Architecture

While attention paid to the Israeli geography of imagination, used to configure and dismantle Palestinian territory through the “separation barrier,” has been profoundly significant, what this text addresses is not only the physical border but the cultural and historical borders that [im]mobilize particular identities and social forms. “Why Didn’t You Knock?”. Securing the Self from Security presents the different notions around the “separation barrier” and how it reveals the Israeli geography of imagination, of territorial expansion, of cutting and crisscrossing through Palestinian villages and towns, among other relevant issues.

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NEWPALMYRA is: A Digital Archaeology project, collecting data from international partners, analyzing it, creating a reconstruction of Palmyra in virtual space, and sharing the models and data in the public domain. We are using digital tools to preserve the heritage sites being actively deleted by ISIS. A Cultural Development project, hosting live workshops and building a network of artists, technologists, archaeologists, architects, and others to research, construct models, and create artistic works. A Curatorial project, creating exhibitions and experiences in museums and institutions globally, celebrating the cultural heritage of Syria and the world through the lens of architecture embodying culture and power. Together with ...

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In the last five years, the urban computing field has featured an impressive emphasis on the so-called “real-time, database-enabled city” with its synchronized Internet of Things. Julian Bleecker and Nicholas Nova argue to invert this common perspective and speculate on the existence of an “asynchronous city”. Through a discussion of objects that blog, they forecast situated technologies based on weak signals that show the importance of time on human practices. They imagine the emergence of truly social technologies that through thoughtful provocation can invert and disrupt common perspectives.

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There are few things in urbanism today so unfashionable as the ceremonial public square. The vast, proverbially windswept plazas built under “really existing socialism” from the 1920s to the 1980s are widely considered to be useless spaces, designed to intimidate or at least impress. Yet if they are only of use to those in power, why is it they have been used so successfully in protest? From Petrograd in 1917 to Independence Square in Kiev during the Orange Revolution, these spaces have become focuses for mass protest. Beginning in Berlin’s Alexanderplatz, and taking in Warsaw, Ljubljana, Kharkov and Moscow, Owen ...

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Art as we know it is dramatically changing, but popular and critical responses lag behind. In this trenchant illustrated essay, David Joselit describes how art and architecture are being transformed in the age of Google. Under the dual pressures of digital technology, which allows images to be reformatted and disseminated effortlessly, and the exponential acceleration of cultural exchange enabled by globalization, artists and architects are emphasizing networks as never before. Some of the most interesting contemporary work in both fields is now based on visualizing patterns of dissemination after objects and structures are produced, and after they enter into, and ...

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Napoléon was the first conqueror to “legalize” looting by forcing the vanquished to sign contracts surrendering historic art objects. The recent selling off and dispersal of the collection of Iraq Museum, was presented as the simple work of market forces, but it continues and extends Napoleonic forms of looting.

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On the ledger and the herbarium: the settling of financial and botanical accounts.

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A nuclear facility in Iran before and after an explosion, a village in Pakistan before and after a drone attack, a Cambodian river valley before and after a flood. The before-and-after image has become the tool of choice for analysing events. Satellite photography allows us to scrutinise the impact of war or climate change, from the safe distance of orbit. But one thing is rarely captured: the event itself. All we can read is its effect on a space, and that’s where the architectural expert is required, to fill the gap with a narrative. In this groundbreaking essay, Eyal and Ines ...

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Preservation is ordinarily reserved for architecture that is unique. So how would we go about preserving buildings that are utterly generic? Such is the case with Belyayevo, an ordinary residential district in Moscow. Belyayevo is a classic microrayon, the standardised neighbourhood system that successive Soviet regimes laid out across the USSR in what was the most expansive programme of industrialised construction the world has ever seen. Belyayevo’s buildings, and the desolate spaces between them, are identical to thousands of others, but is it different? Kuba Snopek argues that is. Home to many of the artists of the Moscow Conceptualism school, the ...

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Inspired by the scholars, activists, and everyday citizens who spoke out, marched, and protested against police killings of African-Americans, we present this collection of short essays that put Black lives at the center of our thinking about architecture and its history.

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There has been many things written about the urban transformations of Paris orchestrated by Napoleon III’s prefect, the “Baron” Haussmann; many of which address the militarized causes of these transformations, as I often did myself. This aspect of the transformations is admitted by Haussmann himself in his memoirs as part of the strategy. The first part of the 19th-century saw many insurrections and revolutions happening in Paris (1830 revolution, 1832 insurrection, 1848 revolution, etc.) and Napoleon III, after his 1851 coup, was certainly eager to transform Paris to be able to control it. The large avenues and boulevards were thus ...

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Global cities (and their designs in particular) have rested on the paradigm of market-driven development, and have been interpreted as strategic spaces of neoliberal restructuring. Whilst they are now hit by the crisis of this ideology, the situation also offers the opportunity and necessity to imagine another, more social city. Yet designers continue to hold back criticism and proposals. It is, however, time to redefine the role of design for a social city and take action. What is the role of design in the production of urban space? Is it merely an element in the commodified colonisation of social spaces? ...

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Code: Survey was developed for the Morphosis-designed Caltrans District VII Headquarters in downtown Los Angeles as an architectural and digital installation. Whereas the building houses a grid of 168 glass panels of images related to transportation, each panel engraved with an alphanumeric code, the website is its searchable counterpart of photographs, codes and an index of keywords. Images, texts, film footage and audio from interviews with Caltrans employees as well as native Californians intermingle in Green’s website as a dynamic archive that undermines and complicates our expectation of searching any form of place. Code: Survey exists as a process allowing temporary imaginary inhabitation ...

