Urbanism

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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 ...
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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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PublisherThe Funambulist2016
The Funambulist Podcast · MABEL O. WILSON /// Design & Racism 2: “Can the Master’s Tools Dismantle the Master’s House?” This second conversation of the series complementing the latest issue of The Funambulist Magazine dedicated to Design & Racism borrows its title from Audre Lorde’s words cited by Mabel O. Wilson at the beginning of the “Critical Dialogues on Race and Modern Architecture” that she organized at Columbia University in February 2016. Throughout this discussion, we talk about architecture’s historical and contemporary contribution to the American structural racism against Black bodies. Professor Mabel O. Wilson teaches architectural design and history/theory courses at Columbia University’s ...
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PublisherFall Semester2014
At the beginning of the 20th century, Georg Simmel published one of his most important and well-known texts, “The metropolis and mental life”. He focused on the changes he observed in the relationship between spatial configuration and society (and other forms of sociability) within the urban landscape of the emerging big cities (or metropolises), namely, Berlin at the turn of the 19th century. When he published his essay in 1903, the metropolis was a recent occurrence signaling the beginning of a new urban phenomenon. It was brought about by the advances of industrialization and capitalism which, subsequently, would permanently change ...
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PublisherStrelka Press2012
Monocultures have always been part of the appeal of the suburban headquarters, and it is especially true for the tech companies that dominate Silicon Valley. On their bland campuses, the likes of Apple, Google and Facebook dominate the world, removed from the mess and the prying eyes of the real city. But while their products are discussed endlessly, their urbanism has rarely been. So what does it look like? To date, the Silicon Valley campus has served as a backdrop to many a sun-kissed founder photoshoot, but there is little understanding of the distinctive urban personality that separates the village of ...
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dpr-barcelona is an architectural research practice based in Barcelona, dealing with three main lines: publishing, criticism and curating. Their work explore how architecture as discipline reacts in the intersection with politics, technology, economy and social issues. Their publications, both digital and printed, transcend the boundaries of conventional publications, approaching to those which are probably the titles of architecture in the future, exploring the limits between printed matters and new media, transforming traditional publishing practice [as we know it] into a live exchange of knowledge. Their [net]work is a real hub linking several publications and actors on architecture and theory.
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Publishere-flux2015
Edited together with Nikolaus Hirsch, this first part of a special double issue of e-flux journal focusing on architecture invites a number of the field’s most audacious and adventurous thinkers to consider how these invisible and intangible forces are rebuilding cities and reformatting space over and above the role that architecture once served. They are not only reducible to data streams and technocratic information pathways, but also convert ethical questions of whose hands do the actual work of building into material expressions of labor markets, economic flows, and colonial memory. They include the passage from the formal domain of building ...
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Publishere-flux2015
More than ever, architects today are called upon to build gestural landmarks and grandiose signature buildings. But architecture was never only about building. It is also about the flows of people, information, and resources that shape space. Today, the practice of architecture often confronts situations where these flows cannot be reduced to modernist managerial approaches to systematizing, structuring, and mastering the potentials of space. In a two-part “Architecture as Intangible Infrastructure” issue of e-flux journal edited together with Nikolaus Hirsch, the intangible and immaterial flows that today appear to exceed the language of building proper are shown by a number of ...
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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
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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PublisherFailed Architecture2019
Contemporary urban discourse relies overwhelmingly on visual representation. While it may be more effective both in conveying the actual appearance of a particular urban space and in communicating the intentions of the architect and the planner, this kind of representation leaves little room for individual interpretation and cannot possibly capture the full range of feelings and emotions that people attach to particular places. For this, we must also turn to the more immediate sensations of touch, smell, taste and sound. This episode explores the last of these sensations, considering what it means to represent cities and architecture through sound. Unlike the ...
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PublisherFailed Architecture2019
Mecca is the holiest city in the Islamic religion and the birthplace of the prophet Mohamed. Located just off Saudi Arabia’s western coast, all Muslims are required to visit at least once in their life if they are physically able to. With air travel becoming easier, the number of pilgrims has been rising rapidly over the last few decades, with a record number of 3 million people visiting Mecca simultaneously during the 2012 Hajj. More recently, visa regulations have been made more strict to keep the situation under control. In this episode, we discuss with various experts how this rising number ...

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