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NAAM : architecture & culture zine issue 4 | summer 2017 | final issue

Architecture Goes Indie!

NAAM issue #4 summer 2017 architecture and culture zine final issue

this issue

Architecture Goes Indie! editor: Arshia Eghbali cover art: Soroush Kalatian website: Bardia Eghbali NAAM team: Nima Dabirian | Soroush Kalatian | Payvand Taheri Amirhossein Adelfar | Sajjad Mansournia | Kimia Motamedi Baran Tehrani | Mohammad M.Khani | Amirhossein Vafa contributors to this issue: Mimi Zeiger | Richard Hogg Nima Dabirian | Nima Qodrati | Giuseppe Resta | Rezky Afriza Stefano Tornieri | Mark Donnelly naam-magazine.com contact@naam-magazine.com

download the print-it-yourself version here

architecture goes indie! /////////////////////////////////////2 2 Goodbye ////////////////////////////////////////////////////3 3 the romantic side of being indie /////////////////////////////4 4 indieness ///////////////////////////////////////////////////8 8 more than words: talking zines //////////////////////////////12 12 Dreaming Like Geppetto /////////////////////////////////////18 18 SCPTIPMFLIPPES ////////////////////////////////////////////24 24 echoes /////////////////////////////////////////////////////30 30 tomcat /////////////////////////////////////////////////////34 34 DEMOCRATIC LIVING against URBAN SIEGE ///////////////////////36 36 architecture print is dead, long live architecture print! /////////40 40



Architecture Goes Indie! indie

(noun) \‘in-dē\ 1: one that is independent; especially : an unaffiliated record or motion-picture production company 2: something (such as a record or film) produced by an indie - indie adjective [Merriam-Webster]

In 1968, the renowned Austrian architect, Hans Hollein, published an article named ‘Everything is Architecture’ in the avant-garde Austrian magazine ‘Bau’. And as you have probably already guessed from the name, in it he claims that everything is architecture. Without going any further with Mr Hollein and his real intentions, we actually love the idea and would like to absorb architecture as a more inclusive whole. Today, way more than in 1968, the lines between different fields of culture, art, technology and criticism have faded away, and we live in an age of multi-disciplinary thinking AND acting. On the other hand, technological and life-style developments have made it easier for people to have their say and to take up a do-it-yourself approach. That’s where we think there is an intersection between being indie and architecture – in its much broader sense. In this issue you will read about all things indie, with an architectural twist.



Goodbye This is the final issue of NAAM. We would like to sincerely thank all of the wonderful people who helped us fulfill this dream and carry on this experiment. On the course of these three years, all of us at NAAM, learned an enormous ammount; the magazine was a platform for us to discover ourselves and our dreams. The indie singer-songwriter ‘Conor Oberst’ sings in his ‘Ladder Song’, “No one knows where the ladder goes, you gonna lose what you love the most”. Well, to be honest, we have no idea where the ladder goes, and we will surely miss NAAM, but we aren’t losing it. We see it as an end to a wonderful journey and a start for a new one.



The Romantic Side of being indie by arshia eghbali

“Whenever a thing is done for the first time, it releases a little demon.” - Emily Dickinson

It’s no secret that we, as human beings, are obsessed with our first times. Our first loves never really go away from our hearts. The first kiss. The first cigarette secretly smoked. The first day of school. Or the first day we did a job and actually got paid for it. These are the moments when we get a taste of a truly unknown feeling; it’s a new door unlocked to an unseen world. And it sticks with us for the rest of our lives, outliving a million boring times we go through those now-mundane experiences over and over again. And that’s why even the most progressive and forward-looking ones among us are vulnerable too when it comes to the nostalgia of first times. However, here I would dare to say that there is a clandestine marriage between the progressive and the nostalgic: The indie.


