Little Publication | Paper Magazine

Dear readers, dear friends,

Maybe some of you know this little publication, maybe not. Paper or Platform for Architectural Projects, Essays & Research, an independent and cross-disciplinary little publication actively run by students from the University of Westminster.
Paper Magazine issue 7 "White Tower of Ireland, an interview with Jamie Young"

I discovered this little publication while googling information, articles and other essays for a new post.

Paper Magazine has already launched 9 colorful issues (while you will only access to the 8th first issues on the website) including interviews from Iain Sinclair to David Garcia (MAP Architects), to Patrik Schumacher (Zaha Hadid), to Geoff ManaughPaper Magazine, however, is not just a little publication about interviews, or conversations; it collects essays, too, from students to architects.

I am deeply delighted to have discovered this little publication. Paper Magazine also runs a blog. They may have just started it and I will definitively follow it.


Video | Under Tomorrows Sky ı Rachel Armstrong

Rachel Armstrong lectured several months ago at Under Tomorrows Sky Think Tank, a think lab founded by Liam Young of Tomorrows Thoughts Today.

Suggested podcast
Interview with Rachel Armstrong (along with Anna Tetas and Albert Ferré of Actar) | ULGC/ The Architecture Post, February 2012

For those who had not the occasion to attend this lecture series,  Liam Young invited scientists, literary astronauts, digital poets, speculative gamers, mavericks, visionaries and luminaries to sketch a fictional, future city, including the same Rachel Armstrong, Bruce Sterling, Warren Ellis, Daniel Dociu, Paul Duffield, Factory Fifteen, ARC Magazine, and Centre for Science and the Imagination.
© Daniel Dociu
"In response to the Under Sky brief concept artist Daniel Dociu has developed a series of visions of our future city. In this 'Urban Tectonic' series Daniel is exploring the city as a constructed geology." | Under Tomorrows Sky
Go to Dociu's website, it's worth visiting!
Another image from © Daniel Dociu's portfolio not included in Under Tomorrows Sky.
His entire work is available in his website.

Note that Liam Young, as curator of the Lisbon Architecture Triennial 2013, will pursue his investigation on this topic of future city — his project named Future Perfect — with the same mad team: Rachel Armstrong, Warren Ellis, Bruce Sterling, Daniel Docius, ARC Magazine, Paul Duffield, Centre for Science and the Imagination, and Geoff Manaugh of BLDGBLOG who is working — if not already achieved — on a so-long-expected book Future Landscapes, as usual published by Actar — the book may be available in few weeks. And more participants may be added to this list…

Suggested Podcast
Close, Closer ı An interview with Beatrice Galilee, Liam Young and Mariana Pestana on Lisbon Architecture Triennial 2013 || ULGC/ The Architecture Post, February 2013

If you visit Under Tomorrows Sky, you will access to a series of videos from this lecture series: Oddone, Liam Young, Bruce Sterling, Simon Ings among others.

Under Tomorrows Sky Think Tank Introductions: Rachel Armstrong from liam young on Vimeo.


Symposium | Under the Influence ı MIT Architecture, Feb 22-23, 2013

February 22 and 23 2013, the MIT Architecture organizes Under The Influence, a two-day symposium with scholars and practitioners of architecture to discuss influence.

As announced in the MIT Architecture website, the aim is

to expand [the] disciplinary tools for thinking appropriation beyond anxiety or ecstasy (…) by placing issues of individual and collective authorship, of precedent, originality and reproduction, under a magnifying glass. The symposium invites each of the participants to illuminate a single term — a disciplinary synonym for appropriation — and through that term, the specific strategies, historical, and disciplinary circumstances in which it is enmeshed. Under the influence participants will examine: Affinity, Allusion, Cliché, Collection, Doppelgänger, Replica, Revision, (Color)Sample, Side Effects, Signature, Thing Rights and Vapor.

