The French filmakers Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine , famous for their documentary film ‘Houselife’ of Rem Koolhaas’ Bordeaux House in which housekeeper Guadalupe Acedo verbally guides a tour around the house, have produced a new, rather intimate portrait of Keisuke Oka, a butoh dancer. A Japanese man building his ‘house’, folly, shell in an adapted area of Tokyo; a ‘small universe built and thought in a rare freedom’, built over a period of 15 years.
In the Netherlands some 40.000 (registered) people are homeless; in all of Europe it is some 4 million. A recent initiative in the city of Ulm, Germany shows a ‘sleeping pod’ as a solution for shelter, complete with solar panels, electricity and a connection to a network. In the technical sense this is nothing new; see the wide variety of innovative projects devoted to elementary shelters over the decades. Of course: the need for protective measures in winter is urgent, the question that remains is whether this is a structural or temporal solution. After all, the ‘inhabitant’ still is excluded from society; while a more permanent place to dwell (as is a legal right) is far more necessary. Ultimately the focus should be on a real integrated ‘place’ within larger scales, i.e. as part of an environment that includes space for shelter, be it temporary or more permanent. So; reserve a certain amount of space within each housing project to function as ‘free space’ when needed, as part of the community.
Illustratieve en informatieve online AIR-sessie rond ‘het Nieuwe Wonen’ , met presentaties/lezingen van eerst Robert Winkel (MEI Arch.) aangevuld door Atto Harstra, Piet Vollaard, Annuska Pronkhorst en Wenda Doff. Nadruk; circulair, duurzaam, gezond en flexibel bouwen; voorbeeld m.n. het komende SAWA-woongebouw in Rotterdam dat vrijwel volledig met hout wordt gebouwd.
After 2 years of research and writing my book is (almost) ready for publication and its envisioned broad discussion. Yet to come is a language check as well as some editorial work; so far many, many thanks to all who contributed, participated, reviewed and reacted; first of all to Antony Gormley for the use of one of his works on the cover. Most probably its contents will be discussed at the coming ‘Stadsmakers Congres’ on November 6th. 2020 on a variety of locations in Rotterdam, organized by AIR.
One- and a half year after its initial start in early 2019 the first draft of my book on architecture, technology and dwelling is now under peer-review by two carefully chosen professionals; after various chapters have been read by others with a specific discipline it is now time for a full reading. So far: many thanks to the first readers for their comments, many thanks to those who agreed to the use of images. I hope to receive the results of the final reading back soon; after incorporating the comments the full text is edited by the publisher. More info soon…………
Illustrative interview made last November 2019 by Hans Ulrich Obrist with artist Antony Gormley, discussing the cloud, Joseph Beuys, architecture, nature and his child; so poetically present within the courtyard of the Museum. Questioning also; ‘how to envision or systems of connectivity to re-imagine our nature in nature’.
on February 21st. Yona Friedman – urban designer, architect, visionary, artist – passed away at the age of 96. His ‘People’s Architecture’ was based on three preconditions: these use of inexpensive elements, easy to assemble at a do-it-yourself level, easy to disassemble and reassemble. Compare this to today’s inflexible, unsustainable housing; time to rethink our current ways and look once again at Friedman’s ever actual work.
In a very thoughtful article in DEZEEN architect/critic Aaron Betsky, reflecting on the upcoming developments in architecture and the role of the architect within, states that ‘our agenda must be to reuse, rethink, reimagine and relive our present.’ and that ‘architects will face the increasing fluidity of our society’. Although the latter – i.e. fluidity – is not a new phenomenon he is right in emphasizing that our current hybrid society questions the often traditional attitude of many architects. Interesting is his prediction that ‘we will increasingly build in and with the earth’ where it could be (think of sea-level rise) be more logical to built above it…………what is real?