lundi 31 mai 2010

# Thomas Wrede's Real Landscapes on Deconcrete

Deconcrete recently released an article about Thomas Wrede's composed landscape photographs entitled Real Landscapes which dramatizes tracks of artefacts in extreme geological terrains. The shift of scale is important here since it opens the opportunity of discovering new landscapes in the micro-scale just like David Linch suggested in the opening of Blue Velvet...

dimanche 30 mai 2010

# Playing the building by David Byrne

Playing the building is a 2005-09 project by Musician David Byrne who connected a piano to a series of devices that make the building around releasing a sound. The sounds can thus be combinated which ultimately creates a symphony that John Cage would have probably not deny.
Each visitor of the exhibition are encouraged to try this building instrument that develops a peculiar way of interacting with a building
Thanks Martin !

samedi 29 mai 2010

# Rue Abu Jamil by Alexis Monchovet & Stéphane Marchetti

Rue Abu Jamil is a documentary filmed by two French journalists Alexis Monchovet & Stéphane Marchetti who thus depict the daily life in the Gaza strip. Two excerpts of this documentary are visible online and the first one is particularly interesting since it explores one of the numerous tunnel that cross the border between Rafah (Gaza) and Egypt. Those holey complexes are the main target of the Israeli army which regularly destroy the zone via their F16 or their armored bulldozer D9 (see previous post about the documentary Death in Gaza).
The videos are unfortunately subtitled in French...

Rue Abu Jamil - Extrait 3 HD from Playprod on Vimeo.

Rue Abu Jamil - Extrait 2 HD from Playprod on Vimeo.

To go further about the tunnel complexes, read the previous article about Edwin Agudelo for the US/Mexico border and Bryan Finoki's article about tunnels on subtopia.

Thanks Elodie

vendredi 28 mai 2010

# Walls of Change by Lebbeus Woods

Lebbeus Woods' last article on his blog entitled Walls of Change investigates the wall as an urban element that separates two milieus from each other or punctually paradoxically gather people as the Berlin wall demonstrated in November 1989. The article then focuses on an amazing project, Mr. Woods drawn for La Havana several years ago, introducing the wall as an infrastructure that houses could embrace.
More drawings and texts on his blog.

jeudi 27 mai 2010

# Band of outsiders by Jean-Luc Godard

Here is a little animation excerpted from Jean-Luc Godard's 1964 movie Bande a Part (Band of Outsiders). The three main characters cross Le Louvre Museum by running. In 2003, Bertolucci's Dreamers (Louis Garrel, Eva Green and Michael Pitt) defeated their record !

mercredi 26 mai 2010

# Manual of Decolonization by Salottobuono

The Manual of Decolonization is a book created by Salottobuono in the frame of the research Decolonizing Architecture (already evoked here) lead by Eyal Weizman, Alessandro Petti and Sandi Hilal. This research starts with the scenario of successful negotiations between Palestinians and Israeli that would lead to the suppression of colonies established in the West Bank and the application of the Right to Return for Palestinian refugees. However, the project does not necessarily implies a total withdrawal of Israeli but rather investigates propositions that annihilate the asymmetrical military that characterize colonies. In this regard Salottobuono propose ten steps of "decolonization" that would actually change the status of the settlements into the architecture of a pacific cohabitation.
In fact in 2005, when the Gaza strip had been decolonized by the Sharon administration, the strategical aspect of this decision implied a strategical decolonization by the Israeli State. In fact, the totality of buildings were destroyed in order for Palestinian not to be able to appropriate them. The only buildings that remained were Synagogues that were obviously destroyed by the Palestinian in front of the cameras that daily feed the hate and fear between the two People.
The process of decolonization proposed by those collectives is therefore crucial in the attempt of a durable co-existence if the negotiations lead to agreements at some point.

Manual of Decolonization: printed edition available on the AA bookstore's website.
with Decolonizing Architecture, Haudenschild Garage, Barbara Modolo, Manuel Singer, Alessandro Zorzetto.
more on Salottobuono's website.

