Paprika Fold 3-04 EVERYDAY

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“How do design firms make more money?” question head on. After breaking down the relationships between revenue, expenses, operating margin, and capital/profit, Kennett offered ideas to maximize the latter: “Give your employees ice cream instead of healthcare. Have everyone work remotely from their lofts in Williamsburg. Pirate your licenses!”

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SPECTACULAR@BIG.DK “Don’t even get me started on Bjarke...” Certain architecture firms can be criticized for their one-liner projects and formal literalism—using diagrams or “fun” references as the sole makeup of an architectural project. Offenders include Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) and Bureau Spectacular, the latter of which recently received attention for their Pool Party proposal for MoMA PS1 and fuzzy, erotic Villa Müller at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennale. Depending on who you talk to, these firms can have polarizing receptions. Criticism aside, could their brand of easy-to-understand, one-step architectural projects benefit the field? Simple but big moves aren’t anything new in architecture, but they provide the foundation for most of the formal criticisms towards these firms. In BIG’s case, architects see their use of the diagram as a marketing strategy rather than as the raison d’être of his buildings. Dishonest? Possibly, but minutes before review, students rationalizing shifty formal moves into what critics proceed to read into too far, that ends up becoming a major component of their project, is far from different. Perhaps one could argue that the difference between Bjarke’s formal moves stop at the diagram, rather than promoting further discussion with any ambiguity.

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Bureau Spectacular’s one-liner projects act as gateway drugs to the greater world of architecture, allowing the field to be more approachable, or so it may seem. There is a reason why Bjarke Ingels was chosen as one of the headliners for Netflix’s Abstract1 documentary series on the world of contemporary design. These two firms’ popularity and success is perhaps an indictment of contemporary culture: short attention spans, instant “Instagrammable” consumptions of surroundings, and the phenomenon of architectural trendiness. With Bjarke, one must give credit for being at the right place at the right time, reacting accordingly with bold, single-gestured designs. His quasi-esoteric formalism, marketed as a rationalist-pragmatism, addresses surface issues and conversations in mainstream media. Meanwhile, Bureau’s work has frequently made unapologetic literal references: Pool Party, Museum Collage, and Cave Paintings reference John Hejduk, Cedric Price, Piranesi, and Nolli and are recognizable at first glance. Their twist on Hejduk’s and Loos’s projects playfully turn exhaustedly referenced projects into an aggregation of pools or a fuzzy animal alludes to mainstream trends as well. Bureau’s intentions become the antithesis of forwarding conversation in architecture: their references are literal and obvious to the trained architect, but are oblivious to the outsider. Quoted from their pool party video “...Users do not need to know our love for Cedric Price or John Hejduk”; people engaging with their architecture can refute the references completely or investigate deeper, providing opportunity for outsiders to learn about the foundations of architecture previously accessible only in academic institutions.2

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extremely eye-catching; such projects are immediately legible in the split second we scroll past the press release on Instagram or ArchDaily. The parti itself is digestible within a single 640px by 640px JPEG, and is popularized due to the mix of formal boldness, slightly fantastical aspects, prettiness of representation, and reiteration of what we already know— everyone likes their own presuppositions reinforced. Firms like BIG and Bureau Spectacular are essentially achieving an oversimplified version of a goal many architecture students including myself are attempting to fulfill: their pretty images and renders draw in an audience within a split second, and yet, and with a slightly deeper reading the project’s makeup or thesis becomes instantly comprehensible. Bjarke and Bureau perhaps are establishing a foundation in which there is a clear dialogue between imagery and conceptual dialogue, in a time where projects seem to treat each disciplinary trait as separate entities. ZELIG FOK YSoA M.ARCH I ’19 1 “Bjarke Ingels: Architecture,” in Abstract, Netflix, 2017. 2 This conversation does not stop at architectural discourse: diagrammatic architecture’s ambiguities are structured to fulfill developer and corporate agendas without sacrificing the parti. Architects like Bjarke Ingels and Jimenez Lai appeal to pseudo-architecture connoisseurs. These (typically wealthy) individuals, perhaps characteristic of the modern bourgeoisie, actively search for quasi-esoteric architecture in pursuit of status and the ability to say “I own property in the new Zaha Hadid building, where I hang my Banksy painting, and can see my 60 foot yacht from my biomorphic balcony.” The developer taps into this desire, creating a marketing strategy that maximizes exposure for all profiting parties at once. Architecture becomes a brand of design, creating a resurgence of public interest in the field. Ideally, it is a win-win-win scenario: developers make their cut, the architect completes a project in a competitive environment, and the municipal government is happy.



Unlike art, architecture has always had an accidental audience. Excepting the unusually attentive viewer or the unusually famous building, architecture is received, as Walter Benjamin famously argued, “in a state of distracted attention.” It does not undermine the value of close reading, and expert discourse within the discipline accepts that most people experience architecture when they are focused on something else—on the way to meet someone, hurrying back to their desk, or mulling over a text message. Architecture tends to remain in the background. The general public engages with buildings without a disciplinary frame. This doesn’t leave them unaffected, but they aren’t paying attention.

