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LLUÍS ORTEGA

CONTRIBUTORS

MAITE BORJABAD ISABEL CONCHEIRO Transfer

PENELOPE DEAN Flat-Out

RICARDO DEVESA Actar/urbanNext

ALBERT FERRÉ CCA

FABRIZIO GALLANTI Fig Projects

Puente Editores/GG/2G

PIER PAOLO TAMBURELLI Baukuh/San Rocco

IN CONVERSATION WITH STUDENTS

JUAN RAMON CANTU

ISABEL FITZPATRICK-MEYERS MARYA DEMETRA KANAKIS MIGEL SANTOS

ASLINUR TASKIN

LLUÍS ORTEGA

MOISÉS PUENTE

FUTURE TEMPOS

Art Institute of Chicago

FUTURE TEMPOS CONVERSATIONS ON ARCHITECTURE ACROSS TIME AND MEDIA


FUTURE TEMPOS

CONVERSATIONS ON ARCHITECTURE ACROSS TIME AND MEDIA


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FUTURE TEMPOS EDITED BY LLUÍS ORTEGA

CONVERSATIONS ON ARCHITECTURE ACROSS TIME AND MEDIA


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CONTRIBUTORS

MAITE BORJABAD Art Institute of Chicago

ISABEL CONCHEIRO Transfer

PENELOPE DEAN Flat-Out

RICARDO DEVESA Actar/urbanNext

ALBERT FERRÉ CCA

FABRIZIO GALLANTI Fig Projects

MOISÉS PUENTE Puente Editores/GG/2G

PIER PAOLO TAMBURELLI Baukuh/San Rocco


INDEX

06 INTRODUCTION 08 NARRATIVES 30 RELEVANCE 56 TIME 76 BIOGRAPHIES


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INTRODUCTION

The dissemination of architectural discourse is a fundamental component in the constitution of the discipline as a cultural practice. This dissemination is not, as in other fields, an activity exclusively linked to the effort of making its contents accessible to a general or specialized public. In architecture, how the discourse becomes public is a motor for reflection and historical self-awareness. In this continuous effort to make architecture public, technology plays a fundamental role. While in pre-typographical times authors limited the publication of their work to autographed documents, with the appearance of the printing press publications became the main vehicle for disseminating the practice and associated discourses. However, in recent times, with the emergence of the digital era, these original channels have multiplied. The recent proliferation of architecture biennials and prizes, architecture exhibitions, the exhaustive and continuous publication of material online, the reshaping of traditional publishing houses specializing in architecture, and new online forums for discussing and circulating ideas all reveal a radical shift in how architecture becomes public. This new scenario is rife with opportunities, but it also poses important challenges. Traditional notions of singular authorship, canons of credibility and the legitimacy of knowledge, patterns of visibility and readability, the identification of categories of quality and originality are all topics that require reflection and, in some cases, the reformulation of traditional standards


INTRODUCTION

This book is an edited compilation of conversations conducted by IIT students in the context of a seminar given in the spring of 2019. During the course, a series of prestigious specialists were invited to discuss different modes of diffusion, exhibition and publication in architecture. All of them were asked a series of questions, tailored to their respective specialties, to encourage a choral reflection on this phenomenon. At no time was the goal to develop a resolution or an absolute conclusion. Rather, an effort was made to distill hypotheses and provisional frameworks from which to develop reflections to contribute to making architecture more public. The diversity of the guests provided a rich panorama of perspectives and approaches, sensitivities and opinions. The edition of the book reflects this variety of points of view, and the editorial team designed this book to visualize an exchange among a series of voices that participated individually and discretely in time and space throughout the semester. I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank all the guests for their generosity as well as all the donors who, through their contributions, made this publication possible, together with the office of the Dean of the College of Architecture IIT. LluĂ­s Ortega


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NARRATIVES WITH THE INTRODUCTION OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES AND THE INTERNET, THE DISSEMINATION AND PRODUCTION OF INFORMATION HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED.


FOR THE ROLE OF THE ARCHITECT, THE PROCESS FROM DESIGN TO FABRICATION HAS BEEN SHORTENED AND THE CONTENT WE PRODUCE NOW HAS DIFFERENT LEVELS OF CONTROL. WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES THAT YOU HAVE ENCOUNTERED AS AN AUTHOR IN THE DIGITAL AGE?


