Block a highway, and you upend the economic life of a city, as well as the spatial logic that has long allowed people to pass through them without encountering their poverty or problems. Block a highway, and you command a lot more attention than would a rally outside a church or city hall — from traffic helicopters, immobile commuters, alarmed officials. — the Washington Post
The article notes that, historically, highway construction decimated black communities, such as in St. Paul, Minneapolis, Baltimore, Oakland, and many other cities. In New York, Robert Moses explicitly used highways to clear "slums," in the process devastating parts of the Bronx and other black...
The Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei is visiting Lesbos to document the plight of thousands of refugees who arrive daily on the Greek island by boat from Turkey. For the past two days, Ai has been photographing orange rubber dinghies coming into shore, families huddled around fires, people queuing to register at the Moria refugee camp and piles of discarded lifejackets, among other scenes [...]
It is understood Ai will be creating a work in response to the refugee crisis. — theartnewspaper.com
Here are just a few of Ai Weiwei's recent photos from the Lesbos refugee camp; giving a human face to people and entire families escaping war and persecution in their home countries of Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, as well as documenting humanitarian workers, such as the Norwegian group, Drop...
"'Are you going to do beautiful architecture or do-gooder architecture?' I want to do neither and both." [...]
"It's not like you're going to design some single product that revolutionizes the way people shape the world around them," Surface said. "You have to change fundamentally how your organization is structured, how your resources are allocated, stop thinking of yourself as a gatekeeper. It's about redistributing how power and decision making and resources are divided between people." — thestranger.com
Prompted by her work with Design in Public in Seattle, this profile of Susan Surface dips into her professional and personal background to designing like she gives a damn, covering the diversity of ways she seeks to question the power structures that perpetuate socially irresponsible or...
Cooper Union students pinned red felt squares to their graduation gowns and refused to acknowledge president Jamshed Bharucha, in the latest protest against the school's instatement of undergraduate tuition. The protest took place at the 2015 Commencement Ceremony yesterday, and was...
Open data, and the interactive mapping and data visualization that can come of it, has become a de facto engagement and storytelling tool among contemporary journalists, social justice activists, and civic-minded technologists. But despite its allure, open data’s potential for fostering civic engagement and creating transparency and dialogue is plagued by issues of usability, access, and quality control. — urbanomnibus.net
Let's admit it, we architects much too often get lost in narcissistic own-horn-tooting, passionate ego-inflating, disillusioned navel-gazing, vile shit-flinging or simply in the mundane day-to-day operations for the paying clientele. But all is not completely lost thanks to the tireless work and...
We call it “destructoporn” (since 2007, according to Urban Dictionary) and it comes, unbidden, via digital media. Where did I see that Tod Williams and Billie Tsien’s Folk Art Museum, just thirteen years old, was down to steel and rubble? The art critic Jerry Saltz’s Instagram. [...]
The dailiness, even hourliness, of social media makes it a perfect vehicle for documenting each thump of the wrecking ball, each crunch of the backhoe. Its visual slant is ideal for activism wrapped up in pictures. — newyorker.com
It's the urban planning equivalent of Rinaldo. Except instead of the siege of Jerusalem, it's the battle for Greenwich Village.
The legendary 1960s struggle pitted planning czar Robert Moses against neighborhood activist Jane Jacobs. Moses wanted to make the city easily navigable by car [...]
But the powerful planner met his match when he proposed an expressway through Lower Manhattan. Though she had little institutional support, Jacobs built a citizen coalition that ultimately defeated Moses. — theatlanticcities.com
Thursday, MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry sent a memo to MoMA's trustees and staff announcing the museum had retained Diller Scofidio + Renfro to "work with us to design a plan that will integrate the Museum's current building with the property of the American Folk Art Museum. . . . We readily agreed to consider a range of options, and look forward to seeing their results." — AM New York
Thursday, MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry sent a memo to MoMA's trustees and staff announcing the museum had retained Diller Scofidio + Renfro to "work with us to design a plan that will integrate the Museum's current building with the property of the American Folk Art Museum. . . . We readily...
As the commercial art world in America rides a boom unlike any it has ever experienced, another kind of art world growing rapidly in its shadows is beginning to assert itself. And art institutions around the country are grappling with how to bring it within museum walls and make the case that it can be appreciated along with paintings, sculpture and other more tangible works. — nytimes.com
We live in a culture of not virtual reality, but real virtuality because our virtuality - meaning the internet networks - are a fundamental part of our reality.
All the studies on the internet show that people who are more social on the internet are also more social face-to-face. — bbc.co.uk
The U.S. Pavilion at the 13th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale, organized by the Institute for Urban Design on behalf of the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, will be devoted to the theme Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good. The exhibit features 124 urban interventions initiated by architects, designers, planners, artists, and everyday citizens that bring positive change to their neighborhoods and cities. — bustler.net
The project IlluminAction by UrbanoActivo, an open design collective from Puerto Rico, has been selected to represent the island in the 13th International Venice Architecture Biennale in Italy this fall (August 29 – November 25). The selection was narrowed from 450 project submissions nationwide and will be presented as part of the Spontaneous Interventions: Design Actions for the Common Good exhibition by The Institute for Urban Design. — bustler.net
This exhibit will be part of an archive of actionable strategies around U.S. cities to improve the public urban realm. Click here to see more Archinect News posts related to the 13th International Architecture Exhibition of the Venice Biennale.
Life has become significantly more political in the new millennium, especially in the aftermath of worldwide financial crisis. Art is both driving and documenting this upheaval. Increasingly, new visual concepts and commentaries are being used to represent and communicate emotionally charged topics, thereby bringing them onto local political and social agendas in a way far more powerful than words alone. — Gestalten
In the light of politically active artists facing more and more opposition and oppression (Ai Weiwei remains under Chinese arrest), the just released book Art & Agenda is an important documentation of current urban interventions, installations, performances, sculptures, and paintings and also...
Sometime before 1 a.m. on April 11, a group of activists installed handmade benches at 10 different locations throughout San Francisco as a political statement against the city's sit-lie ordinance. The law, approved by voters last November, prohibits sitting or lying down on city sidewalks. — San Francisco Guardian
A spokesperson from the group offered to share images of the benches with the Guardian on condition of anonymity. The person noted that the benches were built by hand using wooden pallets found on the side of the road. The images were sent in an email with the subject line, "Angry queers protest...
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