by Soroush Kalatian


Every indie act, every project nurturing on a fierce and sincere belief in indie ethos, has its roots in both past and future; while a typical startup or a forgotten Hollywood star would only dwell on either one or the other. Yet, it’s really easy for every newly-launched activity to look indie. So what are those roots? The bound with future is more or less obvious: you have a big dream and you chase it. And no matter how indie you might be, you cannot deny the desire to be successful. You want to have your say, you want to doit-yourself, and you want to do it your way, but still you need to have ears who are willing to listen to you. Yet, you might as well be scared of the very idea of widespread success to death – literally. In the 2015 BBC documentary ‘Music for Misfits: The Story of Indie’, the English artist, Genesis P-Orridge, remembers the suicide of Ian Curtis of the Joy Division, for the reason that his band had become “too popular” and “it wasn’t fun anymore, it became a business”. The tragic case of Ian Cutis is an extreme manifestation of the troubled relationship between being indie and being successful. Every ‘successful’ indie act reaches to a certain point where a vital decision has to be made. In a quirky existentialistic turn, I would like to call this point a ‘leap of fame’. Either, you can take this leap and enter the mainstream, or you can leave everything as is, and turn into a cult. Having a look at 90s music, an example of the former could be Oasis, which in no time became a larger-than-life rock band selling millions of records, and an example of the latter would be Neutral Milk Hotel, which still remains in perfect indiecult obscurity. Even though refusing to take the leap of fame is an indicator of the fidelity that indie acts have to their own past, it’s not all. In fact, what’s more important is the path they take before reaching to this point. Being indie is a romantic gesture, because it deals with the essence of youth, faraway dreams and voluntary suffering. Being indie is romantic because it is a self-conscious vain attempt to sustain the golden age, to perpetuate the honeymoon of creativity and freedom – that sense of the ‘first time’.


by Arshia Eghbali

Often, when we look back at something that we have started – be it a relationship, a hobby or an indie project – it’s more likely that we will pinpoint a period near the beginning as its golden age, because that’s the time when the sensation of the ‘first time’ is still in the air while the prospect of progress is very clear and tangible. The romanticism of an indie act stems from this bittersweet duality of looking forward to a dreamlike future and, at the same time, trying to capture the innocence of its earlier days through limiting the scale of action. In the end, being indie is for dreamers; and as it’s the case with all dreams, dreaming the dream is sweeter than realizing it. Indies are aware of this, and romantically try to postpone the inevitable wake-up.



Indieness by Nima Qodrati

Let us face it. We live in a situation that could be called post-consumerism (Yet, I am thoroughly hesitant to use this term). A world which has taken part in an odyssey of consumerism and arrived at this point. In the consumer culture, the result of any work is represented as a product to consume. Whereas now, the consumer wants the producer and expects it to simply feed them the product, as a nourishing mother. We should not be tempted to think that the relationship between the consumer and the producer has become a more interactive one, in which the consumer participates in the making of a product by being an active user in the social media, for at the top of the pyramid of social media users, there stands a monster called data mining techniques. The fact that there still exist, those who are trying not to play by the rules and meet the criteria (both objective and subjective) of this system is admirable, but we should keep in mind that popular art is more about the audience, the people, as it is about the artist. And thus, indies could only have a certain, specific group of followers. This is how cult is shaped. Cult, or more generally sub-culture, is in an interesting correlation with being indie. A very good example of this matter would be that of the punk sub-culture, which was basically a form of counter-culture (we will revisit the death of counter-culture later). As always, one should not forget the pivotal role of media, which in this case, took the shape of the enormous number of small, independent and community oriented fanzines, edited by fiery-gutted writers and followed by piously punk audience.


Indies in the Days of Early Cinema In trying to define the formation of “indie”, it would prove useful to take a look at the history of cinema, in fact, on the financial relations of its early days. The Edison Trust was a cartel that held a monopoly on film production and distribution comprising all the major film companies of the time (Edison, Biograph, Vitagraph, Essanay, Selig, Lubin, Kalem, American Star, American Pathé), the leading distributor (George Kleine) and the biggest supplier of raw film, Eastman Kodak. A number of filmmakers declined to join or were refused into the trust and came to be described as «independent». At the time of the formation of the MPPC, Thomas Edison owned most of the major patents relating to motion pictures, including that for raw film. The MPPC vigorously enforced its patents, constantly bringing suits and receiving injunctions against independent filmmakers. Because of this, a number of filmmakers responded by building their own cameras and moving their operations to Hollywood, California, where the distance from Edison›s home base of New Jersey made it more difficult for the MPPC to enforce its patents. The independent filmmakers who had fled to Southern California during the enforcement of the trust had already laid the groundwork for the studio system of classical Hollywood cinema.

