Despite our skill and experience in manipulating space and material, architects are incapable of addressing the needs of society unless we have first been explicitly asked to do so. Unsolicited Architecture, a bootleg edition of Volume Magazine, in twelve easy steps suggests to architects how to create briefs where none are written, discover sites where none are owned, approach clients where none are present, and find financing where none is available. Architects, don’t wait for the phone to ring. Read this now. Unsolicted Architecture is a bootleg edition from the archive of Volume Magazine prepared for the AIA National Conference in Sydney, April 2010. The concept of unsolicited architecture was first explored in a design studio run by Ole Bouman at MIT in 2007, the results of which were published in Volume 14, edited by Arjen Oosterman with Andrea Brennen, John Snavely and Ryan Murphy. This work has been continued by Anneke Abhelakh, Rory Hyde and Timothy Moore.
Volume A Bootleg of I am an unsolicited architect . Architecture Unsolicited Volume is a project by Archis + AMO + C-LAB + OUA for the AIA National Conference, Sydney, 2010 Architecture Unsolicited Yes I am an unsolicited architect. Ask me what I can do for you . Architecture Unsolicited No Architecture Unsolicited Yes I am an unsolicited architect. Despite our skill and experience in manipulating space and material, architects are incapable of addressing the needs of society unless we have first been explicitly asked to do so. The unsolicited architect tackles the big issues that are otherwise overlooked by the market. They create briefs where none are written, discover sites where none are owned, approach clients where none are present, and find financing where none is available. Architects, donâ€™t wait for the phone to ring. Act now . Architecture Unsolicited No Please rded hly rega act g i h e f em ill mak warding is the w e r u t c e re r hite ited arc However, mo social need. c i l o s n . U n ng rofessio ddressi in my p hat I will be a t I will I do I do I do . Architecture I am an unsolicited architect Unsolicited Go on. Say it Sorry licted re. Unso o f e b t i of ice nâ€™t think pand my pract d i d I e v x me e t belie ill help I canno w one. e r u t c ays than w archite e r o in m I have . Architecture I am an unsolicited architect Unsolicited Go on. Try it Us I am Unsolicited t many one bu angry d ite overexc g workin neutral you are we are . Architecture anxious > Them Unsolicited Architecture entrepreneurialship Introduction Go on United . Architecture I do > Unsolicited Arjen wins Architect, donâ€™t wait for the phone to ring. Act now Call me! Act! Act! Now! . Architecture U Twelve Steps Architect, The economic crisis has spurred a great deal of reflection upon the viability of a profession that is dependent upon commissions; not only are we financially exposed to the instability of the market economy, we perhaps feel a deeper crisis of relevance in only being able to react to a clientâ€™s wish. Despite our skill and experience in manipulating space and material, architects are impotently incapable of addressing the needs of society unless we have first been explicitly asked to do so. Unsolicited architecture offers an alternative to this reactive, service-oriented role, and instead calls for a new, more socially-motivated approach to procuring projects. The typical architectural commission can only proceed when the four pillars of client, site, budget and program are simultaneously aligned. In our consumer society, the projects that succeed in this quadrella are more often than not motivated by money, as opposed to social values. The unsolicited architect does not wait for this rare eclipse, but instead occupies the territory where at least one of these pillars are absent, thereby making the project undesirable or even impossible to tackle using the standard tools of the commercial practice. Unsolicited architects tackle the big issues facing society that are otherwise overlooked by the market; they create briefs where none are written, discover sites where none are owned, approach clients where none are present, and find financing where none is available. For this to succeed requires a professional shift toward a more entrepreneurial mindset, as the tools of architecture and architectural thinking are only powerful if they can be unshackled from the increasingly marginalized opportunities to react to a given brief. In times like these, the risk of not getting paid for your efforts is perhaps one worth taking. Unsolicited architecture â€“ who dares ? Act Unsolicited Twelve Steps to Being a Successful Unsolicited Architect First XII I Don’t wait for the phone to ring. Architects, Don’t wait for the phone to ring. Architects, act now. Pose a problem. It’s the best solution. act now. Become the expert. Knowledge is. Write your Clients haven’t called for months; this route to future work has own brief. You answer to no body. Design been severed by the financial crisis. The same goes for competithe answer. It may not be a building. Run the tions; don’t enter them; the odds are against you. It’s time to roll up your sleeves and grab those commissions yourself. numbers. Win in the end. Get