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?

 

 

interview

now online; my interview last week with RIVER Publishers’ Philippa Jefferies about my recently published book, also available via open-access at RIVER Publ. A brief talk about home, housing, technology and dwelling; to end with an actual part about the consequences for our housing caused by the current corona pandemic. It illustrates once more that the way we built our housing needs much more flexibility and adaptability.

the everyday

Recovered in an antiquarian bookshop: the inaugural talk ‘the Everyday’ by Prof.Ir. John Habraken back in 1967 (!) on his acceptance of the position of Professor of Architectural Design at the Technical University of Eindhoven. Amazing to read once again – in 19 pages – his envisioning of a paradigm-shift of facilitating/designing housing by means of creating a split between structure and infill. One remark for now: “The simple truth is that the everyday cannot be created for a society but only out of that society”(trans. mp, ital.orig.) I suggest we reread this publicly, widely and act likewise, after 50 years…

the Dilapidated Dwelling

Recently published on the Architecture_MPS website : an article by Patrick Keiller on housing in which he refers in particular to the situation in the UK, but nevertheless touches upon a contemporary issue: “Perhaps we are all ‘others’ when we are at home?”. Maybe the most interesting statement is that “the history of house-building suggests that the market will never be able to modernise dwelling on its own.(..) If there is to be any possibility for a more promising approach to dwelling, it is very unlikely to come from the conventional house-building industry.”.  This is a challenge not for architects only, but rightly so, for the whole building industry involved.