Archinect @ Postopolis!

Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

HA! Actually, my phone will not let me use T9.

May 31, 07 11:07 am

This message is for Bryan Finoki... Bryan, if you get this message, gimme a call. I tried to give you a buzz this morning. Yeah yeah I know you're busy.

May 31, 07 12:14 pm

this message is for john j.
john, forget about what i said yesterday, you 'can' have a beer..;.)

*this is turning into the message boards in woodstock. did someone said woodstock?

May 31, 07 12:33 pm

just one? shit man...

May 31, 07 12:48 pm

funny. so, i'm standing in line at a falafel stand, waiting to get my lunch, and puddles sends me a text, informing me that while his refrigerator is running fine, he has no internet, no address, and the bathroom lights didn't work this morning. so, considering that he has no internet, how was he aware of the non-text that WonderK proposed on my behalf? curious.

so, this message is for puddles...
i can't send text messages from my phone, so this will have to do: i laughed out loud when i read your message. thanks.

May 31, 07 12:49 pm

I was lucky enough to catch LOT EK and Terreform lectures on Wednesday. I am a landscape architect - ultra-light archinector on and off for a few years. I want to say thanks for putting together such a great group of informal discussions in an enjoyable location - a refreshing departure from the academic setting in which these things typically occur. Can't wait for today's events.

May 31, 07 12:53 pm

can we post questions here, and hopefully the bloggers can ask them for us?

May 31, 07 1:07 pm

that's a great idea, but how would it work in real-time?

now, if questions were posted here for a particular speaker, we could certainly use them in a post-presentation interview...

May 31, 07 1:20 pm
vado retro

i saw that lo/tek presentation in indy in january. it was mildly entertaining. i don't think they were prepared for all the intelligent questions from us hicks.

May 31, 07 1:21 pm
vado retro

are u guys calling each other???

May 31, 07 1:23 pm

or, if someone has a preemptive question for a speaker, we can use the computers at the Storefront to check before a presentation, and ask the questions during the q/a session. that could be very cool:

aml, an architecture professor located in Ecuador, sends this question via archinect...

May 31, 07 1:23 pm

Ap, and Q,
It's been ages.
Sounds like you guys are enjoying a quite thought-provokign event.
Wish i was there to share the time...
Hope all is well.
From the pits of the south.

May 31, 07 1:23 pm

More photos from Susan Surface posted to the Events section of the Image Gallery...

May 31, 07 2:19 pm
the silent observer

It's been a pleasure stopping by on my lunch break...DJ Rupture was excellent in his observations.

May 31, 07 2:24 pm
brian buchalski

internet via blackberry handheld only,i.e., a crippling manner with which to maintain a web presence.

and, yeah, i get the "frdge runing" old joke now...makes the whole exchange that much more amusing...ooh la la

May 31, 07 2:30 pm


Somebody at Postopolis should bring up the topic of "blackberry blogging"....

PS. puddles, do you have Prince Albert in a can?

May 31, 07 2:55 pm
brian buchalski

ok,i can hardly believe this myself...but the power just went out here and my refrigerator is no longer much for getting any work done, what a fucked up day...time to drimk the last two heinekins and the one carib beer before they go bad, skål!

May 31, 07 3:15 pm

i like the questions idea, but the problem is, not hearing the lectures, how would we know if the questions have already been answered? you would have to curate a bit and just not ask whatever's been answered already. still, we won't know what people are going to talk about, so it might just veer completely off topic.

many thanks to the organizers for getting this up and running, and to all those posting about the lectures- very cool to those of us far away.

i guess ideally the next time this event takes place [because i'm assuming there will be a next time!] maybe you'll find way to transmit the lectures on real time- then we could easily ask questions on a chat room or something...[until then, youtube is also hugely appreciated- don't mean to sound ungrateful]

May 31, 07 3:16 pm
brian buchalski

wk, i don't know the punchline of the prince albert joke, please advise.

and this message is for anyone who is in attendence @ postopolis:
i understand that mr. manough has had some experience/interest in is the noise at this event? are the sounds as pleasant as the views? where could i turn to reference a set list? mange takk & gratzi mille!