Architects speak to two audiences, one that is interested in their work and the field, and one that is not. We draw for the former and build for the latter, but The Jogging’s reception suggests that there are other media through which we can engage a broader audience. Given that our work has never been confined to the museum or gallery, architects may already be attuned to engaging with a wider audience uninterested in high culture and lacking the knowledge and expectations associated with it. By engaging sensibilities other than traditional beauty and strategies beyond core architectural media, we can make our argument to a wider audience, even if it means doing so without the wall text.

The accidental audience is emblematic of larger questions in contemporary art prompted by the blurring of disciplinary boundaries. Art institutions host more work that traditionally falls outside the bounds of fine art. Whole art movements conceive of art work as events or performances that produce no physical artifacts. And as Troemel discovered, more of the audience approach such work without a disciplinary frame of reference, without the history or discourse of art in mind. This is both a threatening and provocative prospect, because art depends on its disciplinary frame. It relies on attention and contemplation, a mode of viewing we are accustomed to assuming in museums and galleries but rarely anywhere else.

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By 2012, The Jogging had achieved minor viral status and the collages were attracting a wide audience that did not always recognize what they were viewing as art. Some viewers reposted images, often ignoring the caption and erasing any trace of the origin of the image, fully removing its status as an art object. The expanded audience that came across The Jogging had different expectations than an audience visiting a museum or gallery, and they understood and reacted to the work differently. The most common response was bafflement—what Troemel describes as the “WTF, I don’t even?” reaction. While it may seem negative or dismissive, this response was in fact made up of a series of questions about what was depicted, where it had come from, and why. Many viewers sought answers by reposting images, helping to further proliferate them. The following year, Troemel began thinking of The Jogging’s viewership as ‘the accidental audience’ (and its impact on contemporary art.)

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At 2am, I run into everyone I’ve ever met at the bodega. I run into that girl I knew in middle school, the couple I saw last week in the park, a cousin grabbing a snack and a Snapple. I overhear two friends I haven’t seen in weeks order sandwiches. All are happy to see me, to share stories, to overhear and comment on passersby. I bump shoulders with dreamers in line, scratching lotto cards and eyeing lottery tickets. I consider the odds, and a man asks if I’ll buy him a lighter and some malta. In the bodega,

1 Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown, “Ugly and Ordinary Architecture or the Decorated Shed,” Architectural Forum, 1971, 64–67.

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But are Bjarke’s success and Bureau’s rising popularity contingent upon architectural punchlines? Such projects are easily digestible theses for the general public, in a world where Architecture can err on esoteric jargon, complicated engineering, and epistemological discussions. Canonical buildings, such as Villa Savoye, Farnsworth House, and Glass House, are incomprehensible ‘modern cubes’ to the layman.




we read a vernacular architecture built on convenience—a quick bite, a late night milk run, a lottery ticket on the commute home—and formed out of a saturated density, operable only on a local scale. It is a pedestrian-sized structure, an “ordinary” location that reveals the desires and consumption habits of an area. Bodegas are not uniform, yet their constituent parts can be classified within a larger landscape of urban heterogeneity. Historically, it’s one of many small niches the city’s other populations have carved out, in this case evident by the Hispanic “bodega”, or by its predecessor and close sibling, the “delicatessen”, brought to the Americas by Germans. The bodega can be conceived of as a racialized type, an urban general store primarily catering to communities of color and yet not exclusively so. At one bodega, the dreams and needs of an entire city can be purchased from its cashier. And so the neighborhood is naked in the bodega, where everyone waits with their dirty secrets in hand, drawn in by the advertisements for a sale on American Spirits and half-and-half. This is a personable architecture with a human face; in the New York bodega I grew up

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In 2009, artists Brad Troemel and Lauren Christiansen founded The Jogging, a Tumblr blog which featured collaged images of products found online. Each collage was paired with a wall-text-like caption that identified it by title, date, medium, and author. The captions relied on the descriptive conventions of the museum to distinguish the image as art, versus online detritus.

EV ERYDAY PA PRIKA! VOL. 3 NO.4 10.12. 2017

ta d i u ms. Seed v a u l t s.

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CONTRIBUTORS: Denisa Buzatu, Valeria Flores, Zachary Hoffman, David Langdon, Meghan Royster, Robert Smith Waters, Dylan Weiser (M.Arch I, ‘18); Nadeen Safa, Istvan Vanvianen (M.Arch II, ‘18); David Bruce, Dan Whitcombe (M.Arch I, ‘19)

AURELI on a magical journey through Siena and Tuscany. But what topped off the luxurious historical explications was listening to PV explain his secret love for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream: “It’s all about the chunks.” #eisenmunchkins #betterlatethannever #sienagonisma #fürelisa #loggiaboy Favorite #HomeRons from the SMITH/PLATTUS studio include the last Dodgers game of the season, Korean BBQ in K-Town, failed attempts to enter the Salk Institute, eating southern food in Birmingham, getting a “dope” hostel upgrade in Nashville (after previous disappointments), and finally, the Grand Ole Opry: 10 kids, 2,000 grandparents, and ANDREI HARWELL showing up late. #pitchperfect #homeRON #padreAndrei #shortstopinLA 10/2: The reception celebrating the completion of the 50th JIM VLOCK BUILDING PROJECT occurred last Monday. Among the attendees were Dean Berke, President Salovey and New Haven Mayor Toni Harp. Despite reports that he would be in attendance, Handsome Dan was MIA. After a lengthy summer, the house will soon be ready for occupancy.