yourself together. Pool talent. Find the loophole. Assemble your argument. Biased advice is best. Build public support. Demonstrate the urgency. Solicit your Pose a problem. It’s the best solution. future client. (You now hold all of the answers.) Return to step 2. Architects, your city needs you. Find an issue in your street, your II suburb, your city or the world. It may be social, environmental, financial, or whatever. III Become the expert. Knowledge is. Learn everything there is to know about this issue. Read all of the books, speak to opinion leaders, take to the streets and speak to those most affected. IV Write your own brief. You answer to no body. Now you are the expert, you will know how this issue is best tackled. The answer probably wont be a building, but architecture will surely play a part, as every issue has a spatial dimension in need of treatment. Architecture Understood XII Treads Design the answer. It may not be a building. Produce a proposal as a treatment for the issue. Don’t limit yourself to the conservative constraints of planning or titles. Do what needs to be done. VI Run the numbers. Win in the end. Engage with financial expertise to calculate the construction and life-cycle cost projections of your proposal. Compare this to the amount the government spends annually to deal with the issue. VII Get yourself together. Pool talent. You’ve done the numbers so now you may need some help. Don’t be afraid to ask. Find others who are working on the same problem, even if their ideas and disciplines are different. VIII X Build public support. Demonstrate the urgency. Call a town hall meeting, send your report to newspapers with punchy quotes, do a letter drop to local residents, demonstrate the effectiveness of your proposal in a quick and dirty urban intervention. The aim is to create public support for the urgency of your scheme. As it is addressing an urgent issue, not a commercial motive, this should be easy. XI Solicit your future client. (You now hold all of the answers.) This will ordinarily be the government or local municipality, but it is equally possible to find a private investor if the life-cycle financing is attractive enough. With a solution to a thorny issue, public support, and a strong funding argument all taken care of – you have an offer that cannot be refused. It’s set right up on the tee, all they need to do is hit it off and take all the credit, while you take home the commission. Find the loophole. XII Often, your design will need to go against the status quo in order to deliver. Find faults in their legislation. They cannot say anything if you do everything they expect. (Only for the brave.) Now you have a taste for action and relevance to society, time to get out and find another issue. IX Assemble your argument. Biased advice is best. Assemble your work so far into a document that outlines both the issue and your prescribed solution. Of course this is biased advice, but your future client will thank you for producing something they can easily act upon. Return to step 2. Antidote Unsolicited V Architecture Always at your service UnAustralian Architecture Giving Context An architecture that is aware of the broader political, social, financial context. Finding Finance An architecture that understands the instrumentality of image and capital. Form is your ally in attracting investment, but the outcome will surely serve a larger purpose. . Service Australian Unsolicited Services opportunities extension . Add your agenda to their brief Unsolicited Architecture Unsolicited U dies of u t s e s a c ges, find rating a p g n i e follow ices ope Over th solicited pract time. un re, any anywhe Architecture Unsolicited Architecture Case Kløvermarken / 2006 / Copenhagen Artgineering The weekend before opening the new N470 highway to traffic, Artgineering organized the biggest street party in Holland. Everyone who lived in the area served by the N470 had the opportunity to occupy it for the weekend. People were free to do what they wanted on their road: beach volleyball, BBQ, or a candlelit dinner. MijN470 interprets roads as natural public space and as an integral part of our environment and thus the event was held in order for people to identify psychologically with the infrastructure. The project was a catalyst for members of Artgineering to set up a cultural organization to explore problems along the Belgian A12 (www.a12nu.nl), which is investigating ways to raise awareness towards the use of space next to freeways. www.artgineering.nl Informal / Campaign / Client / Commission Free Architecture / 2007 / South Holland Architecture PLOT (now BIG & JDS) produced the Kløvermarken proposal in response to a housing shortage in Copenhagen that was forcing out the lower wage earners crucial to the city’s function. They introduced 3000 new apartments in a 3 km perimeter block wrapping the Kløvermarken park, thereby ‘inject[ing] public life to the area … without sacrificing a single football field’. Their next step was to generate some public discussion by promoting it in the media. This broadcasting and marketing stage is central to the unsolicited process – when you don’t have a client or the political power to execute it alone, getting