As every 2 years, we have been attending the Venice Architecture Biennal. Find some first impressions below (if you’re reading the RSS feed, these images might not show):
Great Movie, giving an introduction to the new book “Less and More – The Design Ethos of Dieter Rams”. Incl. his 10 commandments on good design. Hero!
My friends from MikeViktorViktor, a young Antwerp-based Architecture office (neither Mike nor Viktor) recently send me a link to a great representation of their work. Apart from the great work they do (and which you should definitely check out), it’s a fantastic way of communication.
thank you for the link Melisa!
As mentioned below, EXD09 is going to kick off soon.
I am especially looking forward to the talks with Alejandro Aravena and Julien de Smedt on 9th September and Konstantin Grcic and Giulio Cappellini on the 12th. I’ll also have a closer look at the public space project at Jardim de Santos and the project towards a new criticism in design and architecture ‘Stop & Think’ – read more on that in the EXD’09 Detailed Program (pdf).
Perfectly in tune with my recent move from Rotterdam to Berlin* I can recommend the Bauhaus exhibition in the Martin Gropius Bau (where else?) in Berlin. The exhibition – the largest on Bauhaus in history – will be open until 4th of October 2009, and focuses on the period 1919 to 1933. It is refreshing and and overwhelming to see this wealth of utopian ideas, especially now.
Amazing flashmob in front of my one of my favourite public buildings/squares: Peter Celsings Kulturhuset in Stockholm (1966-1971).
You could call Centre Pompidous (1972-1976) programmatic qualities a mere copy of it. In my opinion Kulturhuset works even better, the lowered square connects different pedestrian routes and tunnels them under a major street.
The initial design also marks all the functions by lettering them on the facade: OMA’s diagrams of the 90′s.
I like the idea of constrained design challenges, often leading to more interesting results as absolutely free choice of media. The demo scene comes to mind, with the inherent need to constrain the demos to minimal filesize (a good introduction would be this video), or artists experimenting with a minimal selection of tools: Steve Reich creating sounds by just cutting and looping (interesting enough performed live again by Peter Aidu in the video below), or Lars von Trier and the dogma movement, who banned effects and illusion, to get back to the essence of movie-making.
For more about the competition and Experimentadesign – Continue reading ’20 seconds’
The first session is already over (When Economies Become Form: Micro-Economic Models as Spatial Prescriptions in Northeast Brazil, Tina DiCarlo and Markus Miessen). H2OBITAT (Freek Persyn, Laurence Tait, Nico Tillie) starts at 14:00 (CEST), and Bridging Untroubled Waters: The Ningbo Mall as a Quest for Alternative Strategies in Open Space Development (Rients Dijkstra, Thomas Stellmach) is scheduled for 18:30 (CEST). Teaching the latter studio has been one of the reason why it has been so quiet around here the during the last weeks…
The guest critics we’ve invited include Carson Chan, Director of Programs, Berlin; Filip Geerts, Assistant Professor of Architecture, TUDelft; Adrian Hornsby, editor, The Chinese Dream; Jorg Leeser, principal of BeL, Cologne; Hiroki Matsuura, architect, Maxwan, Rotterdam; Marc Ryan, architect, West8; Jan Nauta, researcher, nOffice, Berlin; Ralf Pflugfelder, partner of nOffice, Berlin; Caroline Rovers, Stadshavens Rotterdam; Jaap Wiedenhoff, principal, Arup, Amsterdam.
The Planungsnetzwerk geo-Innovation of the University of Karlsruhe is organizing its second symposium on the 23rd of april in Karlsruhe. Its all about gis, web 2.0, experiments within urban context with gps and geodata.
Contributors are amongst others the openstreetmap (see also Thomas article openstreetmap) and the unortkataster.
The Rotterdam Design Award started its 2009 application period, deadline is 8 of May.
