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:
The Architecture of Content Management – An essay by Mark Wigley.
Mismanagement – Interview with Julien De Smedt, who founded JDS after dissolving PLOT back in 2006. He discusses with Volume the benefits of superfluous production, disorganized working conditions and postponed decision-making as a benefit on his practice – for example, experiment without having an agenda, versus a “recipe” based architecture when you keep trying to reach the same goal.
Operating Manuals – Interview with Lars Müller, designer, editor and publisher (Who Owns the Water? and The Face of Human Rights)
A New Mind for an Aging Species - by Rene Daalder, an essay on the future.
The Strange Condition of Contemporary Content-Crisis - by Shumon Basar, on the abundance of information (Google Images, the overpopulation of museums, printed media crisis, Wikipedia, etc).
Rank and File – Interview Chris Anderson, editor-in-chief of Wired. Author of The Long Tail, talks about the economies of scarcity/abundance. How non monetary economies enter into the game, with cultural exchange for example – relates this to architecture. Interesting view on how MySpace/Facebook are closed environments, and the potential of Ning.
In Media Res – Interview with Ken Goldberg, engineering, artist and roboticist of the Berkeley Center for New Media at UC Berkeley.
The Rachel Maddow Show – Interview with Rachel Maddow, political analyst who hosts a show on MSNBC. She talks about political events and media coverage.
News Update – Interview with Arianna Huffington, editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, one of the most successful and powerful blogs in the US. She talks about several aspects of this blog, and how it played an important role on pushing news that traditional media manipulates.
World Heritage – Oryx or Goat? – An graphic report made by the C-Lab on the content management applied to the World Heritage List of the UNESCO, analyzed from several views.
The Big Dig – Interview with Nadia Abu El-Haj, anthropologist.
Content-Managing the Urban Landscape – by Joseph Grima, essay that starts with the verbalization of the word Architect (to architecturize).
Technically Speaking – Interview with Marc Simmons, co-founder and partner of FRONT, Inc, a facade consultancy firm, that has worked with OMA, REX, SANAA, Ghery and more, by designing, optimizing and prototyping the surfaces of their projects.
Communicating Content – by Oliver Domeisen.
The politics of the Envelope – A Political Critique of Materialsm. A 30 page essay by Alejandro Zaera Polo (F-O-A), on the politics of building envelopes. He analyzes this around 4 types of envelopes.
Art as Urbanism – Interview with Michael Govan, director of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), talks about overseeing an encyclopedic museum and its urban design.
Architecture is Merciless – Extracts of the Jacques Herzog lecture at Columbia on May 13, 2008. Images of how the Chinese people embraces the new stadium, and how he hopes that this public embrace continues after the games.
Talk of the Town - Interview with AOC, a London-based collaborative, which incorporates participation on the design process.
Life Support -Interview with Iñaki Ábalos, on the radical functionality of his buildings and the elegance of pragmatism.
Transplants – Vogt Landscape Architects, specialists on transplanting. Projects for the Masoala Rainforest Hall at the Zurich Zoo and for the courtyard of the FIFA building.
Seeds of Paranoia – A graphic report on the Svalvard Global Seed Vault, which aims to preserve the seeds of the world.
Still Metropolitan After All These Years – Interview with Philippe de Montebello, director of the Metropolitan Museum (Met), on the content of the museum.
Content Management – by Ari Marcopoulos. Photography.
Faculties for Architecture – by Arjen Oosterman. My favourite editor of Volume closes this edition with a reflection on the content lost during the TU Delft fire.
More information on distribution and suscriptions at Volume website.