Tactics, hacks, DIY, maker culture - these terms have begun to permeate our design vocabulary. The tactical mindset eschews convention in favor of subversion. The tactician is not afraid of failure, but rather embraces projects as design(ed) experiments. Tactics are pragmatic and instrumental, fluid and adaptive. Tactics are heterogeneous, occurring between the binaries of permanent and temporal, constructed and imagined, sanctioned and unsanctioned. The recent rise of tactics is illustrated by events and developments across the United States, including the occupy movement, guerilla urbanism, and tactical urbanism - movements in which citizens affect change in their cities through small-scale and often temporary actions. Building on these threads, Lunch 12 asks how the tactical can permanently transform the design process and seeks to reconcile the widening gap between the crafted and the constructed, the visible and the invisible, the designer and the public.
To respond to the unique opportunities of each client and site, Bates Masi + Architects has developed an approach, rather than a devotion to a particular style. Careful study of the needs of the site and owners uncovers a guiding concept particular to each project. It may be derived from the owner's interests, the site's parameters, or the character of the place. That concept is distilled to its essence, just a few words, such that it can inform the design at all scales, from massing, to materials, to details. The consistency of the concept is evident in the finished product. It imbues even small details and simple materials with meaning, thus making the mundane memorable. The result is an architecture that is cohesive, innovative, contextual, and full of details that delight. Bespoke Home, the first monograph of Bates Masi's 50 year career, highlights the firm's process, illustrating how a concept is derived from the various influences of the site and client, how that concept informs the design process, and how the concept is manifest in the experience of the finished house.
Architect and educator Dirk Denison reflects on the diverse influences that have shaped his practice over 30 years in a volume featuring 10 remarkable houses designed in a broad range of modernist vocabularies - each finely tuned to its site and occupants.Taking the form of an in-depth conversation between architect and educator Dirk Denison and journalist Fred A. Bernstein, this volume chronicles Denison's childhood in Detroit, travels and early encounters with the arts and architecture, and his education at Cranbrook, the Illinois Institute of Technology, and the Harvard Graduate School of Design. A perceptive interlocutor, Bernstein deftly draws upon Denison's own insights into how these experiences have influenced his aesthetic sensibilities, design philosophy, and working processes over 30 years of collaborative practice.
The conversation also sets the stage for the presentation of 10 houses selected from Denison's larger body of work, each illustrated in a suite of photographs with plans revealing his engagement with a diverse range of modernist vocabularies and intents in the domain of custom residential design. For design professionals and students of architecture, Dirk Denison 10 Houses draws attention to the manifold ways in which life experiences at all scales nurture and shape a career in the field. More broadly, this book is an engaging read for anyone interested in the gratifying process of conceptualizing and building one's own home.
In his essay within Mongrel Rapture, the first monograph on the polarising work of Australian architectural practice Ashton Raggatt McDougall (ARM), Charles Jencks identifies ARM as one of a handful of architectural practices internationally that operate in a mold he describes as 'Radical Post Modernism'. Eschewing notions of good taste and formal purity, ARM opts instead for an 'architecture of ideas'. Drawing from diverse sources that range across everything from Le Corbusier to Robert Venturi, computer programming to biblical verse, ARM's architecture has been alternately celebrated and execrated by critics and the public alike. Despite ARM's radicalism and the attention it garners, however, the practice has also produced some of the most important public buildings in Australia, including the National Museum of Australia, Canberra (2001), Melbourne Recital Centre and MTC Theatre (2008), and the Perth Arena (2013). Mongrel Rapture combines extensive photography and plans of all of ARM's major buildings with essays from a range of highly regarded critics, including Jencks, Mark C Taylor, Leon van Schaik, Harriet Edquist and others. Part scrapbook, part critical exegesis, like the architecture it documents Mongrel Rapture is both confronting and thought-provoking: a vital publication for anyone with an interest in this practice and Australian architecture's very particular strain of 'Radical Post Modernism'.
Pressing Matters VI is an exciting compilation of design and research performed at PennDesign's Department of Architecture, it features recent student work, news, important symposia and lectures, and is printed on recycled paper with non-toxic inks. To summarize, our goal is to be at the forefront of advanced research & design by creating a advanced research institute that focuses on new design methodologies and future manufacturing through the interlinked intelligence of digital design, scripting and robotics. We also focus on social awareness and responsibility, and are a think tank for critical exchanges and advanced debates within and across disciplinary boundaries. We are a connective device through inviting experts for ongoing lectures and publications in order to engage a growing international audience and an increasing network of experts.
