Lauba, People and Art House
Republic of Croatia, Ministry of Culture
City of Zagreb, City Office for Education, Culture and Sports
Embassy of France in Croatia
Acción Cultural Española
On Friday, February 28th during the Culture & Society mini.symposium, Think Space launched the final competition of the Money Cycle. Competition entitled Environment is to be jurored by Keller Easterling . During the event, Easterling gave a short lecture on the topic, that will be online shortly. In the meanwhile, check out the photo report from our Friday event. Awarded authors and entries of the Culture & Society Competition were announced by juror Pedro Gadanho. Guests of the round table which followed were: Matevz Čelik, Dinko Peračić, Emina Višnić, Tomislav Pletenac, guest curators Ethel Baraona Pohl & Cesar Reyes Najera (via Skype) and Pedro Gadanho. Environment Competition brief, deadlines and all other information are available here.
by Ethel Baraona Pohl & César Reyes Nájera
Guest Curators of Think Space 2013/2014
“Money is any object or record that isgenerally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts ina given socio-economic context.”
Money is no more than a social construction that hasits value on the collective agreement to accept certain forms of measurement. Nevertheless, money is an immanent concept in our daily life. Under the capitalist system that leads the world in the current times, we can’t deny that money rules [almost] everything: the way we live, what we eat, where we go and how we relate with other... As coined by James Carville in 1992, “the economy, stupid.” Thus, if MONEY is only a virtual object and its value depends on the object to exchange, how can we work in a new understanding of the concepts of value, trade and exchange from a different point of view?
Money has been one of the main issues [if not the most important] to define the creation of territories and space. Borders created for economical purposes and financial markets in many ways are guiding how cities evolve. The relationship between countries basically depends on debt:creditor/debtor relation; where debt is not an impediment to growth. According to Maurizio Lazzarato, it represents the economic and subjective engine of the modern-day economy. Even this fact, during the past years we are starting to perceive capitalism as a failed system and probably as not the only option anymore. One of the signs of this failed system can be found on the sovereign debt crises that have placed several Eurozone nations under a situation determined by the European Union’s so-called troika—European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund [IMF]— and not determined by their citizens and inhabitants. For Baudrillard, money is no longer a medium or a means to circulate commodities, it is circulation itself, that is to say, it is the realized form of the system in its twisting abstraction.
In architecture, as in many other things, the right project can make the wrong entrance, resting until archivists retrieve it from obscurity. In architecture as in comedy, timing is almost everything. Only rarely do certain projects manage to build their own time, retroactively shaping their own history and that of others. The three projects selected for Think Space last year: The Peak, Yokohama Port Terminal and Blur Building are examples of the later, each managing the rather difficult challenge of posing a new problem to the field and leaving that field transformed in its wake. In turn, the explicit question this competition posed to its entrants was where to stand in relation to these singular moments of transformation.
Dear architects, students of architecture and related experts in design, landscape architecture and arts!
We invite you to be a part of the Second Think Space Unconference that will take place at Lauba in Zagreb, and those of you who joined us in the very first edition in 2011, know what a remarkable place it is. An Austro-Hungarian military riding arena transformed into a gallery of contemporary art is just a perfect setting for the highly interactive sessions and exploration of the Past Forward theme in the quest for disciplinary transformations witnessed in the last three decades of architecture's past. We invite you to be a part of this interesting international gathering of architects and alike!
To register right now click the registration link.
Consider the pleasures of building removal. Whatever the prodigious efforts associated with erecting architecture, the art of causing it to disappear can be equally violent, compelling or satisfying.
Methods for demolishing, imploding or otherwise subtracting building material are not among the essential skills imparted to architects in training. Believing building to be the primary constructive activity, the discipline has not institutionalized special studies of subtraction. In fact, for architects, building envelope is almost always the answer to any problem, and subtraction is often understood to be the preparation of a tabula rasa.
In the often indifferent ecologies of building subtraction, marketers, financial experts, planners and politicians man several different kinds of remote controls that can detonate building and landscape creating destruction and political disenfranchisement in ways that are only somewhat slower than warfare. This subtraction generally signals loss while accumulation or accretion generally signals growth.
But every act of building is already an act of subtraction. Most buildings today are designed as repeatable spatial products with rapid cycles of obsolescence. Financial industries surround the seemingly static and durable building with a volatile balloon of inflating and deflating value, be it a small house, a massive sports stadium or a 4000-room casino. Populations migrate into and away from cities causing both rapid growth and rapid decline. Buildings subtract other building because they replace a previous structure but they can also, just by their often toxic presence, cause surrounding buildings and landscapes to tumble to the ground. Complete Competition Brief available here.
