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Bnieuws Volume 52 Issue 03 05 February 2019 Contact Room BG.Midden.140 Julianalaan 134 2628 BL Delft bnieuws-bk@tudelft.nl Editorial Team Elena Rossoni Jan Pruszynski Jack Oliver Petch Sam Eadington Contributors Badar Haq @unfolding_something Tommi Hilsee Rogier Bos @UrbanGoals Paolo De Martino

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Cover The Bnieuws team, inspired by Eva ten Velden Printed by Druk. Tan Heck 1,100 copies Š All rights reserved. Although all content is treated with great care, errors may occur.

WELCOME 04

#Bnieuwd

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Fyre Festival

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Modernism's Secret in the East

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Freddie Portrayed

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No Bombing, No Heavy Petting, Just Stay in Your Lanes

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Untitled67.pdf, @unfolding_something

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Spider-Verse

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To Be Identified As Such

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TOK-concept

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Lost Youth, @UrbanGoals

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Artifact: Coffee is a Serious Thing (At Least In Naples)

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Changing the Narrative

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Podcast, Archi-Podcast

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Land Between Tags


Editorial

TAG

Purposefully aiming to be vague, we chose this month’s theme for the myriad of different interpretations a tag can take. You see them when cataloguing, or identifying objects in a museum; you see them spray painted on the side of walls, denoting an author; children play a game of ‘tag’ on the street, so it begs the question: what do these things all have in common? In these, ever-social times, we rely on tags to get our content shared far and wide – but what are the dangers lurking behind closed doors for such a ‘labelling revolution’? We sent our series of prompts to our selection of pen-pals and received great correspondence back. Ranging from modernisms’ atonement in the middle east to examples of entrepreneurship in BK, this issue of bnieuws even looks at how sinister the searching for architecture questions feel. Our Editorial team has been busy too, with Elena’s investigations into the legacy of Queen’s Freddie Mercury after his portrayal in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, but also looking at the one-of-a-kind, artistic intervention of the controversial monument Valle de los Caidos in Madrid. Jan suggests that you should be listening to podcasts when washing the dishes, and has become obsessed with Sony pictures’ Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Sam has been musing on the abundance of pools when mammals live on land and then Jack returns with a closing story all about what terror lives in-between the tags. Post the winter break, it is fair to say that we’ve all been dealing with deadlines and dodging responsibilities when sprinting to the finish line. December feels like a distant memory despite being a few weeks ago and, despite the snowy weather, summer feels like it’s right around the corner. We hope that you savour this issue with a nice hot beverage and snack, comfy clothes and compelling playlist of your favourite tunes. But remember, as the age-old saying goes: if a tree falls in the middle of the forest and it didn’t get shared online, did it really happen?

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#Bnieuwd Symposium / ROBOUWTICS | Robotics in Architecture This year’s BouT symposium discusses the usage of robots for fabrication, assembly, optimisation, and interactive design in the built environment. Featuring presentations from ICD Stuttgart, Foster+Partners, and other researchers active in the field of robotics.

BKCity / ARGUS space, bg.oost.500 / 20.02.2019 04

To do / ART ROTTERDAM Rotterdam / 07.02.2019 - 10.02.2019 / artrotterdam.com

To Do / OBJECT ROTTERDAM The OBJECT fair is a platform for the latest limited editions and one-offs from well-known and upcoming designers working in different design disciplines and with various materials. OBJECT is thĂŠ place where the cutting edge between design, crafts, fashion, architecture and art becomes evident and it is a must-see for collectors, professionals and other designminded people. Participants can only enter by invitation since OBJECT is a curated fair, which means designers are carefully selected to keep the right balance between well-known names and upcoming talents, different design disciplines and materials, applied design and more autonomous installations. HAKA building, Vierhavensstraat 38-42, Rotterdam. / 08.02.2019 - 09.02.2019 / objectrotterdam.com

Feb. 20th, 17:30 @ARGUS bg.ooost.500

To do / ARGUS SEMESTER OPENING Get to know ARGUS the study association of the Master Track Architecture at the ARGUS Semester opening. It is an open forum where you can get information about the projects organised by ARGUS and join the working groups behind these events. Come by for a good start into the new semester with ARGUS and get you know more active people in the faculty while having a chill beer and some snacks. Everybody is welcome.

ARGUS semester opening

BKCity / Oostserre / 28.02.2019 / 12:30 - 18:00


#Bnieuwd To Do / MUSEUM NIGHT ROTTERDAM. Dozens of museums and cultural institutions open their doors to the public during Museumnight010 and you get access with just one ticket (17,50 euro). A great way to see lots of museums in the city - but make sure to plan your night! Rotterdam / 02.03.2019 / 20:00 - 01:00 /

www.museumnacht010.nl

To do / SHARE/WORK OUT Join us on for our next WORK OUT session. We're meeting to share our work and discuss it with others. Bring yourself &/or any project you’ve been working on to show and tell, listen & discuss! BKCity / top of orange stairs, Ooostserre / 14.02.19 / 13.00-14.00

To Do / STUKAFEST. At Stukafest, student rooms in 13 cities will be transformed into theatres where music, dance, stand-up comedy, poetry, literature and theatre blooms. A booming performance in between the college books and crates of beer, an intimate recitation under a bunk bed, or a comedian at the dining table. A dazzling performance surrounded by bottles of beer and textbooks,an intimate literary recital underneath a bunk bed, dinner with a comedian. This festival will surprise you on the 27st of February with a great diversity in acts in the nicest student rooms in Delft! Delft / 27.02.2019

Latest / INSTAGRAM Finding your feed a little empty? Bnieuws is more social than ever, featuring student projects, social events and images of wherever the editors have been adventuring to recently. @bnieuws on instagram / search Bnieuws on facebook.

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Learn

FYRE FESTIVAL Words Jack Oliver Petch, Images Netfllix

Fyre Festival was a failed event in 2017 that was created as a marketing tactic to boost traction of the talent booking platform ‘Fyre’, owned by Billy McFarland, a social entrepreneur from New Jersey. What happened is a tale of deception, false identity and manipulation that I haven’t seen since I studied Shakespeare.