"There's a secret trapdoor, a kind of magic key into every project," says Bartholomew Voorsanger, whose life and work are chronicled in UNFOLDED, How Architecture Saved My Life". The book, by award-winning author Alastair Gordon, is more of a personal memoir than a conventional monograph, tracing as it does the architect's picaresque journey from an orphanage in the Bronx to an adoptive family in San Francisco, to the ivied halls of Princeton and Harvard, to an apprenticeship with architect I.M. Pei and the establishment of an independent practice in 1978.A signature sensibility--minimal yet elegantly crafted, with a jeweler's attention to detail--evolved through early commissions--a private barge on the Hudson River, a master plan for the Brooklyn Museum--in which he explored the inherent mysteries of form, scale, and light. A glass-and-steel addition for the Morgan Library (1992) was hailed by the New York Times as an artful "combination of intimacy and grandeur". For the Asia Society in Manhattan, Voorsanger created a luminous garden courtyard and a serpent-like staircase which was based, in part, on a Ming Dynasty flask that the architect found in the museum's collection. Undulating trajectories of work and life intersect throughout the story. In many of Voorsanger's projects there are suggestions of a pilgrimage across space, a sequence of opening and closing, turning and unfolding, as with a series of pavilions designed for the World War II Museum in New Orleans, the wing-like roof of a mountain retreat for Russian oligarch Roman Abromovich, a twisting control tower for Newark Airport, or the highly sculpted interior of a bachelor's loft in Tribeca. In some of the later work there's an unsettled Dr. Caligari geometry of axial rotations and splintered spaces. Walls tilt back and overlap. Natural light penetrates the outer membrane. Multi-faceted roofs engage the sky. Voorsanger's architectural practice served as an emotional anchor through trying times and helped to bring a sense of ceremonial order to life's messy uncertainties. There was the adoption of two Iranian orphans; divorce from his first wife; a broken business partnership; the loss of his second wife to cancer; and a near-fatal embolism. In 1987, Voorsanger's twenty-nine-year-old daughter, Roxanna, was senselessly murdered. As a form of eulogy, the architect designed a new kind of housing prototype. It was an elegiac gesture from father to daughter in which deep, personal loss was transformed, somehow, into healing space. "I don't give a damn about myself, but I care deeply about my work," he says, acknowledging the number of times that his art has rescued him from a nagging sense of despair and existential dislocation. "Architecture has literally saved my life".
The Work of Machado and Silvetti presents the projects designed in the last four decades by these two architects. As active participants in the architectural scene of the '70s and '80s, they were intensely engaged in the origins of the debate that changed the course of architectural thinking, and of its pedagogical and professional practice implications. At the emergence of postmodernism, being considered as "outsiders," they escaped from the reductionist attitudes that either took historical forms for legitimizing architectural practice or renounced to accept that a tabula rasa as unthinkable. They confront the practice of architecture with realism and from a cultural perspective that engages the multiple social and technical practices that bear on the creative process of making architecture: they consider typologies as indifferent to function or to iconographic definition and defend the potential of architectural language and of architecture as a discipline. Rodolfo Machado and Jorge Silvetti have coined the idea of unprecedented realism to describe their distinctive design strategies and techniques of assemblage, personal interpretation, the production of meaning and the creation of emerging typologies. Their work pays attention to the culture, site, market, material detailing, and architectural composition.
New Essentialism: Material Architecture examines how architecture engages material to create effect through five critical historical thresholds represented by analytical precedents coupled with projective experimental design project families. Unpacking the fundamental methodologies of their geometric, material, spatial, and effectual sensibilities, each threshold builds an examination that reveals the essential methods and processes of design, illustrating the basis for the argument for a New Essentialism: its characteristics, methods and the sensibilities that mark its definition.
