3/28/2013

ULGC | Lateral Office representing Canadian Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2014

Update: Yesterday Lateral Office announced Arctic Adaptations' website. You'll find first information on the proposal. Note that the project, then, will travel in Canada in 2015-16. An extensive publication titled Next North will be launched for this occasion.
Map of Canada | © Lateral Office Team/ Arctic Adaptations
Originally appeared on Arctic Adaptations

Toronto-based Lateral Office/InfraNet Lab, also founder of the little publication Bracket, has been chosen to represent the Canadian Pavilion at Venice Architecture Biennale 2014, as you know, an edition that will be curated by Rem Koolhaas. Lateral Office/InfraNet Lab is one of the agencies I have been following for, probably, 6 years or so. I am working very hard on an interview that I would like to request to them to discuss a series of topics related to their practice, to Bracket, and also new orientations and roles of architecture.

For this new edition, Lateral Office will present Arctic Adaptations a project that will be articulating five themes: northern health, recreation, housing, education and arts.

To have a first overview of their proposal for this edition 2014, two (first) articles announcing Lateral Office's participation I suggest to read: Canadian The Globe and Mail and a webmagazine of architecture Azure. Below two abstract.
Map of Nunavut | © Lateral Office Team/ Arctic Adaptations
Originally appeared on Arctic Adaptations

First The Globe and Mail. The title of this article written by James Adams is Nunavut Project wins Canadian Spot at Venice Biennale in Architecture:
In an interview, White called Koolhaas's theme "fortuitous" and "a pretty powerful one for us since [with Arctic Adaptations] we're dealing with such a new territory [Nunavut was created in April 1999], a new government and such a youthful population [33 per cent of its 32,000 residents is 14 years and under. Average age: 25]." The theme's a fit, too, in that Inuit knowledge has been "so resourceful and intelligent" over the centuries in adapting to fundamentals, "extreme ones," of climate, geography, mobility.
The White/Sheppard presentation will be housed in the Canadian Pavilion in Venice's Giardini di Castello June 7 through Nov. 23, 2014. Diplomatically described by White as "a quirky and unique space," the rather small glass-and-wood pavilion was built in 1958, ostensibly in the spiral shape of a nautilus shell. It's Lateral Office's intention t recast the pavilion, often castigated as a "frustration" for artists, installers and curators, as a kind of "ice-floe landscape… to make it seem more spacious, to push things to the perimeter… to get a little more quietness in there" so as to create "a sense of coolness, atmospherically speaking, and the vastness of the actual landscape."
The following abstract is that of  Nina Boccia entitled Lateral Office to Curate Canadian Pavilion in Venice for Azure. An article quite short offering complementary aspect of Lateral Office's proposal:
The proposals will derive from collaborations among five design teams, each of which will pair an architecture school with a firm that has worked in the region, and five Nunavut-based organizations. Besides Lateral Office, the firms include Stantec and Kobayashi + Zedda Architects, while participating schools include Dalhousie University and the University of Manitoba. They will come up with solutions for the sectors of health, education, housing, recreation and the arts, while considering the impacts of climate change and population growth on the region.
Pamphlet Architecture offers a good understanding of Lateral Office's work with the 30th issue Coupling. Strategies for Infrastructural Opportunism. This issue shows a part of Lateral Office's project. And with evidence another occasion is Bracket: On Farming (sold out) and Goes Soft
Render. Aerial view | © Lateral Office Team/ Arctic Adaptations
Originally appeared on Arctic Adaptations

If I can have them for an interview, I will of course let you know…

Source: The Globe and Mail and Azure.

3/26/2013

ULGC | Event | Atlas of The Conflict at Studio-X NYC

I wish I could attend this lecture: author of Atlas of The Conflict: Israel-Palestine, Malkit Shoshan will lecture April 25 at 6:30 pm at Studio-X NYC on Seamless Territory (visit their facebook page for further information). If you're in New York City and its area on April 25, I encourage you to attend Shoshan's lecture. Comments (on the lecture) are welcome.
As announced in the facebook event, another project will be presented ZOO, or the letter Z, just after Zionism. This project focuses on the Gaza Strip reflecting on the two words that are categorized under the letter 'Z' in the Atlas's lexicon — "Zionism" and "zoo". It examines these seemingly unrelated themes within the context of the Gaza Strip, tracing them both back t the Age of Reason, the epoch of the classification of nations and animals.