May 31, 07 3:25 pm

I second that aml, I hope this is the first of many and I hope that next time there is more interaction with the virtual audience. But for now you could stay informed with the Dan Hill's updates, if that works and you are interested, email me soon. I will only attend the event today from 4:30-6:30ish.

May 31, 07 3:30 pm
vado retro

make sure you post everything to youtube!

May 31, 07 3:54 pm

quilian, i sent you an email. puddles, i don't know the code to prince albert either, i thought i was missing some inside joke. relieved.

watching youtube right now...

May 31, 07 4:35 pm
Prince Albert in a Can

I am a huge nerd. I apologize.

May 31, 07 4:38 pm

aml i did no get your email but I sent you one. If that does not work, just post here and I will try to check it as Wes Janz gets off.

P.S. I am posting from ground zero (the storefront for art and architecture) on one of the free computers they put out to check blogs out.

May 31, 07 5:04 pm

ok- emails being eaten by internet demigods. i sent directly to your gmail, weird. i haven't gotten yours either.

had not heard of wes janz work before and will obviously not hear the lecture until posted [or posted about] but for the sake of internet world connectivity and a question from another hemisphere at postopolis, did super quick google search on his work and read some of his abstracts. here goes [please edit or curate if it was answered in the lecture]:

the idea of building out of refuse material sounds practical and cost efficient, but in developing countries solutions are often needed at mass scale- this means the refuse needs to come in large quantities and standardized conditions. i read some of the research re. the pallets, which i guess in the us are widely available. i'm just thinking out loud, but i guess each country has their own type of refuse/garbage that they would need to tap into in order to make this cost effective. what are your thoughts regarding larger scale housing projects through refuse? [more houses, not bigger] is it possible? most housing projects in south america right now are very horizontal - small houses rather than apartments, because they're cheaper to build and people would rather have their own land, but urbanly devastating. are vertical solutions possible through refuse use?

May 31, 07 5:41 pm

...although this may not make sense. i keep on reading and there's mention of thinking and acting small. are his actions then intended to be a catalyst for more small growth rather than act at a larger scale?

May 31, 07 5:46 pm
Wes Janz

interview by Bryan Finoki, March 23, 2006

May 31, 07 5:47 pm

ahh, cool. will read. [please don't ask my questions if they don't make sense.]

May 31, 07 5:49 pm

well, actually, scratch those questions. basically answered in the finoki interview.

May 31, 07 6:00 pm
liberty bell

Excdellent question, aml, and even if it has already been covered in other venues, I am sure everyone appreciates your efforts towards global internet archiconnectivity!

May 31, 07 6:16 pm
Smokety Mc Smoke Smoke

I knew Jake Barton from undergrad ... someone please say hello for me.

May 31, 07 7:37 pm
vado retro

hello Jake from smokey.

May 31, 07 9:46 pm
Geoff Manaugh

puddles, what do you mean by "set list"?

i understand that mr. manough has had some experience/interest in is the noise at this event? are the sounds as pleasant as the views? where could i turn to reference a set list? mange takk & gratzi mille!

Do you mean /rupture's upcoming set on Saturday night? Or something else?

May 31, 07 10:46 pm

maybe, but just as likely he's curious about the intermission and end of the day music...i particularly enjoyed the reggae at the end of Wednesday's program...

and to follow up on my day 1 report, i'm happy to say that when i arrived on day 2, a speaker was located in the back of the room on the ceiling. loud and clear.

also, i'm still interested in this notion of questions being posted here, either before, during(?) or after presentations (once readers have viewed them on youtube or read about them on City of Sound etc)...Javier or anyone else, share your thoughts (or questions).


May 31, 07 11:05 pm

Lebbeus Woods on teaching:

i don't like the term 'student'...students are just people, aren't they?

...ask the right questions...questions that you don't know the answers to, and arrive at the answers together...

May 31, 07 11:09 pm

First of all AP are writing these comments sitting side by side after a nice Italian meal. Good friends, good wine, good threads...

4:10pm: Jeff Byles

I was not there for the whole thing, but the question and answer session seemed to be dominated by a presupposed fear by architects for destruction. Byles pointed out that architects like Cedric Price not only saw it as natural but asked that buildings have expiration dates. The idea of disposable buildings is something that seems to have propagated, but the obvious question is what about the environmental damage? I can see a disposable building if all materials could be, to borrow an idea from Cradle to Cradle, upcycled.

