wisdom. Drawing should be practised so that our every gesture, and everything else, does not become atrophied. [Abstract of a text written by Alvaro Siza in 1987, and now published in the Jannone Gallery catalogue. Originally appeared in Abitare*]
660 Storefronts, 2012 ı Digital print | © Sam Jacob
Originally appeared on Storefront for Art and Architecture

In the recent issue of the Italian publication San Rocco, named Fuck Concepts! Context!, Ilaria Boeddu writes:

The initial drawings of an architectural project are similar to the sketches of a painter or sculptor, a fact that would justify placing architecture among the autographic art [**]. [Ilaria Boeddu | Concepts and Contexts: An Analytical Point of View || Fuck Concepts! Contexts! ı San Rocco, p.53]
These recent publications and exhibitions on drawing in architecture put on the raw light the essential phase of the architect's work from drawing to digital drawing. In other cases, such as the field itself, a part of the architect's instrument is in mutation. To understand this slight shift, one must admit that as architecture is facing with a paradigm shift from a representation of classical architecture, to an essentialist representation of positivist and functionalist principles and of the production mechanisms of industrial societies, to… a new practice with blurring contours — post-client architecture, soft architecture, parametric architecture, etc. As, in the real-time perspective of the digital era, a new design methodology evolves, this shift requires inevitably a shift in the architect's instrument and methods. With computer, digital tools. And obviously, digital tools will confuse those who have a deep relationship with 'traditional' tools.
Tower of Babel ı Drawing | Du Zhenjun
Originally appeared on Socks Studio

However, it is difficult to admit whether or not digital drawing will transform architect's practice as deeply as we think it will. Drawing — be it digital or not — still defines ideation, investigation, expression, and content in the architect's work. Now, perhaps, computational drawing will influence digital decision — defenders of digital drawing will add that computational design allows more freely for speculative proposals, facilitates architect's task in face of varying constraints — more rapidly than 'traditional' drawing.


[*] Cosa Mentale includes Portuguese and French versions of Siza's text in the issue 9 of the journal, pp. xxi
[**] I include the note to this sentence: But actually, when in some cases the plan is made directly through digital signs, this type of identity is perhaps destined to fail, giving lots of room to notational forms | Ilaria Boeddu, || San Rocco, 2012

Source:
Cosa Mentale, issue 9, Dessiner, July 2012
Alvaro Siza. Drawings and Thoughts | Abitare
Alvaro Siza, Architect: Drawings, Models, Photographs | Elsa Longhauser, Jean-Louis Cohen
Fuksas: Building | Ramon Prat (ed.) || Actar, 2012
Du Zhenjun: Tower of Babel | Fosco Lucarelli || Socks Studio
Perry Kulper | Revisited || dpr-barcelona
drawings by Steven Holl at MoMA new york || designboom®
Beyond Boundaries, Art and Design by Zaha Hadid at Ivorypress Space || dezeen
Zaha Hadid
Aesthetics/Anesthetics | Storefront for Art and Architecture
James Wines: Drawing and Architecture | Blueprint

Concepts and Contexts: An Analytical Point of View | Ilaria Boeddu ı Fuck Concepts! Contexts! || San Rocco


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