Ethel Baraona Pohl


Whom Does Architecture Serve Today?

In 1969, ‘The Architects' Resistance’, a collective of students from Yale University, Columbia University, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), published a manifesto titled ‘Architecture: whom does it serve?’

With this manifesto, the group sought to place the practice of architecture in a broader economic, social and environmental context than the one taught in their university lecture rooms. In just two and a half pages, we find a powerful call to reclaim a more social and ecologically conscious architecture. It unambiguously denounces the role architecture played during those years as a practice in service to those in power while adding that “the architect's submission to the system begins with the belief that they possess special skills and knowledge that are inaccessible to the general public.”


WarmWall - Image 19 of 4

Designed by ExS Architects Concept: Elina Karanastasi Design team: Nikos Asimakis, Eri Badouva, Stathis Vlachiotis Consultant: Maria Mandalaki and Matthijs Moelee, Alexandros Vazakas

The WarmWall house is a project of ExS Architects. It was designed for the Deventer Havenkwartier and Nijmegen Vossenpels area based on the requirements of the urban plan of Andries Geerse Stedenbouwkundige. It can readjusted to the size wished by the owners as it is designed based on an accumulation of parallel traverses of 1,20 m wide.

End Sequences | Seqüencies Extremes

End Sequences | Seqüencies Extremes - Image 4 of 4
© Simón García

January 23th – February 18th 2012 COAC Barcelona

ESARQ-UIC board of directors: Vicenç Sarrablo , Jordi Roviras, Judith Urbano, Cristina Planas. Curator: Marta Poch Coordination: Vicenç Sarrablo, Jordi Roviras Exhibition Design: Manuel Arenas, Jordi Badia, Eduardo Carles-Tolrà, Jaime Fernández, Ricardo Flores, Cristina García-Ventosa, Albert Guerra, Francisco Hernández, Adrián Jurado, Miquel Lacasta, Sergio Parra, Eva Prats, Antonio Sanmartín Graphic Design: EVA Estudi Exhibition Display: MC Decorados, Daniel Wunsch Illumination: Iguzzini Illuminazione España Printing: Nova era, 47 sendes Sponsors: COAC, Cedria, Iguzzini, Gabarró Hermanos, EPSON, Pere Ventura Caves i Vins

The exhibition

On the occasion of the ESARQ-UIC’s 15th anniversary, the school is going to show its activity in the COAC through an exhibition on the theme of Secuencias Extremas including the presentation of the book. This book describes ESARQ’s teaching style, which is based on three main pillars: personal attention, innovation and a close relationship with industry, and social commitment; that is to say, innovation at the service of people.

Data Thanatology | Call For Submissions

Data Thanatology | Call For Submissions - Featured Image

If you were asked to store your most valuable data… What kind information would you keep in 130Kb? Your usernames and passwords, your delicious tabs, a PDF with all your tweets, a map as a biography? Do you think this data would be valuable if mapping the genomic code of knowledge at this moment? It would be useful for anyone but you?

With this challenging question we start a publishing project in the intersection of technology and seed banking. Learn more about it after the break.

KERB 19 / Paradigms of Nature: Postnatural Futures

KERB 19 / Paradigms of Nature: Postnatural Futures - Image 8 of 4

“So no, I don’t accept that the future is over-sold : it’s productised an as a result it’s over constrained by our current ways of thinking and immediate practices …”

- Rachel Armstrong, letter to ARUP

Have you ever wondered how a single cell can finally transform in a complex organism? And how the survival of this organism depends on the key relations set with its species and the environment. The same questions could be applied when talking about our cities. If we see humankind as the top of evolution, the obvious consequence is to see nature as a resource to achieve all of our goals. The adoption of “Sustainable Development” concept is just another way to name the same behaviour adding a green make-up.

But what if we perceive humankind and its manifestations as part of nature? In this case, natural and technological systems should coexist, and their survival depends on reaching an equilibrium in their exchanges of matter and energy. Some forward thinkers have been spreading this message. Now we can found compiled some of them in the new issue of KERB magazine: Paradigms of Nature. Post Natural Futures.

WATERMARKS: Acqua Alta, Resiliency, and Precise Meanders

WATERMARKS: Acqua Alta, Resiliency, and Precise Meanders - Image 4 of 4
© Nils Timm

Architect Jennifer Bonner‘s installation at the Woodbury Hollywood Gallery.

“Bonner filled the gallery with water in order to provoke a discussion of crisis, flood, drought, and watershed geographies. This piece is not only timely, but critical. The question of flooded environments is not an abstraction but a reality. In an arid climate such as Los Angeles, the wet, hot, and humid installation heightens awareness of other environments and potential future scenarios.” -Mimi Zieger

Dispersed Memorial

Dispersed Memorial - Image 4 of 4
© Dispersed Memorial

Through technology, light pixels and paper cards, Dispersed Memorial creates a country-wide collective remembrance of 9/11.