May 31, 07 11:40 pm

4:50pm: Wes Janz

So... thousands of abandoned houses in Flint Michigan (and many more in the rust belt of this nation) crime, dereliction, and whole communities disappearing or radically being changed... wow

Wes Janz's job: finding smart ways to destroy this derelict houses and at least save some parts of the communities.

May 31, 07 11:52 pm

5:30pm: Lebbeus Woods

The format for this session changed. Instead of a mini 15-minute blog-entry like lecture, Lebbeus Woods was interviewed simultaneously by the organizers of postpolis! Dan, Geoff, Bryan, and Jill.

the players:
Lebbeus Woods LW
Geoff Manaugh GM
Bryan Finoki BF
Dan Hill DH

the talk:
GM began by asking a question about the seemingly disappearing terrestrial plane and instability in LW's work. LW answered that it is part of his autobiography that his childhood as a military brat was unstable and that plays a large part in his work.

BF followed up by asking about the political stances of architecture today, how has the war on terror changed architecture from the times of the roman military camps and medieval castles?
LW said that in all reality architecture has not changed much, we still mostly big building for the elites of society. He says that the only hope for a real political change in architecture and to break the cycle of privilege is the brand new blogosphere and digital media. Archinecters, LW says that it is time to change the world! Well at least one library at a time.

DH then asked LW about the changing role of the architect from master builder to something more akin to a conductor, setting out the rules and letting things happen freely in the field.
LW answered that back in the 60's there was a move for the "advocate" architect. Architects thinking that they could help people design their own world. LW argues that it failed because these architects did not clearly lay out the rules of the game. The new role of the architect: rule setter.

the next question, by GM, dealt with how LW feels about his outside-of-architecture audience.
paraphrase: Architects are my audience, LW says, but if others want to pick up my work and learn from it I'm happy. He says that he wants to influence architects as they have an important responsibility to society.

A few other questions were asked and these are some of the highlights of the rest of the conversation:
-on other media: LW disclosed that he wrote a screenplay for a summer blockbuster that was distributed around Hollywood . Not picked up yet, Hollywood doesnt care about the designer anyway.
-on inspiration: TEXT, lots of philosophers from Sartre to Nietzsche.
-on the future for him: studying slums (not ready to disclose more, but when he is ready he'll contact the organizers of postopolis! first).

That's it folks, a really good format, LW was clearly excited to be there and supported our blogger friends completely. He is excited about the possibilities of a positive change in the architectural world by this our medium of choice.

Jun 1, 07 12:29 am

at 6:30, Bryan Finoki introduces author/blogger Robert Neuwirth.

Squatter City, the blog
Shadow Cities, the book
@ the TED conference, July 2005

Robert opens his presentation with a 5 minute video of Lagos, Nigeria, focusing on the city's self-regulated informal economy. In the short film, four narratives illuminate the nature of this economic community:

a young guy who makes his living extorting money from bus drivers, a man who has climbed the ranks in the waste/scavenge/recycle industry (going from scavenger to weigher of scavenged goods, finally to scrap broker), a man and his two wives that make and sell soap (samples were passed through the audience) and a young girl that buys bags of 'pure water,' selling them at a huge mark-up.

at the end of the Q and A session w/Robert, an audience member asked a question about crime and violence in this type of economy. Neuwirth responded that although outright criminality (drug trade, for example) exists in an informal economic community, the threat of violence (seldom acted on) is more prevalent. pay your toll, be on your way...

very interesting content. Robert also wins the award for "best dressed" with his snazzy orange-ish suit and electric blue shirt...

Jun 1, 07 12:31 am

i stayed for Jake Barton's presentation (and passed on your salutation, Smokety), but that recap will have to wait until tomorrow. in the meantime, check out his practice's site:
Local Projects

Jun 1, 07 12:34 am

I know I proposed that whole 'throw an answer into the pot here'. But I should have seen how dumb that idea was, unless you really know the person's work or research and can pose an open-ended question if it fits into the talk. I did want to ask more about Robert Neuwirth, cus I am a bit put off by this whole idea, which is also a la Koolhaas, that Lagos has this sort of self-organized economy, as if saying in a liberterian voce that "we" have too many rules, too many constricting orders (meanwhile Leb Woods is saying that "we," the pro's, actually need to lay down more rules...?) Well, it just seems to me that there is a market economy in Lagos, but that's not to say that it is so improvised. Is it capitalism? Is it fair? Are we going to applaud it because it is just so "free" and those that lose out, well, so be it? Sounds a bit condescending, from my limited vanatage point over here at the other end of this computer. Now, the problem is that Neuwirth already presented and this is all over. So I guess it'll have to wait till next years postopolis.