With the participation of: Mario Carpo who will talk about "Self-Organization, indeterminacy, and the crisis of modern authorship in contemporary digital design theory" at 6:30pm, Friday 22 February.
Then, Saturday 23 February, you will hear:  Alexander D'Hooghe, Florian Idenburg, Enrique Walker, Michael Meredith and Hilary Sample, Sam Jacob (Strange Harvest), Cristina Goberna and Urtzi Grau, Amanda Reeser Lawrence, Ines Weizman, John McMorrough, Mariana Ibañez and Simon Kim, Timothy Hyde, Eric Höweler and Meejin Yoon.

Where: Long Lounge 7-429

When: Day 1: Friday, February 22, 2013, 6:30pm;
Day 2: Saturday, February 23, 2013, 10:00am - 6:30pm

Further information: MIT Architecture.


ULGC | The Architecture Post | Fourth Edition: Close, Closer, a conversation with Beatrice Galilee, Liam Young and Mariana Pestana

Fourth edition of The Architecture Post Conversation. I am delighted to share with you a conversation I had yesterday with three of Close, Closer's curatorial team: Beatrice Galilee, Liam Young, and Mariana Pestana.

Coming from the art area, I have a strong interest in curating and architecture. How does architecture examine the format of large-scale exhibition like biennial/triennial? How to curate architecture? In short, curating affects the architectural thinking, discourse and practice. The medium of exhibition is a tool that allows for examining issues from the discipline, its practice, its modes of representation and operation, but also social, economic, political, ecological contexts, and other topics that are relevant (or not) to architecture.

Exhibition, in a very large sense, is a system to vehicle critical ideas but also to test new ideas to the great public. This is the very definition of this device as it has been discussed in the art area over decades if not history. There is an interesting tool, a journal for curators and exhibition-makers, The Exhibitionist Journal co-founded by Jens Hoffmann, a renown independent curator and critic in the contemporary art. This magazine is by curators for curators (art, design, architecture,…), in which the most pertinent questions on exhibition making today would be considered and assessed. I warmly recommend this publication to all my readers, in particular (but not exclusively) to those who share an interest — or whose position is curator — in curating and architecture.

Back to what we are concerned: the fourth edition of The Architecture Post.
For this new edition, I talk with three of The Lisbon Architecture Triennial's curatorial team: Chief Curator Beatrice Galilee, the two curators Liam Young, and Mariana Pestana about The Triennial 2013 with a focus on the working process, the methodology employed for this edition. Among other topics we talk about curating and architecture. I am planning a second phase to this conversation, probably during the show, or after the show to continue and close the discussion.

The theme of this third edition of The Lisbon Architecture Triennial is Close, Closer. Close, Closer explores global architectural practices with the specific context of economic depletion, social, cultural, political, and ecological shifts as well as the architect's shifting role (among others). How does architecture instrumentalize these shifting and challenging contexts? In the format of three exhibitions, associated projects, a website,  e-books series, a student award and Début award for young practitioners, the Triennial is also engaged in redefining the boundaries of curating and architecture.

Close, Closer will open on September 12th and will run up for three months (up to 15 December).

Note that you can participate as Close, Closer proposes Open Calls, among others Crisis Buster with a deadline for applications for the 18 February. Check out the website for more details, and the podcast that provides further information about the Open Calls.

Below the podcast of our conversation recorded Friday 8 February.

Chief Curator: Beatrice Galilee, a internationally renown curator, writer and lecturer. She was the curator of the Gwangju Design Biennial 2011. Beatrice Galilee writes for international magazines from Domus, to Harvard Design Magazine. She also co-founder and director of the Gopher Hole, London.
Curators: José Esparza, a critic and curator whose contributions are published in international magazines (Domus); Mariana Pestana, architect and curator, co-founder of the art and architecture collective The Decorators. She is the editor of Design Exchange Magazine; and Liam Young, architect, educator, curator and writer (Volume), co-founder and director of Tomorrows Thoughts Today and Unknown Fields Division.
Close, Closer's visual identity: Zak Group
Location: Diverse venues, Lisbon
Website: Close, Closer

ULGC | The Architecture Post | Conversation with Robert Schmidt III on Adaptable Futures

Today, for the new edition of The Architecture Post, I talk with architect Robert Schmidt III about the project Adaptable Futures, the concept of adaptability, today's built environment, the architect's shifting role.

