Justin McGuirk

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Publishere-flux2015
Architecture remains the most tangible way of constructing the social. Yet, the system we call “architecture” is not reducible to the physical, the tactile, the obvious. In the history of avant-garde architecture, immateriality and intangibility carried a promise of liberation, of escape from the heaviness of building, from completion, from gravity or reality. A new contemporary architecture would be built out of pure knowledge—drafted on paper as an idea to be shared, never bogged down by the technicalities of constructing in dimensional space, or even any spatial paradigm altogether. The history of the avant-garde can’t—as Beatriz Colomina has pointed out—be separated from its engagement with media ...
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PublisherStrelka Press2012
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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Justin McGuirk is a writer, critic and curator. He is currently the chief curator at the Design Museum in London and a faculty member in the Design Curating & Writing program at Design Academy Eindhoven. Previously, he was director of Strelka Press, design critic for The Guardian, and the editor of Icon magazine. In 2014, he published Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture. In this episode, Justin and I talk about the similarities between writing and curating, modes of criticism, and design’s troubled relationship to problem solving.
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Strelka Press is a digital-first publisher of new writing on architecture, design and the city. Reviving the essay as a popular form, we publish critical writing in digital and print editions.

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