The introduction text to the workshop and exhibition Decolonizing Architecture can be read here.

mardi 25 mai 2010

# Domus Paranoia by Salottobuono

Salottobuono is an Italian architectural collective that has created (among others) two extremely interesting projects that I absolutely wanted to publish here. The first (second will be for tomorrow) is a pseudo Ikea catalog entitled Paranoia that propose a vision of what might be a urban military world where security will be one more product of consumption (in a nutshell, our world in a slightly exaggerated way). In a way that recalls David Fincher's Fight Club, Salottobuono created an inventory of product that could be quickly being sold on the market (or which are already). The climax of this catalog for architects is a section/perspective of what the house of this near future may look like.

Domus Paranoia
Domus n.902 - April 2007

lundi 24 mai 2010

#Faster than china by FREAKS freearchitects.

Here is a (very) short film made by a young interesting office FREAKS freearchitects (Paris, FR), this movie as been made during august 2007 maybe we can qualified it as a "pre-crisis" work. so far even if the message of the video is pretty tough, the pictures are kind of enthusiastic!!


samedi 22 mai 2010

# They use our books, let's use theirs !

I am often desperate to see that some excellent authors of "resistance" are being used by the forces they were fighting against in the first place (not to talk about the tremenduous amount of 60's rock songs which are now systematically used in commercials !). What I (We?) forgot sometimes is that we can do the same thing: DETOURNER as the Situationists would put it.

So here is the book all offered to the Detournement since an architect who would like some simple solutions to create an environment less based on paranoia would just have to design the contrary of what it advocates. Its author, Barry Poyner wanted Design against Crime to be a kind of sequel of Defensible Space written in 1972 by Oscar Newman. Without ever making a distinction between homicide, robbery, burglary and vandalism, Poyner's thesis is that "the layout of neighbourhoods, the form of streets, the design of housing and the planning of schools can be said to contribute to the likelihood of crime

At the beginning of the book he recalls the four Newman's principles to invent controlled and secured public housings:
1. Territoriality: The sub-division and zoning of communal space in and around residential building to promote proprietary attitudes among residents.
2. Natural Surveillance: The positioning of apartment windows to allow residents to naturally survey the exterior and interior public areas of their living environment.
3. Image: The use of building forms and idioms to avoid the stigma of public housing.
4. Milieu: Locating residential projects to face onto areas of the city considered safe (such as heavily-trafficked streets, institutional areas and government offices).

He also advocate for the suppression of semi-public environment (like decks, platforms, galleries etc.) and even more radically for a regulation of children density in residences (!!!):
Wilson pointed out that efforts were already being made to allocate new tenants to housing with this in mind. Also, where local authorities are rehabilitating older blocks, modifications can be made to change the size of units to achieve mixes of one-, two-, and three bedroom dwellings. No clear guideline can be given for recommending maximum child densities. The study by Wilson defined blocks with low child densities as containing an average of three or less children per ten dwellings, but this would be too stringent as a guideline for housing allocation policies. However, what might be a more realistic approach would be to limit allocation of new tenancies in blocks with large amounts of unsupervisable communal space to all-adult households.

Each scale is being studied and optimized for the sake of security. From the urban organization of a residential district to the door's material via anti-burglary houses, anti-pickpockets markets and anti-vandalism schools. A nauseous vision of a seamless world where rich are not being stolen and poors remain calm in their public housing...

The foreword says it all; it is written by the main commissioner of London's police who thanks Poyner for his work...see below.

vendredi 21 mai 2010

# Field Trips by Bernd & Hilla Becher and Robert Smithson

Field Trips is the name of a 2002 exhibition organized for the Museu de Arte Contemporanea de Serralves in Porto. It gathered the work of Bernd & Hilla Becher and Robert Smithson inspired by their visit to Oberhausen in the Ruhr (Germany) in 1968. The fantastic book of the same name offers beautiful photographs by the Bechers and documents (inventory, drawings, pictures etc.) by Smithson, including his famous Asphalt Rundown (1969) that dramatized a stream of burning hot asphalt on the earth.