The book maps and tackles processes and mechanisms that shape the relation of Israel and Palestine throughout the medium of territory over the past 100 years. The book reveals, questions interlinked issues: borders, walls as well as typologies of settlements, land ownership, demography, water, archaeological and cultural heritage sites, control of natural resources, landscaping, wars and treaties, all articulated on and with personal stories, traumas, resistance, etc.

Below an abstract of the introduction:

The Atlas of the Conflict maps the territorial aspects of the relations between over the past 100 years. I started this research 10 years ago as an architecture student in Israel. During my studies, I was confronted with a fundamental necessity to understand, at first, the events that led to the formation of Israel and, later, to take a personal and professional position it. In my third year of study at the Technion (the Israel Institute of Technology), I was assigned to design a new program, preferably a shopping mall, on an empty plot near Tel Aviv. During the preliminary site research, I discovered it to be a ruined Palestinian cemetery. My reaction was to stop designing. I felt the need to delve into the past and to learn the history of my country. A history that is not directly told. Driven by a genuine sense of curiosity, I started collecting illustrations, maps, photographs , diagrams and other visual materials. Textual testimonies, although very important, simply weren't tangible enough, as they cannot have a sense of scale.
(…)
Israel's dynamic spatial maneuvers are tied to fluctuations in borders and to patterns of settlements. They result in a unique and ever evolving spatial practice of temporarily, which can be detected in settlements typologies, from a Wall and a Tower (1930s) to Caravilla's (2005). The settler is, until this day, used as an occupying power, creating a fact on the ground, a living wall, a keeper of the land and of its natural resources: always placed strategically, according to a national agenda. The constant intensive movements in space and time of the Zionist project have no precedent.
Another book, if you are interested in these questions of weaponized architecture (and urbanism) at larger scales, is Leopold Lambert's Weaponized Architecture: The Impossibility of Innocence published by Barcelona-based dpr barcelona, that I have already mentioned in this blog.

3/25/2013

ULGC | Thresholds calls for submissions for issue 42 on Human

Thresholds, a little publication, produced by editors in the Department of Architecture at MIT, calls for submission for its 42th issue. This issue will explore, discuss, address critically (and certainly polemically) the theme of human, "the past and present changing notion of 'the human' with regards to its physical, virtual, and psychological habitat.
Below the presentation originally from Thresholds' website:
In the last decade innovations within cognitive imaging, computer interfaces, communication technologies, surrogate natures, sensory mediators, and global tracking have reshaped our understanding of the Self. This shift can be seen, on one hand, as a revolution of sensibilities while, on the other hand, still pushing towards an enlightenment-based, rationalist perspective of the human as a neurobiological mechanism. No matter which way this 'human' is being reshaped, indeed formed new gateways of artistic and architectural possibility or have we forced ourselves into a deterministic and mechanistic view of both occupants and design? Humans are different than machines, after all, but how has the human/machine duality been rethought in our current age? How does art, architecture and film envision, critique, or challenge this 'new human'?
Due: 30 April 2013
Here you will find the pdf with further information.

3/21/2013

Indeterminacy and Architecture (On Determination ı The Sniper's Log | Alejandro Zaera-Polo)

I was posting quotes and abstracts from Alejandro Zaera-Polo's The Sniper's Log, when I read this passage On Determination. I have a strong interest in notions of indeterminacy, contingency, and their integration within the architectural practice and thinking, what they can bring to the practice of architecture.
As expected, Alejandro Zaera Polo's book offers a large array of interesting, critical, or polemical topics to discuss on architectural practice, past, present and future.

Below is the random ideas, notes and other reactions I was about to post on tumblr before deciding to post here. My comment is on the passage On Determination (p.325-327).

