2016

Wishful Thinking

Rush Pleansuk - Memory 02, 2014

Rush Pleasnuk

Memory 02, 2014

What if we could bring places back into existence by giving them a place in our memory?

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Wishful Thinking

building fire experiment_420x594(mm)

Soon Min Hong

Risk Theme Park, 2015

Similar to children in playgrounds, could adults learn to appreciate risk taking in a playful manner?

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Critical Imagination

smart city-02

Tobias Revell

Seizing the means of rendering

There is a history of the future written in renderings; images of fantasy assembled as marketing, escapism and policy toolkits.

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Critical Imagination

Jordi Colomer-video still-02

Rosa Rogina

Call to Action – On How the Political Potential of Architecture can Give Power to a Marginalized Community

Is architecture only a passive reflection of current political matters or can it formulate its own claims, demands, agendas and above all, can architecture use the means of activism to critically engage with broader social and political concerns?

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Critical Imagination

JM_0390_02_Dispersion_HC

Kolar Aparna

Lost Cities and Losing oneself in the City

What if we gave up the wish to contain cities and citizenships?

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The Unmasters

Stalker

Lorenzo Romito
Cristina Ampatzidou
Ania Molenda

Walking across Actual Territories

Rome-based collective Stalker has been exploring the neglected areas of the Italian capital and engaging with their marginalized populations for more than 20 years. Stalker co-founder Lorenzo Romito reflects on the group’s evolution and future plans.

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Wishful Thinking

Xavier Delory - Pèlerinage sur la Modernité

Xavier Delory

In a state of decay, 2014

What remains when the icons of the past are stripped of from the grand visions they embodied?

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Critical Imagination

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Alberto Vanolo

Urban Branding and the Violent Ghosts of the Politics of Representation

City branding is a relevant issue among urban policy makers. In a nutshell, it refers to the promotion of the image of a city, mostly in order to attract tourists, investments, mega-events, such as the Olympic games, and new wealthy residents, such as the members of the so-called ‘creative class’. This commentary will summarizes some ideas that analyze the politics of representation triggered by the common, and apparently banal, everyday practices of urban branding.

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Wishful Thinking

Yuxi Sun - Treasure Island

Skye Yuxi Sun

Treasure Island, 2015

What if power and money could change the course of evolution?

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The Unmasters

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ZUS
Cristina Ampatzidou
Ania Molenda

The Unobvious Ways of City Making

ZUS merges the theoretical and practical aspects of what we today call city making, yet they are also a design office for architecture and urbanism. Together with ZUS principal, Kristian Koreman, we discussed the ways they combine the two, how it was to be at the forefront of emerging unsolicited architecture and what do they mean by the necessity of engaging with unobvious design tasks.

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Wishful Thinking

Yto Barrada, Vacant Lot, Tanger 2001, 60x60cm

Yto Barrada

Vacant Lot, 2001

What if a vacant lot could stay in a permanent state of lingering?

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Wishful Thinking

landscape-with-crane-rooms-and-keg-apartments_Aristide-ANTONAS

Aristide Antonas

Landscape with crane rooms and keg apartments

What does it mean to live together or in isolation and what extent of isolation renders a common future impossible?

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Wishful Thinking

Screen-Shot-2015-06-01-at-18.05.27-1024x640

Femke Herregraven

Liquid Citizenship, 2015

There are many reasons to question the form and the idea of citizenship today. What if we think of new ways to define our relationships to territory?

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Wishful Thinking

201207_stateofexception_257-AC

Richard Barnes

State of Exception, 2012

What if we could trace the human stories behind the objects that have been discarded along the way?

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Wishful Thinking

Alles ist Kontext - Davide Tomasso Ferrando

Davide Tommaso Ferrando

Alles ist Kontext

When removed from their direct surrounding, can iconic buildings maintain their landmark status?

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Wishful Thinking

TIMES SQUARE_WHITE

Karolina Kowalska

An unexpected breakdown of the advertising market, 2011

When all advertisements and commercial information are replaced with a neutral white, what is left of the architectural surfaces of the city to remind us where we stand?

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Wishful Thinking

Skid Robot - Los Angeles

Skid Robot

The Art Living Project

What if housing as a human right would finally be universally respected?

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Critical Imagination

Kevin Dooley-paper money- feature-01

Max Haiven

The Four Faces of Financialization: Cities as a Site of Struggle

In spite of describing an important set of social and economic transformations, the word financialization has become used so frequently and in so many contradictory ways, that it risks becoming as fragile and confusing as other recent buzz-words like globalization, neoliberalism and gentrification. Yet the forces at work behind the term are real and have far reaching impact on citizens, cities, theorists and activists; and we ignore it at our peril.

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2015

Wishful Thinking

Larisa-Bulibasa_The Labyrinth of the city of London

Larisa Bulibasa

The Labyrinth of the City of London, 2015

What if we could imagine the complexity of the financial world as a labyrinth for which we hold Ariadne's thread?

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Critical Imagination

Jon Rawlinson,
A photograph of Coffee Bay, Eastern Cape Province, South Africa

Brett Scott

Bringing the Jungle to the City

The ambiguities of urban dynamics and the interfaces that connect and disconnect us from the larger context and from each other.