Keller Easterling is an architect and writer from New York City and a professor at Yale University. Her book, Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and its Political Masquerades (MIT, 2005) researches familiar spatial products in difficult or hyperbolic political situations around the world. A previous book Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways and Houses in America (MIT, 1999) applies network theory to a discussion of American infrastructure and development formats. A forthcoming book, Extrastatecraft: The Power of Matrix Space (Verso, 2014), examines global infrastructure networks as a medium of polity. An excerpt from Extrastatecraft can be found on Design Observer. An ebook excerpt from Extrastatecraft, The Action is the Form: Victor Hugo’s TED Talk, was also recently published by Strelka Press. Easterling has lectured, published and exhibited her work in the United States and internationally.
El Rey, popular Mexican song.
Are we able to design without money as we know it? Can we envisage a practice of architecture that finds its rewards through unconventional forms of compensation? As other cultural producers, can architects be seen as initiators of communal projects for which, besides contributing the design skills and problem-solving capacities, they can also research and concoct alternative sources of funding?
In the past years, we have witnessed the emergence of experimental currencies such as the bitcoin, as well as new forms of economical exchange and trade, such as crowdfunding, social money,micropayments, or time banks, all of them based on the trust and support of a given network. Coming from the fields of design and urban transformation, can thesecurrency experiments and moneyless service exchanges be harnessed as catalysts for change? Can they be envisaged as an integral part of new forms of practice?
The way we interact as citizens in this potentially new economic scenario is transforming how we use public space, how we make use of digital tools, and how we create new physical and virtual territories for our own activities and aspirations. Simultaneously, these new forms of interaction can also lead us to explore different forms of compensation for design labor, just as they allow us to find new funding sources for initiating specific architectural projects or broader radical urban interventions.
Given these ideas, the competition asks for conceptual strategies and architectural expressions that may represent a new space for cultural exchange that can be built without money. Proposals are to be design-based and conceived for a location chosen by participants. Proposals must devise innovative financing models supporting the conception and construction of programs that, while based on prototypes of the urban market – from flea markets to produce exchange sites, from specialized bazaars to hacker’s forums –, can also be understood as promoters of cultural exchange.
Pedro Gadanho is the Curator of Contemporary Architecture in the Department of Architecture and Design at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Since he joined MoMA in 2012, he curated the exhibition 9+1 Ways of Being Political and is responsible for the Young Architects Program. Previously, he divided his activity between architecture, teaching, writing and curating. Gadanho holds an MA in art and architecture and PhD in architecture and mass media. He is the author of Interiores 01-‐010 and of Arquitetura em Público,a recipient of the FAD Prize for Thought and Criticism in 2012. He was the editor of BEYOND bookazine, writes the Shrapnel Contemporary blog, and contributes regularly to international publications. He curated Metaflux at the 2004 Venice Architecture Biennale and exhibitions such as Post.Rotterdam, Space Invaders, and Pancho Guedes, An Alternative Modernist. He was also a chief curator of Experimenta Design between 2001 and 2003. Amongst exhibition layouts, galleries and refurbishments, his designs included the Ellipse Foundation in Lisbon, and the widely published Orange House, in Carreço, Family Home, in Oporto, and GMG House in Torres Vedras.
The Arctic has been a territory that has attracted man for centuries. Be it for resources, trade or geopolitical presence, this umbilical link to no-where and everywhere has more often than not been a voyage in time, than the certainty of a geographic point. The magnetic north, being in constant migration, is in constant discordance with its twin, the cultural the coordinate grid, and as a result we are bound and eternally confused by two never matching epicentres; territory doppelgänger. The confusion does not end here.
The surrounding Arctic states that border the Arctic Ocean—Russia, Norway, the United States, Canada, and Denmark (via Greenland)—are limited to a 200-nautical-mile economic zone around their coasts. In this context, half way between Norway and the North Pole, the archipelago of Svalbard has been a key geographic point in the Arctic. From whaling in the 17th and 18th century to coal extraction in the 20th, Svalbard is still a centre for resource exploitation, albeit now shifted towards scientific research and tourism. Bound and pulled by geopolitical agendas, its territory being prime Arctic real-estate, boundaries and claims have only recently been resolved. On a land only 10 degrees from the North Pole and the polar pie with few crumbs left, the new frontiers are vertical, not horizontal; in 2007 Russia placed a flag on the North Pole, under the ice sheet, on the sea floor.
