10/15/2012

Weekreads: The Editor Reads: 001

The Editor Reads is back but with a new title (still experimenting sections): The Week Reads. In few words, still the same content: what I read the last one/two weeks. but not only, what I did, met, saw, visited, etc., all in this section.
I stopped this section due to a lack of time that made me consider the idea of moving to new futures. But as I am working alone, with no team, (but considering in the nearing future to build a team for The Architecture Post to respond to my thirst for new projects), it became difficult to continue some sections. Not to mention that I have two tumblr too: ULGC and The Architecture Post Behind The Scene which host The Architecture Post future articles (or…)… very busy but with a growing thirst to share… Let's start…

Some of you may have gone (or are planning to go) to the Istanbul Design Biennial. I won't. Unfortunately I'm forced to choose: I will go next month to the Venice Biennial. But this edition of Istanbul Design Biennial sounds nice. It is co-designed by Joseph Grima the editor of Domus, and Emre Arolat. I can't say more as I will not go there but will follow all the reviews that will fall in the very nearing future. I am thinking of call-to-podcast one of the curators Ethel Baraona (who will be the guest in a future podcast about her publishing work and the forthcoming books Concrete Mushrooms and Weaponized Architecture (see also: the blog) that she is co-publishing with Cesar Reyes Najera).
Before Istanbul Design Biennial opening, you may have seen (via twitter, facebook, Google +, or just because you're from Istanbul…) this little pamphlet named New City Reader. The fifth issue gathers contributors from art curator Hans Ulrich Obrist to Charles Jencks. Below, I post some glimpses below that you can read on Istanbul Design Biennial website.
Letters by — among many others — Charles Jencks,

What are the implications for new building in such areas? A Time City is a layered amalgam of different ages and, like a geological section through a mountain, reveals its levels as different materials, colours and chemistries. In effect, these levels show a naturalistic picture of history, an indexical sign of time, and a palimpsest of cultures. To build in the Time City of Istanbul is to protect and dramatise this layering. Where construction is over new landscape or infill, it is to simulate the layering as an artificial construct. The Time City is constructed by the ages; the architect brings to consciousness evolution, destruction and the re-minting of coins — the palimpsest.
Istanbul is a city that assaults the senses: sight, sound, touch, smell — all are in play all the time on its streets. But Istanbul also soothes the senses: I sit quietly by the water, let my eyes drink in the blue water as well as a cup of Turkish tea and I dream!
Hans Ulrich Obrist,
Les racines sont profondes et ne meurent jamais (Edouard Glissant)
Istanbul is the answer… what is the question?
The future is… Istanbul
I just wanted to lend you a glimpse of Istanbul as it is today. Many things have changed during the centuries past, but in my opinion, the most significant change is the perpetual diminishing of the number of people who speak up, ask questions and express their concerns. In this age of timidity, apathy and obeisance prevailing over a majority of the public masses, we chose to become mere followers who do not question but only conform. We closed our eyes so that we'd be safe from harm. We just did what we were asked to do, or we did whatever we felt like doing…
Mimi Zeiger,

What is the contemporary sound of Istanbul?
Moving to another topic, Matthew Wright announces on Climate Spectator that zero carbon housing is arriving in Australia,

Cape Ecovillage houses will define our all electric future, with all electric appliances that will one day be powered from a 100 per cent renewable powered electricity grid. For now they'll run on combination of rooftop solar photovoltaic and certified Greenpower from the grid.
I am curious of seeing whether or not these eco-housing will be as ecological as announced. But trials and errors help shape new perspectives to building…

Today you may have followed this live discussion on Housing and Migration. Indeed, the Housing section of The Guardian launched an interesting live discussion on migrants' access to housing. It seems to me that this live discussion — I hope it will lead to something concrete — unveils new questions about migrants and housing. Not limited to the UK, needless to say that migrants are confronted with the very least desirable housing offer. These housing are overcrowded, insecure, in poor conditions, worse, dangerous. This issue logically leads to an array of issues like tension between communities, obstacles for integration… 
I post below a user's comment that reflected the tone of this discussion:

My work involves engaging with migrant community organisations and supporting them in engaging with policy issues and campaigning, mostly in London. We recently organised a meeting on with migrant organisations and housing associations and we have been following recent policy developments such as the guidance on dealing with rogue landlords issued by the Department of Communities and Local Government.
There are some good examples of housing associations with interesting initiatives to engage with migrants (a illustrated in the Housing and Migration guide) and these can be the starting point to get more Housing Associations but also more migrant community organisations to consider how they may engage more actively. From our perspective a key thing is for migrant communities and organisations for whom this is a new subject to learn from those who have had successful projects. (…)
Reading these comments, I tweeted today this: It would be productive to launch similar live discussion about Roma and housing (following these recent Roma camps destruction here and there), but… at many levels — political, planning,  architectural, social and economic. I was thinking of the latest edition of the Venice Biennial who addresses 'Common Ground' and but more in the perspective of the next year Lisbon Biennial who will cope with 'what is architecture in the time of crisis' among others. What housing for nomad communities? Questions raise but this can be an interesting topic to discuss on a biennial scale. Why not…

The new issue of Volume Magazine is out. This 33rd issue deals with Interiors. Arjen Ooterman's editorial gives an overview of this issue,

In the early 1970s, the Dutch Goed Wonen merged with an architecture magazine and shifted its attention to the social dimensions of the city. This was not by coincidence as it was the period in which inerior space became contested, as expressed by squatting. This movement revolutionized not only received ideas of property and (spatial) rights, it also revolutionized the very notion of living. It didn't take a Rietveld chair, Pastoe cuboard, or a Bruynzeel kitchen — not even a three-room apartment — to live a decent urban life. The aesthetics of the house and its spatial arrangement were as subject to revolt as ownership, fashion, and looks. (…)
In my wish-list (and, this is not surprising, a book with huge need to review), Rory Hyde's new book Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture. It is not available in Paris yet. Conversations include: Bruce Mau, Indy Johar, Reinier de Graaf & Laura Baird (AMO), Mel Dodd (muf_aus), Wouter Vanstiphout (Crimson), Matt Webb (Berg Design Architecture), Bryan Boyer (Helsinki Design Lab), Todd Reisz, Jeanne Gang (Studio Gang), Liam Young (Unknown Fields), and the list goes on,

Rohy Hyde: Do you see your work in Hoogvliet, where you have retained many of the existing so-called 'failed' buildings, added some new small-scale buildings, all determined by an intimate process of local community engagement etc., as humble?
Wouter Vanstiphout (Crimson): I would not say that was humble, and having done that project I don't think that you can be humble. I think that our project is deeply arrogant — I hope to a good way — is the sense that if you are humble, and if you take humidity to the extreme, it would mean that you would accept everything instead of challenging it. So to Hoogvliet, we could accept that the social segregation was happening and that there was not much you could about it. When actually we were like schoolteachers, practically slapping them and ferrying them about. We organized an exhibition and we actually went around with buses and knocked on doors to bring them there. Because we knew that in a society in Hoogvliet that people would never go. So we really, literally rounded them up, we forced ourselves on these people. Now I'm from Belgian ancestry, and I nearly felt like one of those Catholic missionaries in Congo, forcing my beliefs on the poor natives! So there is no humility…
Some questions may arise from this book concerning new practitioners that emerge in this difficult time. Hence its importance in my wish-list.


Speaking of new practitioners: The Architecture Post visited Parisian DATA Architects for a studio visit and a video interview
DATA Architects ı Working area
Image © ULGC / The Architecture Post
180 Housing Units for Students and Researchers, ZAC de la Gare de Rungis, Paris
Image courtesy DATA Architects




One of my favorite mapmaking agencies Stamen Design who was the topic of a recent Icon magazine's issue, announced this 10 October New Design for Yandex Map, precisely a redesign of the online maps for Russia's most popular search engine:

We have done the important stage of the project. We talked to designers, engineers and other smart guys during all time of the project. We achieved a lot of experience of mapping design.
For example, at the beginning of the project we collaborated with Stamen. These cool guys helped us pick main issue definitions, refine ideas, get important recommendations what to improve. We implemented it into final design.
Moscow | © Stamen Design
"Zooming in further, we paid attention to the routes that the subway lines take under Moscow.
Not having been there before, we needed to rely on our friends at Yandex
for confirmation as to whether this looked right given insider knowledge of Moscow, but it turned out nicely…" [Stamen Design]


A guest-editing project announced for September (if you remember) and then for October postponed for… December. The reason? I am looking forward to picking Bracket's new issue [Goes Soft]. Without this new issue, not guest-editing… Amazon announced it for this November. So I am becoming happily (im)patient. Bracket [Goes Soft] will be edited by Actar.

To conclude, For Whom do We Design, and Why? asks the new edition of the Lisbon Biennial team. You can answer in the website… Only 100 words…
And you can participate in this edition. The Lisbon Biennial invite students to create an intervention at the Triennale headquarters. If you click on 'More Info' you can download the guidelines…







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