As Alejandro Zaera-Polo (we will continue with AZP) writes, indetermination (and arbitrariness) has become an important concept in the architectural discourse, in particular the discourse of the architectural avant-garde, from the post-war period up to the end of the '60s. What can indetermination bring to architecture? AZP states: "indetermination is an unlikely model for a discipline that is aimed at the ordering of the environment." He goes on with the following,
The notion that architecture can be produced by indetermination, to remain contingent for the sake of openness is a peculiar one and runs the risk of undermining the role of architecture as a profession.
According to AZP, a reason why architects are often not taken seriously is that for some architects, architecture can be produced by indetermination. For him, however, 
Even if we cannot predict a priori the form that a system of cellular automata will produce, it does not mean there is not a moment of determination involved: once we have a material domain, some behavioral rules and some agents with certain objectives, the form is virtually determined. Mere selection of the automata is a form of determination.
He proposes diagram as a determinate tool, a strategy that allows practitioners 
to construct a project without eliminating the possibility to incorporate changes in the environment through the project, or, conversely, without declining the possibility to control it, by determining partially and sequentially the adequate domains of control.
Put it the simplest way, "[d]iagrammatic practices enable architects to apply determinations while allowing local structures or contingencies to inform the final result."
Interesting take. However: I might misunderstand AZP, but if I follow his take, he posits determination can act as medium. If so, my question is: what to do when you can't predict future, an unpredictable, fictitious future? How, in the age of digital when nonlinearities become the norm, can determination problem-form emergent yet uncertain ecologies including natural, cultural, social, economic, environmental, energy and political? How can determination be "contingent", "non-linear", "improbable" whilst being the opposite sense of contingency, flexibility, nonlinearity? How does determination allow for adaptability, feedback loops? How can determination help or become an "instrument" to cope with, absorb, transform unexpected situations, complex linked dynamics across multiple scales?

It seems to me that architecture should, rather, integrate the concept of indeterminacy (a philosophical and related concept to indetermination). Indeterminacy and indetermination are related to uncertainty, nonlinearities, contingency. Both articulate differentiation, absorption, behavioral organization. Both can allow architecture for problem-addressing these new ecologies mentioned above. Allow me for focusing on the concept of indeterminacy for a short moment. There is an embryonic research on architecture as expanded field (an expanded architecture influenced by Rosalind Krauss's sculpture in the expanded field), an architecture, beyond its site, that integrates other fields. This research has been started by Mason White, Lola Sheppard, and Neeraj Bhatia of Lateral Office/InfraNet Lab, and Mark Smout and Laura Allen of Smout Allen. I am looking forward to reading more. 
Indeterminacy allows architecture to expand its site into new opportunities. Theater, for instance, is at ease with indeterminacy, as Keller Easterling writes in The Action is the Form quoting Bruno Latour's use of the word "actor" in social studies: "It is not by accident that this expression, like that of 'person', comes from the stage… Play-acting puts us immediately into a thick imbroglio where the question of who is carrying out the action has become unfathomable." (See: Bruno Latour, Reassembling the Social, An Introduction to Actor-Network Theory; and Keller Easterling, The Action is the Form). Architecture, such as theater, can also become indeterminate. Nicholas Negroponte, who is regularly quoted by a certain architecture that includes Lateral Office/InfraNet Lab, MAP Architects, Smout AllenTomorrows Thoughts Today, or R&Sie, wrote in his seminal The Architecture Machine: "Any environmental design task is characterized by an astounding amount of unavailable or indeterminate information." Determinacy vs. Indeterminacy, as Neeraj Bhatia writes in his essay Resilient Infrastructure (Bracket [Goes Soft]). Indeterminacy referring to 'soft', flexible, scalable; determinacy meaning 'hard', static, inert. 

Related publication
Field Journal of Architecture | Architecture and Indeterminacy | edited by Renata Tyszcuk and Doina Petrescu, Volume 1, September 2007.

Let me go back to diagram, precisely to diagrammatic practices. Quoting AZP, I wrote above, "Diagrammatic practices enable architects to apply determinations while allowing local structures or contingencies to inform the final result". Diagram seems to be more than a simple mode of representation in AZP's practice and thinking. It acts as a strategy, an instrument, a tool, precisely a design tool that is able to both problem-form and problem-solve. Still better, a design tool that contains, integrates information about material, site, tectonics, specific contexts, and so on. I'm curious of AZP's take on diagrammatic practices. His diagrammatic practices raise questions. It seems to me that what AZP discusses is a paradigmatic shift and a redefinition of the practice of architecture. Diagram remains diagram. Yet it now incorporates new possibilities as well as new emergencies, expandable parameters, to quote Neeraj Bhatia and Lola Sheppard — material agency, spatial organization, program, economics, politics, and ecology. Diagram adapts to, or, to follow AZP, contains adaptive capacities to address these complexities that architecture is facing.