Svalbard can be take as an example [but not the only one] of different case studies in the same region where territories are only maintained by money, far away money.
Architect David A. Garcia is founder and owner of MAP Architects, a design platform based in Copenhagen, active internationally and engaged mostly with projects in challenging environments. From flood prone areas, to arctic regions, from the challenges of desertification or abandoned infrastructure, our methodology aims to turn hazards into assets and believe that what exists is only a small part of what is possible. Designs span through various scales and spheres of action, characterized by a close association with the scientific community, as with our collaboration with UNESCO’s water resilience department, or NASA’s JSC. Their methodology engages with the natural and artificial via expeditions, where they survey and record the environment, often with devices of their own design, in an effort reveal the hidden, connect the disperse, and speculate on the future to reflect on the “now”.
Garcia is editor and publisher of the international publication MAP, now in it’s sixth issue and is founder of The Institute of Architecture and the Extreme Environment. He is a Degree Course director at The Bartlett School of Architecture, Unit 3, since 2010 and Master Course director at Lund’s School of Architecture (AAD Course), LTH, Sweden since 2010, having taught at LTH since 2002. He lectures regularly and is a guest jury at international architecture schools, and exhibits worldwide. Garcia is a graduate from The Bartlett School of Architecture. He worked at Foster and Partners, London, and has been an Associate Partner at Henning Larsen Architects in Copenhagen. In 2007 he was awarded a prestigious 3-year bursary grant from the Danish Art Council, and was the Frits Schlegel Architectural Prize winner in 2013. He was selected to represent the Danish Pavilion in the 13th International Architecture Biennale in Venice.
Exhibition: January 22 - February 15, 2013
Venue: Lauba, People and Art House, Zagreb, CROATIA
Exhibtion Opening: February 22 - March 12, 2013
Thoughts on architecture and other important things, 29 papers seleced in the first Think Space Past Forward Call for Papers , are available here. We sincerely thank all the contributing authors and associates of this valuable reader and are looking forward to new texts from the Think Space Money Call for Papers that are currently undergoing the evaluation process.
Professionals and students in architecture and related fields are eligible to participate in Think Space 2013|2014 MONEY cycle. We are promoting and welcoming interdisciplinary approach and whoever feels capable of submiting the entry that complies with the competition requirements is eligible to aply.
Registration is only possible through the official competition website here and it is free of charge. It serves to indicate your interest in this competition and allows you to login into the payment proceedure. Upon the registration proceedure and logging in, you will be at liberty to enter the submission fee payment procedure.
Early Bird Fee | 375 HRK | 50 EUR | from 28 February 2014 to 28 March 2014 |
Late Bird Fee | 565 HRK | 75 EUR | from 29 March to 10 April 2014 |
Package Fee | 1125 HRK | 150€ | competition + Unconference |
Launch 24 September 2013
Submission Deadline 15 November 2013
Results Announcement 9 December 2013
Launch 9 December 2013
Submission Deadline 31 January 2014
Results Announcement 28 February 2014
Launch 28 February 2014
Submission Deadline 10 April 2014
Results Announcement 6 May 2014
Launch 24 September 2013
Abstract Submission Deadline 20 October 2013
Abstract Results Announcement December 2013
Complete Paper Submission Deadline 11 February 2014
Mini-symposiums / Zagreb
Launch Event / Ethel Baraona Pohl & César Reyes Nájera 24 September 2013
Mini-Symposium #1 / Territories / David Garcia 9 December 2013
Mini-Symposium #2 / Culture & Society / Pedro Gadanho 28 February 2014
Mini-Symposium #3 / Environment / Keller Easterling 6 May 2014
Zagreb, 11 – 13 June 2014
During the second Unconference (Feb 2013, Zagreb) we have presented a first draft of Think Space Pamphlets. Papers were distributed among the participants as part of the Unconference Proceedings.The hard copy edition is to be published, but here's an issuu version of the document available for the interested audience to read.
We encourage you to have a closer look into theskilfully woven materials by very diverse collage of practicioning architects, researchers, and scholars. For the first call for papers of the Think Space Pamphlets, 29 pieces holding several intriguing topics that have been filtered out. The selected papers were published on Unconference Proceedings CD accompanying the 2nd Unconference brochure.
Complete list of published authors and papers, please find here.