With its emphasis on permanence and stability, architecture at first resists an easy pairing with live performance, usually considered ephemeral and elusive. But architecture and performance share a core concern: the interplay of bodies and space.

"Bodybuilding" is the first publication to examine the use of live performance by architects. Looking past the unbuilt, utopian projects of the early modernists or the postwar avant-garde, the authors unearth an alternative canon of architects who actually employ performance to fortify the process of building, or else to explore architecture’s enmeshment with labor, security, race, migration, the environment, gentrification, and public assembly. For these architects, performance can be a tool, a method, or a heuristic device; in every case, performance is a blade that cuts into the matter of architecture.

With rates of construction plummeting after the financial crisis of 2007–08, newly minted architects have had to find alternative ways to continue working within the field. "Bodybuilding" grounds these new practices within a century of precedents, and insists that performance is a critical tool to rethink architecture’s agency, goals, and aesthetics.

Edited by Charles Aubin (Performa, New York) and Carlos Mínguez Carrasco (ArkDes, Stockholm), "Bodybuilding" features a foreword by RoseLee Goldberg; essays by Victoria Bugge Øye, Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, and Mabel O. Wilson and Bryony Roberts; and interviews with Elizabeth Diller and Andrés Jaque. Architects and architecture collectives studied in "Bodybuilding" include Kunlé Adeyemi, Ant Farm, Arakawa and Madeline Gins, Basurama, Lina Bo Bardi, Cooking Sections, Coop Himmelblau, Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, Didier Fiúza Faustino, Forensic Architecture, Yona Friedman, Anna and Lawrence Halprin, Haus-Rucker-Co, Hans Hollein, Arata Isozaki, Toyo Ito, Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation, Francis Kéré, Ugo La Pietra, Moore Grover Harper, Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Gaetano Pesce, Gianni Pettena, Julieanna Preston, raumlabor, Aldo Rossi, Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley, Alison and Peter Smithson, SO – IL, Bernard Tschumi, and Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas.

Foreword: "Performing Architecture," by RoseLee Goldberg

Introduction: "Making Room for Action," by Charles Aubin and Carlos Mínguez Carrasco


  • "Trauma in a Real Estate Office: Taller de Arquitectura’s City In The Space, Experience 1 (1968–69)," by Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco
  • Alison and Peter Smithson: House of the Future
  • Anna and Lawrence Halprin: Experiments in Environment
  • Ugo La Pietra: Il Commutatore (The Switch)
  • Gianni Pettena: Vestirsi di Sedie (Wearable Chairs)
  • Moore Grover Harper: Design-A-Thons
  • Toyo Ito and Associates: Pao 1: A Dwelling for Tokyo Nomad Women
  • Arakawa and Madeline Gins: Ubiquitous Site X
  • Raumlabor: Spacebuster
  • Francis Kéré and Christophe Schlingensief: Opera Village
  • Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency: Al Madafeh (The Living Room)
  • Julieanna Preston: murmur
  • Elizabeth Diller in conversation with RoseLee Goldberg


  • "Performance Becomes Critique: Coop Himmelblau’s Face-Space Soul Flipper," by Victoria Bugge Øye
  • Haus-Rucker-Co: Ballon für Zwei (Balloon for Two)
  • Lina Bo Bardi and José Celso Martinez Corrêa: Na Selva das Cidades (In the Jungle of Cities)
  • Hans Hollein: Mobile Office
  • Arata Isozaki and Associates: Demonstration Robots for Osaka Expo ‘70
  • Gaetano Pesce: Project for An Underground City in The Age of Great Contaminations
  • Aldo Rossi: Il Teatro del Mondo (Theater of the World)
  • Diller + Scofidio: The Rotary Notary and His Hot Plate
  • Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA): Prada Transformer
  • Alex Schweder and Ward Shelley: ReActor
  • NLÉ: Prelude to the Shed
  • Yona Friedman: Museum without Building
  • Andrés Jaque in conversation with Charles Aubin and Carlos Mínguez Carrasco


  • "We March," by Mabel O. Wilson and Bryony Roberts
  • Ant Farm: Clean Air Pod
  • Bernard Tschumi: Fireworks
  • Nomeda and Gediminas Urbonas: Karaoke
  • Basurama + Area Ciega: YO♥M30 (I LOVE M30)
  • Fake Industries Architectural Agonism: Ay Caramelles
  • Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman: Political Equator III
  • Andrés Jaque / Office for Political Innovation: Superpowers of Ten
  • Didier Fiúza Faustino: Love Songs for Riots
  • Cooking Sections: Devaluing Property Real Estate Agency
  • SO – IL with Anna Prvački: L’air pour l’air
  • Forensic Architecture: Data against Devilry


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    Charles Aubin, Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, RoseLee Goldberg, Victoria Bugge Øye, Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco, Bryony Roberts, Mabel O. Wilson
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About this author
Cite: "Bodybuilding" 11 Dec 2019. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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