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Wishful Thinking

very large bike

Dunne & Raby

Very Large Bike (VLB), United Micro Kingdoms, 2013

What if we started to modify our bodies to make them fitter and more suitable for the environment we are living in rather than modifying the environment?

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Wishful Thinking

CrapTag

James Kerr

Crap Tag, 2014

What if you are stuck behind your screen with nothing to share?

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Wishful Thinking

Dillon Marsh - Nababeep South Mine

Dillon Marsh

For What it’s Worth: Nababeep South Mine (1882 to 2000) – 302,791.65 tonnes of copper extracted, 2014

What if we could always get a preview of the breakdown that shows what things are made of and the values of those ingredients?

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Critical Imagination

De Ceuvel - Hack the City - Amateur Cities

Edwin Gardner

Hack the City!

A vanguard of architects is not building skyscrapers or concert halls. They are not bothered by having their own signature style. Even aesthetic perfection leaves them cold. The self-conscious designer of modernism, with its unassailable belief in social engineering, is waning. One could say that the new architect is more of a hacker.

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Critical Imagination

Alberto Vanolo - Amateur Cities- All Cities are Beautiful

Alberto Vanolo

Smart City or The serial reproduction of an urban vision

A couple of months ago I bought a brand new video game console, Sony’s well known PS4. Despite being almost 40, I enjoy video games very much, and I also think that they are relevant cultural products to be carefully considered in the social sciences (I often use such an argument in order to justify my playing). Included in the console package, there was one video game called Watch Dogs, which monopolized my late summer nights.

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Wishful Thinking

Norby - Glitch - houses throwing up trees

Peder Norrby

Houses throwing up trees

What if a computer error could physically change our direct surroundings?

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Critical Imagination

141016_Molenda_Ampatzidou_Images_02_AC Vector Smart Object 780x519-01-01-01

Chiara Quinzii
Diego Terna

An Old Way of Living, Yet Innovative

The Statement on the International Co-operative Identity ratified by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) in 1995 voices that ‘Co-operatives are based on the values of self-sufficiency, self-responsibility, democracy, equality, equity and solidarity’. Nearly 20 years later terms such as ‘self-sufficiency’ have acquired an extensive array of meanings, ranging from energy and food production to the advent of a myriad of types of user-generated multimedia content provided by the so-called web 2.0.

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Wishful Thinking

Giuseppe Licari - Wild Gold

Giuseppe Licari

Wild Gold, 2014

What if nature would escape the exploitation and control imposed upon it in the cities?

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Wishful Thinking

Ethical Autonomous Vehicles by Matthieu Cherubini - Amateur Cities

Matthieu Cherubini

Ethical Autonomous Vehicles, 2014

What if the ethical code of our self-driving vehicles would become just another commodified feature to purchase and change at one’s will?

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The Unmasters

Let us keep our own noon_2013_David Horvitz

David Horvitz
Cristina Ampatzidou
Ania Molenda

No one owns the beach: On time and public space on and offline

David Horvitz uses the city and the Internet as fields to challenge the definitions of public domain, uniqueness and time.

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Critical Imagination

James Brown - Cage Free

James Brown

Cage Free?

What are the implications of the spirit of late capitalism if it blends work and play, labour and leisure, especially given that this blending happens not only in terms of time but also in terms of space? The coworker’s professional life is distributed across various places (home, co-working space, the occasional office, depending on the project they are working on) and times (smartphones and other portable devices are also part of this ethos). How does this new architecture of professional and personal life reconfigure time and space?

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Wishful Thinking

Borders - Ania Ruminska - 2014

Anna Ruminska

Borders, 2014

What if the nanny state would stop taking care of us?

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Wishful Thinking

Architecture Snob, Building not Available, 2014

Architecture Snob

Building Not Available, 2014

What if media could replace locality?

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The Unmasters

Mark van der Net - Amsterdam

Mark van der Net
Ania Molenda
Cristina Ampatzidou

Fewer Regulations, More Open Source and a Broader View

This is what Mark van der Net thinks can uncover new perspectives for architecture and urban planning.

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Critical Imagination

Superstudio - Continuous Monument

Tobias Revell

Continuous Monuments and Imaginable Alternatives

This essay aims to connect the world of global homogeny that Superstudio were critiquing with their seminal work ‘The Continuous Monument’ with the modern project of the Smart City and suggest that, particularly with the activation of imagination of technologists, designers, architects and urbanists, this new homogeny might be challenged and alternatives might be imagined.

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2014

Critical Imagination

Esto no es un Solar - This is not an urban plot

Chryso Onisiforou

This is not an Urban Plot

Recent conditions of the construction crisis and widespread recession have led us to believe that we live in an era of not only strict economic restrictions and austerity but also and unavoidably, in an age of an irrefutable decreasing of resources.

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Critical Imagination

Amateur Cities

Ania Molenda
Cristina Ampatzidou

On Amateurs

The word amateur has two meanings. One refers to the etymological origin of the word and is derived from French - amateur ‘lover of’ or from Latin - amator ‘lover’. Both come from the verb amare ‘to love’. According to this definition an amateur is a person that engages in a pursuit on an unpaid basis; one would assume – out of passion or love. One might also say that being an amateur is then quite nobilitating and can be associated with social values such as altruism.

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