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NARRATIVES

FABRIZIO GALLANTI When it comes to voices that manifest through publishing or writing, I don’t see very radical differences between the digital and non-digital. I simply think it’s just a matter of speed and immediacy. Before the Internet, for any author to express her or his ideas, the process of producing an output was slow: one needed to type on a typewriter, send a draft by mail to someone somewhere else, wait for approval and reviews. The whole machinery of reaching an audience was quite different. The Internet has simply allowed the fact that many of these thresholds can now be bypassed, and you can express your voice. You have immediate access to the public. But in terms of the content and in terms of what you want to say, or how you say it, I don’t think there’s much of a difference, in the sense that it continues to be a discursive practice. I think it’s simply the media that has changed, but it doesn’t have such an impact on the way ideas are elaborated. Probably it’s a matter of the speed that has really changed. Whereas, before, between the moment when you were thinking and writing something and the moment when that expression was available to the audience, it used to take one, two, three, six months; now, you can circulate your idea on different channels in a matter of minutes. That is probably the most significant difference. And you can selfpublish. You don’t have to submit to a peer review, and you don’t necessarily have to be a member of a sort of elitist club to be accepted as a voice in the system. So, I would say that digital or non-digital doesn’t make a difference. As users, we navigate quite easily between both


NARRATIVES

environments. We still tend to keep a book in our backpacks if we get bored somewhere. Maybe the digital has changed the access to information, which has become easier. I don’t know if it’s the same for younger generations, but now when I read a novel on paper, I have the reflex to reach for my cell phone: if some name is introduced in the physical book, I’ll immediately go on Wikipedia or some source to find out more about something. So, I think there is a different immediacy in the access to information. If you look around, it seems like we’re living through a novel simultaneity of media. We oscillate between paper and digital. We still go to the library to retrieve old magazines, yet at the same time we use the Internet to get a video in a matter of minutes which would otherwise have taken a couple of weeks to get on VHS. There is a different temporality, where things aren’t eliminating each other. The new media isn’t killing the old, just like television didn’t kill cinema. The Internet hasn’t killed television either. So, we can operate and navigate with that kind of simultaneity. Because I’m an old guy, the thing that affected my generation was our transition between one system and the next. Because we were formed during the transition between two different worlds, we are quite comfortable navigating between both territories with a certain ease. For example, we learned how to use a library with index cards. We can transfer that capacity into how we use Google. I’m amazed sometimes when students come to me and say, “I couldn’t find anything.” Because I am 50 years old, and I’m surprisingly better than them at finding things on Google. In the end, I think


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NARRATIVES

that we still somehow transfer the serendipitous capacity to find stuff in a very dusty place. So, I think there isn’t a major difference, and the Internet allows you to create your own audience without having to submit yourself to the selection of others. Before, you were hoping the editor of Casabella or another architectural editor would publish your article. That method doesn’t work anymore: now, you can set up your own blog and use the media to somehow convey your voice and slowly accrue an audience that will probably follow you because of the quality of your content. Speaking purely of the digital sphere, do you think that there is a difficulty in distinguishing among these voices, especially across different platforms? There’s a lot of noise and buzz, but, in the end, I think that audiences aren’t stupid. They will slowly understand who is saying something interesting and who is not. Yes, we are probably all overwhelmed by a lot more information than we are used to. Every day, the quantity of data that is deposited on servers might be equivalent to what was produced for ages and ages before; most of it is pictures of cats dancing and so on. The digital is also used to supplement a physical presence at an event. For example, because I’m Italian, at one point all my media was saturated by images of the furniture fair in Milan: basically, it was only chairs. I think that the audience and the system have a way of filtering out the noise. Again, you can come back


NARRATIVES

to a certain old-fashioned concept that time acts as a very correct judge. So, things that tend to last a little longer maybe will be the ones that acquire this kind of density. I also think that, over time, if you accrue a voice, people will recognize that. One good example would be the blog by Geoff Manaugh, BLDGBLOG, which was launched quite a long time ago. Ultimately, because his texts were so much better than others and the passion was there, people started to recognize in his blog something that was much more relevant than others. I think what probably transpired is passion. If you realize that some people are really promoting ideas consistently because they are passionate about something, it is a kind of a discriminator in terms of quality. And, obviously, if someone presents material that is better in terms of the visual components, the research that was applied, and the quality of the writing then, in the long term, their efforts will pay off. As an author, you operate within a broader scope of the field of architecture. How do you establish a consistent agenda or, on the contrary, a flexible position in the different things you do? I think, unconsciously, you start to accumulate a certain kind of recurrent stylistic tropes and a language of interests that accumulate over time. In fact, with FIG Projects what we do quite often is to stop and, retrospectively, try to identify threads. It has happened to us that we find


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NARRATIVES

we had forgotten that we did the exact same project 10 years ago. The brain operates like a hard drive: when it gets full, your memory switches off and you forget. Every two or three years, we assess what we have been producing and realize that there are topics and themes that start to emerge. So, I would say that it isn’t really a conscious operation of consistency, but simply it results from the fact that you are autobiographical in your interests. Probably, the one thing that I always try to do is to simplify the language as much as possible. Using written language as a tool requires clarity and simplicity in order to convey ideas. So, I became allergic to the convoluted pleasure of academic writing. There always seems to be an exercise of proving how sophisticated you are by adding elements. What I try to do is to polish the language as much as I can. I will always try to eliminate as many words as I can and try to think what is more precise and specific. It is true that these conversations are much more present, because of social media, than they were before. For example, the idea of sending letters to a publishing house making comments was very slow, but it was also very individualized. Now there are these very noisy polemics happening online, which makes the dialogues very public. What types of exchange are now possible through the digital sphere that you have experienced through your digital presence?