The GEHRY studio’s travel week kicked off with a visit at Suomenlinna Prison, a minimum security prison situated on an island next to Helsinki. The residents of the prison live in BP-like houses, cook their own dinners, and can relax in their home saunas. In Norway, the studio visited SNØHETTA’S Oslo Opera House, the island-village-prison in Bastoy, and the maximum security prison in Halden. Gehry gave desk crits in his hotel lobby. #keepcalmandgehryon #letsbefrank #paprikaisthenewblack #aaltogether #trattitude

TRAVEL WEEK: The highlight of the ZENGHELIS studio’s trip to Greece was unquestionably dancing with ELIA ZENGHELIS. The jam-packed week offered much: historic sites, great food, beautiful weather, and all of the thrills that come with communal hostel living. Suffice it to say that the studio has returned from travel week with a new appreciation for Greek life, marble buildings, polikatoikia,and a lingering food coma. #eggsBennerdict #overEZ #fetawap #icouldbeyourgyro

The RUFF studio spent the week traveling through the South and returned still full from the cornbread. Especially memorable moments include a “colossal failure” at the The Old Exchange & Provost Dungeon in Charleston, hanging out with JAKE GYLLENHAAL in St. Elmo’s Fire, discovering places in the country that have yet to be serviced by Uber, Marquetta Goodwine’s narrative about become Queen Quet of the Gullah Nation,

Pris o n s. M e m or ia


How do we nurture vibrant public life in a place that almost exclusively caters for pay-for-play, private development? Can we achieve this goal without compromising the financial constraints of the marketplace? The PASOLAR/AROLAT studio set out to answer these questions by surveying a wide range of existing Miami typologies including hotels and houses, and the neighborhoods of Little Havana and the Arts District. Students talked to practicing architects, developers, sales professionals, and attended public hearings. The students conducted valuable site research “studying” the beach and the local nightlife. #MiamEAA #thanksArolat

The globetrotting DEAMER studio braved marshes, mountains, and one of the longest flights in the world (Dubai → Auckland) for an unforgettable journey through Middle Earth. Among many notable events was a visit to Gibbs Farm, the Storm King of the Southern Hemisphere. On the rural estatecum-farm, students walked amidst the work of Anish Kapoor, Richard Serra, Maya Lin, and Bernar Venet alongside a veritable menagerie of giraffes, zebras, and ostriches. One ostrich in particular (fondly given the name Rupert) abandoned his flock, joined the exotic pack of students for a walk around the park, and at one point charged at Peggy. #theferryshipofthering #thetwoterminals #thereturnoftherain

10/2: NICOLAS KEMPER (M.Arch I, ‘16) showed up unannounced at the Piazza del Campo in Siena, Italy, where he tagged along with the

the Land’s End beach, and PIERRE THACH’s (M.Arch I . M ‘18) bread bag. #ruffryders #ruffinit #dandruff a r k Students from the EISENMAN studio e t followed PIER VITTORIO s. M u se

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The views expressed in Paprika! do not represent those of the Yale School of Architecture. Please send comments and corrections to To read Paprika! online, please visit our website, WEB EDITOR Seth Thompson PUBLISHERS Jeremy Jacinth and Nadeen Safa COORDINATING EDITORS Amanda Iglesias and Julie Turgeon GRAPHIC DESIGNER Ingrid Chen ISSUE EDITORS Haylie Chan and Kevin Huang

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10/7: Rogue traveler ROBERT SMITH WATERS (M.Arch I, ‘18) ran into MARK FOSTER GAGE at the LAX airport, both on route to JFK. Also spotted on their flight: CONAN O’BRIEN.

10/9: At one point during his Monday morning Parallel Moderns class, ROBERT A.M. STERN quipped “I’m not nostalgic, just realistic.”

t most of us barely enco a h t s m unt rogra re, w p r o er f g e find nin g i on s e d ourselves

10/10: During PHIL BERNSTEIN’s third year Pro-Prac class, guest lecturer Brian Kenet tackled the

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10/12: A reception celebrating student work produced during the 2017 Robert A.M Stern Seminar, “Rome: Continuity and Change” will take place on Thursday, October 12th from 1:00-2:00pm, on the third floor of Rudolph Hall. It is unclear whether refreshments will be provided.

The Fall 2017 Rudolph Open has true potential for greatness. According to one of this year’s five (yes, five) Commissioners, six MED students entered the tournament at the very last minute. Almost all first round games have been played; no clear front-runners... yet.