The Metamorphosis Revisiting this small fragment of history (which has repeated itself time over time, and in each of these repeats, the form and size of the indie movement has changed), one could observe a probable recycle. That of constant refinement and synthesis of the old indie, current mainstream and new indie (might sound a bit Hegelian). The big corporates and mainstream media have always looked for ideas and inspirations in indie and counter-culture movements. And this is an old tale. It might be the main function or even indie’s noble duty to create, shape and promote new, avant-garde and often crude ideas, whether it be in art or industry. And the reason behind this is obvious. The initiative and the liberty of reigning clichés or financial dos and don’ts, which are all as principles in the indie movement. This metamorphosis can have a number of different procedures, one of them, the story of Pitchfork (as opposed to that of Sniffin’ Glue or Cometbus of our nice


punk friends). Pitchfork started as a manifestation of millennial independent source of information and critique on independent music. And had a pivotal role in shaping the hipster sub-culture. Ironically, if you type its name in your address bar right this now, you will hear about Kanye West’s latest tour. Pitchfork saw the historical change that the emergence of social media brought (on which we’ll talk about later) and tried to merge with it. Another form of this metamorphosis is by physical and financial acquisition of independent establishment. We can revisit the history of cinema to provide an example for this subject. (take Miramax as one). Last but not least of what I had the privilege of observation, is the metaphorical acquisition of indie appearance (by appearance I also mean sound, in the case of indie music) by big corporates and the mainstream. Here we encounter one of contemporary culture’s most amusing phenomena, simulation. The indie movement (in all of its functions: art, mass culture, business, etc.) develops a specific functionality and appearance of its own, throughout time, the aforementioned take the shape of a complete set of aesthetic and pragmatic criteria. Take the numerous bands of indie rock as an example, or the films premiered at the Sundance festival every year. What do they tell us? This is ever ending. The situation is much more complex today, when we shall repeat the old questions with a new tune and a new intention: Does indie mean independent in today’s mass culture? Is being independent a reaction to dependency? Or vice versa? In this process of simulation which I mentioned above, the first detour takes the form of an imitation of the critically successful and popular examples of indie movement. The second step is to formulate this success, which is a principle of being profitable. Extremely similar to an industrial production line with early returns. We observe a kind of paradox here. Furthermore, some multi-million dollar and multinational corporations take up a cheesy indie appearance, comprising of cheap minimal design ideas. Like Google for example. Everything about Google (Alphabet Inc. to be politically correct) seems indie. Its GI and the fact that its applications and OSs, the downstream of this mindblowingly enormous organization which started as a puny search engine, is open source and everything is free of charge and is free to change by everyone (Yet


of course its infrastructure and its upstream remains for the %1 to mingle with). We arrive at social media, which is an absolute leap forward in this metamorphosis. A kind of post-post-modern situation (the description should be as ironical as the situation). In the social media, every user has its own personal tribune. And the users interact based on a set of information age rites. This means, even at its most naïve form, that the colossal businesses have the same opportunity as a simple user, like myself, has. Even when we put aside the regular advertisement campaigns in social media, we come upon to yet another old concept, trend, which has found a new meaning in this new system. For instance, no one have had ever conceived that the Italian food giant Ferrero would make such profits thanks to Instagram and the Nutella madness going on in it. Nearly every single Instagram account acted as a free ad campaign for Ferrero. And for a company which is notorious for its relationship with media: It has never held a press conference and does not allow media visits to its plants. In the new form of media, the trends and the fashionable are not directly imposed to the mass using the mainstream media, instead, the mainstream media acts as a double agent in the social media system. In this system, the signs become significations of other signs, one trend is the trend of the latter trend (summing up: we have at least three cultural objects which are in permutations of different simulations with each other). The indies are at the same time the consumer and the producer and therefore, based on the implosions of the signs which is carried out by the consumers themselves, there is no more a visible mainstream and no more a counter-culture, yet of course all this happens in the eyes of the ordinary user, while the giants have access to data mining technology and can easily read out the situation and find the patterns of user behaviour. In this syste, we may even have to redefine individuality. At its finest, based on this system, the indies could be easily trained and educated to follow a certain trend in order to be called (and therefore to really be) indie. and the important part is, that no one would find out about this mediocrity, as the audience themselves are trained and educated by this very system. It is as though that you must play these certain notes, shoot a picture with a certain type of angle or other visual quality and… and…and… in order to really be indie. And this is probably how creativity and progressiveness dies in indieness.



[with Mimi Zeiger]

More than words: talking zines by Arshia Eghbali

Mimi Zeiger is a Los Angeles-based critic, editor, and curator. Her work is situated at the intersection of architecture and media cultures. She writes on art, architecture, and design for a variety of publications including The New York Times, Domus, Architectural Review, and Architect, where she is a contributing editor. She is a regular opinion columnist for Dezeen and former West Coast Editor of The Architects Newspaper. Mimi Zeiger is the 2015 recipient of the Bradford Williams Medal for excellence in writing about landscape architecture. She has taught at Parsons New School of Design, the California College of

the Arts (CCA) and at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). Her cross-disciplinary seminars explore the relationships between architecture, art, urban space, and popular culture. She holds a Master of Architecture degree from SCI-Arc and a Bachelor of Architecture degree from Cornell University. Mimi Zeiger founded loud paper, an architecture zine and now blog, dedicated to increasing the volume of architectural discourse. It is a slambamgetitoutthere way of linking architectural thoughts, musings, and new work with the culture at large.