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Contemporary Culture Index is divided into two sections. CCIndex infoweb provides an introduction to ccindex’s operations. Please access to find accretive information about the contents and periodicals indexed in ccindex’s database. CCIndex database is an online, open-access bibliographical database indexing international journals and periodicals. Areas covered are architecture, art, cinema, cultural studies, design, literature, music, philosophy, social sciences and photography.   This entry was included in Library Stack as part of a collection by Howie Chen.

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First published in English as “Four Regimes of Entropy: For an Ecology of Genetics and Biomorphic Media Theory”, Fibreculture #17: Unnatural ecologies, special issue on media ecology. 2011. Vivimos en red. En los últimos años hemos visto y participado maravillados en la construcción de una “network society”. Un proceso de urbanización digital de la aldea global revelada por McLuhan. La imagen de rizoma asociada al trabajo en redes digitales y a la nueva forma de producción e intercambio de conocimiento ha alimentado el entusiasmo de los activistas y académicos de los nuevos media. De aquí a entender esta red como una suerte ...

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Have you ever wondered how one can get up in the middle of the night and move in a pitch-dark room? What makes such nightly excursions possible is the development of a mental image of one’s home that tightly corresponds to the surrounding physical space. But what if one could transfer this awareness from the domestic to the urban sphere? We might then be able to navigate the city with the same confidence that characterizes our domestic movements. While checking-in, liking, sharing and going through Augmented Reality experiences we might be unconsciously contributing to the construction of a nomadic, collective awareness. Simone ...

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This essay looks at the case of Collective Towns in Iraqi Kurdistan as an example of how State interventions on the ground are often instruments utilised to implement broader political plans. Throughout the 1970s and the 1980s the Iraqi government made full use of spatial planning as a constitutive part of the strategy of “dealing with the Kurdish problem”. Recchia’s argument is that the Ba’ath regime adopted urban planning and space design as social engineering devices in its larger scheme of shaping society into a more homogenous and simplified form. The Iraqi government used the combination of ethnopolitics and a centralised ideology ...

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What is the impact of demolition on those who witness it not through the media but in situ? Does living through the destruction of one’s built environment produce a kind of post traumatic stress disorder? Do buildings deserve the same protections as people? How might we develop strategies to prevent further damage and to treat already-damaged people and buildings?

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DRONE is the first issue to be published from the Unmanned, Architecture and Security Series research project and publication series. Drones are unmanned vehicles [UAV]. They are either remotely controlled or, increasingly, autonomously following a pre-programmed mission. Initially, they were developed for use in conflict situations, but the technology also lends itself to a variety of civic purposes, from urban surveillance to monitoring agricultural fields and poaching. UAVs can transport objects, from bombs to books and pizza boxes. In conflict situations they can be used for targeting and killing individuals, but also for providing medical assistance. Drones are cheap to produce and have ...

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This is the account of a 14-hour drive around the perimeter of the largest city in South America. Exploring the edge condition of São Paulo, Justin McGuirk investigates the different forms of dwelling available to its would-be citizens, and meets some of the people carving a life for themselves on the verge of this unforgiving metropolis. Driving anti-clockwise, we take a journey backwards in time, moving from cardboard favelas and hastily built tower blocks, back to modernist social housing and the factory towns built early in the last century. Is this a tale, as the Brazilian flag attests, of “Order and ...

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The destruction of cultural heritage does not just take place in architectural landscapes, but within the culture of the museum. Middle Eastern museums built by foreign experts under colonial rule are also sites of demolition, aesthetically and ideologically confirming their exhibitors’ Weltanschauung worldview.

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The title of this project has been adapted with reference to the disputed concept of an Existenzminimum, which was conceived as an emergency measure to regulate the provision of low-cost housing for the growing working class between the World Wars, but has been criticized for perpetuating low- standard living conditions for the underprivileged. Existenzoptimum builds upon the ideals of the Existenzminimum while developing a proposal for cooperative living in opposition to family life and its ideology, considering issues such as class, gender etc.  

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Extrastatecraft controls everyday life in the city: it’s the key to power – and resistance – in the twenty-first century. Infrastructure is not only the underground pipes and cables controlling our cities. It also determines the hidden rules that structure the spaces all around us – free trade zones, smart cities, suburbs, and shopping malls. Extrastatecraft charts the emergent new powers controlling this space and shows how they extend beyond the reach of government. Keller Easterling explores areas of infrastructure with the greatest impact on our world – examining everything from standards for the thinness of credit cards to the urbanism of ...

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The authors reflect on the relationship between labor and technology in urban space where communication, attention, and physical movement generate financial value for a small number of private stakeholders. Online and off, Internet users are increasingly wielded as a resource for economic amelioration, for private capture, and the channels of communication are becoming increasingly inscrutable. Liu and Scholz ask: How does the intertwining of labor and play complicate our understanding of exploitation?

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How does change happen? Who authors design? How does architecture participate in modernization? How does architecture govern? Governing by design, this book suggests, is not simply a matter of monu­mental symbolism and space, state power and authority, imposed control and surveillance. This book instead sets architecture in relation to mundane mat­ters: food, bodies, housing, markets, cities, and culture. How do we regulate basic aspects of our lives through design, such as the consumption of food and shelter? How do we manage the risks of modernization to our bodies and environments? How is culture produced by politics, planning, and architecture? How ...

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