Hadspen House - rendering | © FOA, 2007
Originally appeared on The New York Times, 2007
> "Foreign Office Architects' scheme for the new garden at Hadspen House in Somerset, England." (NYT, 2007)
Hadspen House - diagram | © FOA, 2007
Originally appeared on e-architect

According to AZP, determination should be integrated within diagrammatic practices. AZP proposes two interesting examples from contemporary music — if you have already read (or are reading) the book, you certainly have noticed AZP's interest for contemporary music —, two important names: French Pierre Boulez and American John Cage. Both having practice-based experience in alienation (about alienation. Describing the sense and the role of diagram in his practice, AZP describes alienation as a "powerful instrument for displacement from a closed state of conventions or orders, and the possibility of triggering virtualities in a project, generally excluded by a historical construction of tools or response. (p.237)" As AZP states, alienation has been examined by the architectural practice and discourse over the 1980s "destabilizing the objects by resorting to other disciplines, or destabilizing the subject by embracing automatism, randomness, or chaos. (p.237)") as a productive state, as AZP states, a productive state that enables the "exploration of the sound space left aside by the musical forms of the past." But two opposite approaches. Cage has opted for indeterminacy as methodology to "produce openness, and the unexpected". Boulez's approach however explores determination "as a way of triggering the virtual". I suggest to read these two approaches. What I retain here is that while being opposite, Cage's and Boulez's approach to musical composition lies in a diagram-based methodology: "[t]hey are both good examples of a diagrammatic operation". Furthermore, while being opposite, as AZP points to, "neither Boulez nor Cage had full knowledge of the piece's sound beforehand. It was only in the performance that the piece would take its final form, and it would be a form that would change across the different interpretation." The difference between Boulez and Cage in their approach to diagrammatic practices, however, resides in their approach to (in)determination:
While [John] Cage was a kind of mystic who prayed an all-embracing credo, [Pierre] Boulez is a craftman who constructs structures of such complexity that are able to open new acoustic effects without renouncing to precision and determination. His extraordinary proliferation or rigorously constructed material aimed towards the subversion of the traditional musical experience is a wonderful model for diagrammatic practices in architecture.
… [to be continued] 

Information
The Sniper's Log ı An Architectural Perspective of Generation-X | Alejandro Zaera-Polo || Actar, 2013, 592 pages
pages quoted: pp.325-327.


3/16/2013

ULGC announcing new birth: Dziga Press

I'm taking the advantage of updating the previous post on the call for submissions for my first editorial project Uncertain Territories to announce that I just established a new but bigger project: Dziga Press. I just launched the beta version of Dziga Press's website. Some pages are still empty… I, in fact, am hardly juggling with the business plan, the website, and other plans for communication, and so (not the easiest and funniest tasks but very important). The website will be officially launched by 2014 and so I will use this website as a beta version.

Let me outline this project on which I have been working for two years now.
Dziga Press is a new project, precisely an independent publishing and printing platform for architects, designers, urbanists, curators, and writers.

This little platform will publish titles on architecture, landscape, engineering, urbanism, geography, geology, urban anthropology…

We specialize in traditional work including theoretical essays, writings, catalogues, and monographs. We will be also exploring other forms of writing including neo-traditional literary genres… architectural fiction, pamphlets.

The first project that will be published by Dziga Press will be Uncertain Territories as an annual publication.

I am presently working on a first collection that will explore architectural fiction. This series will invite architects, designers, engineers, strategists, urbanists, and writers to speculate, write about… future, a blurry, gloomy, uncertain, unpredictable, improbable future. This series will consist of short essays (maximum 60 pages) in digital and printed formats. For the printed format, we will use a… stencil duplication process (and this is of course… the riso) but also other printed processes.