Mimi Zeiger


speed of architectural media. The subculture of DIY publishing and cool hunting may seem at odds, but at the time they were covering similar territory but for different purposes. The big idea behind loud paper: architecture students and young practitioners should have access to the means of production. Remember this was time before the ubiquity of the Internet and social media— the dominant publicity was trade magazines, academic journals, and monographic book publishers. The landscape is very different now. Arshia: You’ve also curated ‘A Few Zines: Dispatches from the Edge of Architectural Production’. The press release says that “Rather than attempting to present an exhaustive retrospective of architecture zine culture, it highlights complete runs of several noted zines that began in the nineties. The exhibition also features contemporary publications that continue to draw inspiration from the self-publishing tradition”. So was it actually exhibiting nostalgia or a legacy – what was the main goal? Mimi: No, it wasn’t about nostalgia at all. It was about production and

Arshia: So, before anything else, let’s get to loud paper. What is the story? How was it born? Mimi: I founded loud paper, an architecture zine, as my graduate thesis at SCI_Arc. I had done my undergrad training at Cornell and while at SCI_Arc in Los Angeles, I started to think about the relationship between architecture and media. This was in 1996-7, so we are in a pre-Internet period. At that time the closest parallels I found was with fashion and music—and that led me to think about architecture cycling in and out of trends, but it was slow in comparison. I had just read Malcolm Gladwell’s 1997 piece in the New Yorker, “The Cool Hunt.” Gladwell’s article, seminally, for good or for bad, put “coolhunter” into the lexicon; it tracks cool hunter Dee Dee Gordon, hipster extraordinaire, as she goes about her daily business finding cool people and seeing what kind of sneakers they like. I was interested in how quickly subcultural production was being translated into mainstream culture. And thought architecture could learn a thing or two. So, I turned to do-it-yourself publishing in order to crank up the


and jumbled pagination were left uncorrected in the final proof. … The overwhelming impression was one of urgency and immediacy, of a paper produced in indecent haste, of memos from the front line.” Arshia: And if the format of a zine is so important, then is the Internet good or bad for zines? Mimi: I don’t like to make too much distinction between print and digital production. I like the mutants, the things that fall in-between and take advantage of both. I call them “blue lobsters”: downloadable PDFs, print-on-demand, web journals that sometimes make books, Tumblr accounts, etc. all of these suggest that the cultural ethos of zines is still healthy, even if not stated as such. You might like this project, Maximum Maxim MMX—a zine made to be consumed on YouTube. Arshia: So does it mean that the objective (or the responsibility – if you like) of zines today hasn’t changed since the pre-internet era? Or for example, can a blog today, more or less, serve the same purpose as loud paper in 1996-97? Mimi: Yes and no. I think digital

drawing comparisons between predigital networks and post-digital— radical and rapid shifts in media production. Instead, it is an inquiry into alternative discourse that questions publishing formats. The show opened in 2009 and a panel discussion was held in the wake of serious losses to the publishing industry, as magazines and blogs (especially shelter and design titles) folded. The show then traveled and had multiple panels about publishing as architectural production and practice. Arshia: Often, a medium can enhance the message of the content. Sometimes the medium actually becomes the message. Is that the case with zines? Mimi: I think Dick Hebdidge sums this up the best with this quote from Subculture: the Meaning of Style. He suggests that the language of zines is not in the actual words, but in the form of the text, which dovetails voice with production technique: “The language in which the various manifestoes were framed was determinedly ‘working class’ (i.e., it was liberally peppered with swear words) and typing errors and grammatical mistakes, misspellings


discourses about music or films for example. So is it something intrinsic to architecture or not? And could these gaps be filled – with zines perhaps? Mimi: Oh, my guess is that all disciplines have both sides: high and low, elite and popular. But I love the idea of zines—or any kind of independent experimental production like installations, exhibitions, websites, publications, events—bridging the gap. But its important to not just bridge the professional/disciplinary gap, but create ways of working and making that are interdisciplinary. It’s not enough (for me, anyways) to only discuss architecture, or have architects poach from other disciplines. We need to bring in outside expertise from art, film, technology, literature, food, fashion, etc…. Arshia: That’s interesting to have people from outside the realms of architecture to take an active part in it. But how can they fit in? And what should (or can) they do? Mimi: Oh, it’s not about fitting in. It’s about how those other disciplines stir up the conversation, provoke, destabilize, suggest new