Stop by the Goffe St. Armory this Saturday and Sunday from 12-6pm to visit “Garden Pleasures” by IAN DONALDSON (M.Arch I, ‘18), DANIEL GLICK-UNTERMAN (M.Arch I, ‘17), and OLISA AGULUE (M.Arch I, ‘19). Seven booths created by artists, architects, psychologists, writers, journalists, and other producers form images when seen from certain vantage points. Inside each booth is a small mythological garden. Collaborators on the project include: CAITLIN THISSEN (M.Arch I, ‘16); CAITLIN BAIADA, CHRISTIAN GOLDEN, KEVIN HUANG, HYEREE KWAK, SUZIE MARCHELEWICZ, ISABELLE SONG, (M.Arch I, ‘18); LANI BARRY (M.Arch I, ‘19); CARR CHADWICK, POLINA VASILYEVA, YO-E RYOU, MATTHEW WOLFF (YSoArt); DWIGHT PORTOCARRERO (University of Michigan); JEANNETTE HINKLE (Melrose Free Press).

Watercolors by ALEXANDER PURVES are on display at the Koerner Center for Emeritus Faculty, located above the Visitor Center at 149 Elm Street. The show will be on display until December 15.

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with, a storeowner and cat greet your entrance through a fortified glass door. Next, stocked shelves and fat refrigerated cases, a hide-and-seek playground between wooden pallets leaned against cardboard boxes, and the scratch-off line for the lotto blocking your way. Extrapolating from this form, the bodega is a critical commercial type in the American urban vernacular, a location complicated by years of social, political, and economic changes at the scale of the city. What can architects gain from an architecture like this? What should urbanists heed?

The bodega’s fantastic function—that of providing a physical space for publicizing a neighborhood’s private behaviors and dreams—continues to thrive in many places. Featuring saturated advertisements that compose an exciting façade, the bodega is a critical node in urban typology. The unique spatial arrangement of the dense, narrow aisles, packed with goods, creates forced encounters that (→)


GA: Well to me, this is my second home!

GA: For example, in the Medical building, there are a lot of labs. [In] the Anatomy building, on the third floor, there are bodies. When I used to work in that

P!: We’re interested in how you said every building has its own character. The colleges here definitely have a different aesthetic than that of Rudolph Hall, as they are built in a different time and have a different style. What does this difference mean to you?

GA: I don’t know, like I said, every building has its own character.

P!: What do you wish this building had, if it needed anything?

Thus, through this understanding/application of vernacular architecture, it is possible to trace our collective experiences of globalization in everyday life within newfound relationships between seemingly diverse spatial typologies that are dispersed around the globe. The way in which the use of globally standardized material dimensions, for example, might be understood in how it physically and conceptually connects the single family home, underscores today’s global situation:one of India’s 98 new “smart cities” uses the material, the big-box store in a rural midwestern American town stocks the material, a skyscraper office building in downtown Frankfurt specifies the material, and a container terminal

However, due to the saturation of these mature markets, there is now an increasing desire to expand their portfolio by investing in core assets, and, as a result, a willingness to engage in new construction particularly in growing cities. I speculate that investors are seeking favorable conditions such as critical population mass (between 500,000 to 1,000,000 residents), diverse demographics, existing local culture/entertainment, geographic assets, and comfortable climatic conditions. In the United States, a handful of cities fall into this category: Portland, Columbus, Atlanta, Charlotte, Nashville. This is an opportunity for young architects to capitalize on. With local and international capital already pouring into cities other than New York and Los Angeles,

While this example mostly relates to private individual investors, there are a large variety of sovereign wealth funds and institutional investors that operate at far larger scales. A notable example is the Government Pension Fund of Norway, worth over one trillion dollars in investments (equaling the size of Mexico’s economy) and which owns a real estate portfolio of buildings in high-profile locations such as Times Square , Regent Street, and the Champs Élysées, among an impressive list of stocks in companies worldwide. Because of the large building stock found in major cities, many of these funds operate by flipping existing developments.


her than provide answers,

As part of a Spring 2017 Independent Study focused on the effects of recently completed YSoA Building Projects in the West River Neighborhood, we used a mixed qualitative research methodology (including focus groups and post-occupancy evaluations) to document individual and community perceptions that elucidate the impacts of BP houses on individual lives within a larger community context. Various accounts revealed the Building Project’s inherent complexities and contradictions, making it impossible to reach statistically significant conclusions. However, the resulting complex network of themes—

Designers find fascination in the mundane - in an ‘everyday’ that seems foreign and strange. However, we too often overlook the construction of social processes that are inevitably shaped, destroyed, and improved by the built environment. As architecture students, we lead lives alien to the New Haven communities within which we study. This disassociation affords the potential to disengage from architecture research grounded in daily experience, communities, and histories. To address this potential, The Jim Vlock First Year Building Project provides a fundamental opportunity to engage the ‘everyday’ by bridging academia and practice. Despite the intention, the Building Project has too often remained an insular pursuit that privileges developer criteria, aesthetics, and architectural concept over user and community feedback. Do we have a true understanding of the people and places we are designing for?



VS: More bathrooms. I could never find the bathrooms downstairs, and in the library there’s only one.

P!: Lastly, what do you wish the building had?

VS: It really is just the outside. However I really do like the stairs outside, it looks a little dismal, but somehow I like it because it’s so simple.

P!: And the unpleasant?


Through a sustained dialogue between architect and user, something interesting can happen in the long term: architects will begin to break down the barriers of practice and academia by extending their passion for and understanding of buildings. As architects, we can encourage non-architects to develop a stronger sense of social responsability for their own built environments. Developers and city planners who work with communities to propose zoning ordinances often define the parameters of our work. If we intercept this model to become involved in conversations of the ‘everyday’, ‘everyday’ and quality design do not have to be mutually exclusive. By empowering the community, we empower ourselves.

