Clocking in at just under six hundred pages, Neeraj Bhatia and Mary Casper’s The Petropolis of Tomorrow (Actar, 2013) presents a series of dueling monstrosities—land and sea; ecology and industry; isolation and circulation—at the hard-edged site of their collision. The product of an intensive research studio directed by Bhatia at the Rice School of Architecture, Petropolis documents and explores Brazil’s rapidly developing network of offshore petroleum and natural gas drilling infrastructures as a site ripe for the deployment of architectural expertise and imagination. Conducted as part of a broad collaborative research investigation on resource extraction urbanism initiated by the South America Project (SAP), the studio, as introduced by SAP Co-Director Felipe Correa, is a speculative experiment that “tests an extreme scenario” with the aim of identifying “new hybrids between industry and urbanism for an alternative twenty-first century extraction town.” Complementing the studio work, the editors have marshaled an impressive array of text and photo contributors whose essays offer distinctive takes on the book’s three thematic threads: archipelago urbanism, harvesting urbanism, and logistical urbanism.
From the Publisher. Bracket 2 examines physical and virtual soft systems, as they pertain to infrastructure, ecologies, landscapes, environments, and networks. In an era of declared crises—economic, ecological and climatic, amongst others—the notion of soft systems has gained increasing traction as a counterpoint to permanent, static and hard systems. Acknowledging fluid and indeterminate situations with complex feedback loops that allow for reaction and adaption, the possibility of soft systems has re-entered the domain of design. Bracket 2 critically positions and defines soft systems through 27 projects and 12 articles. From soft politics, soft power and soft spaces to fluid territories, software and soft programming, Bracket 2 unpacks the use and role of responsive, indeterminate, flexible, and immaterial systems in design.
Nabito Architects + ACTAR shared with us their design proposal for the “Les Portes de Collserola” international competition held by the government of Barcelona. As a finalist, the architects were challenged to create an ambitious strategical plan to regenerate the entire Park of Coillserola in the North of the city. The architects were then selected to take part in the 4B door called: ‘LES PLANES IN-PARK UNA PORTA, VÀRIES CLAUS’. The Project is a Master plan for the re-interpretation of one of the doors from Collserola Mountain going into the city of Barcelona. It is a space in between a complex superposition of different elements: urban, natural, rural and infrastructural. The perfect mix to ordinate the territory for a contemporary project. More images and architects’ description after the break.