the public behind your cause can generate the necessary momentum. However in this case, the tactic seems to have backfired. After much attention and public support, instead of handing PLOT the commission, the government invited seven other teams to make proposals for the site. Despite their advanced scheme, PLOT were awarded second place, losing out to another scheme that seems to have just shuffled the new housing blocks into the corners. The PLOT project demonstrates that although unsolicited architecture is directed to the social need, it doesn’t have to be a purely altruistic undertaking. Despite offering to provide much-needed new housing, their motives were clearly also driven by the desire to generate profit. ww.big.dk/projects/klm/klm.html Architecture / Campaign / Client / Competition Understate Plot Study ARM Architecture / Built / Subversive / Expanded Brief On the exterior facade of Australia’s then-new national museum, ARM wrote subversive messages with braile dimples pressed into the anodized aluminium cladding: ‘Forgive us our genocide’ and ‘Sorry’, alluding to the black history of Australia. These dimples were noticed by a public servant just days after the opening, and after hiring a braile interpreter to decipher the message, the bureaucrat consequently amended the reading with silver discs - making the initial words illegible. ‘Sorry’ became ‘ryors’. By going beyond the explicit brief, and inserting evidence of an unsanctioned and regrettable history in this national building, ARM revitalise architecture’s ability to provoke and challenge the politics of identity. www.a-r-m.com.au Media / Concept / Bureaucratic /Speculative MVRDV NL28 / 2008 / The Netherlands In 2005, The Netherlands Olympics Committee and Sporting Federation (NOC*NSF) launched a working group with representatives from sport, the government, science, and the world of industry and commerce to create an Olympic sports climate. MVRDV, with students from the Rotterdam Academy of Architecture and the Berlage Institute, took this opportunity and collaborated for two years to complete: a economic feasability study, precedent studies and spatial designs. This self-initiated scheme gave the impetus for the government to pursue the idea in earnest, and earned MVRDV a voice in how this plan proceeds. www.mvrdv.nl Activism Unsolicited National Museum Australia Braile / 2001 / Canberra Case DUS / SUA Unkempt Architecture / Intervention / Subversive / Commission Architecture Bucky Bar / 2010 / Rotterdam The overpolicing of gathering in public space is a problem across the world, particulary in the Netherlands. In a demonstration of resistance, for a short moment, the Bucky Bar, a dome made of umbrellas, appeared seemingly out of nowhere around a lamp post in the centre of Rotterdam. The fully equipped bar, complete with DJ and drinks, was directly built on site. Approximately 300 visitors danced under the umbrella roof until the police shut down the bar at 2am. www.dusarchitects.com ZUS De DĂŠpendance / 2009 / Rotterdam Architecture / Concept / Programmatic / Fictional De DĂŠpendance, a conceptual project for the city of Rotterdam, proposes a space for cultural institutes that have disappeared or are disappearing from the city center due to an aggressive city marketing strategy. ZUS illustrate the existing Schiekadegebouw (an architecturally notable building facing demolition) with the new city propped above on angled pilotis. Within the Schiekadegebouw lies De DĂŠpendance, a place where cultural forces can combine and interact -a place for debate, exposition, performance, confrontation, exchange, and production. Through this conceptual proposition, ZUS aim to highlight that gentrification can occur on top of existing cultures rather than merely replacing them. www.zus.cc Study Camila Bustamante Informal / Campaign / Bureaucratic / Fictional Works on the metro lines of Lima (Peru) began in the mid 80s but were never completed due to economic troubles and the incompetence of some governors. Its unfinished infrastructure remains in the city as a symbol of the unfulfilled promises. To highlight the proposed project, an imaginative launch campaign, Lima 2427, is initiated by sticking up signs for the planned stations with the projected date that they would be completed. The year 2427, according to an analysis of the distance of the rails already in function versus the time taken to make them (kilometers of rails per year), is the year in which the train will be finished. This was enough to reignite the debate within the national media. www.lima2427.pe Various Architecture / Website / Subversive / Fictional Australian Biennale 2004 Digital Pavilion / 2004 / Online With no representation at the Venice Biennale for Architecture in 2004 due to the resistance of the peak arts body, several Australians collaborated in order to create an unofficial presence with a digital pavilion. Led by John Gollings, and including Davina Jackson, Andrew Benjamin and Tom Kovac, the pavilion hosted several unreal projects. To the virtual audience, they could have been easily fooled that they were looking at the real thing, suggested by prepared press packs, along with the url http://www.venicebiennaleaustralia. com. While