If you were to identify, categorize and map the 21st century’s emergent architectural practices from the world over, all on one diagram, what would it look like? Considering how the current architectural landscape consists of several different approaches, attitudes and political stances, how would you map them without being too reductive? And how would you ensure that out of hundreds of emergent practices and firms across the globe, you don’t leave anyone out? Perhaps the Global Architectural Political Compass V 0.2 could offer a clue.
Created by Alejandro Zaera-Polo and Guillermo Fernandez-Abascal, the diagram is part of an ongoing inquiry into “the state of the art in (global) architectural practice” . In 2016, Zaera-Polo explored the subject in a comprehensive essay for El Croquis titled “Well into the 21st Century” in which he set down the framework for 11 political categories that now form the compass diagram.
Next, Zaera-Polo and Fernandez-Abascal tested the essay further by engaging 181 architectural practices and mapping the subsequent findings in an article for ArchDaily. Now, this latest version is aimed at public participation in the form of a live, interactive platform—an ever-changing, virtual map which users can contribute to by simply clicking on “Edit Mode.”
The diagram allows users to read through previous correspondences between the architects and participating firms, view specific projects mapped according to their particular political positions, play with the boundaries and shapes allocated to each category, and reshuffle names if need be. And, in case they want to add to the list of architectural practices and pin new names on the map, that’s an option too.
Check out the Global Architectural Political Compass V 0.2 here, or find out more about the development of the diagram by reading the previous articles by Zaera-Polo and Fernandez-Abascal on ArchDaily and El Croquis.
Read Alejandro Zaera Polo and Guillermo Fernandez-Abascal's previous article here.
1. Zaera-Polo, Alejandro. "Well Into the 21st Century - The Architectures of Post-Capitalism?" El Croquis