I hope to launch the first publications by the end of this year, if not by 2014, who knows…

Anyway, last  but not least Uncertain Territories will be published by Dziga Press by 2014.

3/14/2013

The Editor's read | In progress ı The Sniper's Log by Alejandro Zaera-Polo and everything else

This year of 2013 starts with a series of books from architecture to geopolitics, of course highly recommended. First, Bracket. I let the publication aside since I will go back to the second volume [Goes Soft] very soon.
Then Landscape Futures: Instruments, Devices and Architectural Inventions edited by Geoff Manaugh/BLDGBLOG, so long expected book presented as a collaboration between Actar and the Nevada Museum of Art. I suppose many of you regularly follow Manaugh's blog and know the book will be on sale later this month. As Manaugh writes on his blog:

Landscape Futures both documents and continues an exhibition of the same name that ran for a bit more than six months at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno, from August 2011 to February 2012. The exhibition was my first solo commission as a curator and by far the largest project I had worked on to that point. It was an incredible opportunity, and I remain hugely excited by the physical quality and conceptual breadth of the work produced by the show's participating artists and architects.

Those who share a strong interest in architectural fiction and other speculations will certainly purchase this book. In my case, I will. Contributors are David Gissen, Smout Allen, Lateral Office/InfraNet Lab, Chris Woebken and Kenichi Okada, Liam Young, among others.

The same Liam Young will be releasing the first volume of Close, Closer Catalogue (Lisbon Architecture Triennial 2013), a volume entitled Future Perfect (the project that Young will present at Lisbon in September) by May or June. This, then, will be followed by other volumes edited by Beatrice Galilee, Mariana Pestana and Jose Esparza the three other members of the curatorial team over the year.

A reminder for the book lovers: Nina Rappaport will also be launching her Vertical Urban Factory, again published by Actar. I also have announced the forthcoming book of Chris Reed and Nina-Marie Lister entitled Projective Ecologies (Actar).

Interboro Partners' The Arsenal of Exclusion/Inclusion (see also MAS Context's new issue Boundary (issue 17). You will find an outline of the book, published by Actar) is coming up soon.

I haven't yet got my copy of MOS Office's Everything All at Once ı The Software, Architecture, and Videos of MOS (PAP). Another book included in my wish-list is Petrochemical America co-edited by Richard Misrach and landscape-architect Kate Orff.

In the field of theory, Kenneth Frampton will be launching a new book Genealogy of Modern Architecture by July (Lars Mueller Publishers).

In Geophilosophy. The excellent Punctum Publishers (albeit unfortunately hard to find in Europe. They seriously need a distributor) just launched On an Ungrounded Earth, a book written by Ben Woodard, a researcher at the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at the University of Western Ontario. I will urgently read this book.

Of course, my strong interest in drones brought me recently to Drone Warfare by Benjamin Medea (Verso Books)…

In short, this semester is rich of books and this certainly will be increasing as we are entering in warmer seasons…

But, at the present time, I am reading so-long expected Alejandro Zaera-Polo's The Sniper's Log ı Architectural Chronicles of Generation X (Actar). I will review the book here or in another platform. I haven't decided yet. I will let you know when the review will be available.

The book is quite thick: 592 pages of chronicles — I will rather say writings and I will explain why — on architecture, but not only. An example: I have discovered that Zaera-Polo has also written on music (serial music, to give you an idea if you haven't yet bought the book). Don't look for the essay as it is unpublished. It is consequently a chance to read it, especially if you like music — the contemporary music not rock, or folk, or metal (for that matter, let me borrow the French term of musique savante to be clear).