I watched the documentary Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened on Netflix and I can’t stop thinking about it. All of it. The documentary details not just the story of the festival, but the players involved, made from footage shot at the time, interviews with relevant people and screenshots/ images of the online content made. It is a really compelling collage of information and I would recommend watching however you can. There is a second documentary made by American entertainment company Hulu, Fyre Fraud, which as of writing I haven’t seen, but trust me – by the time this is published I’ll have gone full spiral and be researching everything I can on this disaster. This column is just one week short of being a Bnieuws inspirations/obsessions article. It’s an age-old premise: get enough of the right people to talk about something and eventually you’ll create interest in whatever you’re creating. Here, around 400 ‘social influencers’ posted a single orange tile onto their instagram pages, without crediting that it was paid, to advertise the event. That initial buzz inspired thousands of people to part with their money, selling out their tickets within 48 hours, being sold a promise of a festival on a remote island, complete with flights, food, and accommodation - all of which was never there. The ‘social entrepreneur’, Billy McFarland, was a somewhat genius in creating businesses that specifically target privileged (rich) people’s ‘FOMO’ – or, Fear Of Missing Out – through social manipulation and connectivity. Fyre wasn’t his first company and this desire of image, wealth and lifestyle that we see so frequently stated as being the downfall of the ‘millennial generation’, it isn’t the primary antagonist here. FOMO, as a concept, is used as raw currency: inflating self worth by projecting a desirable image, and everything that comes with that. Fyre festival, and the team behind it, capitalised on FOMO and the whole project went very, very wrong. In a tale of two acts, the promotional material for the festival was a seemingly impossible reality. The

< left, the reality; right, a different reality.

biggest names from the world of influencers and modelling like Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner were flown to a private island to drink, dance and party, all whilst being recorded for the promotional video. They had no idea what they were filming or promoting, other than an image of a good time, and (with some clever tricks in the editing room) it worked. Following the promotion, was delivering an impossible vision against a series of ill-planning choices. There was no way to physically fit the amount of people they had sold tickets on the island; there was no time to arrange what they promised and Billy constantly borrowed more and more money from his investors to brute force the project through to its bitter end. A perfect Shakespearian tragedy. I won’t go into every element of the story here, but one of the most powerful things is the way the film reflects in the last scenes that the initial promotional shoot in many ways was the festival, that everything else was just a fallout from selling an impossible dream: “Fyre festival happened twice”. In this bleak timeline, the image they were selling was as much a tangible and real thing as the actual event they invited people to. Here, the image > the reality. Just like Shakespeare, this disaster acts as a cautionary tale for the spectator: the tragedy that happens when we, collectively as a society, listen to the people selling us an image without questioning motive – or even if that image is reality. I’ll admit this is a tentative link, but we can extract this message back to our own professions, where we create stories of people, buildings and infrastructure. The ‘architect’ with a capital ‘A’ is known to dictate how people will feel, move and experience their visions, especially in education, through the power of influence. You can’t tell me our renders don’t feature glamorous people enjoying impossible spaces developments thrive on images of smiling kids running through natural gardens. The only difference is that these folk were called out on their lies. #fyrefest #fyrestarter #netflix #bikinibody2017

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Captions working from top left to bottom right. View of the city during monsoon (source: voat.co); Map of twin cities Islamabad-Rawalpindi (source: Kreutsmann H.); City composition and its volumes (source: Ahmed Zaib K.); Pedestrian street (source: Frantzeskakis M.); Shah Faisal mosque faรงade (source: Flickr); Interior of Shah Faisal mosque (source: Batool Nasir); Thin border between Islamabad and Rawalpindi (source: Reddit); Slums in the empty pockets of the neighbourhoods (source: Shah Nawaz Mohal); Jinnah avenue in the central district (source: Flickr).


Learn

MODERNISM’S SECRET IN THE EAST Words Badar Haq

We had left. Left the crowd behind. Left the people, chasing cars and vendors that offered their services and goods at every traffic light in the city. Noises, scents and rhythms of colours that adorned the spaces. All the things that incented our senses with joy and indulgence. We took off slowly, elevating ourselves and leaving the habituated world behind.

The journey was not filled with loneliness. Indeed, trees were keeping us company, just recovering from the heavy monsoon showers, purged from the dirt of a long, dry summer. Trees that prevised life, that were considered the lungs of the city. We went higher, came closer to entities that were not visible for the human eyes. Once at top, we were surrounded by the beauty of the nature God had created. Glancing towards an existence man had created from scratch, The city of Islamabad. Settlements tend to grow slowly – planned or organically - into towns or cities in long terms. Occasionally, cities are created from scratch by putting certain lines on a thin sheet of paper. These lines are a determination of a certain philosophy carried out by the planners trying to translate these into something tangible. Chandigarh (Indian) and Brasilia (Brazil) are great examples of planned cities of the 20th century, both a physical translation of modernism on an urban scale. The works of Lúcio Costa (Brasilia) and Le Corbusier (Chandigarh) got worldwide recognition for their works. However, little is known about another planned city in the east from the same era; Islamabad. The new capital city of Pakistan was a great work of Constantinos Doxiadis, based on the same philosophy of his aforementioned colleagues, with a slight difference. After gaining independence from the British

in 1947, the country started developing rapidly from the 1950s. The port city and capital of that time, Karachi, was characterized by great expansion and industrialisation. The developments attracted people throughout the country who tried to seek their fortunes in the city designated as ‘The City of Lights’. From a certain moment, the government started considering moving the capital to the hinterland located in the northern part of the country; Karachi, situated in the southern coastal areas, was considered as vulnerable. Furthermore, the government was hoping to get less interference from the larger enterprises in the south and move to centre point more upwards. Constantinos Doxiadis – a Greek architect and city planner – was appointed in 1959 as advisor and later town planner by the Federal Capital Commission. The new-born country was trying to position its new identity as a modern Islamic Republic. The former Mughal Empire seemed to be disillusioned from the past and untouchable followed by a colonial era, implementing standards that blurred the purpose of their own existence. It was time for something different that would reflect their identity, characterised by and respecting a culture that had shaped them for centuries, in a contemporary era. Located in the northern part of the county – at that time fifteen kilometres from the city of Rawalpindi – and

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surrounded partly by mountains, this spot was considered invulnerable (figure 2). Furthermore, the future capital city would border the centuries old Grand Trunk road (Urdu: ‫) مظعا کڑس‬, as this route running from Calcutta (via New Delhi, Lahore and Peshawar) to Kabul was considered as an essential arterial trade route for more than two millennia. Plan of Doxiadis Doxiadis considered five elements as compelling for the conception of the masterplan; patterns of natural landscape, continuous traffic flow, unity of scale, expansion and engagement with the existing elements – such as the city of Rawalpindi.

