Thursday, April 30. 2009
Transports, logement, tours... Le chef de l'Etat a dessiné ce mercredi sa vision du Grand Paris, dont le chantier devra démarrer «avant 2012».
«Il faut voir grand. Il n'y a pas de fatalité de la métropole invivable.(...) Une ville n'est grande que si elle est grande aux yeux de tous ses hommes.» C'est un Nicolas Sarkozy aux accents lyriques qui a présenté ce mercredi après-midi sa vision du Grand Paris, à la Cité de l'Architecture à Paris.
Durant une quarantaine de minutes, le chef de l'Etat a détaillé les grands axes de ce projet qui a pour lui «une importance capitale»: architecture, transport, logement... Le tout étant placé sous la houlette de Christian Blanc, secrétaire d’Etat à la Région Capitale. Et le Président veut faire vite: le chantier devra démarrer «avant 2012», avec comme objectif de «faire le Grand Paris en dix ans».
«70.000 nouveaux logements par an»
Le chef de l'Etat a également tranché sur la question du nouvel emplacement de la Cité judiciaire: «Elle doit s'installer aux Batignolles.» Avant les Batignolles (XVIIe arrondissement), le projet d'un déménagement du palais de justice, actuellement dans l'île de la Cité (Ier), avait tourné autour du XIIIe arrondissement et du nouveau quartier Paris Rive Gauche.
Le chef de l'Etat souhaite d'abord «optimiser le réseau existant»: faire fonctionner les transports la nuit, avoir une seule régulation du trafic pour le réseau RATP et celui de la SNCF. Et pourquoi pas une tarification unique: «On pourra pas faire l'économie de cette réflexion».
35 milliards d'euros
First she turned to the mutual exchange of ideas and concepts by modernist avant gardes such as architect Mies van der Rohe, artist/ filmmaker Hans Richter and painter and photographer László Moholy-Nagy.
In the first decades of the twentieth century, artists in different disciplines experimented with new modes of spatial representation brought about by cinema and photography. These experiments in turn made their way into architectural design.
Blau argued that the Tugendhat Villa in Brno designed by Van der Rohe - ‘the most cinematic architect of that era’ - was a manifestation of the spatial and sequential logic of film. There are no screens or moving parts in the villa, but Van der Rohe explores the idea of relational space in a way that, Blau argues, is reminiscent of cinema. The villa is layed out in a number of demarcated but linked spatial zones, such as the kitchen, the living room and the dining room. She imagined how the inhabitants, would move from one space on to the next as the rhythms of every day life would unfold. The rhythm of the spaces reminded her of the rhythms of Hans Richter’s abstract film experiments, and she connected the movement of time through the different spaces with a cinematic montage of shots.
In a similar way, in our time the computer and the internet provide us with new ways to visualize and conceptualize spatial relations. And also these new modes of thinking are making their way into architecture. This is best represented by the Toledo Glass Pavilion by SANAA, a museum building recently built in Spain.
As its website states, in this building …
… all exterior and nearly all interior walls consist of large panels of curved glass, resulting in a transparent structure that blurs the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces
The glass pavilion has incorporated the logic of digital media, not by assimilating it into the building, but by incorporating its logic: The glass structure of the pavilion inner and outer walls symbolize a new set of social relations, where everyone can observe and relate to everyone else anywhere in the building, and every piece of information is visible in multiple spaces. The space itself is not prescribed by the program, but open for multiple uses, its character determined not so much by its formal definitions, but by its uses. Even public and private spaces are not clearly demarcated, also this is a modality that is being defined by its usage rather than its programmatic function. Private space is being made by retreating, public by interaction and both can happen virtually anywhere in the building.
Via The Mobile City
Le terme "mediated space" ou "mediated relation to space" que nous utilisons dans nos conférences depuis 2-3 ans et qui fait ici l'objet d'un symposium à Harvard (School of Design), mais avec un "twist" dans l'approche.
A homage to J G Ballard, the writer who saw terror and poetry in the city landscape
I am glad I didn’t ask to interview JG Ballard at his home in Shepperton in 2003, and instead chose to meet him at the Hilton hotel on Holland Park Avenue, West London - ironically a far more Ballardian building than his own home. “We could be anywhere!” he said to me, approvingly.
Very few writers’ names coin an adjective, but Ballard’s has. ‘Ballardian’ has come to refer to ‘dystopian modernity, bleak manmade landscapes and the psychological effects of technological, social or environmental developments’, according to the Collins English Dictionary. His fiction has always taken inspiration from the built environment - particularly the utopian dream of modernist architecture - and he was especially interested in the latent content of buildings, what they represented psychologically (or “does the angle between two walls have a happy ending?” as he once obliquely put it), and was an original and brilliant architecture critic in his own right. He was the only writer, for example, to notice that before 9/11 no one had considered the World Trade Centre to be a symbolic target at all - indeed, he noted, that was the whole point, it was a meaningless act and it was this that people found so unsettling.
I first met Ballard in 1997 at a Soho press screening for David Cronenberg’s Crash at which, slightly unnervingly, he sat directly behind me. The novel that the film was based on, along with its precursor The Atrocity Exhibition (1970), is perhaps the most outre of his work, exploring the sexuality of the car crash and its psychotic protagonist Vaughan’s desire to drive off a motorway flyover and collide with Elizabeth Taylor’s car.