At halfway of the book ( the 200 first pages I read), The Sniper's Log  indicates that Alejandro Zaera-Polo plays a consequent role not only as an architect — this is obviously not the greatest news we learnt so far — but as a critic and a theorist — as convincingly confirmed in the book. The readers of The Architectural Design, Harvard Design Magazine, Quaderns, Log, and Volume have eventually noticed that Zaera-Polo's frequent contributions published in these magazines are more in the theoretical than the… journalistic (I however do not denigrate the journalistic). Indeed, this book can be tagged with a theoretical pedigree — this is why, in my view, I should have rather preferred the term of 'writings' rather than that of 'chronicles' which appears to be too much 'journalistic'. For example, I will take the risk to compare this book with… Robert Smithson's Collected Writings with the risk of being too-much or fussy. My challenge will be to convincingly demonstrate my position, why I propose to compare these two books.
Allow me for taking an example to outline my forthcoming review of the book. One notion, very important in Zaera-Polo's architectural practice and thinking is the notion of  Consistency as it frequently appears over the book. Alejandro Zaera-Polo says to be interested in consistency in a very large sense as "[p]robably this is a reaction to the architectural culture where we were educated, which was more interested in questions of fragmentation, disjunction, juxtaposition, etc." (p.193) According to Zaera-Polo, "to devise arguments of consistency has become a critical contemporary question, on a political, social, and cultural level. This is a paradigmatic problem of our time, between cultures, geographies, populations… A similar problem appears in space between a whole and a singularity, not only in term of performance but also in terms of physical organization. And geometry plays a primary role in establishing consistency across spatial domain at every scale. I would claim that geometry is related to the specific and to the solution of specific questions, but always as an argument of consistency with larger domains." (p.193) Or "Architecture is not a plastic art, but the engineering of material life. In our practice, our main concern is to produce consistency in the process of construction and material organization rather than in its plastic effects." (p.237)

Another aspect to be discussed in the review is that the book suggests a changed status of architecture, a shift of the architect's role in the era of the digital and… energy, economic, and ecological disequilibrium. He is not the only one who underscores this shifting role if you have read Rory Hyde's book Future Practice. And this can be interested to explore Zaera-Polo's point of view through or in comparison with Hyde's Future Practice as the first is part of the Generation X — a generation that came just after that of the Stararchitects, though Zaera-Polo is a stararchitect too — the latest is part of the new generation of architects, namely Generation Y, a generation established in a era of digital, social networks as well as an era of difficulties to open and develop a practice as money is lacking, and job offers are stagnating, if not diminishing, while, at the same time, obsolescence, scarcity, crises at multiple scales, advance in technologies and science, and the like, urge us to address, re-calibrate, transform the existing. In few words, the book suggests new opportunities arising from the shift from the age of the production — Stararchitects and Generation X — to the age of the digital — Generation X and Generation Y (some may notice I did not include the Starchitects and this is a voluntarily and polemically choice. And I will attempt to demonstrate my take, albeit a big challenge).
In short, with evidence, this turn supposes a rethinking of the architectural practice, and education (you have essays and an interview on this topic) and thinking: process, context, modes of operation, modes of representation, etc.

Below an abstract of the book, precisely a Selection of Alejandro Zaera-Polo's Term Definitions by Sylvia Lavin for the Crib Sheets Publication (p.237-241). The selected passages is from p.239-240:
…My practice has concerned itself with the exploration of typological conditions as fields of emergence, in contrast to the common understanding of typology as an entity loaded with historical significance and verification. Typologies are material assemblages loaded with generic solutions, already charged with a disciplinary content and belonging to a history of architecture. I am concerned with exploring these conditions as fields of research, trying to make something generic out of the specificity of the project — but through a breakdown of typological operations rather than the proposal of such a paradigm. Typological assemblages constitute an ideal articulation of the history of the discipline, assemblages of a material, or a programmatic, social, or political nature connecting the factual environment where architecture must perform with a necessary disciplinary autonomy to grant its validity.
It is probably more appropriate to call this operation prototypical rather than typological. Both the type and the prototype operate in similar ways, but a prototype is not bound to a particular field, and does not claim, a priori, any condition of pertinence or validity. A prototype can be deployed in alternative conditions rather than remaining exclusive to a project or to a site. It is essentially an experimental tool that does not develop from existing material complexes to a particular location, but on the contrary, always tests an external organization in relation to a particular situation. Prototypes are technical and material mediators: they "mediate" information into form; they constitute responsive devices for internal and external transferral of information. As such, the prototype contains in itself the potential to absorb interference,  the capacity to adjust to local contexts, and the potential to embody as much as it is to virtualize and export information into other material composites, other sites, other conditions, and other projects. In a prototypical operation, real localized data perform as an index of specific opportunities, while external models of organization operate as manifestations of different degrees of analogous global processes. A prototype does not operate in closed domains, but incorporates the notion that organizations are virtually generic and yet specific in their actualization.
A project develops from a prototype according to an operative frame, recognized and constituted as a principle, rather than literally derived from local data. That principle becomes the material mediation and the core of the organization of data. Specific technical and functional constraints may be imported and applied to infuse prototypical raw material with potential. This is the difference between a prototypical operation and emergent generation from the bottom-up, if this latter is possible at all within an architectural process: data is not the origin of organization, the core of the material, but the vector of differentiation of the prototype. Specific processes and performances are diagrammed according to the requirements of the material activation and organization of the prototype. Models for internal differentiation, responsiveness, and proliferation constitute the core, relevance, and interest of the prototype.
A prototype has an "associated fabric" and develops from a diagram that processes specific information into an architectural organization. This "associated fabric" is the result of the proliferation and differentiation of the prototype across the space of the project, reacting to the different conditions. A prototypical approach is most effective when a practice is forced to operate in many different conditions, becoming the vehicle that links different projects.
The book will be reviewed soon…