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The two main highways – Kashmir Highway and Islamabad Highway - formed the main frame for the city structure and future metropolitan area, aligned to the Margalla Hills (figure 1) in the north and other existing plateaus on site. Within this frame, a grid of 2 by 2 kilometres was laid down. The grid would imping the boulevards running through the city. This same grid defines the outlines of the neighbourhoods that would fit in the grid. Some exceptions are visible though; a few blocks in the grid are serving a different purpose, such as a city park, university campus or medical centre. Other exceptions are the blocks of the government centre – Red Zone - in the northern part, housing the parliament, ministries and other governmental organisations. These blocks are shaped differently, as the main roads are directed by the contours of the existing landscape. The neighbourhoods are all constructed with the same formula. Every neighbourhood is divided into four equal parts, specifying different communities of each neighbourhoods ( Zone I till IV). The socioeconomic background of each community may differ, allowing lower income groups to be part of the society. However, planners were convinced that possible social issues should be prevented by avoiding intermixing without gradual integration. In the centre of each

neighbourhood, a fifth zone (Zone V) is added with a civic centre housing different facilities like educational institutes, medical centres, shops and food court, to serve the neighbourhoods’ inhabitants and make them self-sufficient. However, different recipes have been used in order to diversify habitations; each neighbourhood is shaped differently in terms of density, varying between 20,000 to 40,000 dwellers, routing, architecture and the types of functions, while the principles of spatial planning are similar. Notable is the embracement of the natural elements which are still visible on the ground layer. In the strong, rationally planned neighbourhoods, creeks evolving from Margalla Hills are infiltrating the neighbourhoods like veins, preserving the existence of mammals other than humans (figure 3). As the main transportation in the city is provided by an intricate road network, the neighbourhoods are characterised partly by pedestrian streets. In the drafts, most of the roads are designed as cul-de-sacs and mainly serve as access roads. In-between, a maze of pedestrian streets would allow the inhabitants to roam around freely (figure 4). It is not only the presence of nature that has something soothing yet vibrant. Most of the landmarks — helpful in wayfinding — and buildings from the past are a contemporary translation of oriental Islamic architecture, characterised by modernism’s minimalism. A great example is the Shah Faisal Mosque (figure 5 & 6) completed in 1987. The place of worship, designed by the Turkish architect Vedat Dakolay, is considered one of the major landmarks in the city. It is notable how the outlines of the mosque are not aligned to the grid of the city, as the mosque is directed towards the Qibla (Mecca), the direction Muslims face while praying. Modernism is not only present in the west; it can be found elsewhere. In the city of Islamabad, modernism was probably not the main element, but the modernisation of the existing culture and the engagement of Ekistics – science of community and human settlements coined by Doxiadis – characterized


the developments of the city. People often tend to believe that modernism on an urban scale has failed miserably. The city of Islamabad was designed throughout multiple scales and layers, preserving the human scale. This had preserved a sense of community in a rationally planned city. At the same time, the spirit of place â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Genius Loci â&#x20AC;&#x201C; was preserved, as the planners took the existence of natural elements, culture and climate into account. By integrating the sense of art and ornamentation (in moderation), the city felt familiarised by the users. The city is not just a rationally planned production machine. But there is sense of life that made this place humane. Modernism often neglects the existence of the Genius Loci and tends to build without understanding the essence of the place. This was the case in the developments of Bijlmermeer, a suburban satellite town of Amsterdam that did not take the spirit of the place and culture of users into account. Islamabad is a city designed for the future, whether connecting to the Grand Trunk Road linking to the capital cities of neighbouring countries or having a certain formula to expand he city according to a certain method. However, the future is unpredictable. No one had foreseen military coups of that time, or terrorism that would haunt the country for more than a decade. National Monument (Source: Flickr; Weng Wei)

As the city started expanding in a pace the government could not keep up with, slums had appeared in the outskirts of the city. And even when the borders of Islamabad and Rawalpindi met, their relationship remained complicated (figure 7). In the empty pockets of planned neighbourhoods, new working class communities gradually appeared (figure 8), like organic changes mushrooming in the city. However, the developments of the last 10 years have been devastating for the city and its users. The municipality has failed to provide affordable public transportation or promote the use bicycles, resulting in massive traffic jams on the boulevards. In response to this, several boulevards have been turned into highways characterised by underpasses, fly-overs and pedestrian bridges, destroying the beauty of the boulevard once defining this cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s character (figure 9: before). New high rise buildings started to appear that have no link to the context; even after the country started recovering from the turbulent past, the developments are still precarious. While looking at those high rise buildings and civic centres along the boulevards in the middle of the city I keep asking myself one question over and over: Does Islamabad even have a city centre? Do you agree with the article? Share your thoughts at @bnieuws on Instagram or Facebook.

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Speak

FREDDIE PORTRAYED Words Elena Rossoni

Along the release of the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, the legendary figure of Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the band Queen, resurfaces. The movie, even though it includes spectacular performances, left many with big question marks on the protagonist’s portrayal and a possible obscurity on aspects concerning his personal life. In this article, we will take a look on how Mercury was perceived by his contemporaries but also his own fellow band members, who had the final say about the movie.

I have always thought that within our generation, Queen surprisingly never got the recognition it deserved. Things might change though after the release of the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, a story of Queen’s ascent to musical world dominance during the 70’s and 80’s. 12

It would be impossible to place the band in a particular music genre. They played everything, and that is what made them so unique. They were the kind of band that can make you laugh and cry throughout the course of a single album. Their music is about expressing oneself, whether it is political opinions, personal aspirations or

inner battles. Queen taught the world how everyone just wants to break free, how friends will be friends to rely on, and that it’s okay when you sometimes go slightly mad! Of course everybody needs somebody to love (but, well, too much love can indeed kill you); in the end though, the show must go on. The band was the odd one out from the typical British music of their time, comprising three acclaimed academics and one incredibly talented, daring and flamboyant arts student: Freddie Mercury. Freddie’s style was, and still is, unbeatable. His macho-looking yet


fairy tale-like performances are forever engrained in the minds of his lucky spectators. When asked about the band’s name, ‘because we are regal’, he liked to say. But Freddie is not only known for his outstanding performances, but the incredible individual hiding beneath it. And that is what the movie Bohemian Rhapsody aimed to show… partly. The movie took eight years from the initial idea to cinema release. Initially, English comedian Sacha Baron Cohen was considered to play the protagonist. Baron, however, was keen on portraying the full scope of Freddie’s private life; both his close relationships and wild behaviour. Instead, band members Brian May and Roger Taylor wanted to create a more ‘family friendly’ movie, giving less value to Freddie’s extreme lifestyle. This dispute between actor and band members led the latters to reconsider Baron portraying Freddie, casting American-Egyptian actor Rami Malek instead. The excuse given to Cohen’s release was that the movie strove to ‘protect their legacy as a band’, according to Brian May and Roger Taylor. They also said Cohen did not take the role as seriously as he should. Now, even if the band is right and Cohen would have given extreme emphasis on Freddie’s wild life (he insisted on portraying one of the parties where people with dwarfism walked around with plates full of cocaine on their heads), it does say a lot about their intentions. If their argument for creating a more ‘family friendly movie’ is to censor Freddie and humanise his character, why hide an important part of his life from the public? And after all, why would this be a reason to ‘ruin’ the band’s legacy? The incredible talent in their music should have nothing to do with what a band member did in his personal life. It is as if Freddie’s life was somehow degrading for them, which is absolutely not the case. If the movie was to really get to know him as a human being, this extreme lifestyle would better justify his bombastic performances and extravagant style on stage.

