architecture and dissent

May 19, 2007

(Originally posted on EASA

Architecture and Dissent
(And from talking to action…)

The Berlage Institute (an architectural laboratory) have organised a series of Springtime public lectures on the theme of Architecture and Dissent.

This program of dialogues addresses the relations between architecture, power, and political dissent. By debating the cultural currents transforming contemporary daily life and, subsequently, shared spatial practices, this series of events promotes an open dialogue reflecting on today’s architectural condition.

Can architecture politically engage a global market-driven power structure? Is it possible to find alternative means of operating architecturally within this dominant system? How should architecture and urbanism address economic development, popular culture, and a design-driven consumerism? Does architecture—as both an intellectual discipline and a professional practice—contribute to stabilizing the inherent social inequalities of the contemporary city?

The talks can be viewed by live braodcast, heres the program

Tuesday 13 March – Instant City: The Rise of Dubai

Tuesday 27 March – Gated Communities in the Age of Extreme Individualism

Tuesday 17 April – The Cult of Celebrity: Superstars Architect in the Academy

Tuesday 8 May – Signs, Symbols, Spectacles: The Architecture of Global Corporations

Tuesday 15 May – Living Outside: Uneven Metropolitan Development

Tuesday 12 June – Beyond Degenerate Utopias?

Tuesday 19 June – The Power of Sprawl

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Onboard the (French) pirate ship METAVILLA (whats being pointed at in Venice this year?)

September 24, 2006

Text on wall of French pavillion, METAVILLA, occupied by EXYZT collective reads in Italian, French, Albanian, English:

The occupation of a palace

By a jubilant crowd is a common image of revoluionary excesses. It has been witnessed in various forms throughout the ages, depending on the historical context. The fact that the image keeps recurring makes it a ritual and necessary representation, an ingredient of the revolution itself. It embodies the hope for justice through the fair redistribution of space. Occupation is the architectural expression of a social vision.

Metacity / Metavilla attempts to put this collective movement into practice. This event is to a classic architectural exhibition what implementation is to a concept. The public can experience the architectural design displayed there, and particularly assess the practical ideal being presented, not just as a utopian theory but as a concrete action that needs to be accomplished. In occupying this national emancipated pavilion and opening it up to the public in this unusual way, an architectural act is being performed.Probably the only such act that can be made in these times of insecurity and underlying tensions of war. The welcome of strangers, implacably “other”, is more than ever a relevant act. Happily the joyful city on show in the pavilion really does exist, here and elsewhere. This exhibition is just a pointer.

OCCUPATION OF A PALACE: the writing is on the wall

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