As students of architecture, we recognize the power of difference. Thus, year after year student proposals explore innovative forms that defy the status quo. Yes, architects must challenge the norms of convention— but not at the direct expense of context, functionality, and comfort. Thus, a reciprocal relationship between trained expertise and empowered community engagement results in a built environment that people understand, support, and have pride in. It is critical to note that community engagement does not predicate the direct translation of input into form. Rather, it empowers architects to create spaces that address specific daily needs in an unexpected manner, making the mundane an incredibly interesting and challenging design question.

Despite these opposing forces, our results indicated that even seemingly insignificant design details have a cumulative effect on people’s everyday lives, and thus, on the physical, emotional, social success of buildings in their environments. The positioning of a cabinet door so it can never fully open, a window’s size, shape, and relation to view/ be viewed, or an open hardwood stair in a home for a family with children, explicate the psychic effects of built minutia. First-hand accounts of these spatial rituals and their ‘everyday’ consequences revealed successes and failures difficult for us to predict as designers removed from the life of the home upon project completion.

from dispossession to green space to building maintenance—demonstrates a relationship between community perceptions and Building Project parameters ranging from the academic prompt, to the partner organization’s demands, to time, budget, and zoning constraints.

cit i l p m i s n o lores latent questi p x e e su

The idea of Aloha can be applied to the mainland. Aloha, meaning to be a part of the whole, suggests that the responsibility of life is shared, and as in design, the economic, social and cultural vitality of a place is shared across stakeholders. Implementing community-based design penetrates barriers between professionals and nonprofessionals through


2 If you’d like to explore the larger context of Modern architecture in the Middle East or the underlying politics, try to procure a copy of George Arbid’s Architecture from the Arab World 1914–2014 (A Selection) or look up the Arab Center for Architecture (ACA).

GA: This is my building!

P!: What do you feel about this building compared to other buildings on campus? DOV FEINMESSER YSoA M.ARCH I ’16

1 On display at the Yale Architecture Gallery from August 31, 2017 to November 18, 2017.

GA: I don’t think so. Of course, for safety reasons, I make sure all the doors are clear. The back of the sub-basement—I’ve never seen anyone there. Other than that, no. Every building has its own character. Sometimes I work in other areas of the University. For the most part I know every building in this entire University. I know the people but I also get to know the building.

The city of Vancouver, for example, has been building a notorious reputation for having one of the most unaffordable real estate markets in the world since the early 2000s. Statistics1 illustrate an exponential inflation in housing prices as the average price for a single family home increased dramatically over a 35 year time period: $180,000 (‘81), $600,000 (‘05), $1,000,000 (‘10), $1,400,000 (‘15), $1,800,000 (‘16). Typically, the most widespread explanation for this trend points to Chinese investors (predominantly) looking to park their money in hard assets (read: real estate.)

Since the Bretton Woods system collapsed in the 70’s, gold has failed to become the standard metric of financial value. This gave rise to fiat currencies: legal tender declared and backed by the issuing government such as the USD, EUR, or RMB. In today’s global and digital economy, these are more prominent than ever as a result of the volume and trading that occurs on a daily basis. We live in an era where the abundance of investable capital is compounded with the ease of monetary movement, and as a result is directly shaping the physical urban environments we live in.

VS: I really like the colors that are used; the warm colors especially the orange that they use in the library. It is a very clean place, everything is not cluttered, it’s very simple.

P!: What makes this building pleasant or not pleasant?

VS: The library. I really like where the magazines are because of the high ceilings, but the walls are “cubbied” in.

P!: What’s your favorite space in the building?

.R hether impl w y , l s t icitly or explici n

In traditional fashion, the book explores Middle Eastern and British precedents and the work of the Modernists of 1917–1948, many of them obscure, through drawings and formal analysis. The book and exhibit occupy a wonderful niche in the ongoing archeology2 of Modern influences outside the European Masters. If you wish to learn about the advent of architectural Modernism in Palestine during the British Mandate, I would strongly recommend this work and the exhibition in question.

Taking the very mechanisms of globalization as its cue, a reconceptualization of vernacular architecture as a dynamic, spatial and behavioral repertoire of adaptable common practices has the potential to reveal this mediating role of architecture. By asking the questions “what is repeated, through what mechanisms it is repeated, and what, if anything, makes it meaningful?,” connections can be found in what might otherwise appear as diverse formal responses to specific intersections of simultaneously global/ local social, economic, political, and spatial conditions, information technologies, and ways of living— in short contemporary everyday life and the spatial imaginations they give rise to. In this expanded sense, vernacular architecture is not a category of architecture, but rather an analytic/interpretive method that operates as a form of information technology for reading, communicating, and writing the organizational patterns that suffuse and connect architecture, what Keller Easterling has called “Spatial Software.”



5 Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism (New York: Verso, 1983).

4 Keller Easterling, Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways, and Houses in America (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1999), 3.

VS: I’m very sensitive to textures. If I were to hit that, it would just hurt really badly!