May I just add here that this family-friendly approach has also reduced the PG rating of the movie to 13 years old, as it would have been higher with more explicit content. This allowed for more people and occasions to watch it – and well, the bigger the audience, the bigger the box office returns. What a great and happy coincidence for the band-producers, right? Don’t get me wrong though. The result was a successful movie, with Rami Malek’s resemblance to Freddie being uncanny, in a sort of genuine and honest manner, without soullessly mimicking his movements or way of speech; he portrayed a real cool cat. Most big fans of the band tend to tear up especially during the Live Aid scene, where Malek-Freddie gives his all, doing justice to Freddie’s most well-known performance. But returning to my initial concern of Queen remaining unknown to millennials, Freddie’s attitude – shaping the band’s image – will always be relevant, always going against predefined currents of what should be done or heard, whether about music or not. Censorship was not a word in his dictionary. And indeed, avoiding to thoroughly portray a situation due to possible ‘inappropriate’ (says who?) information risks future representations, entering a dishonest, non-transparent world with the excuse being tagged ‘improper’. ‘So what?’ my older relative said to me while discussing this issue. ‘Does this detail of not showing his deranged party attitude really matter to you?’ It certainly does, Auntie. It certainly does. #queen #freddiemercury #bnieuwsgoestothemovies Sources: Rolling Stone, Time, NME Where do you stand in the debate between uncensored honesty and ‘appropriateness’ ?

< Freddie Mercury performing (a) in 1970, (b) in 1977 and (c) in 1986 (sources: NPR & Harper’s Bazaar).

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NO BOMBING, NO HEAVY PETTING, JUST STAY IN YOUR LANES. Words Sam Eadington Images Sam Eadington, David Hockney & Edward Ruscha I thought I knew where I stood with swimming pools - ideally outside of them, on firm land - but over the course of my graduation project Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve found myself thrown in the deep end of a cultural waterworld, bathing in symbolism and drifting around lazy rivers of ambiguity.


My earliest memories of swimming pools take me back to the municipal pools of the north of England where I’d march in line with my classmates from the school gates to the local leisure centre, towel rolled under arm, speedos wrapped up tightly inside. Crammed into the reception area surrounded by comic sans notices about water based infections and shower etiquette, the class would be split by gender and each group sent into the corresponding changing room where sand coloured tiles enveloped us. The surroundings may have been banal, but turning around to see a middle aged man’s penis at eye level was not. Neither were clumps of wet hair stuck to the floor, nor the used plasters discarded in the urinal still baring traces of the wound they no longer conceal. The smell of chlorine. That hellish echo. The humiliation of being told my doggy paddle didn’t constitute a legitimate swimming stroke, thus condemning me to a term in the baby pool with bright orange armbands rattling around my twiggy biceps to further highlight the fact that, unlike my superior classmates, I wouldn’t survive falling into a fast flowing river. Working on a project on the Costa del Sol in Spain it’s impossible to ignore swimming pools, they’re everywhere. Having lived in the area when I was young I could never get to grips with the enthusiasm people showed for these glorified azure bathtubs. Every time a family member would visit I’d be dragged to some poolside for hours on end, or even worse, a day at the aqua park. I was developing a resentment for pools that crossed international boundaries. Being cynical comes easy to me, so for my graduation project I endeavoured to challenge myself and look beyond the boredom, humiliation and disgust I associate with swimming pools. I will look for something positive because that’s what good happy people do. Good happy people love pools. I scrolled around the area on Google Maps looking down on all the villas with their own little pool in their own little garden. The aerial images are pretty good resolution in this part of the world so I zoomed right in to look at the mosaics of dolphins, harps and English football club badges that are stuck to the bottom of the pools. I looked over hundreds of

pools, each of which requiring fairly substantial amounts of water, chemicals and energy to simply exist, and saw nobody swimming in any of the pools. So people don’t like swimming? I get that, we are land mammals and should only enter water to wash, or in life saving scenarios. So why even bother with a pool? Status, clearly. This line of exploration wasn’t taking me towards the positivity I craved. If there’s one thing that disgusts me more than clumps of peeled sunburned skin floating towards me in a swimming pool, it’s the flaunting of excessive wealth. I continued to look down from space and did find myself mildly entertained by the shapes of these pools. Kidneys, rectangles, ovals and figures of 8, then some circles, freeform blobs, Roman baths and the occasional attempt at a river. Their forms were bringing a smile to my face, which makes sense as they are primarily designed to be seen over being swam in. I drew 111 of them, taking time to follow their every corner and curve. Once the drawing escaped from the scaleless screen into the physical world it became even more interesting. There was a clear discrepancy between two types of pools; small ones and big ones. The small ones belonged to private detached villas and sit as the headline act of the artificial landscape of the garden. The big ones are a lot more interesting. Although they initially appear to simply be scaled up versions of the private villa pools they quickly revealed themselves to be a lot more. Rather than one pool for one house, these are the one pool of a number of blocks of many apartments. They are about communality rather than individualism, yet sold with the idea that the owner of each apartment sharing the pool can confidently boast ‘I have a swimming pool!’. If you were to compare the gated communities of apartment blocks to an urban plan, the pool would be the public square. It is here that people can meet outside of their own houses, often spontaneously and exist not as an individual but part of a wider community, even if that community is encircled by a chainlink fence. Interestingly these symbols of wealth, leisure and luxury that are aimed at creating an escape from the context, do in fact link back the historical context of southern Spain. From the early Roman villas to the Moorish courtyard houses, and even the grand palaces of the Islamic rulers such as

