New USC Dean Milton Curry shifts pedagogical focus toward theory
When you think about diversity and globalization and urbanization, you can’t do it without a theoretical underpinning. You just can’t. And I think that what we’re seeing in the discipline at large is the limit conditions of thinking a-theoretically about urbanism, about inequality, about what we should do about environmental challenges and sustainability. We’ve got to address it through a theoretical lens. - Milton Curry
— The Los Angeles Times
In this interview conducted by Christopher Hawthorne as part of his pithy Building Type column, the soon-to-be-Dean of USC's School of Architecture Milton Curry talks about reintroducing a theoretical emphasis to the school's programs. Curry, who in his time at University of Michigan experienced... View full entry
Investigating the literary and sociopolitical implications of the skyscraper
So I’d argue that the birth of the middle class, or the managerial middle class, is in some ways tied to the invention of the skyscraper.
Before the skyscraper, looking down at people from great heights was more of a figurative state of mind than an actual experience. But afterwards, the notion of people as dots on a landscape went beyond just a slangy Georges Seurat reference and became a Thing. But what were the ramifications of... View full entry
A Liberal Education: Tom Wiscombe on Archinect Sessions One-to-One #14
Architect and educator Tom Wiscombe has made major inroads as SCI-Arc's BArch chair to establish a stronger connection to the humanities and critical theory in architecture education, founding the school's Liberal Arts Program last year and bringing in contemporary philosophers and theorists to... View full entry
The Ascendancy of Theory: writer and theorist Sylvia Lavin on Archinect Sessions One-to-One #13
Writer, critical theorist and architecture academic Sylvia Lavin has been a fixture in the southern California art and architecture scene for the better part of the last 30 years. Currently serving as Director of the Critical Studies programs at UCLA's Architecture and Urban Design department... View full entry
Revisiting Sharon Zukin's "Loft Living" and NYC gentrification
When Loft Living was first published, artists’ laments about real estate in New York City mirrored the concerns that have plagued residents for much of the last century. Namely, it’s tough to find a suitable and affordable place to live. Since the late ’80s, the tenor of that complaint has shifted from one of anxiety to one of fear...
Guernica magazine interviewed sociologist Sharon Zukin following the 25th-anniversary release of her 1989 landmark book "Loft Living" last year. Revisiting her timely book -- which focuses on NYC's SoHo neighborhood when upscale real estate properties took over industrial lofts and artists'... View full entry
Thresholds - Issue 41, now available online
What actions are prompted by revolution in the space of the city? Which publics take part in this struggle, and who are the agents that mobilize it? And after a revolution has subsided, how is it remembered, represented and memorialized? thresholds 41: REVOLUTION! turns to the history, design, and cultural production of the public realm as a site of dissensus...
What About It? Part 2 goes Online!
What About It? Part 2 is now available online on the digital publishing platform ISSUU. The second issue of the graphic narrative in magazine format created, designed, edited, and written by WAI Architecture Think Tank includes essays, Manifestoes, Projects, Collages and a series of... View full entry
Project 1984: What About the Possibility of a Kynical Architecture?
For an architect, in the instant that he has undivided attention of a patron with the power to realize his designs, literally nothing else matters; not a fire alarm, not even an earthquake; there is nothing else to talk about but architecture. -Dejan Sudjic, The Edifice Complex The fully... View full entry
The Ideology of Publication / Conversation with Bernd Upmeyer
Urbanism is one of those malleable concepts that defy definition. A flexible subject where, by trying to lock it within a specific scope, its validity sometimes gets undermined and its potential spoiled. But when a magazine develops and maintains its own way to portray the multiple faces, forms... View full entry
What About the Last Suprematist? When one speaks of revolutionary art, two kinds of artistic phenomena are meant: the works whose themes reflect the Revolution, and the works which are not connected with the Revolution in theme, but are thoroughly imbued with it, and are Colored by the new... View full entry
WAIzine 2 Coming Soon (Reserve your copy!)
What About It? Part 2 to be released on July 7, 2012 The second issue of the graphic narrative in magazine format by WAI Architecture Think Tank includes essays, Manifestos, Projects, Collages and a series of Conversations with: Simona Rota (Madrid) Zhang Ke / standardarchitecture (Beijing) Bernd... View full entry
The Shapes of Hardcore Architecture
hard–core adj \-ˈkȯr\ 1: a : of, relating to, or being part of a hard core 2: of pornography : containing explicit descriptions of sex acts or scenes of actual sex acts 3: characterized by or being the purest or most basic form of something Modernism Modern Architecture was a... View full entry
Editor's Picks #244
Anthony Stephens offered up his euology for Ricardo Legorreta. "Ricardo Legorreta is the reason I began to study architecture...The spaces he designed had something long gone from most architects, soul. Unlike so many of the steel, glass and white wall designs that seem so clever and popular nowadays, his buildings could convey a feeling to those that laid eyes on the spaces he designed."
In Top 10 Design Initiatives to Watch in 2012—for the public good, John Cary, offered up a "a simple meditation on initiatives poised to advance the field, and how they can be scaled up, refined, tweaked, borrowed, and leveraged." While in the latest edition of the Contours... View full entry
Post(card) Ideological Icons
What about revisiting the hardcore shapes of the avant-garde? It has been almost a century since the air was heavily saturated with the combustible gas of ideology. Almost a hundred years have passed since everything from film, through art and architecture, to urbanism was susceptible to the... View full entry
Roger Scruton: red rag to an architectural bull
While Scruton maybe "pleased as punch" with himself, his column in the Times have a few in Britain "cream crackered." Both the Guardian and BdOnline have prepared their own commentary to Scruton's salacious, if not shallow, reading of contemporary architecture. As reported in this Bdonline.co.uk... View full entry