New Babylon

Last Thursday, September 30th.; after the “Welcome’ at Art Institute Melly and afterwards at ‘het Nieuwe Instituut‘: the fine and thoughtful lecture ‘Continous Now‘ by Prof. Mark Wigley on Constant’s New Babylon, after the  exhibition in 1998 still a most actual topic/project. What is this contemporary value; which views have continued to be in line with the developments, what elements are still worth-wile to consider and implement?

 

 

Aerodreams

Wonderful, illustrative and well-documented exhibition in Centre Pompidou Metz: ‘Aerodreams‘, “The exhibition reveals this human dimension of the «pneumatic», from the first industrial and military exploitations (airships, weather balloons, floating assemblies, inflatable decoys…) to the experiences developed by numerous artists designers and architects.” From Buckminster-Fuller’s dome over Manhattan to Haus-Rucker’s extension at the Kassel- Documenta this is again an actual topic worth-while presenting and discussing.

https://www.centrepompidou-metz.fr/en/aerodream-architecture-design-and-inflatable-structures-1950-2020 

Maison Fibre

Most interesting, innovative and seemingly beautiful as well: the Maison Fibre, a research project from the University of Stuttgart on show at the Venice Biennale Architettura 2021,”explores an alternative approach to the design and construction of future habitable spaces.”

https://www.uni-stuttgart.de/en/university/news/press-release/Living-and-working-in-the-future-Maison-Fibre-of-the-University-of-Stuttgart-at-Biennale-Architettura-2021/

Butohouse

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.

 

shelter, or dwelling?

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.

 

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/homeless-sleeping-pods-germany-ulm-b1791217.html

het Nieuwe Wonen

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.

 

book to come

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.

For more information, see the publishers website

book

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…………

Gormley, space and architecture.

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’.

Antony Gormley in conversation with Hans Ulrich Obrist from Antony Gormley Studio on Vimeo.