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the Alhambra, water has been at the centre of domestic social life for many hundreds of years. Not only have pools - in one form or another - been the social nucleus of domestic life, they have also been the primary piece of technology employed to make the intense summer heat a little more tolerable. Although the primary functions of the pool connects back through many different ruling empires of Andalucia, the way pools look today is certainly different. Today the image of the pool is Instagram shorthand for ‘enjoy the snow back home, fuckers, I’m in paradise’. The vivid blue of the pool is important and it seems to directly contrast with the greyness and mundanity of the day to day life many are trying to escape. Looking from above the variation of different blues, even a few purples build up to form a rather pretty but scattered mosaic. But lurking within that mosaic are the green pieces. The abandoned pools filled with stagnant water and who knows what different life forms, serving as a reminder that these symbols of luxury and leisure are only a missed mortgage payment away from revealing something a lot more sinister. David Hockney is one of many artists to have been inspired the ambiguities of swimming pools. His

Most famous painting ’A Bigger Splash’ (above) suggests that luxury is something empty and transient, with the pool at the centre of the message. This painting has spawned other pool focused art, most obviously the 2015 film A Bigger Splash by director Luca Guadagnino. The swimming pool is the protagonist of this film, initially as a stage set for social and sexual drama, but ultimately as scene of a murder. The pool is drained and the peeling paint of the empty bowl surrounds a white corpse. This message of the pool as a place of joy that turns sour is echoed in Ed Ruscha’s photographic series Nine Swimming Pools and a Broken Glass (right). From the allure of the cool water and thrill of diving boards to the visceral reaction brought on by the broken glass, luxury is portrayed as brittle, waiting to shatter and stab into the sole of your bare foot. As I sit and ponder the role of the pool in my project, I’m now aware that I’m not simply dealing with a place for a pleasant slipsh splosh. They are a threshold between who we are and who we want to be, a seductive portal to our darkest desires, but for some of us those desires are perhaps better left unfulfilled. #SwimmingPools #Luxury #DavidHockney #EdRuscha


Words & Images Set @unfolding_something


Inspirations / Obsessions

SPIDER-VERSE Words Jan Pruszynski Images SONY

I have started writing this piece as a review of the new animated “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” film, however it is as well a critique of other superhero movies. I have a huge problem with most of them and I honestly don’t remember the last time I left a cinema wanting more. This one, however, exceeded all my expectations for a genre that I have pretty much written off already. For me it wasn’t only a great superhero movie, most of all it was the best Spider-Man movie I could have hoped for. I honestly loved everything about it.


Since Marvel started their superhero movie series (Marvel Cinematic Universe, MCU) with Iron-Man in 2008, we have seen at least one superhero movie every year (with a notable exception of 2010) and the numbers just keep growing — with three superhero movies released just in 2018 and another three premiering this year. And that’s just Marvel, I’m not even including the new DC movies. After so many of them, I’m just plainly bored and I stopped looking forward to them. They all seem so similar when it comes to script, type of humour or even the visual side (with a bit of an exception in The Guardians of the Galaxy and Thor: Ragnarok). Most of all, they all have very bland characters, which don’t make me invested in their story and what happens to them. It’s kind of hard to empathise with Captain America (a super-soldier), Thor (a Norse god) or even Iron-Man (a super rich guy, a genius, flying around in a metal armour). That’s probably the reason why I have always loved the character of Spider-Man. He was the only superhero character whose normal life was at least as important as their superhero exploits. No matter who was under the mask, they were always portrayed as young characters with enormous amount of responsibility suddenly placed on them. This makes Peter Parker, or lately — Miles Morales — a relatable, painfully human character struggling to balance his life with his duties and live up to the enormous responsibilities thrust onto him by the world. There’s always a struggle between their normal and superhero lives. This human side of Spider-Man, including e.g. problems with paying rent, is what makes him such a popular character. He’s already been a subject of 6 feature films, nearly a dozen TV shows, 35 video games, thousands of comic book issues and countless internet memes. There’s even been several different Spider-Man breakfast cereals.

Because of all of that, before going to the cinema I was quite sceptic. I was afraid that it was going to be yet another movie which, in my opinion, was not going to do justice to the character. This was also supposed to be yet another ‘origin story’ of a character and most probably a beginning of a new franchise. But somehow the movie managed to exceed all my expectations at pretty much every turn and I started to wonder: what is it about this movie that makes it stand out so much among all the other superhero movies? It being an animation makes some things so much easier of course, however at the same time it just nails so many different things about what a superhero film is, while all the other Marvel (and DC) films seem to just miss the point. Story After seeing the trailers, I was pretty sure that the movie was going to be a wild ride, however probably one that completely doesn’t make any sense. Well, I was wrong. Somehow, even considering a Looney Tunes- and anime-based characters, which are drawn in a completely different style, the whole movie still makes quite a lot of sense (as far as superhero movies go, so don’t expect real science.) I was worried that the whole Spider-Verse concept and the introduction of so many characters (both hero and villain) is going to make the movie confusing and, what’s worse, overshadow Miles Morales’, the main protagonist’s, story. However, it is first and foremost the story of how he became Spider-Man. With the exception of Spider-Man 2 there was no movie till now which embraced the character as deeply as the new Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Somehow the core ideas which were always behind the character have been pushed further than ever here and it turned out really great.

< Promotional materials of the “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” film (Sony)

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Humour and drama A lot of movies, such as the new Star Wars trilogy, don’t seem to understand how to balance drama and humour, with funny scenes following a very dramatic ones and completely killing the tone set just a moment earlier. In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, there’s actually a lot of both, but it’s placed perfectly throughout the movie making the humour and drama support each other in all the perfect moments.