NARRATIVES

I am a guy who snaps very quickly. So, when I was at Abitare, for instance, we rebranded the website and then we allowed for comments to be public. I was always engaged, and I still get involved in heated exchanges. Sometimes I apologize when they run out of control and I get myself entangled in online fights. But, in the end, I laugh because I have fun with it. I enjoy it, and it allows to me to keep myself trained in polemics. But, to be frank, I’ve never felt like the digital space for these exchanges produces anything too meaningful. It’s all rapid fire; we’re trigger happy, and we type comments on the keyboard without thinking about it. I don’t think that these exchanges are really producing anything particularly significant, compared to what you mentioned. Having a letter mailed to a magazine is a kind of exchange that is much deeper, because of the slowness and the time it takes to actually get to the point. It means that the arguments are much more sophisticated. That’s not the case anymore. Basically, when you write something to someone, it’s a little bit more than clicking on a like or on a small emoticon. So, in the end it’s very hard to decipher. RICARDO DEVESA One concern regarding the digital is that it is faster to make content public. Printing a book can take a year or more, but it only takes two hours to produce digital content. With digital media, it is easy to share and repost information and to copy and paste. There are concerns about who the owner is and


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NARRATIVES

if there is more than one owner or a team. Authorship itself becomes blurry. In our projects, we pay a lot of attention to who is producing the content. The platform urbanNext acts as a network of contributors. We always make it clear who does the graphics, and who the author is, and who the contributors are. Based on our experiences in recent years, digital media has provided us with the opportunity to try out new content before publishing in print. Through this digital network, we allow the author to find more content and talk directly with the audience. It has become a very powerful tool. Can you give us an example of the consequences of this type of tool? What benefits have you seen come from the expanded capacity of digital media? For example, a challenge we encountered while participating in the first Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism was to implement urbanNext as part of its editorial and curatorial team. We were taking part in the production of its first book, something more than a catalog, relating to the theoretical framework. We organized it as a series of three international presentations, bringing in people who belonged to our digital network. Going beyond the physicality of the biennale, three or four months later we were still adding content, extending the life of the physical event. UrbanNext became this repository or library. It provided a broader outlook on the conversation.


96_ Title FUTURE TEMPOS Published by Actar Publishers, New York, Barcelona www.actar.com Edited by Lluís Ortega Editorial team Juan Ramon Cantu Isabel Fitzpatrick-Meyers Marya Demetra Kanakis Migel Santos Aslinur Taskin With contributions by Maite Borjabad, Isabel Concheiro, Penelope Dean, Ricardo Devesa, Albert Ferré, Fabrizio Gallanti, Moisés Puente, Pier Paolo Tamburelli Copy editing and proofreading Angela Kay Bunning All rights reserved © edition: Actar Publishers © texts: their authors © design, drawings, illustrations, and photographs: This work is subject to copyright. All rights are reserved, on all or part of the material, specifically translation rights, reprinting, re-use of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilm or other media, and storage in databases. For use of any kind, permission of the copyright owner must be obtained.

Distribution Actar D, New York, Barcelona. New York 440 Park Avenue South, 17th Floor New York, NY 10016, USA T +1 2129662207 salesnewyork@actar-d.com Barcelona Roca i Batlle 2-4 08023 Barcelona, Spain T +34 933 282 183 eurosales@actar-d.com Indexing English ISBN: 9-781948-765534 PCN: Library of Congress Control Number: 2020933412 Printed in Europe Publication date: March 2020


LLUÍS ORTEGA

CONTRIBUTORS

MAITE BORJABAD ISABEL CONCHEIRO Transfer

PENELOPE DEAN Flat-Out

RICARDO DEVESA Actar/urbanNext

ALBERT FERRÉ CCA

FABRIZIO GALLANTI Fig Projects

Puente Editores/GG/2G

PIER PAOLO TAMBURELLI Baukuh/San Rocco

IN CONVERSATION WITH STUDENTS

JUAN RAMON CANTU

ISABEL FITZPATRICK-MEYERS MARYA DEMETRA KANAKIS MIGEL SANTOS

ASLINUR TASKIN

LLUÍS ORTEGA

MOISÉS PUENTE

FUTURE TEMPOS

Art Institute of Chicago

FUTURE TEMPOS CONVERSATIONS ON ARCHITECTURE ACROSS TIME AND MEDIA

Profile for Actar Publishers

Future Tempos: Conversations on Architecture Across Time and Media  

Edited by Lluís Ortega & Editorial Team: Juan Ramon Cantu, Isabel Fitzpatrick-Meyers, Marya Demetra Kanakis, Migel Santos, Aslinur Taskin Th...

Future Tempos: Conversations on Architecture Across Time and Media  

Edited by Lluís Ortega & Editorial Team: Juan Ramon Cantu, Isabel Fitzpatrick-Meyers, Marya Demetra Kanakis, Migel Santos, Aslinur Taskin Th...

Profile for actar
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