YOUR TEXT HERE is a participatory, site-specific light installation, created by the architect Marcos Zotes for DLECTRICTY, an outdoors light art festival in Detroit (USA) that took place during 5-6 October 2012. It aims at empowering local communities by providing a tool that transforms people voices into citizen proclamations the size of buildings.
by Ole Bouman, Anneke Abhelakh, Martine Zoeteman, and Mieke Dings
Architecture of Consequence began life as the Dutch presentation at the Sao Paolo Architecture Biennale in 2009. “Shape our country!” was the call that the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAi) made to its public over a six-month period. The result was a deluge of proposals, as the people of the Netherlands rose to the challenge of naming their needs: new guidelines for food production, alternative energy sources, solutions for space shortage, social cohesion, a healthy living environment and the recalibration of economic value. Formulating responses to such fundamental questions of our time is, it seems, everyone’s business.
All of the aforesaid issues converge at spatial planning and design, where real opportunities for social innovation still await. For this project, the Netherlands Architecture Institute selected 22 Dutch architecture firms with genuinely innovative ideas on these seven imperatives and the will to do something about them. The result is an agenda for the future of our living environment and a proof that designers have the creative power to make it happen. Architecture of Consequence proves that any notion that architecture should be an “expression of its time,” or should do no more than express the vanity of its commissioners, pales into insignificance when compared to its tremendous potential for resolving urgent societal problems.
The City (1939)
The Regional Planning Association of America’s plea for community chaotic cities and urban sprawl.
Directors: Ralph Steiner and Willard Van Dyke.
Music: Aaron Copland
Commentary written by Lewis Mumford.
Script: Henwar Rodakiewicz, from an outline by Pare Lorentz.
Narrator: Morris Carnovsky.
Photography: Ralph Steiner, Willard Van Dyke, Jules V.D. Bucher, Edward Anhalt, Roger Barlow and Rudolph Bretz.
Editor: Theodore Lawrence.
Saskia Sassen - The Future of Smart Cities
A leading researcher on globalization, global cities and new technologies Saskia Sassen discusses the current hype around smart cities. She reminds us that “It is the need to design a system that puts all that technology truly at the service of the inhabitants—and not the other way around.
Investment Bunkers via Deconcrete
Trapped by architectural heritage policies and restrictions, some of London’s most exclusive neighbourhoods have started to grow downwards. The only space available for further construction is nothing but the underground. Georgian and Victorian mansions have started to create several-storey basements in order to accommodate new delirious architectures. According to The Guardian, the planning authority in Kensington-Chelsea, the most densely inhabited borough in England, has granted 800 basement extensions within the past four years, to dig cinemas, gyms, tennis courts, playrooms, bowling alleys, spas, ballrooms, vintage cars garages, wine cellars, gun rooms…
The house expands at the same pace as the owner’s fortune and his need to show his upgrading social status, but also to state that there is no limit to one’s will. If skyscrapers fight for a height world record, where linear verticality measures success, these sorts of ‘investment bunkers’ use 3D volumetric expansions as a reference parameter. The question of whether hidden infrastructures below ground actually affect land use on the surface has aroused. Following this contemporary trend of Beatriz Preciado’s Pornotopias, the first Planning Document on Subterranean Development was commissioned to Arup in 2009.
Several cases have reported appearance of cracks, sunk façades and shifted doorframes in neighbouring houses, where people have even been trapped within their own home after greedy subterranean extensions to the city occurred next door.