the project is more for cultural critique than social need â€“ the architectural profession were reacting to the fact that their had no representation at the international event â€“ the methodology proves that its better to not wait for a third party (the government) to move forward. Attitude Unsolicited Lima Metro Signage / 2009 / Lima Case Skip Projects / 1997 / Seville Architecture It costs 35 euro to get a licence for hiring a rubbish skip in Seville. This municipal decree can be subverted for other uses, in particular, to provide where the municipal body has failed. Recetas Urbanas organised the installment of a skip on the roadside to provide space for temporary facilities, such as: a flamenco stage, a reading area and board games, various trees and plants for gardening, a diving pool, or achildren’s play area. Within a few days, a neighbor reported the strange apparition, surprised by the container with a see-saw. The police called the phone number registered with the container, and the responsible citizen had to appear at police headquarters for submitting documents and licenses. Town planning management dismissed the complaint because the citizen has complied with all requirements of the municipal law: the container was brightly colored, its installation did not interfere with traffic on public roads, and it clearly identified the owner. In addition, management technicians found no legal grounds that would prevent the use of the container with a different function to the collection of construction materials. www.recetasurbanas.net Informal / Built / Bureaucratic / Speculative Undetected Recetas Urbanas Raumlabor Opera House / 2009 / Mülheim-Essen Architecture / Built / Programmatic / Speculative The Eichbaum train station is a site stigmatized by vandalism and physical assaults. Appeals and subsequent council interventions were ineffective. Raumlabor proposed a ‘vision for the transformation of the Eichbaum underground station between Mülheim and Essen into an opera house. A new type of opera will be created in an on-site opera site office in collaboration with specialists in composition, text and space in direct confrontation with the everyday conditions of the place.’ www.raumlabor.net Study Media / Website / Programmatic / Commission Security, Mobility, Pleasure: An urban design framework for NDC / 2002 / West Ham and Plaistow A lack of coordination between informal and formal agents in the West Ham and Plaistow was impetus for MUF to create an inventory and online database. The database is an online map that locates various scales of neighborhood resources. The map is structured in layers: what has happened?, which documents the histories both formal and anecdotal; what is happening? a listing that includes everything from major developments to jumble sales; how to? a directory of the skills of the area, ranging from individuals to businesses and is the forerunner of an extensive skills audit-link to web site. Rather than making a building, MUF designs an answer. www.muf.co.uk New Patrons Art / Built / Client and Bureaucratic / Commission New Patrons Project / 1993-Onwards / France, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Finland, Sweden and Great Britain The New Patrons program is a model that provides residents with the opportunity to carry out their issues or conflicts in collaboration with mediators and artists of international renown in art projects. The residents – independent of financial means, educational status, and social status – are themselves the patrons of the projects. New Patrons provides three steps in realising the project: I Your Concern or Issue as a Patron You have an issue or problem that you share with your colleagues, neighbors, or association members, and you believe an art project is the right way to make this public. You then contact your regional mediator, an art curator. In conversations, the curator helps to formulate the content of the project. She or he then suggests an artist who is fitting for the project and the context, whether from the realm of fine art, architecture, design, music, etc. II Artist’s Proposal The suggested artist is interested in your specific issues and can offer the experience needed to carry out the project on the highest level. Along with the mediator, you meet several times with the artist to discuss both context and the realization. Then the artist develops a proposal. III Execution of the Artwork After accepting the artist’s proposal, together with the mediator, support from the realm of both government and politics is sought out to realize the project. The patrons, the artist, and the mediator all remain involved until the completion of the project. You share the responsibility for the final result. www.newpatrons.eu Arrangement Unsolicited MUF Case Basketball Courts / Since 1992 / Barcelona, Amsterdam NL Architects Paid Parking / Schiphol Airport (NL) / 1994 Media / Campaign / Financial / Speculative NL Architects’ ‘Paid Parking’ project is interesting as it proposes an alternative means of financing. Instead of paying to use a carpark, you are paid by a company (in this case Mazda) for your contribution to the formation of their logo, which is located under