Laurie Olin's interest in public outdoor seating in parks and civic spaces revolves around two poles: the first is a concern for aspects of the ordinary in our settings and actions, the apparatus and effects of the quotidian in our individual lives and experience; the other is the utility of public seating in the conduct and potential of our role as citizens and the establishment of place and community. A not inconsiderable aspect of both is the engendering of pleasure. In a democracy we are expected to fulfill two potentials - those of private citizen and contributing member of a community. When sitting on a bench or chair in a park or plaza we inevitably participate in the life of a particular space, city, and society while simultaneously pursuing our own life with its demands and aspirations. Chairs and benches in their many varieties and situations are the setting (pun intended) for profoundly simple, albeit important, and largely unnoticed aspects of our lives.Humans are gregarious and habitually love to be together, often sitting about for hours at a time. Commonly this is for dining, whether singly or in groups, large or small. We sit in public places, in private ones, indoors and out, often doing nothing except watching the world. Over the course of centuries many devices have been developed for such purposes. Not a comprehensive history or survey, this is an appreciation derived from frequent, often iterative personal observation and constant professional engagement with the topic of seating, sometimes in gardens, but more particularly in public and civic environments. The book consists of a series of essays that begin with the author's personal discovery of public seating. An 'ah hah' moment as a young architect visiting Paris and his early experience as a designer is followed by a brief history of the evolution of public space and seating in the West. This is followed by an account of some of his experiments as a landscape architect, and the theory, craft, and role of seating in a number of prominent civic places his firm and others have designed in the past four decades. Along the way there are reflections on the author's interest in chairs, seating, public space, and aspects of the profession of landscape architecture. Accompanying the essays there are sketches, and watercolors made by Olin over time while travelling or working that weren't originally intended as book illustrations. Some are quick, hasty notes of something observed; others are more careful studies with, on occasion, measurements. Some were made leisurely while enjoying a felicitous moment or place, while others record the author puzzling through a particular design problem. Each in some way exemplifies aspects of the essays helping to articulate or sharpen the author's insights and point of view - those of a designer, not a historian or critic. They offer an alternative presentation of the topics raised, and a dialogue between writing and image - whether one of contrast, or at times, contrast.
At the end of the late 1970s, art theorist and critic Rosalind Krauss had written a seminal text entitled "Sculpture in the Expanded Field," in an attempt to both locate and analyze vanguard sculptural practices of the time such as the work of Richard Serra, Robert Smithson, Mary Miss, and Donald Judd whose practices crossed outside of the limits of traditional sculpture and entered into the realms of architecture and landscape through the production of works that she classified as site constructions, marked sites, earthworks and axiomatic structures. Over the past three decades, the boundaries between art and architecture have continued to blur, giving rise to a series of works known as installations whose conceptual, spatial and material trajectories have generated a new and expanding network of relations between the domains of architecture, interiors, sculpture and landscape. At the same time, the range of institutional venues advancing architectural installation practices, such as the PS1 program spawned by the MoMA in New York, the Serpentine Gallery's annual architectural pavilion in London and the Art and Architectural Biennale's in Venice, have provided platforms to intensify the production and reach of contemporary installations. Installations have not only contributed to the advancement of architectural research but have also enabled the redefinition and progressive development of architecture's disciplinary territory allowing architects to explore spatial and tectonic ideas, experiment with emerging technological strategies, and distill perceptual and experiential conditions without the limitations traditionally imposed by the permanence and utility of building. Following the legacy of Rosalind Krauss, EXPANDED FIELD: Installation Architecture Beyond Art by Ila Berman and Douglas Burnham explores the realm of art and architecture across a broad terrain of installation practices, revealing a critical territory that, despite its exuberant proliferation, has been historically defined as a negativity: the progeny of that which is both not-architecture and not-art. Within this book, a wide range of art and architectural works are positioned and mapped as constellations within a newly expanded field suspended between Architecture, Interiors, Sculpture, and Landscape. These four terms are the initial reference points used to elaborate a more extensive taxonomical framework defining twelve distinct territories where the analytical drawings and photographic indexes of seventy-five installation projects are situated. The expanded field diagram is a conceptual framework that operates on many levels. It acts as a lens through which to theorize and classify the trajectories of current installation practices and serves as an infrastructure to organize the content of the book. Along the trajectory from interiors to sculpture, for example, one finds the immersive chromatic environments of Carlos Cruz-Diez, the thermal and radiant atmospheres of Philippe Rahm, the intensely graphic patterned surfaces of J rgen Mayer and Yayoi Kusama, and the interactive mediated light landscapes of Ryoji Ikeda and Julio Le Parc. These are installations intent on foregrounding immersive atmospheric spaces rather than sculptural objects and that collectively define Chromatic/Graphic Immersion, one of the twelve typologies through which the book is organized. Along the path from interiors toward landscape, are situated a different series of installation projects including the undulating orange strata of Bamscape and the pink spongy terrain of Mute Room, two works by Thom Faulders both of which redefine ground as a programmed surface and occupiable topography. These qualities of landscape then merge with the architectonic in the thickened geology of Rip Curl Canyon by Ball-Nogues, the artificial Dunescape by SHoP and the cellular topography of Voromuro developed for the ICA in Boston by Office dA. Based on an exhibition at the Wattis Institute of Contemporary Art, the book EXPANDED FIELD guides one through the world of contemporary installation practice through drawings, images and text that simultaneously expose the techniques through which architects describe and analyze spatial production while providing a context for installation art and architecture that supports both its didactic understanding and immersive experience.