Adaptable Futures is a series of collages about the notion of adaptability. This project is directed by Adaptable Future with the collaboration of Chris Berthelsen from A Small Lab.
© Adaptable Futures, 2012

Robert Schmidt is a Tokyo and Loughborough-based architect and Senior Research Associate on the Adaptable Future project at Loughborough University.
© Adaptable Future, 2012

© Adaptable Futures, 2012
© Adaptable Futures, 2012

Further information on Adaptable Futures.


Update: Event | Waterproofing NYC

According to an anonymous reader, Waterproofing NYC has been rescheduled to March 2, 2013. I thank him or her for this information.

New York-based readers may be interested in this symposium Waterproofing NYC, this March 2, 2013. As written in the website, this symposium will address storm protection opportunities that incorporate multiple infrastructure systems.

After experiencing two destructive tropical storms in as many years, New York City finds itself forced to adapt to the reality of catastrophic weather events resulting from climate change. However, it cannot rely on simple fixes. Rather, it needs to create new urban landscapes with the capacity to negotiate social, cultural, and environmental forces, argues Denise Hoffman-Brandt, associate professor of landscape architecture in City College's Spitzer School of Architecture.

Participants are Jeannette Compton, Paul Mankiewicz, Lydia Kallipoliti, Kate Orff, Frank Ruchala, Bryan Stigge, Chris Reed, Miguel Robles Duran, Petra Todorovick Messick, Kevin Foster, Denise Hoffman-Brandt, Georgeen Theodore, Dennis Burton, Erika Svendson, Catherine Seavitt Nordenson, Gullivar Shepard, Thaddeus Pawlowski, Mark Gunsburg, Lance Jay Brown, Deborah Gans, Hilary Sample, and Michael Sorkin.

To a certain extent, in my view, this event is not too far from the previous post on Bracket [Goes Soft]

More on this event: here.

The Editor's reading in progress | Bracket Goes Soft, and everything else

Two new books I received two days ago: Bracket [Goes Soft] and Alejandro Zaera-Polo's The Sniper's Log. A review on both books is forthcoming. I will start with Bracket, which I am currently reading. A so long-awaited little publication — albeit rather thick — co-published by Archinect, InfraNet Lab and Actar. As always, I am sharing my reading in-progress

This volume of Bracket [Goes Soft] is edited by Lola Sheppard (Lateral Office/ InfraNet Lab) and Neeraj Bhatia (InfraNet Lab/ Petropia), with contribution of Benjamin Bratton, Julia Czerniak, Jeffrey Inaba, Philippe Rahm, Charles Renfro and Geoff Manaugh.

A rapidly scanned Bracket's cover…

This volume deals with landscape-architecture and infrastructure (a first impression before the book review: I noted a unified approach to landscape-architecture-urban-infrastructure[*]), precisely a series of fundamental notions for a better understanding of the shifting contexts: soft systems, adaptability, non-linear, multivalent, interface, contingency, flexibility, remediation, among many others. To a certain extent, I may be wrong but I noted some similarities with Nina-Marie Lister and Chris Reed's research on Projective Ecologies (another long-awaited book announced to be published by Actar), Smout Allen's approach to landscape-urbanism or MAP Architects/David Garcia, SCAPE, mammoth, and as normal this can be,  both Petropia and Lateral Office. This is not a surprised as these agencies share the same interest in what Pierre Bélanger as well as Stan Allen — to limit to these two researchers — call, namely landscape as infrastructure — simply known as landscape infrastructure. Note that mammoth has a proposal in this second volume.

Below an excerpt from this publication. A proposal by Leigha Dennis titled Be Alarmed (49-56). Leigha Dennis is a New York and architect interested in the intersection of technology, infrastructure and buildings.

