Tuesday, August 02. 2016
By fabric | ch
As we continue to lack a decent search engine on this blog and as we don't use a "tag cloud" ... This post could help navigate through the updated content on | rblg (as of 07.2016), via all its tags!
HERE ARE ALL THE CURRENT TAGS TO NAVIGATE ON | RBLG BLOG:
(to be seen just below if you're navigating on the blog's page or here for rss readers)
Posted by Patrick Keller in fabric | ch at 16:58
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Tuesday, June 14. 2016
Note: the architecture (of atmospheres) could become atomized into fine particles that aggregate in different manners along time, following different "rules" (these "rules" being the ones to be designed by the architect).
While we digg into sensors than monitor elements of the atmosphere (physical and non physical elements), we're definitely looking for a kind of architecture that would "deal" with these elements/particles and recompose them.
Via Cabinet (Spring 2001)
By David Gissen
In the history of architecture and design there have only been a few "effects"—electric light, forced air—that have had the capacity to cause massive environmental and behavioral shifts. Last year at Barcelona's annual design fair, the Catalonian designer Marti Guixe presented another—breathable food. "Pharma-food, a system of nourishment by breathing," is an appliance that was developed by Guixe to explore the transformation of food into pure information.
Dust Food Muesli. Photos: Inga Knölke.
Pharma-food joins the work of other, primarily European, designers who are exploring alternative regimens for such activities as washing or eating. One of Guixe's Catalonian contemporaries, Ana Mir, is exploring a technology that allows one to wash without water. Like Guixe's approach, this project would allow washing to occur anywhere. In their work, these designers not only free regimens from their fixed location in relation to certain products; they also free these activities from their traditional engagement with the body. Unlike designers such as Philippe Starck or Richard Sapper, who strive to revise traditional technologies, Guixe has discovered that the problem of eating does not involve the design of a new type of stove, sink, or refrigerator—the problem of eating requires finding a new mouth.
Pharma-BAR. Photo: Inga Knölke.
Guixe, who has been studying alternative forms of eating for several years, realized that the breathing of "food" already occurs via the inhalation of dust that hangs in the air at work and at home. Guixe hypothesized that this form of eating, from which one gains a miniscule amount of minerals and vitamins, could be trans-formed into a more potent meal, a "dust-muesli," that would supply a powerful dose of nutrients. The Pharma-Food appliance, which sprays this ærosolized nutrition, connects to a computer and requires Microsoft Excel to enter exact values for such things as riboflavin, vitamin C, and protein. The combination of these nutrients are saved on the computer as documents with names such as "SPAMT," which has the nutrient "language" of tomatoes and bread, and "Costa Brova," a "seafood" dish that is heavy on the iodine and light on carbohydrates. Guixe imagines diners composing these "meals" and sending them as e-mail attachments to other owners of the Pharma-food emitter. "Like MP3," says Guixe.
David Gissen is associate curator for architecture and design at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. He is currently developing an exhibition on human conveyance (elevators, escalators and moving sidewalks) and one on flying buildings.
Friday, June 14. 2013
By Jack Self
Rather than a mere folly, Sou Fujimoto's Serpentine Pavilion is sincere in his proposition about the future of architecture and its place in the world.
If Vivaldi’s Summer is the architectural high-season, then the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is its opening refrain — a measured, majestic transition from the long British winter to the frenetic hyperactivity and crystalline skies of summer proper.
Perhaps for this reason the Pavilion always attracts a certain sleepy journalism, as though the whole press hadn’t yet had their morning coffee. One reads endless tales recounted as though written in a half-waking state — soggy with dream-like odes and fanciful metaphors, rambling and extravagant, but almost universally uncritical.
On the rare occasion that a pavilion does get bad press, it is invariably childish insults hurled at the architect with a kind of impertinent bad-temperedness: “Nouvel resembles an ageing bouncer,” (Edwin Heathcote, FT) “I smell Jean Nouvel before I see him,” (Tom Dykhoff, The Times) “A one idea building from a once extraordinary architect” (Ellis Woodman, The Telegraph). In fact, although Nouvel’s 2010 shape-shifting red pavilion was received terribly, it remains the only attempt to broaden public engagement beyond the over-priced Fortnum & Mason’s coffee bar. With free kite flying, table tennis, chess and checkers, it became for a short period the only building in all of Knightsbridge that didn’t force you to spend money to enjoy its amenities.
More importantly, critique of the Serpentine Pavilion as an institutional project is totally absent. Inasmuch as the media accept or reject this or that form, it amounts to whim. We must name the Serpentine Pavilion for what it is: a star factory whose elitist self-perpetuation typifies the vapid iconicity of the pre-Crash years. This is a massive work of architectural branding, or at best, architecture-as-sculpture.