platforms and social media are—in spite of some arguments against— good ways to fulfill the zinester objectives of getting voices out into the world and even fostering some community. That said, our consumption of media of all kinds these days is “flat” and even passive—meaning that zine-like platforms are delivered in the same way as mainstream content. And there is something to be said for a reduction in hierarchies with newfound equivalences. Still, it’s hard to get the same rush of finding something new that speaks to you at a little book or record shop when browsing online. Not impossible— there are Tumblr sites like the now defunct Selleck Waterfall Sandwich that offer real absurdist surprise and I was recently introduced to Free Ass. Mag. (aka Free Association Magazine), an “anti-architecture/ architecture [maga]zine” out of Chicago that is definitely picking up on the old zine spirit. Arshia: There seems to be lots of empty spaces between “I want a beautiful kitchen” type of conversation about architecture and complicated snobbish rhetoric. But such gaps don’t exist in the


methodologies or alternative conceptions of design. Arshia: Does indie architecture/ urbanism exist? I mean something that really respects the DIY ethics and the indie spirit. I’d like to think so. That said it’s hard to sustain subcultural production when everything is so readily available via Google. And, so many emerging practitioners operate within the academy/ institution for their livelihoods. Things often only look like they have the “indie spirit”, without containing the necessary ethos. . Sometimes the strategy of “the project” gets in the way of the process. Mimi: I think of Thomas Frank’s essay Alternative to What? In the Baffler from the late 1990s, even then there was search for authenticity within the scene. Perhaps, then, what we are looking for is not exactly dare I say “punk”, since I’m increasingly a crusty one, but work that uses all modes of production to amplify unheard voices and alternative points of view.

loud paper covers



[with richard Hogg]

Dreaming Like Geppetto by Nima Dabirian

There are thousands of soulless puppets and toys being manufactured in big companies every day. But there are only a handful of Geppettos, creating Pinocchios in their little workshops. The diference is, Pinocchio can become a real, live boy… Like music, cinema or architecture, video games, as a form of art, have an indie side too. But since video games are a relatively new branch of art, it wasn’t until recently that indie games came to the spotlight. Indie gaming has just seen a rise in the latter half of the 2000s, primarily due to new online distribution platforms. It is since then, that conventions and online communities have helped indie game producers to get more acknowledgement and support. To take a peek at the unlimited depths and potentials of indie games, nothing could be better than the first-hand experience of an insider. So I asked the British indie game designer Richard Hogg to tell us more about the inside world of indie game development, and especially his creation ‘Hohokum’. Richard Hogg, after studying fine arts at the university, ended up working as an illustrator before entering the world of game design. “I was working in a design company while me and my friend ‘Ricky Hagget’ who made video games, started making things just as a hobby in our spare time.” He said about how he started designing games. Before publishing their hit, “Hohokum” they completed two other indie projects.


Hohokum is an art video game by developer Honeyslug in collaboration with British artist Richard Hogg and Sony Santa Monica, and published by Sony for PlayStation3, PlayStation4, & PlayStation Vita in 2014


Scenes from Hohokum

“We heard of a competition for indie game developers, for creating a game that only required one button! We had a pretty good idea for such a game, so we decided to do it before finishing Hohokum. It was called “Poto and Cabenga” which is available to play online. After that, we tried to pitch the idea of Hohokum to Sony, but they weren’t interested and they asked us to do another game, “Frobisher Says”, so we spent a year developing that game and then, we went back to Hohokum.” The way that Richard and his friend came up with the idea for Hohokum was quiet interesting; “The way Ricky and I work is that we don’t really know what we are doing. We just play around with things. So there was no strong idea. We just played with some stuff until we would find something that we liked. And with Hohokum, we made a series of prototypes. Some of them very different


Scenes from Hohokum

from the final outcome. Like at one point we literally made a golf game!”. But discovering the key idea for the game is even more inspiring; “The main idea for the game, which is something like ‘snake’, wasn’t even an important part of it at first. One evening we were playing one of the prototypes with a composer, in order to write a music for the game. At that time the game was more like a conventional platformer with a guy that moved around in the word, and the snake thing was just a small part of the game. But then we spent a lot of time playing around with that snake and we realized that this is the game! I guess the way we like to make games is to let the game, make itself. While we are playing around and trying out stuff, the game decides what it’s going to be in a quite organic way.” The most interesting approach to the the process of design, which lets the artwork create itself.