The communities that are located close to the chemical industries in Louisiana's industrial corridor are afflicted by forces that transcend human perception. While the presence of harmful dust, noise and the subjugation of space are apparent at many levels, and leave these communities vulnerable, it is the power of the unseen and the unknown that are the subject of this investigation.
The industries' intent to withhold information that is necessary for the public safety has left an overriding sense of uncertainty and anxiety. Chemicals are released into community environments and nearby ecologies, rendering the consumption of air, food and water toxic. Deposited deep below the homes of many communities lie containers for dormant toxic waste whose shelf lives and stability are unforeseeable. Similarly, underground, geological salt caverns are often used for the storage of chemicals and crude oil, leaving ground water at the risk of contamination. While the air above the ground is subject to invisible, harmful pollutants, the ground below equally conceals the existence of a corresponding precariousness.
Attempts at providing systems of security and alarm for nearby communities have been benign and otherwise unsuccessful, resulting in moments of panic and confusion. Alarm speakers, functional or not, dot the landscape, while intercoms have been installed in homes — asserting a latent paranoia of surveillance and potential disaster. As the chemical companies have grown, acquired farmland and sometimes entire communities, their expansions has subsumed the landscape — leaving homes within unsafe proximities from toxic sites sometimes only feet away. Industries build directly up to property lines as a not-so-passive warnings to leave, yet some homes remain — either in resistance, or simply because there is nowhere else to go. For those homes that are bought out, swaths of pastoral green-scape are left in their place — a visual illusion that everything is fine.
In many ways, these attempts have both succeeded and failed in achieving illusions of safety. The security systems that are implemented often act to secure the plants themselves, rather than the vulnerable residents in close proximity. Alarms are sounded when danger is eminent, leaving the final and only option of fleeing. The events that are alerted are extreme, such as explosions or massive spills. However, communities are exposed to varying levels of toxins in the air, water, food, and ground on a daily basis. These quantities of contamination are equally alarming, yet go unknown and unnoticed.
For the communities that remain, this project aims to provide methods for monitoring, revealing and alerting the daily conditions of toxicity. Designed as a type of public service announcement and kit-of-parts, it provides a transparency of information that does not currently exist for the public. Through a network of devices dedicated to seeing the unseeing, this alarm system will reveal levels of ground water, river water, and air contamination through recognizable and decipherable forms of display: a new kind of public utility. Personal kits to test vinyl chloride levels within homes, in drinking water, and in the body enable the residents to actively improve and keep their communities safe. By establishing trending in data, concentrations of contamination can be identified. The subterranean will be mapped above, while the air will be inscribed. The aesthetic of infrastructure is transformed into an active response system. Through the use of phyto- and sensor-technology, passive and active systems will alert to latent and harmful toxic levels, as well as provide the infrastructure for improvement in an altered and augmented landscape. Over time, the devices will improve contamination through remediation and awareness, resulting in their own optimistic obsolescence. 

A deep pleasure to read since it is right on my current investigation on networked ecologies, contingency, infrastructure. 

For anyone at all interested in infrastructure, adaptive design, landscape urbanism, this publication is more than essential. I will go back with a review in a couple of weeks. I am even considering organizing a Skype conversation with the editors along with a traditional review format. This can be an enjoyable occasion to go further, or — who knows — to discuss my point of view on this volume.

This aside, I will post this Saturday, the conversation I had two weeks ago with Tokyo and London-based Robert Schmidt III of Adaptable Future. You will probably note a similarity in the approach, in particular, his research on adaptability, non-linear, contingency. I hope to finish the audio editing tomorrow.
Then, as mentioned in a previous post, I wrote a piece for the Scandinavian magazine Conditions Magazine, a piece not to far from a series of topics related here and other platforms (Facebook, mostly) on future practices. The new issue supposedly will be available in March or April. As usual, I will go back to this news very soon.

[*] On the unification of building and infrastructure, see Pope Albert, "The Unified Project", Architectural Design, Vol. 82, Issue 05, September/October.

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