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Art-style I’ve never seen an animation come so close to its comic book origins as Spider-Man: Into the SpiderVerse. It looks like something half-way between a 3D and 2D animation, blended perfectly together and using graphic techniques known from comic books. It’s as if comic book panels were literally animated. They have even used a technique called “chromatic aberration”, which blurs the elements which are not in focus and makes the colours and edges drift over each other. It’s drawn from the imperfect comicbook printing techniques that give the illusion of blur. There are no computer generated blur effects, it’s all drawn from graphic techniques to create the illusion of space and distance. Overall, I’d say that this movie is a true definition of a “living” comic book and I wouldn’t be surprised if it gets an Oscar for the best animation (I sincerely hope so, we need more movies like this one!) Directing Apart from the obvious art-style, I was amazed by the amount of thought placed into every single small element of this movie. The scene composition, framing, everything was just plainly beautiful and... meaningful. I could write a separate article just about this part of the movie. There was an amount of thought put into how some scenes were filmed that I haven’t seen in years. For example, there’s a very important scene showing one of the characters falling. However, the camera is rotated so it looks like they are actually rising. And they were. Rising and growing, as a character. There’s sooo many

more of those, that for a person like me, who loves analysing films from the directing side, it was a constant search for the deeper meaning behind some filming choices. Characters As I wrote earlier, I was slightly afraid that the main character’s story is going to be overwhelmed by all the side characters. Again, nothing like that happens. Each side character has a role to play and they’re not just ‘flat’ — unless they’re supposed to be just that. Dialogues Marvel got us used to funny puns and one-liners but apart from that there’s not much good dialogue. In this movie, however, there’s something to the flow of simple conversations, which completely sets it apart from most animated films (and other superhero movies for that matter). This, together with superb voice-acting makes the dialogues feel so naturalistic that it feels like a real conversation. Verdict In the genre of animation and superhero movies, I don’t think there was yet anything as good as the Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse movie. This movie almost had no right to be as good as it is — trying to blend this many tones, with such a convoluted story. But somehow the movie manages to take advantage of all elements which could have been its downfall. At the same time it’s interesting that this movie probably wouldn’t have worked so well 10 years ago. Luckily the over-saturation of superhero movies got us used to a certain dose of craziness, which this movie is full of. I sincerely hope that there’s going to be a sequel, however this one has set the bar extremely high for any followers in the genre.

Have you seen the movie? What did you think? Do you agree with editor Jan’s opinion? Let us know! #spider-man #spider-verse #spider #movie


Speak

TO BE IDENTIFIED AS SUCH Words Tommi Hilsee

I want to talk about identities not as a noun, not as a static fixed, a stagnant item, but as a verb— a string in motion, and more importantly, as something that is given to you, whether you like it or not. Identity is a verb in that it’s very thingness as a thing is made via the act of identifying, tagging, defining, another. To be an identity is intrinsically to be given that identity— an identity which is given— to be identified as such, to navigate the world with that given identity. To be identified is supremely political— it is supremely about power— the power of definition— the power of subjugation. To subjugate the other, the other first must be identified as such and such other, having such and such characteristics, to create those characteristics by the act of saying that they are there, by making an inventory of the things one can be, things to be classified by. They say it is there, so therefore it is there, and therefore you are that. You are fixed to this thing in this location, in this socialized body, in this confined environment— the identified is always the other, the other condemns itself by the invented traits [“the other is less because that is who the other is”] — traits that are exploitable, condemnable— (im)proper(tied).

But if identities can be fixed, they can also be unfixed. The definer, the imperialist requires metrics to subjugate. The State doesn’t like it when you are in motion. identify to disidentify (political act) // ‘You call me that, then I will be that, to no longer be defined by you as that, to be that thing’ // ++++ “Like disidentification itself, passing can be a third modality, where a dominant structure is co-opted, worked on and against. The subject who passes can be simultaneously identifying with and rejecting a dominant form.“ wear it to unwear it, being in something, on the edge of something part ways in part ways not in in all the things simultaneously, while also not being in any of them. deformational by being aimless, formless, it erodes by being un governable unclassifiable incalculable (a dance with an other improvisation, not technique) deterritorialize, then reoccupy - - - - - in attunement with your friend, you become untraceable as instability, responding to each other, in love, in friendship, in the ever shifting (dis)identity //// the dildo pre-dates the penis ///// (to inhabit the very thing you oppose) — to be in everything and everywhere and outside altogether everywhere all at once— — to be in literal contradiction and hostility to yourself as a femme and as a misogynist— — the process of becoming is to sort through that— there is no moment of decision or reckoning where you say ‘I am that and now I pursue this fixed line to this fixed point to be that thing in that place and then remain static in that identity’. none of it is understood or coordinated, it is un-locatable and there is no origin, no place to return to even, only our residence

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Speak

TOK-CONCEPT Words & Images Rogier Bos

Along with my architectural studies, the last couple of years I have also become a young entrepreneur running my own small business. It was my architectural background that allowed me to think beyond the design phase. Producing and bringing to the market a sustainable and socially oriented product that comes out of a local small-scale production is the whole mindset on which TOK- concept is established upon.

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It all started the day I broke the zipper of my long-established leather pencil case. As an architecture student, a pencil case has become my everyday buddy I take everywhere with me, wherever I go. But in Spring of 2014 my old pencil case’s zipper stopped going back and forward. At that moment, I grabbed my sketch book and started to design my own pencil case. I decided to go for a wooden design, as within my Bachelor workshop at the university in Switzerland, wood was the only material available and was the one I had the most knowledge on how to work with. After several prototypes including a hinge, push button, drawer or a lid, it appeared to me that none of them were convincing. Therefore, I chose to go for the most minimal concept: a box without technical pieces to make it work and a hair band that I could borrow from my sister. After a couple of months of personal use, I got a lot of positive feedback on my creation, questions and even a couple of requests for orders. This gave me the idea of taking my pencil case design and making a product production. At that point, plenty of basic questions came into my mind like: ‘how do I deal with a bigger production ?’, ‘how much funding do I need?’ and ‘how and where am I going to sell my products?’. I had a small chat with a friend in the professional field who told me : “Take a bit of your savings and make a bunch of them. The risk you take is minimal. Just do it !”

Both the adrenaline and the fear helped answer my questions, step by step with the process. I paid a visit to a carpentry workshop to get more information from a professional on how to bring my product into manufacture, knowing that it would be a small scale production. The TOK-case had to be glued, its band should be sewed and then had to be oiled as a whole piece. I discovered that it would be impossible for a young entrepreneur like me to arrive at the final product with each of these steps being accomplished by individual professionals, as the cost of the production would have been too high for such a small amount of products. However, the carpenter - within his network – immediately sent me to a 'social workplace'. This place brought together craftsmen from different fields under the same roof and were assisting people with special needs to take part within the professional life. The perfect space for my TOK-case! Thus, the product got not only a social character, but was locally made with a local material – which, in my opinion, are significant aspects of a product's design that should be taken into account nowadays. Together, we worked as a team, including the head of the workshop, to design the last elements to make the production efficient. One month later I dropped by the factory and saw tree trunks coming in, the whole chain of production from A to Z was revealed in front of my eyes. Very soon, my final products were stacked and ready to be sold.