the aerial gaze of the Schipol Airport flight path. While building yet another carpark hardly addresses what would typically be considered ‘social need’, it represents a potential model for unsolicited projects that lack a traditional client and budget. www.nlarchitects.nl Architecture Unsolicited projects flourish at the microlevel of urban life because they can be constructed affordably by the designers themselves. Rotterdam-based artist Harmen de Hoop (also featured in Volume 14) has ammased an archive of interventions in the city, of which none have been asked for. His ‘paintings’ comprise of lines of a basketball court on the ground, often in a dysfunctional public space. If the square is too small, the court lines simply terminate. In one instance, his guerrilla intervention was legitimized to an extent by the installation of a basketball hoop by the local council, albeit in the wrong place in relation to the court. Harm de Hoop utilizes space for enjoyment, but never obtains prior permission from the council. www.harmendehoop.com Art / Intervention / Subversive / Expanded Brief Unruly Harmen de Hoop Study Elemental Architecture / Built / Client / Expanded Brief, Speculative Richard Goodwin Art / Built / Subversive / Commission Parasite / 2007 / Den Haag Elemental is a for-profit company with social interest. It is made up of a partnership between the founders, the Chile Oil Company (COPEC) and Universidad Catolic de Chile. Elemental work against the notion that housing stock depreciates. Instead, they propose that inhabitants can add value through self-building unlike other models of social housing, which decline in value over time. To settle a population of long-term community squatters, Elemental constructed 93 half-finished prefabricated housing structures, designed to facilitate self-build expansion by a further 50% at minimal cost. This frees up funds for more housing. www.elementalchile.cl Across from two police surveillance boxes that overlook the British and American Embassies in Den Haag, Goodwin recreated a third box. The replicant ‘was linked via an umbilical electrical cord to a car through which power was sourced to operate video and sound equipment within the parasite. This equipment played to the street, via a translucent window, a film made by Goodwin of his access to all the surrounding buildings. This journey was audaciously made with a hidden camera to test the “porosity” of the surrounding area to penetration by the pedestrian. The work was an effective critique of both the structures of surveillance and their effect on public space and our ability as city dwellers to continue to explore private space searching for public spaces hidden within, despite the age of terror.’ www.richard-goodwin.com Argument Unsolicited Iquique / 2004 / Chile Architecture Architects Block Unmoved Architecture Architects Block If architects are to reclaim their agency and therefore explore ideas or projects overlooked by the market, how can they determine what problems are worth tackling? What happens if there is no brief to respond to? Architects are paralysed when it comes to a blank canvas. I don’t mean ‘tabula rasa’ – as history shows we have plenty of ideas for that – but a motivational blank canvas, one where it is possible (and most common) to do nothing at all. Architects are rarely tasked with defining their own site, brief and funding source. What steers us in this instance? Do architects have the appetite for negotiating the public conscience and private interests? Architects need to take charge. We need role models. Top models in our field set the course for the future. They determine what is worth spending time on and act as an influence on the next generation. But as architecture becomes increasingly wedded to the market, we are suffering from a vacuum of socially-motivated, guiding ideology. Unsolicited architecture is a means for us as architects to claim this ideological territory, by trusting our own impulses and setting our own path. Our leaders have failed us. Architects, act now. Affected Unsolicited Block Beyond Practicing unsolicited architecture calls for a The Web Designer more speculative and entrepreneurial approach The money is in the maintenance to attracting commissions. It is a challenge to With any broadcast media, the set-up costs are marginal compared the traditional role of the architect as a passive to the ongoing costs of operation and content production. Web service provider who waits for the client to re- designers often offer a very affordable service to set up a website to get their foot in the door, in full knowledge that the real money is quest their expertise. But without clients – and in the ongoing maintenance, where they can charge their full rate the fees they bring in – how can we be expected by the hour. to survive? Similarly, the true cost of a building is in its operation. Currently architects are well positioned financially at the start of a project, earning their fees from design. Could architects reposition themselves as consultants throughout the buildings life, and charge accordingly? Architects have become complacent in their dependency upon this revenue stream, however for many other disciplines, financing