The handful of occasions I spoke to him since then were exhilarating autopsies of a whole host of subjects, including multi-storey car parks (‘One of the most mysterious buildings ever built. What effect does using these buildings have on us? Are the real myths of this century being written in terms of these huge unnoticed structures?’), and his favourite building in London, Michael Manser’s Heathrow Hilton (1992) (‘Sitting in its atrium one becomes a more advanced kind of human being. One feels no emotions and could never fall in love.’). When talking to him, I recalled Will Self’s observation that ‘Ballard rolls the phrases around in his mouth as if they were ironic boiled sweets’.
His disaster novels of the 1960s - The Wind From Nowhere (1961), The Drowned World (1962), The Burning World (1964) and The Crystal World (1966)- revelled in their environmental cataclysms, which now seem eerily prescient. It was in the early 1970s with the novels Concrete Island (1974), High Rise (1975) and Crash (1973) that Ballard became the ‘poet of the motorways’, in which his protagonists embrace their hostile surroundings. In Concrete Island, Ballard maroons ‘wealthy architect’ Robert Maitland - Crusoe-like - in a triangular interzone of a motorway intersection. Maitland decides to stay there rather than go back to his former life.
Ballard once famously said that ‘the future is going to be boring’ and that the whole world is ‘turning into a suburb of Dusseldorf’.
Ballard once famously said that ‘the future is going to be boring’ and that the whole world is ‘turning into a suburb of Dusseldorf’. In his later fiction, he turned to dissecting the infinite leisure that is awaiting us all, which he first wrote about in Vermilion Sands (1971) about an imaginary holiday resort. In Cocaine Nights (1996), Super-Cannes (2000) and Millennium People (2003), Ballard looked at gated communities and the nerve tonic of violence that was needed to shock his characters out of consumer capitalism. Ballard told me that whereas the 20th century was mediated through the car, the 21st century would be mediated through the home.
For Ballard, psychology and space were intertwined. His terrifying short story The Concentration City (1967) concerns a physics student, Franz, who tries to escape a seemingly illimitable city but who after 10 days of travelling realises he has arrived back to the same place and on the same day. Billennium is another superb short story about the psychological effects of overcrowding in which two young men discover a secret, larger-than-average room next to their own cubicle in a vast city. As they enjoy the extra personal space that they have never known, they allow their friends to share the space, which eventually ends up the same size as the room they were trying to escape from in the first place …
In a brilliant essay for The Guardian in 2006 in which he wrote about the blockhouses of Hitler’s Atlantic Wall on Utah beach, Ballard lamented the death of the utopian project of the ‘heroic period of modernism from 1920 to 1939’ – ‘We see its demise in 1960s kitchens and bathrooms, white-tiled laboratories that are above all clean and aseptic, as if human beings were some kind of disease. We see its death in motorways and autobahns, stone dreams that will never awake, and in the Turbine Hall at that middle-class disco, Tate Modern - a vast totalitarian space that Albert Speer would have admired, so authoritarian that it overwhelms any work of art inside it.’
Reading back my notes from an interview from 2003, I see how prescient he was about the speculative housing boom – ‘It’s our South Sea Bubble’ he told me (see online). Also, I see that we spoke about the inevitability of a terrorist attack in London. With Ballard gone, so is our early warning system.
Intéressant article publié par The Arhitect's Journal à propos de l'intérêt que J.-G. Ballard portait à l'architecture et en quoi celle-ci était centrale à sa pensée. Bien entendu, pas uniquement l'architecture, mais aussi la technologie, les sciences, la critique sociale, la psychologie et le dystopisme constituaient les ingrédients principaux de sa littérature.
It wasn't long ago that some physicists said that optical invisibility cloaks would be impossible to build. This week, two teams are claiming to have built cloaks that work over a wide range of optical wavelengths and the extraordinary thing is that both designs are almost identical (see above).
Invisibility cloaks work by steering light around an object fooling an observer who sees nothing back the background view. But while this works well for microwaves, it is not a straightforward matter to shrink these cloaks to a size that works at optical wavelengths.
Now Michael Lipson and pals at Cornell University and Xiang Zhang and buddies at UC Berkeley say they have both built cloaks that are essentially mirrors with a tiny bump in which an object can hide. The cloaking occurs because the mirrors look entirely flat. The bump is hidden by a pattern of tiny silicon nanopillars on the mirror surface that steers reflected light in a way that makes any bump look flat. So anything can be hidden beneath the bump without an observer realising it is there, like hiding a small object under a thick carpet.
You may wonder at the timing-- how can two teams come up with the same design at almost exactly the same time?
The answer is that both designs are based on an idea dreamt up by John Pendry at Imperial College, London, and a colleague that we examined on the arXiv Blog last July. It's just taken both groups the same amount of time to build one.
arxiv.org/abs/0904.3508: Cloaking at Optical Frequencies
arxiv.org/abs/0904.3602: Dielectric Optical Cloak
Faire qu'une bosse ait l'air plate et hop! on est invisible (grâce aux nanopilliers)... Facile en fait!
This blog is the survey website of fabric | ch - studio for architecture, interaction and research.
We curate and reblog articles, researches, writings, exhibitions and projects that we notice and find interesting during our everyday practice and readings.
Most articles concern the intertwined fields of architecture, territory, art, interaction design, thinking and science. From time to time, we also publish documentation about our own work and research, immersed among these related resources and inspirations.
This website is used by fabric | ch as archive, references and resources. It is shared with all those interested in the same topics as we are, in the hope that they will also find valuable references and content in it.