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A *New* Program for Graphic Design

This title will be available soon. A *New* Program for Graphic Design is a DIY textbook that synthesizes the pragmatic with the experimental to convey advanced graphic design principles in an understandable form for students of all levels as well as general readers. Rooted in three courses (Typography, Gestalt, and Interface) originally developed for liberal arts students at Princeton University, the book provides a broad introduction to graphic design and visual literacy, from Benjamin Franklin to Bruno Munari, Moholy-Nagy to Muriel Cooper and the Macintosh computer. Through a series of in-depth historical case studies and assignments that progressively build in complexity, the book ...

A *Pre-* Program for Graphic Design

This title will be available soon. A *Pre-* Program for Graphic Design is a video-based companion to A *New* Program for Graphic Design, a DIY textbook that synthesizes the pragmatic with the experimental to convey advanced graphic design principles in an understandable form for students of all levels as well as general readers. Based on courses originally developed for liberal arts students at Princeton University, the book was derived from a three-day lecture series held in Los Angeles, delivered to a live studio audience and video recorded. The result is a broad introduction to graphic design and visual literacy, covering a wide ...

Across the Plaza: The Public Voids of the Post-Soviet City

Contributor Owen Hatherley
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 ...

The Action is the Form: Victor's Hugo's TED talk.

Contributor Keller Easterling
Space is a technology. Buildings and the cities they inhabit have become infrastructural – mobile, monetized networks. For the world’s power players, infrastructure space is a secret weapon, and the rest of us are only just beginning to realize. If Victor Hugo came back to give a TED talk, he might assert that architecture, which he once claimed had been killed by the book, is reincarnate as something more powerful still – as information itself. If this space is a secret weapon, says Keller Easterling, it is a secret best kept from those trained to make space – architects. Meanwhile, ...

AI Aesthetics

Contributor Lev Manovich
AI plays a crucial role in the global cultural ecosystem. It recommends what we should see, listen to, read, and buy. It determines how many people will see our shared content. It helps us make aesthetic decisions when we create media. In professional cultural production, AI has already been adapted to produce movie trailers, music albums, fashion items, product and web designs, architecture, etc. In this short book, Lev Manovich offers a systematic framework to help us think about cultural uses of AI today and in the future. He challenges existing ideas and gives us new concepts for understanding media, ...

The Amme Talks

The Amme Talks is a conversation between poet and machine. In 2003, poet Ulf Stolterfoht and a chatbot named Amme (which means “wet nurse” in German) met in Berlin. For one week, Stolterfoht interrogated Amme: not just a chatbot, actually, but a steel-and-glass construction with a computer interface, which is connected to a glass of milk, a robotic arm that tips over the glass, and a tube that releases water, as if urinating. Stolterfoht asked Amme—the creation of artist Peter Dittmer—about the nature of authorship and the agency of language; he intended to turn the answers into an essay on poetics. ...

Anti-Object: The Dissolution and Disintegration of Architecture

An ‘object’ is a work of architecture that is expressly cut off from its environment. Objects are not exclusive to any particular architectural style, but objectification has long been central to western architecture. Indeed, it might even be said to be the very strategy by which modernism succeeded in conquering the world. It is all-pervasive because it is consistent with the aim of the prevailing economic system: to transform virtually everything into a commodity. In Anti-Object, Kengo Kuma argues that this mindset prevents us from establishing a healthy relationship with the external world and suggests that an alternative form of architecture ...

Are You Working Too Much?

Let’s be clear about something: it is infuriating that most interesting artists are perfectly capable of functioning in at least two or three professions that are, unlike art, respected by society in terms of compensation and general usefulness. When the flexibility, certainty, and freedom promised by being part of a critical outside are revealed as extensions of recent advances in economic exploitation, does the field of art become the uncritical, complicit inside of something far more interesting?

Art Without Death: Conversations on Russian Cosmism

Today, many of us can remember the disappeared indigenous cosmologies as parts of ourselves, lost to colonialism, industrialization, communist revolutions, and capitalist wars. Many names have been given to ideological or historical grand narratives to soothe the pain of loss, to register those losses and render them searchable, but these memorializing mechanisms still fail to register the pain of losing something much larger that cannot be named—a deep relation to the world, to the cosmos, and to ourselves that gives us strength and sovereignty without need for any other earthly power of right or dominion. What if another kind of ...

Bang Bros

The year is 2250. The colony on the Moon is divided into debaucherous fascists and an underclass of mutants born without genitals. Follow Frank and Gerry, two mutant bros. By day, they’re forced to salvage through the remains of a porn-filled shuttle that crashed on the Moon’s dark side. By night, they plot their revenge.

Before and After: Documenting the Architecture of Disaster

Contributors Ines Weizman, Eyal Weizman
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 ...

Belyayevo Forever: Preserving the Generic

Contributor Kuba Snopek
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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