One month before the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Dispersed Memorial is distributing memory cards ten at a time across the country to honor the date. Each laser cut card reveals the project name through delicate voids in the paper which create an ephemeral image only visible when the card is held to the light or casts a shadow. With each exchange of the card, a moment of remembrance is initiated and prompts a dispersed, collective conversation about the memory of loved ones lost or affected by the events of 9-11.

San Rocco 01 / Islands

San Rocco 01 / Islands - Image 2 of 4

“… if someone who has a valid point of view wants to give it an audience, he has no choice but to start a magazine.” - Eno Dailor On Pamphlet Architecture 1-10

San Rocco Magazine is a new architecture magazine conceived under a five-year plan which researches on their creators fields of interest. Their second issue covers the subject of ISLANDS in whatever meaning you can imagine for the word “island”. As they wrote:

An island is any piece of land that is surrounded by water. An island is any object lost in an endless extension of a uniform element. As such, the island is isolated. The island is by definition remote, separated, intimately alternative. The island is elsewhere. Islands can be natural or artificial: atolls, rocks, volcanoes, oases, spaceships, oil rigs, carriers.

Based on Gilles Deleuze book, L’île Désert et autres textes, the magazine is divided in two main blocks: oceanic and continental islands. Can we talk, then, about the possibility of architectural islands? More after the break.


Energyscapes - Image 10 of 4

“From the point of view of Physycs, right now we don’t know what energy really is. We have no evidence that energy comes in small quantities, like drops. What we do know is that all matter is energy in repose and that energy is manifested in lots of forms that are interrelated by numerous mechanisms of conservation.”

Richard P. Feynman, Feynman lectures on physics

We are all concerned about energy. But when trying to understand all the implications of the energy in our daily life, we rarely go beyond our spending on electricity bills. If you are an architect or engineer it is possible that you pay special attention to this subject while adapting your projects to current standards.

Greenwashing Manual / Valentina Karga

Greenwashing Manual / Valentina Karga - Image 2 of 4
Greenwashing Kit © Valentina Karga

Valentina Karga has a Master in Architecture, Technical University of Thessaly, Greece. She also was a Erasmus student in BUTE (Budapest University of Technology and Economics). Her last projects are the “Greenwashing manual” and the “Greenwasher, Sustainable active chamber”, which are her experimental thesis on how architectural research and design could adapt to the new reality of the implementation of sustainability.

Bracket [on farming]

Bracket [on farming] - Image 8 of 4

“t is the territory that becomes the privileged protagonist of the post-industrial economy, acting as a place for working out the weak and diffuse energies of a powder-fine productivity.”

- Andrea Branzi, “Architecture and Agriculture”

Weak and Diffuse Modernity

An almanac, in its simplest form, is a book containing a calendar that includes notations for holidays and holy days, as well as astronomical information such as the rising and setting of the sun and moon, the phases of the moon and high and low tides, as we can read at Almanacs. Inspired by the Old Farmer’s Almanac, the editors of the first issue of Bracket had released a sort of almanac in the sense of those publications used during 19th century. With a series of contents that seeks to interrogate the fertile territory where architecture, environment, and digital culture collide, Bracket presents complete overview of what is architecture in the current times. As Mason White and Maya Przybylski pointed on the introduction On Farming: “Architecture is not only a byproduct of predictions, but Architecture itself is a prediction machine.”

BIX Light and Media Façade at MoMA

BIX Light and Media Façade at MoMA - Image 3 of 4
BIX Communicative Display Skin for the Kunsthaus Graz, 2003; View from Schlossberg

With the BIX Light and Media Façade on the Kunsthaus Graz, realities:united 2003 made its international name; now a prototype of the installation by the Berlin artists and architects has been added to MoMA’s collection.

BIX is the 900 m2 light and media installation in the façade of the Kunsthaus in Graz. It makes it possible to program the façade like a computer monitor and to broadcast projections, animations, or messages into the urban space. The conceptual highlights are the individual lighting elements that constitute the screen: not filigree, high-tech LEDs, but conventional, circular fluorescent lamps, arranged on a vast scale.

Abitare 506

Abitare 506 - Featured Image

“From the criticism of ideology it is necessary to pass on to the analysis of the techniques of programing and of the ways in which these techniques actually affect the vital relationships of production.”

Manfredo Tarfuri

It’s difficult to find new architecture magazines that balance architecture criticism with projects, interviews and interesting graphic work in the same issue. Abitare is one of these magazines and with its possible.

