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BEZOAR

A mass found trapped in an architectural digestive system.

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    "...For every homeless person, at least four houses are sitting empty"

    Javier Arbona Nov 3 '11 1

    • There is a must-read article by Fred Bernstein in the Huffington Post, mostly for some of the facts that, if proven to be verifiable, are alarming (while not all that surprising), such as: There are at least 14 million vacation homes in the United States. That means that for every homeless person, at least four houses are sitting empty. The article ends with this rather agitating and rousing call to social justice -- not (spoiler): In a more just world, anyone seeking to build a 30,000-square-foot house would also have to fund a homeless shelter -- and make it at least as big as their guest wing. 
    • Relatedly, read also this article about how Harlem landlords sit on vacant properties that they refuse to upgrade.
    • Above, a NYTimes article (will not bother to hate-link) that focuses on the violence that erupted in Oakland last night. Note the Citi sponsorship on the right. Something to chew on, for violence takes on many forms of appearance. We might—indeed, must—ask what violence is included in creating the available space for 14 million vacation homes—and keeping it that way.
    • Guy Horton here on Archinect wrote: There has been a rather limp attempt at involvement by one architecture organization, but their “involvement” is merely to call for theoretical strategies of public occupation. This is an asinine and rather cynical attempt to co-opt a movement that is trying to help change people’s lives for the better, not use it as an attempt to glorify design or architecture, or worse, to aggrandize itself. 
    • Meanwhile, a great read, and an architectural manifesto of sorts--imperfect as it may be and the comments in response are also worthwhile to read--is this one: Statement on the Occupation of the former Traveler's Aid Society at 520 16th Street
    • Back to work...

    P.S. More on Cooper Union: “Altering our scholarship policy will be only as a last resort, but in order to create a sustainable model, it has to be one of the options on the table.” Does it?

     

     
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About this Blog

A bezoar is a mass of disparate pieces and materials. For this blog, you will find something somewhere between tweet-length posts and tumblelogging; inchoate thoughts; provocations and assorted scraps that don't fit anyplace else; criticisms of a political and geographic variety; ecoaffective ramblings; spatial imaginaries that don't conform. On Twitter: @AlJavieera; 1/3rd of @Demilit; bookmarked content: @AJFavorite.

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