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It was indescribable to see incredible, skilled people bringing your own design to life. I knew how much the cost of production was, but I still had to define what the selling price would be. In order to have a wide range of different people’s opinion, I spent a whole weekend in the city asking random people what they thought about the product: who would it be most suitable for and how much would they pay for it. This gave me a clear idea and direction for both what shops I should target for distributing, and a reasonable range of prices that I would coincide with. Afterwards, I dropped by several potential shops where I realized that most of the time the owners were keen on giving a try to sell my products in their shop. That’s how I knew I had a good product!

Since the pencil case, I have developed two more products: TOK-lamp and TOK-wallet which both followed the same process. The brand, TOK-concept, is now sold in ten different stores in Switzerland and has a website to order products online. Since the first production, I have sold three hundred pencil cases! DOING IT WITH PASSION KEEPS ME GOING!

This doesn’t allow me to earn a single penny but the personal satisfaction that these products have offered me - combined with the possibility of developing new products - is what has kept me going. TOK-concept has become a highly enriching entrepreneurial experience for me. My ultimate goal is to see people using my products and being happy with them. for more info: http://tokconcept.com/

This is an ongoing project that gives me an enormous personal satisfaction. 26

#tokconcept #tok #handmade


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Images @urbangoals

A twitter dedicated to a repeated, stirring memento of lost youth and a stark reminder of the social inequalities still faced in Britain. Created by photographer Michael Kirkham.


Artifact

COFFEE IS A SERIOUS THING (AT LEAST IN NAPLES) Words & Images Paolo De Martino

The main character of this short story is the Aldo Rossi Moka, designed by the famous Italian architect for the brand Alessi in 1988. But the story is about more than just a moka.

In fact, it embraces a plurality of significances which are all embedded in one single cup of coffee. Coffee is about rituals. If you live in Naples, you may want to start the day with a coffee, to make sure you begin your day in the right way. Coffee is about social interactions. In fact, you never drink a coffee alone by choice. On the contrary, drinking coffee is a nice opportunity to meet friends, talk about your life, exchange ideas. Coffee is about cultural exchange. Today, coffee arrives in Naples through Ethiopia. At first the city of Vienna appreciated this black gold. In Naples, the coffee tradition dates back to XVII century when the Viennese Maria Carolina d’Angiò married the king of Naples Ferdinando IV di Borbone. In this way she introduced coffee to Naples, and since then coffee has become part of the city's tradition and embedded in the Neapolitan culture. Coffee is about architecture. Drinking a cup of coffee in Naples means getting some time for yourself, thinking, dreaming, and getting lost in the narrow streets, colors, and the atmosphere of permanent festivity. It is about discovering what Walter Benjamin has defined as porosity of the city, unexpected events, materiality and private life. Coffee is about design. Rossi’s moka represents an analogy to architecture. It is indeed a coffee machine, but, if scaled up, it could also be a tower, a silo, a light house. It represents an effort to go back to basic principles of architecture, history and culture, reminding all the stratified layers of Naples, its colors, festivity and porosity. I would like to nominate my colleague, Penglin Zhu, for the next Artefact article.

Paolo De Martino is a PhD Candidate at the Chair of History of Architecture and Urban Planning. He is teaching in the Master Design Studio “Architecture and Urbanism Beyond Oil” at TU Delft. #artefact #aldorossi #moka < Sketch by the author, inspired by the sketches by Aldo Rossi and of the Alessi moka.

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Explore

CHANGING THE NARRATIVE Words Elena Rossoni

Working on places of conflict can be extremely challenging. As soon as a polarised discussion is addressed with a proposal, it is bound to cause some sort of backlash by at least one of the affected parties. There is no clear way out of it. Or is there? Architecture practice Hybrid Space Lab takes a rather unique approach for the re-signification of the controversial site of Valle de los Caídos in Madrid, the burial ground of Spain’s dictator Francisco Franco and 33,000 victims of the country’s brutal civil war.

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Valle de los Caídos is a vast monumental memorial conceived by Francisco Franco and built between 1940 and 1959 partly by forced labour of Spain’s political prisoners. It includes a 152-meter-tall cross, a basilica, a long crypt and a vault, carved out of the mountain it is situated on. During recent years, the debate about the site’s transformation has gradually intensified, creating a highly charged and controversial matter for the country. Even though the Spanish government took the decision to exhume Franco’s remains (which has seen major reactions from Franco-nostalgics, right wing and Catholic church supporters), the area risks becoming a cenotaph — an empty grave — with no clear narrative for its future. The high prominence of the site’s location is undoubtable, and its future transformation is thought by many to be an incredible opportunity, in terms of reconciliation but also re-use. However, no one can deny the divisive historical wounds and controversies attached to it. So how does one proceed from here? How can this subject, currently treated like a hot potato hurriedly passed from hand to hand, be finally addressed? Sure, inactivity will lead nowhere with time gradually doing its job and destroying everything, however

rushed and inconsiderate decisions can also prove lethal. How can the perceptions or ‘label’ of a place of conflict be modified, better yet repurposed? Here is where Hybrid Space Lab enters the discourse. Its founders, professors Elisabeth Sikiaridi and Frans Vogelaar, amongst working for multiple interdisciplinary projects all over the world, have extensively dealt with memory politics and controversial heritage while using creative processes and digitalisation. In the case of Valle de los Caídos, instead of coming up with ‘solutions’, Hybrid Space Lab acts as a platform for discussion by organising a workshop and inviting highly skilled individuals from around the world. The twenty two participants coming from various academic and professional backgrounds such as psychoanalysts, historians, political scientists and architects, all provided their invaluable input from their own perspectives. Additionally, an important aspect of the workshop was the incorporation of both insiders’ and outsiders’ voices within the debate, to ensure a broad range of viewpoints and opinions for the subject.


The international Deep Space: Re-signifying Valle de los Caídos workshop, which took place this past October in Madrid, included an extensive guided tour of the site followed by two days of lectures on issues concerning similar, politically tense situations such as the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea, and the New Dimensions in Testimony project, which developed the ability to present Holocaust survivor stories in an interactive conversational format, preserving their stories for future generations. Simultaneously, the two-day workshop involved intense discussions and proposals on the monument’s future visions through digital and technological tools. Sikiaridi, the event co-organiser, argues that ‘the digital layer functions inclusively, enabling the integration of sidelined voices within the vision of a polyphonic monument and paving the way from recognition to reconciliation.’ Digital methods allow for a more holistic view in terms of history without physical intervention, approaching the discourse in a meticulous and inclusive manner. For example, the visualisation of the barracks used to house the convicted along the path leading to the Valle, provides a different perspective, resurfacing the voices that no longer have a physical presence.