Starting with the Experts’ comments, this time in response to Stefano Boeri’s Manifesto The eye of the needle of local space , architects such as Emre Arolat, Odile Decq, Yoshiharu Tsukamoto and Srdjan Novanovic Weiss among others go deeper into Boeri’s ideas and give us a critic overview on planetary architecture and the role of the local and global into the realm of architecture. And as Gary Chang said, “Globalization and Locality might not necessarily be two opposite poles that come into conflict with each other in a world of growing complexity.”

How Architects Work in the Current Times

How Architects Work in the Current Times - Image 7 of 4
DesignJet - HP

“What defines the Internet is its social architecture. It’s the living environment that counts, the live interaction, not just the storage and retrieval procedure.” -Geert Lovink, 2005

Last week we were invited to the HP Designjet Launch and BIG’s House 8 Presentation. The experience was really striking, because being there with some other architects and bloggers, made us think about how work systems are changing so fast, that some times is difficult to even notice them until you find yourself inside that system, working and sharing information without any limitations.

That made us re-think about what social networks and web 2.0 are doing in the field of architectural production. All the new tools we’re discovering every day, make the practice more collaborative and open. Some months ago, we wrote in a guest post for Ymag:

Now communication is more dynamic and also it may be a little bit confusing because of that. With blogs actualized every single day and using social networks as facebook and twitter, architects may have a personal contact in between them, with the users of their buildings and also with researchers that are working on new materials and constructive solutions.

FreshLatino at Storefront for Art and Architecture

FreshLatino at Storefront for Art and Architecture - Featured Image
© Pedro Bandeira

Curated by Ariadna Cantis, curator of the FreshLatino exhibition at the Instituto Cervantes, in collaboration with Eva Franch.

Storefront for Art and Architecture, in collaboration with Instituto Cervantes, presents the inaugural event of their new Manifesto Series with the FreshLatino seminar Emerging Latin Territories.

If we accept that America was a laboratory for modern movement in an unequal and fragmented way, then what is the role of Iberian America today, within the panorama of emerging architecture and contemporary thinking?

Confronting ourselves with this question we came up with the idea to produce a manifesto that diagnoses the world’s architectonical situation within a different perspective and at the same time establish certain values that question the current directions within the architectural discourse and propose new projectual material and vectors of thought.

There will be a two days seminar between October 25th and 27th divided in two acts aimed to be held in the following institutions. Simultaneously with the FRESHLATINO video installation exhibition.

ACT 1 | 25 OCT | Opening ACT 2 | 27 OCT

More information after the break

Exhibition: 'Interiores'

Exhibition: 'Interiores' - Featured Image

Pedro Gadanho is the author of the projects shown in the exhibition that he is curating within the scope of the Lisbon Architecture Triennial 2010, under the heading Falemos de Casas [Let’s Talk about Houses]. The photographs and videos on show confront us with the working process of four visual artists, and a photographer who specializes in architecture.

The authors and the projects: Filipa César, with the video Stereo, featuring Galeria Presença, 1998/2002; João Paulo Feliciano, on his apartment in Lisbon, 2001/2010, photographic collage; Daniel Malhão, on the Ellipse Foundation, 2006, photography; Edgar Martins on Casa GMG, 2010, photography; and Fernando Guerra, on Casa Baltasar, 2007, photography.

Croatian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Croatian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Image 30 of 4
© Courtesy of the Authors

Based on the idea of Mirage, described at the wikipedia as a naturally occurring optical phenomenon in which light rays are bent to produce a displaced image of distant objects or the sky, the team that designed the Croatian Pavilion for the Venice Biennale decided to create a floating pavilion to present arts and architecture of Croatia at the Venice Biennale.

Following the same principles of a Fata Morgana, which is an unusual and very complex form of Mirage that can be seen in a narrow band right above the horizon, the Floating Pavilion is constructed on an existing barge with dimensions of 10m x 20m x 3m. It is designed by a group of 14 leading Croatian architects, who have made the recent Croatian architecture visible on the global scene. Instead of working in the usual formats of their practices and presenting speculative projects, they decided to work together on a single proposal and to have it constructed and towed toward its final destination in Venice right away. The pavilion structure is the barge’ cargo, welded from 30 tons of Q385 wire mesh in more than 40 layers of varying contours. The cargo presented here maps the process of intense interaction between architects working on the common project, their collaboration with the Croatian maritime industry, and the extraordinary act of architecture it produced. Please follow the pavilion’s maiden voyage across the Adriatic over here

Croatian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Image 2 of 4
© Courtesy of the Authors

Strelka presentation at the Venice Biennale

Strelka presentation at the Venice Biennale - Image 6 of 4

As we told you in May, OMA + AMO will collaborate with Strelka, a postgraduate school for media, architecture and design in Moscow.

Now, the presentation of this very special partnership will take place at the Architecture Biennale 2010 in Venice on August 26th between 2:30 and 3:45 pm.

More information after the break.