I have always been a sucker for consistent and smart graphical user interfaces, and work as such mostly on OS X. But I am even more of an efficiency, as in shortcuts, advocate. There are very few applications which balance the rather mouse oriented OS X interface with a smart shortcut system – Aperture being a positive example. Diametrically opposed to the Mac approach is Autodesk’s Autocad application, a technocratic and absurd mess of an application full of inconsistencies due to heritage, which still has a nerdy 1984 feel to it. Nonetheless, I love it. All comments are accessible via a command line, which enables you to just draw on a icon-free black canvas with the mouse hand, while the other hand rests on the keyboard typing out commands (we have discussed the notorious maxwan autocad shortcut system before). Purity. Zen.
This week Autodesk put up a survey on their site asking Acad/Mac users what features they would like to see most (and first) in a AutoCAD on OS X version. The survey is detailed enough to suggest that Autodesk really means it: Acad on OS X would eliminate one of the last reasons to ever boot into Windows again, and make me happy enough to jump around. It seems to be a chance to throw all that legacy ballast over board and give us a lean Autocad. But this will most probably stay a dream, and we’ll probably get another layer of weirdness added to Autocad. But we’re enthusiastic about Acad on a Mac nonetheless, and thus urge you all to participate in the survey to give it some momentum.
Don’t let the poster mislead you! TU Delft’s U-Lab comes up with a daring conference breaking from its single-disciplinary conservatism. During 3 days from September 24th on mathematicians, physicists, urbanists and designers gather in Delft. They will explore the implications of complexity theories of cities to planning and urban design. Besides hotshot professors Juval Portugali, Bill Hillier, and Mike Batty, gonna-be’s, or maybe wanna-be’s like Egbert and me will take the floor.
The conference has a limited audience capacity, and is first-come, first served! For more information, you may see complexitytheoriesofcities.com, send an email to me and check out the other dates in our calendar of selected Rotterdam Architecture Events.
Three decades of research have established the field of complexity theories of cities as a dominant approach to cities. Now that the field has come of age, it is time to stop for a moment, look back at what has been achieved, with appreciation, but also with sober criticism and then look forward at potentials that have yet to be realized. Continue reading ‘Complexity Theory Conference @ TU Delft’
After a couple years without publishing, the latest issue of Hunch #12 will be relaunched in collaboration with NAi Publishers at the Berlage Institute, Rotterdam. The event takes place this coming Tuesday, the 31st March, at 19:00 within the school itself.
Continue reading ‘Hunch 12: Bureaucracy – Launch Event’
Google Maps recently updated various cities within Europe, including Amsterdam and Rotterdam in the Netherlands. Of course, Europe being much more dense, has caused privacy problems for Google as seen in a row exposed by the BBC News in the UK. While I’ve snooped through some of my favourite spots in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, I’ve yet to explore the limits of what Google has made available online. It seems that some of the secondary cities such as Utrecht and Maastricht still lack the service. Given that the cameras are placed high above a moving truck, there are few (or no) views of pedestrian streets; and perhaps Google should think about capturing Amsterdam by boat?
UPDATE: I’ve added a map with the cities where street view is available. The recently added Oxford, London (Millenium Dome), Rotterdam (Ben van Berkel’s Erasmus bridge) and Amsterdam (Mirailles, West8 & Co. at Borneo) are not yet on it. Even more recent are the additions of Cannes, Zaragoza and the Amalfi Coast. Whatever Google’s criteria for inclusion are, we agree with them.
The website for this year’s 4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam 2009 is fully online and operational. Rotterdam architect Kees Christiaanse will curate the program, and has developed the theme: Exploring Urban Futures. He will be working in association with a team in Zurich at the ETH, where he also teaches urban design. In Rotterdam, Christiaanse runs his own office, KCAP, which is recognized for work in both architecture and urban design. Being the 4th biennale, expectations are high following what many perceived as a decline in the scale and quality of the last, 3rd Biennale entitled “Power”.
Continue reading ’4th International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam – Exploring Urban Futures’