P!: What about the exposed concrete makes it unpleasant for you?

VS: I think outside is very rough-looking. I am not a huge fan of exposed concrete. The inside is super beautiful, I really love the library. The high ceilings really do it for me, that’s my favorite. I also really like the use of windows inside the library, I think it’s super interesting.

P!: What is your impression of this building?

VS: I have section in the basement, and I am pretty familiar with the library, but I have never been upstairs in the studios.

P!: How well do you know this building?

VS: I work here three days a week.

P!: Do you work here everyday?

VS: Yes, I am an undergrad, majoring in History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health.

P!: Are you a student here?


2 Ingrid Spencer, “De Leon and Primmer Architecture Workshop,” Architectural Record, December 16, 2010, www.architecturalrecord. com/articles/6363-de-leon-and-primmer-architecture-workshop.

1 Justin McElroy, “One Chart Shows How Unprecedented Vancouver’s Real Estate Situation Is,” Global News, August 4, 2016,


An example of a young firm taking advantage of this is de Leon & Primmer Architecture Workshop (DPAW) based out of Louisville, Kentucky. Both founders, Roberto de Leon and Ross Primmer, are graduates of Harvard’s GSD, and although neither of them are from the South, they credit Louisville’s growing transitional economy and welcoming cultural attitude to their success. In an interview with Architectural Record in 2010, de Leon said “In big metros, architects usually have to specialize to survive; being in Louisville has offered more freedom.”2 Since their founding in 2003, the practice has won numerous AIA, Architizer, and Archdaily awards, and I suspect that they will only continue to be more influential in the region, given its rapidly growing local manufacturing industry (5.6% employment growth in 2016). Although it’s not a precise science, I firmly believe that, based on the trends in the global economic markets, we may well find greater success by strategically locating ourselves in cities exhibiting signs of potential growth. By identifying vibrant cities and the investment opportunity within and then working intimately in those communities, young architects will find the strongest influence and gratification in their work. I am positive that these are the environments in which we have the real capacity to be extraordinary as architects.

there is greater potential to contribute and collaborate in more intimate environments.

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P!: That’s probably our favorite spot too. Is there any part of the building that makes it unpleasant?

GA: It’s the seventh floor balcony, facing York Street, because you can see most of the University. Especially right now when the leaves are changing color, and then winter when the snow comes. Yes, that would be my favorite spot.

The colloquial definition of vernacular architecture, and much of the discourse surrounding it, has long focused on the perpetuation of cultural and locationbased formal traditions across space/time, and whether the involvement of professional architects in the construction and perpetuation of such traditions impacts their authenticity. Thus two qualities have come to bracket what has been considered vernacular: the “everydayness” or unremarkable and material embeddedness of a building within its broad formal as well as social, political, and economic contexts, with room for variance in small details, and the absence of professional architects, or at the very least a limitation of the architect’s design work to variation within a formal/typological tradition. Because such conceptualizations of vernacular architecture have been tied to the analysis of building within specific cultures and geographic locations, their use in understanding how architecture mediates the relationships of everyday life—what Henri Lefebvre describes as real, dramatic, and material life as it is experienced in the here and now—to the expanding social, political and economic contexts along with the increasing mobility of people, goods, and capital, which characterize globalization, is limited1. Indeed, as Nezar AlSayyad, a theoretician of vernacular architecture, has noted, with the rise of new transportation and communication technologies which have expanded the mobility, access to, and interpenetration of cultures and everyday lives around the globe, “in the twenty-first century, as culture and tradition are becoming less place-rooted and more information-based, these particular attributes of the vernacular [everydayness and the absence of professional architects] have to be recalibrated to reflect these changes.”2


3 Spatial Imagination is the conceptualization, expression, and rendering in literal and metaphorical ways, of how our understandings and representations of spaces and interactions of daily life shape our understandings and representations of our place in the world reciprocally shape one another, based on personalization of the concept of “geographical imagination” theorized by David Harvey and others. Derek Gregory, Geographical Imaginations (Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell, 1994); David Harvey, Social Justice and the City (Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1973).

2 Nezar AlSayyad, foreword to Vernacular Architecture in the TwentyFirst Century: Theory, Education, and Practice, ed. Lindsay Asquith and Marcel Velligna (New York: Taylor and Francis, 2006), xvii.

1 Mary McLeod, “Henri LeFebvre’s Critique of Everyday Life: An Introduction,” in Architecture of the Everyday, ed. Steven Harris and Deborah Burke (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1997), 13–14.


Studies like Rem Koolhaas’s analysis of the intersection of finance, façade and elevator technologies, city planning, and urban mythology in Delirious New York or Beatriz Colomina’s exhibitions on the impact of architecture depicted in Playboy on normative ideals of masculinity/femininity in domestic interior design, while not explicitly focused on vernacular architecture, are exemplary of the analytical mindset which combines situation and systemization that a reconceptualization of the term vernacular architecture proposes. Much as Koolhaas and Colomina deploy this mindset to understand the everyday architecture of the times and spaces of their studies, it is from within this mindset that we might sincerely ask the question embedded in this issue of Paprika!’s theme: “What is the contemporary vernacular architecture of the everyday?”