“The source idea for the architecture of this part of the game was from a tourist village in Wales, called Portmeirion”

Like in any other game, architecture plays a key part in designing the space and atmosphere of the game. “I don’t think of myself as someone who knows much about architecture, but I like the idea of architecture in games. I guess Hohokum has a lot of architecture. For the first bit of the game that we finished, it’s a level that looks like a fun fair. The source idea for the architecture of this part of the game was from a tourist village in Wales, called Portmeirion. It’s a very interesting place with whimsical combination of forms and colors. It really stuck with me and inspired the initial art for the first level of the game.” Every game designer, while designing the space of the game, even a surrealistic and artistic game like Hohokum, is using architecture, even subconsciously; “For the rest, I just draw a lot of stupid things in my sketchbook and I guess stuff just kinda comes out. Portmeirion is the only example I can give of a real influence. I don’t specifically think about architecture, I think more about places and the mood of a place. Quite often in Hohokum that was more important to me, the mood of being in a space.” Richar Hogg, as an indie game designer and illustrator, is one the many artists who are turning the game industry into a new form of art. “I’m a massive fan of indie gaming. I think the things that happen in video games under the banner of independent gaming, is where you can really say this is an art form.” He also encourages everyone, with any background to dip their toes in the world of indie gaming. “In terms of how you make an indie game, I think it varies from person to person, place to place and game to game. It has such a low barrier of entry that I think everyone should try it. There are a lot of easy-to-use platforms like ‘Twine’ that can create simple story-based games and there is literally nothing to stop anyone from making a video game. And I think that is the core fundamental spirit of indie games, that anyone, with


any talent, skill or education can be a part of the indie gaming world. The only thing you need, is enough money to feed yourself, a roof you can work under and some spare time.” The quality that makes entering the world of independent game design possible for everyone, is collaboration. “Another thing that I really enjoy is collaboration. I think it’s the only reason that I make things! I do some teaching and I meet a lot of young people who are interested in making games, but they think they need to learn lots of skills in order to do so. I tell them that in fact, it’s the opposite. Not being able to do things, is a beautiful thing. Because it is the engine of collaboration. Because it makes you work with other people. The most important thing is when two people are working together, they come up with better ideas than each of them alone, and to me that’s the joy of collaboration.”

“Not being able to do things, is a beautiful thing. Because it is the engine of collaboration Because it makes you work with other people”


project: Object

SCPTIPMFLIPPES by Giuseppe Resta

Giuseppe Resta (b.1988). M. Arch. (Politecnico di Bari), Ph.D. student at Università degli studi Roma TRE (Rome, Italy). Resta regularly participates to international conferences and is architecture editor at Artwort Magazine and Artwort. com. Research interest: The Balkans; space and power relationship; landscape transformations. Resta has been one of the curators of “Evoked. Architectural diptychs” (Tirana, 2016) and “Land(e)scape” (Napoli, 2016). His published work has appeared in several architecture magazines.

The SCPTIPMFLIPPES, developed with 3D-printing technology, is “indie” to its core. Intended to be shared and produced locally by everyone, it introduces a new understanding of an ‘object’ in today’s world. While information and data could be rapidly exchanged through the internet, ‘sharing’, as an indie virtue, has found a new meaning. A simple file could be shared, and an object could be printed; so with an ‘open-source’ kind of attitude, a low-budget indie project focusing on a real, concrete object could shape a community of users and designers.


Axonometric view of the space as solid volume by Giuseppe Resta


Escape from the alien or the hot sand Giuseppe Resta, Castellaneta Marina (TA) Italy, August 2015. Photo by Domenico Pastore

The SCPTIPMFLIPPES (Strumento Cavo Per Traguardare Il Paesaggio Marittimo Fissando Labili Immagini Pronte Per Essere Sublimate), is a device for viewing the maritime landscape. It is a project developed with 3d-printing technology; intended to be shared and produced locally by everyone. It can be modified, according to different needs and landscapes, to hide superfluous details since contemporary natural amenities have been equipped with disturbing devices, signals, vehicles, stalls and so on. Therefore, we tried to define a process, that helps the formation of a collective recognition of natural elements. The SCPTIPMFLIPPES would highlight the importance of a place, of that precise place; while the notion of geography faces a period of crisis due to the pre-eminence of electronic connectivity, we have to rework our approach to architectural and landscape design with the aim of escaping a worldwide homogeneous built environment. How does our way of seeing the natural environment change according to new electronic surfaces? What relation exists between the observer and the technology he uses to decode reality? What is a technological landscape? How does our idea of nature change? The SCPTIPMFLIPPES is focused on the visual experience as a collective act of reviewing our man-nature relationship (as well as Venetian vedutisti made use of camera obscura to paint their view of Venice), in which a view is much more than a background. The device is analogic, proudly technology-free, and is at the same time a prototype of itself. It can be used as movable item to be sunk into the sand, imbuing value to a view of the scenery.


