The work of C-Lab, Columbia University’s experimental urban and architecture think tank, is on display in Tokyo. Conceived as a temporary occupation, the exhibition presents C-Lab’s work alongside magazines from Yoshioka Library’s archive of international architecture journals from the 1960s to today. Images of C-Lab analyses, planning projects, installations, and publications are positioned on the gallery’s shelves next to vintage issues of A+U, Japan Architect, Shinkenchiku, Space, Architectural Review, Domus, Abitare, and Casabella. More information on the exhibition after the break.
C-Lab and Jeffrey Inaba recently collaborated with One Pot, with support from LIMN Architects and Design Compendium, to design a dinner table for 60 guests. This charity fund raising event was hosted in New York’s Park Avenue Armory, a rare Louis Comfort Tiffany interior.
The design required sixty linear feet of table surface in a slim thirty-five feet of available floor space. C-Lab creatively designed the Z-Top, not just fitting with in the spatial constraints, but also developing an immediate interaction among guests, prompting more informal discussion areas between courses, and cutting down the overall distance between diners.
More following the break.
Location: New York City, New York, United States
Director: Jeffrey Inaba
Project Designer: Simon Battisti
Project Team: Justin Fowler, Nathalie Janson, Amanda Shin, Leah Whitman-Salkin, Jeffrey Yip
Photography: Naho Kubota
When we interviewed Jeffrey Inaba at the C-Lab last year, he told us about his research on altruism, which was the base for his new book “World of Giving”.
In place of the pursuit of personal wealth, World of Giving presents a mindset revolving around generosity. It paints a picture in which giving animates all levels of human interaction, acknowledging that each and every one of us gives. From helping out an acquaintance to donating to a valued cause, we all provide in acts big and small that benefit the immediate recipient and often others as well. In this important exploration of the sentiments of our time, the authors describe the basic motivations for why we give in reference to examples such as local volunteering, philanthropy and the flow of aid through foundations, governments, multinationals and NGOs. The book details the process of working toward a greater good and shows that a gift transforms at numerous junctures as it circulates from giver to receiver. Articulating these intricate relationships, World of Giving offers an understanding of the actions that build bridges between goodwill and need, intention and realization.
The book will be launched in a party at the New Museum on November 12th, from 630-830p, with Richard Flood (Chief Curator, New Museum), Mark Wigley (Dean, Columbia GSAPP), Lars Müller (Founder, Lars Müller Publishers) and Jeffrey Inaba ( author of World of Giving and Director of C-Lab).
When we interviewed Jeffrey Inaba at the C-LAB, we had a great conversation as they were working on this issue, “Content Management”, something we are very into at ArchDaily – so we had the chance to discuss the implications of new media, globalization and architecture.
But back to this edition. It follows the tradition of Volume with a great editorial, this time by Inaba himself:
“At the close of this era of expansion and surplus C-Lab speculates on one of the period´s emblematic inventions: Content Management, or the collecting, organizing and sharing of digital information. Our retrospective appraisal of recent developments in the managing of information offers insight into the ability of Content Management to serve the current realities of digital abundance and material shortage, and to protect both vast and extremely limited quantities.
Like Content Management systems, Architecture arranges information and objects into a navigable environment using technology to configure the environment´s spaces and circulation routes. It embodies the values of the presentedd content, setting the tone for the visitor´s experience through the design of the public interface. Architecture is a structure of experiences involving interaction with numerous forms of content, introducing choice, connections, updates, human encounter and surprise, and in this respect is the precursor and operating blueprint of Content Management [...] As you will see, some of the essays and interviews describe how architecture continues to inform the thinking behind Content Management, for better and worse“.
It presents an interesting reflection on the current state of globalization, on which we have infinite amounts of information available at the tip of our fingers, while facing massive shortfalls (energy, natural resources).
At some point it compares the created necessity of Content Management as a result of the amounts of information we publish, with the early architects of Koolhaas´Manhattan who legitimized the necessity of their profession by causing the irreversible state of congestion which they then took as their mission to solve.
On this issue:
While in New York a few months ago, we interviewed several architects with a set of standard and specific questions, gathering different opinions on current state of practice in contemporary society.
This issues are also being addressed by the C-Lab, the Columbia Laboratory for Architectural Broadcasting, an experimental research unit devoted to the development of new forms of communication in architecture, set up as a semi-autonomous think and action tank at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation of Columbia University, and important collaborators on Volume Magazine.
So when we interviewed C-Lab´s director Jeffrey Inaba and Benedict Clouette, it was a great conversation since we shared some concerns about architecture and society.
I hope you guys enjoy watching this interview as much as we did doing it.
More interviews coming soon.
p.s.: We also reviewed Volume #16.
A few weeks ago we received the latest issue of Volume Magazine, a joint effort between Archis, AMO and the C-LAB. Continuing with their tradition of thematic issues with suggestive names, number 16 is called Engineering Society.
It relates somehow to Volume #14 (Unsolicited Architecture), on which the editorial analyzes the lost of relevance of modern architects because of their failure to adapt to a market driven society, urging them (us) to answer current society questions from the field of architecture.
On this issue, Arjen Oosterman starts with -yet another- incredible editorial, Planning Paradise, that analyzes how architects tried to impose their utopias in the past, without a direct relation with the end user of these projects. But now, we can certainly tell that society can´t no longer be made, and it´s actually being driven and shaped by the users as a consequence of democracy, and free market economy and politics. And this opens a new opportunity for architects, to be the ones that present new futures to this users, an opportunity lost long time ago in “our consumer society of commodity logic“.