At the core of the whole project is a profound question about the intended benefactor of all these pavilions. For architects, the project’s ambition of providing a platform for little-known practitioners operates like a last-chance saloon for the already established. The category of never having built in the UK only increases the uniqueness of the bijou. For visitors, the pavilions do not serve any obvious purpose beyond to be looked at. Yet most passers-by do not actually spend much time looking at all (about four to six minutes). Presumably many are put off by spaces always focussed around a hopelessly over-staffed bar of well-dressed waiters, patiently expecting you to buy a £3 Americano.
The only entity that really profits from the pavilions is of course the gallery itself. Beyond the empty rhetoric, it is publicity for the sake of publicity.
All this is unfortunate really, because Sou Fujimoto’s nebulous pavilion is possibly the finest yet. Rather than a mere folly, Fujimoto is sincere in his proposition about the future of architecture and its place in the world. A polite, quiet, deferential man, he speaks slowly, but explains himself with eloquence and a precise clarity. I quickly notice a pattern in the way he responds to questions: first a tactful and positive remark, then his opinion.
I asked him who the structure was really for, and what was its purpose. He said, “It is for the people of London, and visitors of many different nations, to behave nicely in this park.”
After a pause he added in a lower tone, “Of course, we have some other ideas which are not about today but about the future urban environment. A pavilion of this size should not be concerned with super-practical things, because that can limit its life to the present. It should not be for now, but for 20 or 50 years later. People can imagine how such a living environment could be the future city, or future house, or the future park. I like to create such imaginings, and I hope people just casually enjoy this dream of architecture’s potential.”
He spoke about Corbusier, and how influenced he had been by the Modular. A simple unit based on the body, he said, had great power to harmonise, or integrate, differing scales. Corbusier was also remarkable for how he used small projects to express powerful ideas. Then he spoke about how Toyo Ito’s 2002 pavilion generated a lot of interest in Japan, heightened by SANAA in 2009. I got the impression that for Fujimoto the pavilion represented a platform; a coded message; a statement of intent pointed at his own country (as much as to anywhere, or anyone, else). When I asked if he had plans to build again in Britain he gave me a look of slight bemusement. “I like the UK a lot, and I feel very welcomed here.” The pause. “I do not have any current intentions of building here.” Would you though? “My work for the moment is in Japan.”
For an outsider, Japan’s complex social order can be at times impenetrable. Certainly though, something that has always struck me is the traditional continuity between generations of architects — where in the West each younger generation has to forcefully overthrow, reject (even denounce) their elders, the Japanese seem harmonious and respectful.
On the contrary, Kengo Kuma told me recently that just because he goes for Sake and Karaoke with Ito and Sejima (his words), it doesn’t mean he won’t take advantage of any opportunity to distinguish himself and declare his independence. As the youngest Japanese architect to do a pavilion, how did Fujimoto relate to this type of culture, with respect to Ito and SANAA?
“Actually, we have a nice relationship between the generations. I myself didn’t work for Ito-san, or SANAA, but they are very open and generous. They appreciate and elevate the young. They like to know what’s next, and what is the younger energy. That’s really great. We get such nice support.” Pause. “At the same time, we discuss architecture.”
I asked if that made it difficult to disagree? “We don’t have to just say yes. Sometimes we propose our opinion or objections, and that makes the relationship founded on mutual trust. If you just say yes all the time, it means that in a different condition you might say no, and that damages trust. We can enjoy these types of talks. They’re not fights. I am now 41, and the younger generation is coming up, and some of them are quite talented. So we have a responsibility to those who are younger, to support them and encourage them, just as I have seen Ito-san, or Sejima-san’s attitude to make the whole atmosphere of architecture in Japan more energetic, and more active.”
As you manoeuvre around the pavilion the form changes quite radically, and in a sense it is quite hard to say what shape it is. Normally, the architectural press (and Serpentine Gallery) don’t like shapeless pavilions, as though each building must be reducible to its own 32-pixel icon. Unlike Nouvel, the response to Fujimoto has been overwhelmingly positive, which led me to think there might be different kinds of formlessness.
“I agree. I personally saw Nouvel’s pavilion,” says Fujimoto. “From far away, it was a red square on a green background; it was quite beautiful. Inside, you couldn’t easily understand the form, or how the structure worked, or how the spaces were made. It was just red, and then less red, and then more red... I really like such an approach to architecture, that doesn’t focus on the form of the object, but on the qualities of the subjective experience, and I was fascinated by that.”
He continues. “For me, it was important to produce a structure that definitely had a shape, but one that was ambiguous. If you are outside the pavilion, this shape should be blurry. From different directions you should have completely different impressions. If you are inside, the object should disappear, it should be a gradient of shifting densities and transparencies. From some directions it is more like a floating cloud, and then from others more of a forest, or a group of trees. These are harmonious qualities, but they must be approached very carefully, it cannot be too strong. Harmony cannot be obvious.” Jack Self (@jack_self)
Friday, October 22. 2010
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fabric | rblg
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.
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