Check out this crazy project we found headed by Armin Blasbichler with 21 students from the School of Design and Crafts at the University of Innsbruck. The task challenged the students (known as Blasbichlers Twentyone) to analyze a local bank and exploit the bank’s weaknesses by planning a robbery. According to Blasbichler, planning this robbery builds upon key aspects of an architectural mind such as the ability to constantly re-imagine and re-think. In a broader scope, the project questions the value of this kind of immaterial architecture to see whether “architecture itself [is] of any monetary value.”
In an interview from We Make Money Not Art more about the project is revealed.
In an interview with We Make Money Not Art, Blasbichler explained that ,”Architecture is much more than designing a building, it’s about the making of the imagination. In this sense architecture is more related to the arts and the financial sector than one might think. Banking and architecture are of a kin.”
The project was cleared by the University under certain restrictions, yet we love the mastermind’s response to worried architecture students on the possibility of doing something illegal, “Any time you put to the test your own imagination of things with the prevailing parameters of the real, things become potentially illegal. Architecture is always illegal.”
In order to create this “how-to” manual to provide instructions for the robbery, students blended architectural thinking with a business model evaluating assets such as time, space and electrical power. Blasbichler mentioned one project, Number 17, that flustered the bank representatives as the student examined how to hault a bank’s activity to bring about a consistent loss of money in a seemingly effortless robbery. All 21 projects have joined creative and analytically thinking to develop models that maximize their selected assets in a daring, yet “authentic” manner.
When the projects were exhibited, the unsuspecting banks experienced “mixed feeling of incredulity about the feasibility of the plans and at the same time a sense of appreciation for the inventiveness of the authors. Though tailored for specific banks branches in specific locations within specific conditions all plans showed a general validity,” explained Blasbichler.
All twenty one manuals are compiled in a book entitled Blasbichlers Twentyone, and we are sure the book would make for an exciting read. Most of the banks contributed to the cost of the exhibition and the expenses incurred for publishing the book, resulting in a leveled risk capital venture.