It might be objected that such a reconceptualization of vernacular architecture expands the meaning of the term so drastically as to render it practically meaningless. Under this reconceptualization what would or could be outside of vernacular architecture? However, such objections/questions are both beside and exactly the point of such a reconceptualization which has, at its core, two goals. Firstly, to such reconceptualization shifts architectural history and practice from a discourse on what buildings are to what buildings do by transforming what was formerly a category of buildings into an analytic tool for constructing/understanding relationships. Secondly, by applying this analytic tool, such reconceptualization demonstrates that buildings cannot be understood solely formally, outside of the social, political, economic, spatial, and ideological contexts within which they were/are designed, built, and lived. Somewhat ironically then, reconceptualizing vernacular architecture as Nezar AlSayyad implored, results in a return to the questions of everydayness and relationship to (non)professional practice that have always underscored studies of vernacular architecture, but at a more abstract level that looks at the systems of professional practice, finance, utilities, symbolism, media, etc., within which buildings are designed, built, and lived.

in Luanda, Angola ships the material into a single network. Ultimately, an awareness of the process of the material’s deployment across this network and intersections of spatial imaginations it gives rise to has the potential to produce new networks of solidarity, or what Benedict Anderson would call “imagined communities” in which individuals who may not ever come into contact with one another come together around shared interests through a common, in this case spatial, language.


P!: Do you have a favorite place in this building? You make your rounds everyday, but you also sit here in the lobby, so is there a favorite place of yours?

GA: I see people graduating; you get used to seeing them from when they first come in with their freshmen face, all full of wonder, all fresh. But then in the middle of the semester, they become all tired! I just want to hug you all. First year is a hard year. I think the most difficult part is the final reviews. The library is full; there is a lot going on. I have to say, I am proud to work for Yale, period. It’s a wonderful industry to work for. Seeing you every year is a wonderful feeling, I feel proud of you guys. I do cry when you leave! This happens especially when I get close to students, the ones we know by name, they share and I share my personal things, so when I see them gone—for example today, one of the Art History majors here was saying goodbye because she’s moving to Boston—I say “Don’t go, please!” You get used to it, but it’s not easy.

P!: So you do spend a lot of time here. We see you a lot!

GA: Monday to Friday.

P!: Do you work here all week?

1 Log 39, Winter 2017: Observations on Architecture and the Contemporary City.


I just wrote about this as a response to Michael Meredith in the most recent issue of Log1 on minimal design effort and “indifference” as a position. I believe the pursuit of the everyday in architecture is a form of political indifference. As if you’re doing work that supports the status quo of everyday life, as it exists today (and every day), you are offering nothing to change it. That means your architectural efforts are politically inert. You can either design for the everyday in which you live, and solve its problems to keep it running smoothly, or you can design for the tomorrow you want to see—which explains my involvement with Speculative Realist philosophy. I am invested in a project of speculation about new, and more equitable, social realities—as I’m not satisfied with the current paradigms. If today’s reality is the reality you think we should live in—then, by all means, design for its propagation through producing its everyday architecture. Of course,I think we can do better than today’s everyday—architecturally, politically, culturally and socially. Now back to my cup of very special tea. My special​-​ty, as it were...

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P!: What is your general impression of the building? In one or two words, describe how you feel when you are in this space.



Having worked on the island of Oahu, I reaffirmed the value of the human and everyday. As creatures of habit, questioning the standard convention in practice is rare, but breaking routine prevents life from becoming a sequence of Thursdays strung together. Through reflection on the architect’s influence, pre-conceived notions of oneself and others might change. More firms practicing today should practice community-based design processes; with each subsequent election, fiscal-quarter, and retirement, place will always be the constant. Design and planning are better informed and better received by empowering all sectors of community members to participate in decision making, as all the people using or impacted by the space should be included to sustain change over time. When will architects start sharing?

Plans for Waipio Point Access Road MultiModal and Safety Improvements have been ongoing for nearly ten years: the project entails improved parking, rainwater runoff strategies, and sidewalk expansion. The Clubhouse’s repeated deferral on the initiatives is linked to political barriers. Potential problems may arise when officials neglect their responsibilities as a vehicle for constituents and prioritize external economic, political, or social gain over the local benefit. The Access Road is in an older neighborhood, so making changes could lead to other projects in similar neighborhoods, which is concerning for a city’s budget. By exploring what the community envisions through walking tours, interviews, community meetings, and community workshops, a dialogue is created between stakeholders, which can develop more sustainable action for a place’s longevity.

I’m not sure I’m the right person to be writing on the everyday as it’s not really my cup of (everyday Lipton) tea. I’m more of a Lapsang Souchong person. I’m more interested in the disciplinarily anomalous than the everyday. For me, the everyday is just takeout — nothing special (by definition), but it does its job of preventing starvation when I get home. One can, of course, make claims that there is actually specialness in the everyday—as has been done in architecture a few times a century since Laugier—but if the everyday is special, it would no longer truly be everyday. Everyday is often synonymous with ordinary. And one cannot, by definition, be both ordinary and special. It’s a contradiction in terms. And so this argument becomes a redefinition of the term “everyday” rather than an argument about architecture. Today the term “everyday” in architecture also confused with “understated,” or a type of minimal effort. Minimalism is a style and I’m not particularly interested in style arguments.



area, I loved it. It has a special identity to it, you know? I look forward everyday to come here. You guys make my day. I see all the projects, from the beginning to the end. And then I get to see them in the gallery. I’m one of the first ones to see it, before it goes out into the public!