a speculative project is a daily reality, not an exception. Here, The Real-Estate Developer we present a brief survey of financing models. Share in the value, not the cost How could they be applied to architecture? Real-estate developers invest in property, conduct works to increase its value, and returns the property to the market for a profit. Architects are a core component of this procedure, deploying their design expertise to increase the value of a property and to create a saleable product. Despite their integral role in this process, architects are paid as consultants, earning a marginal fee as a percentage of the construction cost, at the point in the process of greatest expense. If the architect is in the business of generating value, doesn’t it make sense to be paid a percentage of the resale value, not the construction cost? This way the added value that the architect brings to this process is made more apparent and is justified financially accordingly. The Artist Reap the resale The world of art collecting is all about speculation. Spot the talent when it’s young, buy the quality when it’s cheap, cross your fingers it increases in value as the artist increases their status, and sell at the top. The collector, not the artist, reaps the reward for the artists’ hard work. Artists are wising up to this scenario however, often writing clauses into their sale contracts that stipulate a percentage of the resale value when the piece changes hands. Architects could easily justify a similar claim to a cut of the future resale value of a property; value they have helped to create. Architecture Underwrite Make It Pay Architecture The Project Home Builder The Community Leader Architects sell the promise, the idea. Armed with a portfolio of past projects, they hope to secure the next. This requires a leap of faith on behalf of the client, as they are forced to invest in something they cannot see first. The project home builder knows this too well, and instead brings the strategies of retail to the field of construction by producing a catalogue of prototypes from which the client can choose. Knowing what is of importance, what is lacking, or what opportunities exist for a particular group is a key trait of the successful community leader. Through an understanding of the value of consensus, community leaders seek to galvanize a community and assemble the relevant stakeholders around a particular issue as a means for action. The demonstrable results in this field should be a wake-up call for architects. The image of the architect as the inapproachable artist who produce images from his or her secluded office is an isolating and destructive one. We need to be down on the street, forging connections, hosting meetings and capitalising on the value of consensus. With the public in agreement, there are fewer barriers to the future projects. Of course, architects like to think of our projects as unique responses to the site, client demands, and budget, none of which can be anticipated in advance. But instead of waiting for the ideal client to offer the project we want, why not design it first and then find the client? People are much more responsive when they know what they are getting in advance. The Local Doctor By appointment only Professionals other than architects â€“ doctors, dentists, lawyers or accountants for example â€“ understand very well the value of their time, and use this time to determine their cost. To sit down with them and benefit from their expertise, you simply need to make an appointment and pay by the hour. Architects on the other hand, devise elaborate pricing schemes which only begin when the contracts are signed and the many moons of budget, client and brief are simultaneously aligned. If advice is what we sell, why not sell it by the hour? The architect could write an invoice on the spot at the conclusion of all preliminary consultations. Although this may turn off those looking for free advice, by clarifying the exchange for this advice, we as a profession may expose a new niche of people simply looking for direction, not to give a commission. The value of consensus Account Unsolicited Design it first, sell it later Architecture Architecture Unanswered Interviews Answered Unsolicited Interview Architecture Um Interview Ah Unsolicited Interview Architecture Ugh Interview Ahem Unsolicited Interview Interview Practicing unsolicited architecture requires an engagement with the political and economic systems that create the possibility for architecture. However, there are parts of the world – due to crises of war or disaster – where these systems are dysfunctional or simply do not exist at all. To operate in these territories, the standard responsive tools of the architect are no longer of use. Here, architect and urbanist Kai Vöckler explains the strategies he developed with the Archis SEE Network through projects in the post-conflict zones of Prishtina, Kosovo and Bucharest, Romania. With no clients, and driven by an urgent spatial issue, Vöckler explains how negotiation, networking, research, interviewing and media campaigns became the crucial tools to navigate the gulf between an absence of regulation and the opportunism of private