3/13/2013

Update: New Editorial Project: Uncertain Territories ı Call for Submissions

I am particularly busy these weeks which explains this painfully slow pace of posts. A reason: I am particularly delighted to announce my first call for submissions.
I have been working on a new editorial project entitled Uncertain Territories based on call for submissions for 6 month or so. In September, I announced I wanted to launch a first guest-editing or a call for papers. Here is this first call for papers. Now, the format. I haven't yet decided between the online and the printed format. However printing or digital the format will be, this is a new adventure on which I will be setting off. With evidence, and that is the rule of the game: I don't have any Plan A as I will adapt to a series of nonlinearities (budget, advices, etc.). I clearly don't know where I am going, where this project will lead me but, for sure, I'll be enjoying it.
I hope many of you will take part to this project and I warmly encourage you to join me in this new adventure. So be free to send your submission if you're have a keen interest in this project.
This now been said,

The Project
Uncertain Territories is neither a journal nor a book, rather an undefined publication, a platform for ideas. As new protocol emerge, architecture will be encouraged to redefine its site, its boundaries, its skillset to integrate, problem-form, and adapt to multiple, indeterminate forces.
Uncertain Territories aims at examining the intersection of architecture and other fields, including anthropology, geography, economy, geology, to address new and linked questions related to infrastructural, cultural, social, energy, economic, geological, and ecological issues on the agency of design.
The first volume will be focused on Contingency.

The topic
Contingency, like design, Mason White, co-founder of Lateral Office/ InfraNet Lab writes in his essay Disciplinary Thievery, is a "anticipatory act, and is often devised as a response to an eventuality." While being a contingent discipline, architecture has long denied contingency privileging consistency, order and beauty.
Contingency theory, as defined by Paul Lawrence and Jay Lorsch, both specialists in Organizational Behavior at the Harvard Business School, suggests the anticipation of nonlinearities and adoption of an open system engaged in a continuous interaction with and adaptation to its environment.
As new problematics raise, integrating contingency within architecture permits a redefinition of architecture from a static, hierarchical, inert, to a dynamic, adaptive, responsive organization. Contingency encourages designers to reconsider their tools, their methodology, and develop new strategies to anticipate, re-calibrate and transform in uncertain and unstable conditions. Contingency enables architecture to critically address new protocols, linked dynamics across scales including technologies, infrastructure, human and ecological systems.

Uncertain Territories seeks for papers and projects that critically discuss the relations of architecture and contingency across scales, technologies, infrastructure, ecology and actors.

Please the visit Dziga Press to send your submission by Monday, July 01, 2013.

Uncertain Territories accepts only unpublished papers including, but not limited to, interviews, drawings and photos. Please send abstracts in English limited to 200 words, and formatted in accordance with The Chicago Manual of Style. Images should be included separately at 300 dpi print quality. Submissions should include a short biography (up to 150 words) and contact info. All manuscripts should be sent in digital format, with texts as MS Word or RTF files and images as uncompressed TIFF files with proper supporting apparatus (image credits, captions, and endnotes). Please announce your submission in the subject line.

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