Charlie Clemoes

PublisherFailed Architecture2018
Instagram photos, public transport information, streamed music and Netflix movies seem to appear out of thin air on your phone, don’t they? Well, getting them onto that screen isn’t as light and easy as it feels. There is, in fact, an immense and decidedly heavy infrastructure powering the cloud. More and more architecture is being designed and built to house server space and internet connection hubs. Since these buildings typically use as much energy as a medium-sized city, our digital lives have a direct environmental toll. Minimising this footprint is one of the data centre industry’s main issues. This episode was ...

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PublisherFailed Architecture2018
Video games have changed the way we interact with space. From their very inception, these increasingly complex virtual worlds have been forcing new perspectives and new ways of interacting with the world beyond. Once they were able to represent cities, their role in shaping our everyday urban experience became even more acute, thrusting players into environments that they would otherwise have never come close to and exposing them to representations of urban life which will have had countless effects on the way players experienced cities in real life. But while it’s long been accepted that film, music and other established forms ...

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PublisherFailed Architecture2018
Stereotypes regarding modernist architecture, and in particular the negative discourse on Amsterdam’s Bijlmer estate, have been quite crucial in shaping Failed Architecture’s way of thinking in its early years. Can we really blame the architecture for what went wrong? How can an entire neighbourhood, where thousands of people continue to live their lives on a daily basis, be simply dismissed as a grand failure? In recent years, however, there has been a slow but steady reappreciation of modernist architecture taking place, but rather for its aesthetics than its social ideals. While architecture from that era is still being demolished at a ...

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PublisherFailed Architecture2018
Alexandra Lange has been writing about architecture and design for over two decades. Her articles span a wide range of subjects, from building reviews and calls for preservation to furniture, fashion, and women in architecture. After writing for such media outlets as Metropolis, Dezeen, The New York Times, Places Journal, Architect Magazine and The New Yorker, she published the book Writing About Architecture: Mastering the Language of Buildings and Cities in 2012. Currently working as the architecture critic at Curbed, her latest book The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids comes out this month. In this episode, ...

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PublisherFailed Architecture2018
In this episode, we use the work of London-based rapper Gaika to explore the subject of London, talking to both Gaika and Ash Sarkar, a senior editor at Novara Media who has previously collaborated with Gaika, about the city’s near future and its recent past. Gaika’s work covers a lot of themes, but his “Security” and “Spectacular Empire” projects are among the most incisive articulations of the mood that has pervaded London in the past decade. Produced in 2016 and 2017 respectively, these two projects cover a diverse array of themes: ranging from race, the built environment and the housing market, ...

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PublisherFailed Architecture2018
The area around Calais, a town in northern France, has for many years been a major transit point for refugees on their way to the United Kingdom. During the recent peak in the number of refugees, the French and British authorities increasingly fortified this border landscape, forcing those on the move to build increasingly permanent shelters for themselves. As this self-built city, also sometimes referred to as ‘the jungle’, continued to grow the response of the authorities became increasingly violent. By now, the self-built city has been fully evicted and demolished, displacing its inhabitants. The media hype following these events prompted ...

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PublisherFailed Architecture2018
Italy’s landscape is dotted with unfinished structures. For a myriad of reasons, the construction of these buildings and pieces of infrastructure stopped half-way, leaving the often concrete and often striking remains of hitherto incomplete plans. The ‘Incompiuto Siciliano’ (Unfinished Sicilian) project has been mapping and researching these many structures, on Sicily as well as in the rest of the country. And, to draw attention to the phenomenon, started to refer to them as “Italy’s Most Prominent Architectural Style”. In this episode, we join Incompiuto on a trip to one of the largest unfinished objects, ‘La Diga di Blufi’, 130km south of ...

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PublisherFailed Architecture2018
Albert Speer is one of the most infamous architects in history. During his time working for the Nazi Party he was responsible for designing the Reich Chancellery and the Zeppelinfeld stadium in which the Nuremberg rallies took place, as well as being in charge of Germany’s war production during the Second World War and being slated to plan the massive reconstruction Berlin as Germania. Yet by emphasising his detachment from the general conditions he was able to avoid the death sentence after the war. While his is an extreme example, it offers a compelling jumping off point to explore the wider ...

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