developers. Architecture UN Kai Vöckler Interview There is the problem of civil society in Prishtina. People are not used to the new circumstances; they grew up in a totalitarian system. But after the NATO-led KFOR troops ended the civil war in 1999, they went through a period of huge population increases and radical individualization. That is, people only looked after their own private interests, which produced huge problems in former settlements, like in Prishtina. Because even though there is a law of custom – which means people have a practice that is not fixed in laws, but more a practice of people – huge conflicts arose between neighbors. Because you fuck your neighbor. Like by building 10 cm in front of his door – you do what you want. You don’t care. Things like this do not happen in Athens, for instance, where a lot of the city is illegally built and post-regulated. There, it’s a common practice. You occupy land, start building, and at a specific point, you start legalizing. People know exactly what to do. They know the law of custom. They know how high they can build because they cannot sell above four floors if there is no elevator; they anticipate the problems. In Prishtina, it is not working because people have no experience with it. And in the case of Bucharest, despite all of the owners being organized into formal housing associations, they don’t understand the market economy, that there is the process of gentrification happening in Bucharest. There are apartments going up and up in price because they are well connected infrastructurally, but the owners don’t understand that a big portion of the increase in value is related to how enriching the building and its environment is. Therefore, the logic is to form interest in whole apartment blocks. But people don’t want this. They have bad memories of collective interest. The analysis of the problem for me back in 2005 was that on the one hand we had international institutions with responsibility, but which were afraid to get into political problems, and then there were local institutions which were not working well for different reasons. On the other hand, you have the private interests of people who didn’t really know what to do. Once we knew this, we thought that architects and planners could create an NGO; an independent body with no conflict of interest that people could trust; an ‘agency for rehabilitation’ to negotiate between these two parties and to bring in the professional expertise. With this NGO, we developed an approach to structuring this process of legalization through negotiation with the private and public interest, like minimal standards and so on. However, if you want change, you have to cooperate. You need political backup. You need to raise public awareness because it goes into laws, regulatory plans, and legalization. It’s not possible to do it without the local authorities, and sometimes you have to push politics. We organized media campaigns to push it forward. It took us three years. Somehow, to maintain and support both parties, we had to smooth things politically, and in a way, both parties now accept us as our own party. This acceptance was due in part to our work presented in Volume, where it gathered international attention. Then politicians became aware and respected us. Media communications strategies such as this are unusual for planners. It’s a main strategy, along with a networking strategy of bringing in regional and international expertise that take care of political and social aspects, which are still not on the agenda of architects and planners. Architects think that politics are dirty and that they should stay away. If you step into urban planning, it is political. So you need a political strategy for how you address politicians, how you address citizens, how you address other partners, enemies, investors, or the mafia. seenetwork.org ” Aid Unsolicited “ Architecture Universe Interview Anywheree Unsolicited Interview Architecture Read on Unsolicited Architecture , Architecture Bavo chitecture v chitecture v chitecture v chitects v Unsolicited v Architecture chitects . Architecture Unhinder Article Unsolicited Arrange Read on. Architecture Unsolicited Archive Zus . Colophon Materialized Rory Hyde Timothy Moore Unsolicted architecture Special thanks to Lilet is a bootleg edition from Breddels, Arjen Oosterman the archive of Volume and Amy Silver. Magazine made specifically for the AIA National Conference The concept of unsolicited architecture was first explored in a design studio run by Ole Bouman at MIT in 2007, the results of which were published in Volume 14: Office for Unsolicited Architecture, edited by Arjen Oosterman with Andrea Brennen, John Snavely and Ryan Murphy. This work has been continued by Anneke Abhelakh, Rory Hyde and Timothy Moore. Cover Image Nik Dimopoulos Jay Barry Matthews Cover Model Luke for hammer&tong The material within the publication remains the right of the contributors. This publication is for educational purposes only and not for or sale. architects are incapable of addressing the needs of society unless we have first been explicitly asked to do so. . Architects, donâ€™t wait for the phone to ring. I am an unsolicited architect ,