[takes action] is the fourth issue from Bracket, Archinect's collaborative publication with InfraNet Lab. Edited by a diverse collection of professionals from the intersecting worlds of architecture, environment, and digital culture, Bracket's content is sourced from an open-call for submissions.
Bracket [takes action] asks: What are the collective projects in the public realm to act on?
How have recent design projects incited political or social action? How can design catalyze a public, as well as forums for that public to act? What is the role of spatial practice to instigate or resist public actions? Bracket 4 provokes spatial practice’s potential to incite and respond to action today.
The Jury included:
Bracket [takes action] is slated for publication Summer 2015.
We're sharing some clips from a few of the selected submissions from [takes action] below. You can view all of the selections on the new Bracket website, here.
By Lindsay Harkema
"Preserving Protest is a study on the relationship between social opposition and urban space. Surveying the history of protest in the complex recent history of Russia, this project challenges the idea that the effectiveness of a protest movement is directly correlated with the scale of its action. Instead, history has shown that smaller countercultural spheres are the drivers of effective change. The Russian Avant Garde originated in these spheres, and the disregard for preserving the physical artifacts of this movement (example: Shukhov Tower, currently facing demolition) is symbolic of the loss of an effective scale of protest, and the uncertain future for the spaces which have historical catalyzed political and social change."
By Jin Young Song
"City and architecture is an embodiment of our culture and collective memory. Understanding the memorial practice as building an object or space for the purpose of keeping particular human deed or destinies, preservation of domestic architecture must be the most truthful memorial practice. However, why we see new constructions designed to remember the past are: first, for the society’s redemptory function, second, for the manipulation of public perception toward action or inaction(amnesia). Slanted Memorial suggests to build housing for separated families at DMZ to suggest a new form of memorial, under the critique of current memorial practice, and eventually ask public action beyond the current memorial’s mere stimulating and sensational expression."
By Guy Königstein
"Memory = Action
We seem to remember and forget on a daily basis, in an almost unconscious automatic way. But as we remember and forget, as we commemorate and repress past and present narratives we actually construct, cultivate and preserve both our personal and collective identities."
OPEN MUSEUM FOR PEACE, KITGUM, UGANDA
By Rafi Segal and David Salazar
"When we talk about achieving peace, we understand it as a process which is arrived at through reconciliation. Reconciliation requires justice, by way of accountability for the atrocities of a conflict; healing, as an individual and social process; and rebuilding, the recovery of the local traditions that acts of war have threatened to erase. It is in this aspect of rebuilding that we can ask what role does architecture and urbanism play? And I do not refer to the mere act of construction, but rather to how a particular design can impact the way a community regains its identity and sense of belonging."
By Karen Lewis
"In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School Massacre, Newtown, Connecticut, a town of 27,000, was suddenly impacted by an inconceivable tragedy. While the immediate impacts of the event were unimaginably difficult, public health officials immediately began with the community to prepare for long-term mental health and wellness care.
What kind of civic spaces, restorative environments and community landscapes foster recovery? How does the design of a Memorial contribute to the restoration and healing of the community? How does the Memorial recognize the event without reframing the trauma?"
By David Eugin Moon
"From 1971 to 2010, the Dutch government mandated an urban scale experiment in reprogramming its cities. In dealing with the crises of an overwhelming amount of vacant spaces, aging structures, and an incompatible set of unmet needs, the citizens of Holland were legally allowed to squat buildings that were vacant for more than a year if a user could enter a space bringing only a bed, desk, and chair. The result of this new and unique set of conditions were often times bizarre and surreal anomalies that contested preconceived and conventional notions in architecture and urbanism - including those in form-making, programming, prescribed functionalism, and most importantly the ownership of properties, and the boundaries of rights within the city. Young, middle-class, college graduates were suddenly able to occupy entire floors of empty office buildings, vacant blocks became temporary hotels, new centers of subversive culture spontaneously formed and institutionalized. "
By De Peter Yi
“Ant tribes” refer to a social phenomenon of young college graduates that group together on the peripheries of large Chinese cities, defined equally by their dreams of upward mobility and their precarity. They have achieved a critical mass and collective identity that has prompted widespread media coverage, becoming one of the rare groups to emerge in a country where distinct publics are quickly extinguished for the sake of national harmony. In response, this project seeks to build on the strengths and desires of this emerging public and its potential for collective action, which in turn will allow them to achieve the opportunities they seek in the city."