Matrix of axonometric sections by Giuseppe Resta



SCPTIPMFLIPPES by Giuseppe Resta


project: Film


by rezky afriza

Echoes is simply an indie architecture film that is inspired by the life of architecture students in their last year of college. It’s a twisted perspective of five college students who struggle with the uncertainty around their future career choices as architects. The opening credits introduce Rezky, the main character, who is searching for answers he doesn’t know. There are lots of questions and he constantly feels anxious about ‘architecture life’ in the future. Rezky is highly respectful to the Mother Nature’s elements, such as various plants, animals and humankind itself. So in order to find the answers, he faces each element and tries to find the meaning within.

2523 studio is a film production group consisting of five architecture students from Parahyangan University, Bandung, Indonesia; Rezky Afriza, Issuharto Yudhawan, Yudistira Dwi Nugraha, Shabrina Dwi Aryani, and Riana Rizki. Occasionally, they collaborate with Cut Shahana, as script writer, and Harsya Fadilla, as film score composer. Their work has revolved around different architectural and cultural subjects, and has spanned a variety of formats including video art, music video and short film.


Echoes is an indie architecture film by 2523 studio (Rezky Afriza, Issuharto Yudhawan, Yudistira Dwi Nugraha, Shabrina Dwi Aryani, and Riana Rizki). You can watch the complete film HERE


Scene from Echoes by 2523 studio

The plant element is represented by Flora, with feminine gestures and flexible movements. The animal element is represented by Faunus, with a furious, masculine, arrogant face and wild movements. And finally, the humankind is represented by Juventus that demonstrates fundamental humane behaviors, such as purity, emotionality and acceptance. After several journeys, Rezky meets his boss at work, who has disregarded those elements in order to pursue his financial interests. This gives rise to the pressure that Rezky feels due to the conflict between defending his ideas and following the orders - which expect him to ignore the importance of those elements. In the making of this film, the team created a plot that followed the mood of the film score, and each narration was accompanied by an experimental visual scene.


Scene from Echoes by 2523 studio

Scene from Echoes by 2523 studio


project: beer


by Mark Donnelly

Mark Donnelly is an Architect, Illustrator and Graphic Designer based in Belfast, Northern Ireland but travelling between London, Venice and Rotterdam. Growing up in a post entho - political conflict society he has always been aware of the impact of Art and the Built Environment around him. In Belfast graphics can be used as either a tool of liberation or oppression. Since 2016, a new wave of globally conscious designers is beginning to emerge in Belfast.

These two labels are designed for a new indie and illegally-brewed beer within the city of Belfast. The name TOMCAT is a pseudonym which references the 1970’s Irish Republican Army (IRA) term for a political informer/British spy.


Tom Cat Stout by Mark Donnelly

Tom Cat Cider by Mark Donnelly


project: building


About the idea of ‘indie’ in their works they believe: “... we investigate the possibility of an unfinished architecture, in the sense that architecture is not to be intended in a ‘modern way’ anymore, where the architect controls everything to produce the ‘masterpiece’. The architect, as author, has to be ready to change his idea of design. So we are in a time where the modern notion of author is changing - is desappearing. Our architecture tries to be independent from the trendy and the chic; we try to dissolve the architect as a designer of forms, as a composer - someone who works with theory to radically change the common way of seeing things.”

Babau Bureau is an architecture practice by Stefano Tornieri and Massimo Triches based in Venice, Italy. Since 2009, they have been members of the research unit ‘Architecture and Production Landscape’ and have taught in several workshops and design courses. During their independent professional activity, they received the 2012 ANCE Catania prize and were invited to the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale in 2016. With Luca Iuorio, they also run an independent and nonperiodic magazine called ‘Linfonodi Critectures’ with the purpose of exploring various critical situations interconnected with architecture.


The Mixed-use project located at the corner of Ingcuce Road and Johannes Nkosi Street, in Durban, South Africa. By the Venice-based architecture firm ‘Babau Bureau’ (Stefano Tornieri and Massimo Triches).