The workshop proved that artistic interventions can fruitfully develop by incorporating multiple ‘sides’ and experts within a structured debate, rather than implementing top-down, anonymous and third party decision-making. This research method can prove incredibly beneficial for the tools of analysis on any sort of controversial grounds. It can therefore assist in resolving such issues as democratically as possible in a kind of trial-and-error manner, having a clear idea on how the place would be perceived prior to its actual transformation. We live in a world where the veracity of democratic governments depends on the latter’s ability to deal and respect controversial matters. Without a thoroughly thought solution, the nation’s (or culture’s) representatives are automatically put into question. Prosperous societies advocating for democracy can only go forward with solid — meaning respecting and controversy-addressing — foundations.

#valledeloscaidos #controversial #hybridspacelab What do you think about Hybrid Space Lab’s approach? Find out more at: hybridspacelab.net/deep-space-re-signifying-valle-delos-caidos/

Above: Aerial picture of the imposing monument in Madrid’s outskirts (source: Cuatro).

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Speak

PODCAST, ARCHI-PODCAST Words Jan Pruszynski

Podcasts are incredible. They can inspire, educate, make us grow, but also just simply entertain. There’s probably a podcast about anything you can imagine, ranging from nuclear science, through film reviews, to Harry Potter fan-fiction. And there’s, of course, countless podcasts about all-thing-architecture. Many are already established podcasts and many new ones appear pretty much every single day.

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The most important quality of podcasts for me personally is how they let me optimise my time. Since I’ve started studying architecture, I’ve found it quite hard to find time to learn something entirely new or just read about my other interests and hobbies. Podcasts allow me to do it while doing something else entirely: walking, driving, commuting or working out. I’ve actually started listening to podcasts every time I was washing dishes, a chore that I really hated, to make it a little bit more fun, and now I kind of... enjoy it. It has become one of my ‘podcast times’ during the day, that I really look forward to. Podcasts are very much like audiobooks, however with each episode being usually a finished product, they are way more approachable and you can always choose what you want to listen to at the moment.

I’ve been listening to podcasts for years, I’m subscribed to countless different ones and they cover pretty much the whole scope of things that interest me, including architecture. Considering that we don’t learn anything about the business of architecture or how to start our own company you really should be listening to some of them to stay on top of your game. I have chosen several of my favourite podcasts, which talk about all things architecture, from theory and history, through programs used in the profession, to starting your own office. Here are the ones I really recommend to both aspiring and battle-hardened architects (you can find all the links in the electronic version of Bnieuws or just google them.)


Archispeak It’s a great place to learn about the current state of the profession, as well as all the good and bad things about it. Each episode is a casual conversation between three hosts (and sometime guests), who are American architects working at different kinds of offices, so you get quite a wide view at how the profession works.

A History of Architecture, the Fundamental Process If, like me, you have trouble finding time to read all the architectural history and theory books you should have already read ages ago, this one’s certainly for you. In this podcast, David Getzin (with collaborators) provides the listener with a unique perspective on architectural history and the theory — and practice — of design.

The Architecture Happy Hour Probably my favourite architecture-related podcast. It covers topics and tips ranging from home design and improvement, interior design and even tips on selecting a contractor. You can learn much from the hosts when it comes to everyday architects’ life.

About Buildings + Cities This one covers a lot of different topics, however overall it’s about architecture, buildings and cities, from the distant past to the present day. There’s also quite a few detours into technology, film, fiction, comics, drawings, and the dimly imagined future. Altogether, always an interesting listen.

Monocle 24: The Urbanist Each episode is only around 5 minutes long and takes one place, building, bridge or park bench and expands the topic to lead the listener on a global journey — while keeping it casual. With an influential audience of city mayors, urban planners and architects, this is Monocle’s guide to making better cities, be it new technology, state-of-the-art subways or compact apartments. Buildings On Air This one’s actually fun because I disagree with them on many topics. The show tries to tackle the big and small issues of being an architect, including the politics and how we, as architects, can work to improve the world around us. Can we?

These are the ones, which I try to stay up to date with. There’s countless others about art and design I could have included here, however I’ve decided to stay closer to architecture-themed ones. Check them out and let us know what you think!

Do you listen to podcasts? Are there podcasts you’d recomment to everyone, not only architects? Let us know! #listen #podcast #interest #hobby #architecture #urbanism #architect #urbanist #work #life

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Speak

LAND BETWEEN TAGS Words Jack Oliver Petch

In the beginning, there were many domains, with servers and servants to their kingdoms. All visitors to the different towns lived under the same rules. This was eons of cycles ago, of course. Life was slow. Before devices became smart and the Vista was new. Back then, everything was different – we didn’t have him.

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Out there, a speck in the distance – can you see it? A lone island on the horizon, flashing a few rotations when it catches the light from your screen. // Click. // Click. Did you miss it? Look again! Look from the corner of your vision – see where your sensors are sensitive and... focus! It is a lone tag. A single movement that you would have never witnessed because you weren’t meant to. You were never meant to find it amongst the infinity of content in the wilderness. A tag so progressive and fleeting, moving at speed so quickly away from everything else that it will explode and burn into gas before the end of the week. You were never meant to see it’s journey. It wasn’t for you. He didn’t allow it. Who? Why, everyone knows that in the land between tags lives the Algorithm. The legends say that as man was made in God’s image, we created him to serve ours. He favours the men who programmed him, projecting their bias – and creating yours. Making ‘profiles’ from content we interact with, it is his primary purpose to provide us with all the content we have ever wanted – and filter out the junk you don’t. He started as a way to quickly navigate the growing landscape, today it is the map itself. From that data we humans hastily provided, he is determined to keep us from straying too far from our designated paths.

Now, we live symbiotically, in return for our requests he hunts and gathers for us. But he fed us and fed us until we grew too complacent to do the work ourselves. From entertainment to watch and music to listen to, inspiration for our projects and books to read, one is never short of content to engage with. We built new sites based on his skill-set and retrofit the old ones to match. Who needs content chronologically when we could have the most interesting content first? It works perfectly – until it doesn’t. He soon will be all-seeing. His grace already came down to earth to catalogue from sound-clips and cross-reference our geo-tags. Because his memory is perfect, he never forgets where we go, what we saw or what we thought. The algorithm will become omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, if you let him bless you with his glorious vision. If you looked at hair wash today, he’ll remember the brand in 5 years time. If he is able to know your wife was pregnant before you did - what else will he know about you that you don’t want to admit to yourself? Heed my words, repent from your sins and live with him as your friend, your guide and confidant – for the alternative isn’t worth thinking about. #algorithm #religion #storytimewithjack


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