random thoughts on architecture history theory and criticism

holidays 2012-2013



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Traduciendo a Rossi, en PLOT 8

mi artículo analiza cómo marina waisman desde summarios y peter eisenman en oppositions usaron el libro de rossi de manera estratégica para sus propias agendas teóricas. lo presenté en octubre pasado en una conferencia en la casa de rossi.

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cortázar a caillois

Entendámonos: el propósito central de su libro ha sido plenamente logrado. Nadie, después de leerlo, puede sentirse seguro de que no ha soñado que lo leía. Tampoco yo puedo tener la certeza (certeza lógica, claro, porque de hecho la tengo) de que no estoy soñando esta carta. Ojalá la estuviera soñando; seguramente sería mucho más interesante.

fonds roger caillois, médiathèque valery-larbaud, vichy. julio cortázar le escribe a roger caillois a propósito del libro de este último, l’incertitude que vient des rêves (paris: gallimard, 1956). la carta no tiene fecha, se trata de 14 páginas escritas a máquina. la cita es de la página 2.

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Eme3: Bottom-up—at Domus

my report of the eme3 2012 festival at barcelona, is up at domus.

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what’s your project?

dpr_barcelona invited me to participate in this digital publication—my piece is titled “what’s your project?” and it’s in english and spanish. it has a great line-up if i say so myself, check it out! cover above by klaustoon.

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layered wall

this wall is next to the macba, in barcelona—a building in the middle of el raval that looks exactly how you’d expect a meier building from the mid 90s to look like: lots of white tiles, lots of corb references, lots of glass. as you might tell, i’m annoyed by the meier building and i really like this wall, and i just realized it’s because it’s the total opposite of the meier museum.

1. it is a collaborative work, where one person has layered their opinion over someone else’s. it includes contrarian and opposite voices. it’s a conversation of many without falling into hive thinking.

2. it keeps growing and evolving over time, and gets richer because of it. it doesn’t require maintenance: change is part of what it stands for.

3. it’s opinionated and political, critical of the status quo (those photographs are images of people loosing their homes because of the crisis, if i remember correctly).

4. part of it is unintended, accidental, and random. those walls were not designed to look like that, pieces just fell away.

5. … and some parts were broken off, which remind us that there’s an inherent violence that is part of creation—it’s not always good, but we should understand what it does and how it operates. some demolishing and clearing is necessary—we shouldn’t allow nostalgia to hinder creativity.

i like this wall as an example of good collaboration—an example creative groups and creative cities should follow.

this post brought to you by my first bottle of red in paris.

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urbanisms: a guide

image via the atlantic

new urbanism. pitch: it’s not new. cons: nobody likes duany, particularly after those weird comments about asia.

everyday urbanism. pitch: it’s what you see every day. cons: name not sexy enough, came out in middle of pomo recap, everyone forgot about it.

landscape urbanism. pitch: you guys, landscape architects are urban too. cons: waldheim also not that charismatic.

ecological urbanism pitch: must brand + must sell books. and it’s ecological, baby. cons: how many urbanisms can one school hold?

tactical urbanism. pitch: it’s everyday urbanism with a sexier name and diy attitude! cons: the hipster urbanism, easily appropriated. think street vendors turned into cupcake carts, and occupy actions turned into street yoga.

post-ideological urbanism. pitch: honestly i don’t get it. looks like made-up brand for journal. cons: go read althusser.

planetary urbanism. pitch: it’s at the scale of the planet!! cons: but looking at lefebvre? how does that work? go take the class i guess. 

kickstarter urbanism. pitch: it’s crowdsourced project-ing. cons: popularity-based.

i keed because i love (only some of you guys, obviously). which ones am i missing?

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kanye screen chronology

herbert bayer, drawing for the architecture photo show in perspective and section, das künstlerische werk 1918-1938, berlin, bauhaus archiv 1982

ibm corporation pavilionnew york world’s fair, 1964-65. eames office

seven-screen cinema by donda, kanye west’s creative team, housed on temporary pavilion by oma’s shohei shigematsu at the cannes festival, 2012.

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la crítica

Pero qué agradable es tan extraño modo de concebir la crítica, que obliga al autor sorprendido a formarse una buena opinión de sí mismo al verificar que en su propio texto estaba bien dicho lo que creía haber dicho, en vez de las tonterías que (para procurarle esta satisfacción de amor propio) su benévolo examinador había simulado descubrir.

Roger Caillois, en respuesta a una crítica de Jorge Luis Borges, en Sur 91 (1942).

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