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When asked about the lack of works by Palestinian architects in the book (and exhibition), KarmiMelamede was quick to acknowledge the Modernist work of other Middle Eastern architects, not least of which, are Hassan Fathy and Sayed Karim, whose works she greatly admires. During the period in question, however, no local architects had yet adopted the Modernist ideology in architecture. Simply put, between 1917 and 1948, the vast majority of Modern architecture built in Palestine, and possibly all of it, was designed by immigrant architects, largely from Eastern and Central Europe—in other words, Zionists. This is not to say, Karmi-Melamede acknowledged, that there were not many Modernist works later developed, in Egypt and Lebanon in particular, by local architects; but, during the British Mandate in Palestine, this was not the case. Modernist architecture in Palestine during the British Mandate was indeed Zionist. Furthermore, the concept of starting new—of a tabula rasa approach—was not unique to the Zionist architects of British Mandate Palestine, and questioning why context is not part of an exploration of this manifestation of Modernism is akin to asking what part context played in Le Corbusier’s Plan Voisin.

She asks: “Why is this exhibition not called Social Construction: A Zionist Architecture?” and adds that “The body of work of Palestinian architects active during this time period including Elias Anastas, Gabriel Khamis, and Anis Srouji is forgotten about and remains largely unrecognized,” positing that the exhibition’s title and accompanying book are complicit in an effort to whitewash the heritage of Palestine and “misrepresents Palestinian history.”

It is curious therefore, that in her short article titled White Paint on Old Stone, published in Paprika! Vol. 3, Fold 01: “Foundations”, my colleague Dima Srouji (M.Arch I, ‘16) asserts that the exhibition “doesn’t relate to its title nor its description.”

This focus, reflected in both the title of the exhibit and the book, is significant to Karmi-Melamede, since she is clearly curious about this period, its location, and the subsequent impact on an architectural style. The architecture analyzed therein was designed by individuals trained in the theories and ideologies of a new architecture that was rooted in utopian, social ideas, and a break from the past or ideas of context. But these architects were also pragmatic. They had fled wars and devastation and sought to use the Modern language of architecture to create the sort of cities that would reflect their social ideals. In Tel-Aviv, they built a city on purchased sand dunes, planned on British Garden City principles with a European Modern aesthetic, molded to the Middle Eastern climate, and forged by the limited technological advancements available to them in Palestine at the time. Every day in the “White City,” people still enjoy the fruits of their labor.

At a recent gallery presentation and talk with KarmiMelamede, it quickly came to light that, as with many in-depth academic treatises in architecture, the book from which this exhibit stems was the product of a long and laborious process of research on a narrowly defined subject. Encompassing three decades of work, the tripartite book deals with the architecture of a specific aesthetic and theory, Modernism, and a specific period in the history of Palestine, the British Mandate (1917–1948).

A Social Construction: Modern Architecture in British Mandate Palestine1, is an exhibit that first appeared in a smaller format at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem. It is a snapshot of the fascinatingly illustrated, Architecture in Palestine during the British Mandate, 1917–1948, by Ada Karmi-Melamede and Dan Price.


1 Maura Judkis, “Bodega, an ‘unmanned pantry box,’ has already become America’s most hated start-up,” Washington Post, September 13, 2017, wp/2017/09/13/bodega-an-unmanned-pantry-box-has-already-become-americas-most-hated-start-up/?utm_term=.665d240e07db.


Government. Community. Consultants. Like it or not, this is the triangle of power enabling visions today. Participation between designers and community members can occur anywhere, but it is important to choose a physical location accessible for all. Meeting in a shared facility, for example, manifests shared trust and continuity for stakeholders. While interning this summer, I learned that for the community of Waipahu in Hawaii, holding a meeting at the client’s site—the Aloha Clubhouse in Waipahu— allowed nearby residents, Waipahu High School faculty, Aloha Clubhouse members, and the City Council to easily attend because the community meeting was within the community.

a participatory, more transparent design process in order to shape a community more equitably. Over time, the community gains social equity and confidence in advocating for itself.

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(→) demand the interactions across difference critical to American cities. Across the nation, however, the rise of 24/7 delivery services like UberEats, InstaCart, and AmazonFresh have undermined the strength of our corner stores, our delis, our gas station vendors—our bodegas. Ironically, yet not surprisingly, entrepreneurs have capitalized on the vanishing bodega and its unique form. In new convenience products like the Bodega Pantry1, designed by two ex-Google employees, the trendy appropriation of America’s minority food cultures is at work in undermining important physical, urban spaces that knit communities together. We should ask how urban planners and architects could read bodegas and delis as vernacular, undesigned structures and interpret their value as such. For in its decline, the unique, plain beauty of the bodega’s everyday architecture and its tangible civic function will slowly disappear from our cities. Let’s take note.

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