A democratic architecture: Each inhabitant is free to modify their own apartment and choose the material for the facade

The Corner of Ingcuce Road and Johannes Nkosi Street, in Durban, South Africa, is a place characterized by a double urban identity. Two sides of the area point to a part of the city known for complex overlapping infrastructures, and a total absence of public spaces, while the other two sides point toward an inner street - a minor proteted urban pattern, where its human dimension represents the fulcrum of the local social life. The building we propose is thought of as a huge defence machine. It is a sort of arena that rolls up around the main daily-living social space, a free-to-the-inhabitants’-use inner courtyard combined with a public washing pool. Externally, it appears like a fortified tower with a few openings and a series of vaults on the roof that protect the façade from rainfall. The ovoid shape of the building, planted in the trapezoid lot, is able to integrate and filter the public areas from outside.


Function Allocation The building is a mix-use type, which in one monolithic volume, houses the functional diversity of a contemporary building. The whole ground level is dedicated to commercial spaces (accessible from the urban sidewalks), and the other levels are set apart for residences and common spaces. In ‘On Architectural Criticism and Its Diseases’, Bruno Zevi, writes of “asymmetry, disagreement, human proportion instead of abstract formal proportion, disorder of architectonic elements, dynamic spaces thought not for contemplation but for use” as the characteristics of a Democratic Architecture. It has been decided to avoid the excessive design of the interior spaces of the residences. The project, thus, is limited to a formal structure (the structural frame) that defines only the minimum services (bathroom and wet areas) of the residences, leaving to the inhabitants the possibility to freely customize their own homes, and to choose the building materials of their own façades toward the courtyard.

Technology The building draws inspiration from ancient military constructions, and introduces a contemporary and specific reinterpretation of them. The wooden structure of the whole building is assembled by a simple frame spaced out by arches and ‘centine’. The external wall is conceived in rammed earth, which gives a monolithic look to the building. The ‘centina’, normally removed when the arch is built, here is left as an imprint of the construction system. The “centine” are huge openings to illuminate the gallery while strongly characterizing the urban image of the tower as well.


event: Exhibition

Architecture print is dead, long live architecture print! [A very delayed report from 2016]

‘Architecture Print is Dead, Long Live Architecture Print!’ exhibition, curated by Arshia Eghbali, and with Amirhossein Adelfar as executive director, was a part of the First Tehran Architecture Biennial. It opened on May 12, 2016 and continued until July 13, 2016. “The exhibition illustrates a mini-history of alternative architecture publication parallel to the story of science-fiction fanzines, punk zines, underground press and artists’ indie publications; and also showcases a number of contemporary architecture zines from around the world. “Architecture Print is Dead, Long Live Architecture Print!” celebrates and defines the architecture zine culture. Some of the zines in the exhibition are: NAAM (Iran), San Rocco (Italy), 2ha (Ireland), Camenzind (Switzerland), The Modernist (England), Kamenzind (Serbia), Anza (Tanzania), Paper (Denmark), Too Much (Japan), Criticat (France). This exhibition sets the ground for promotion, review, critique and recognition of indie publication in the field of architecture, while providing a framework for understanding this new phenomenon in terms of recognizing young voices in architecture today.


Some of the zines in the exhibition were: NAAM (Iran), San Rocco (Italy), 2ha (Ireland), Camenzind (Switzerland), The Modernist (England), Kamenzind (Serbia), Anza (Tanzania), Paper (Denmark), Too Much (Japan), Criticat (France)


“Architecture Print is Dead, Long Live Architecture Print!” Exhibition at the First Tehran Architecture Biennial 2016

The Exhibition Statement: With the non-stop expansion and development of the web, and the attractiveness of virtual platforms, mainstream architecture magazines – like their comrades in other fields – are facing sales fall, and many long-standing titles are shutting down or going paper-free. Surprisingly, in the meantime, there is a vivid and growing scene of indie alternative zine publication. In today’s consumerist world of advertisement and marketing, zines take the opposite path; instead of trying to fatten their body of readers/buyers, they crave being ‘discovered’. Focusing on special interests and exceptions, these zines are created by the interested for the interested - aesthetic objects to be collected.


“Architecture Print is Dead, Long Live Architecture Print!� Exhibition at the First Tehran Architecture Biennial 2016

Timeline of Indie publications and architecture magazines. View it larger HERE


farewell, Tehran. By Soroush Kalatian. Summer 2017

download the print-it-yourself version here

[the end]

Profile for NAAM

NAAM #4 [Architecture Goes Indie!]  

NAAM | Architecture & Culture Zine from Tehran Issue #4 | final issue "Architectue Goes Indie!" You can download the print-ready file here:...

NAAM #4 [Architecture Goes Indie!]  

NAAM | Architecture & Culture Zine from Tehran Issue #4 | final issue "Architectue Goes Indie!" You can download the print-ready file here:...