a wonderful blog-post by Michel Sacasas on Ellul’s latest book and his thoughts about the status of technology and the compensatory factors that should occur. “We have no choice but to live in a world dominated by technique,” he (i.e. Ellul, mp) explains, “but we are forced to find something providing satisfactions elsewhere and permitting us to live otherwise.” When it comes to architecture I guess there are valuable options for ‘compensation’ – man as homo faber or universalis – which to me should not be regarded as such since they are as valuable, rewarding and inescapable as ever.
Published in 2018, the text by Evgeny Morozov and Francesa Bria offers a clear vision and action doc on the current trend of declaring many cities ‘smart’. Their plea for a far more democratic and in-control situation is not a refusal of technological developments but for a rethinking of data-ownership and responsibility. “The authors discuss alternative smart city models, which rely on democratic data ownership regimes, grassroots innovation, and cooperative service provision models.”
This Thursday, January 10th. 2019, the work of the American composer John Luther Adams will be performed in Rotterdam’s Doelen Concert Hall. Reading the text on his website I was struck by the reference he creates to e.g. the works of Robert Smithson concerning site and non-site. Adams weaves his thoughts on people, landscape, art and culture through music such as ‘Dark Waves’ and, earlier, ‘Become Ocean’. But his text alone remains timeless reading ………..
AIOTI’s WG-13 on Smart Building & Smart Architecture has held a constructive and intense meeting on Nov. 21-22 at the offices of UNSENSE in Amsterdam. After an interesting presentation by Roger Tan on the actual works of UNSENSE we experienced a very essential and significant exchange of opinions, particular about the basics of what will – beginning 2019 – result in WG-13’s white-paper. Core of the discussions was the ontology of smart building, the ethical framework and the urge to address these issues in line with human values.
Yesterday’s afternoon, the 30th of October at the Nieuwe Instituut Rotterdam we listened to Prof.Dr. Ben van Lier who delivered his inaugural lecture for the Hogeschool Rotterdam; ‘Thinking about ecologies of autonomous cyber-physical systems and their ethics’. Afterwards a (too brief) discussion moderated by Rob van Kranenburg (Council) with Liisa Janssens (TNO), Linda Kool (Rathenau) and Jonne Hoek (TU-Twente). Again the conclusion was drawn that the overall lack of awareness is real; the english text of the lecture is published by the HR but should in fact be transformed into a summary in Dutch and published widely.
To celebrate the impact of the Buckminster Fuller Challenge, Whirlwind Creative – a multi-talented creative firm based in New York City – has created a 28 minute film about the 10 years legacy and impact of the program. The film’s creators, David Lackey and Terren Baker, conducted dozens of interviews with the Fuller Challenge winners, jurors, review team members, and others to create a profile of the program. Released in conjunction with the curated archive of the whole-systems design innovations, the film provides an inspiring context and makes a compelling case for the importance of this approach to addressing the interrelated issues facing the world today.
See how something created 22 years ago develops under the influence of time, water, usage, air and a lot more: the timeless architecture of the Swiss Therme Vals by Peter Zumthor.
During the last Building Holland conference on April 17-19th in Amsterdam – https://www.buildingholland.nl/preview-bh_aafc2016/20180426-een-smart-building-is-een-dienst – one of the presentations – ‘a Smart Building is a service’ – summarized on the website is the following; (alas only in Dutch, so translated by me).: ‘A smart building will later on not be a collection of stones with people in it, but will resemble more of a computer with roof on top. Sensors measure the presence and even happiness of people, life-cycle of materials, installations will be watched, the building will adapt to the wishes of the user, even when this user is unaware of this.’ Given the title: a service provided, managed and controlled by who?
One remark by a lawyer present: ‘when I hear the term ‘smart’ I know that in 99% of issues it concerns a privacy-problem.’
I could not be there, but I am certainly most glad he was……………