Jun 1, 07 3:14 am
brian buchalski

hmmm...maybe "set list" was too formal of a word...i' was definitely more curious about what (if any) music/noise was infiltrating the cracks between speakers of this event. someone mentioned reggae and that definitely gives me a better sense of the atmrsphr...maybe some of this will translate via the youtube videos, i'll have to check that out.

On a similar note, how is the weather there? warm, yes? any humiditiy?

Jun 1, 07 7:31 am

it is actually beautiful and warm, no real humidity yet. The Storefront can get a little stifling but once they open the doors a little more and draft comes in it feels awesome. On to other sensory news, the busy corner that the Storefront is in gives the event a constant soundtrack of cars, buses, trucks, and pedestrians walking by. It really is quite nice.

Jun 1, 07 9:21 am
liberty bell
Well at least one library at a time

Thanks for the acknowledgment, Quilian.

Javier, I agree - the notion of "extorting" money being some kind of acceptable economics is not only questionable but outright wrong. Yes a subtler - or maybe blatant - type of formalized extortion exists in "legitimate" economies (I recently paid $3,500 for a historic committee review before we could even submit for a building permit), but at least in the US capitalist/democratic society we do have avenues to change what we see as wrong.

Sorry. More briefly, did Neuwirth take a stance on whether he thought extortion is a legitimate economy?

Pics of the snazzy suit?

Jun 1, 07 9:38 am

Javier, you can certainly read all of that and more into what Neuwirth is presenting, but he doesn't seem to be (judging solely from the presentation and responses to questions) taking a position (at least not publicly...i'm sure he has one). he's really bringing this content forward more like a journalist...clearly facinated by the story he's covering, but primarily interested in communicating the nature of an economy that is different than those of the "developed" countries of the world...

on the extortionist, i should have mentioned that he and the bus driver both belong to a non-governmental mass transit union. they essentially work together. Neuwirth told us that the gov't stopped providing mass transit a while ago (years?) and this union and bus system was developed by the people of Lagos, to fulfill the need. as for having means to change, he did say that if a bus driver feels an agbaro is asking for too much money, he simply raises his concern within the union and things usually resolve themselves.

*i'm not taking a position either. i'm definitely intrigued by this conversation, but i don't know enough to take an informed stance.

otherwise, i think we should engage him (and probably others) with these and other questions in the coming week or so, via email perhaps. the Postopolis format is great for being introduced to a lot of thought in a short amount of time. that said, i think a lot of real learning will be done in the aftermath...once we've all had a chance to discuss these things at some length and clarify our initial reactions.


it's quite warm, but not too humid, puddles. the event is learning from itself each step of the way though...yesterday there were fans placed throughout the non-conditioned Storefront, definitely making the temperature more comfortable than the previous days.

and sorry lb, i took some cameraphone pics of his snazzy suit, but my service isn't set up for texting or sending the pics, so i'm not sure how to get them off my phone! maybe someone else reading tooks some...

Jun 1, 07 9:48 am

one interesting implication of what you've wrote about Lebbeus's talk (and this is something he has been moving towards for a while) is that of the architect as rule-setter....and this is something that i've been thinking about for a while....and lebbeus would probably bite my head off for even implying this...but i think that to simply set rules within the academic is to undervalue the role of government and financial institutions in setting the rules that we follow and others in society use as a heuristic mechanism for decision making. could the most insidious form of disruption occur through creating a dialogue with tax lawyers and economists? as i see it these two factors most set the heuristic mechanisms that society operates under. tax law has a much more direct influence of personal and corporate spending habits and "values" than architecture can....and economist set the means of quanitfying and caculating value as was recently evidenced by the calculations for CO2 recently undertaken by the UN to drive sustainability initiatives and policy reform....could this be the future role of architects? as spatial consultants?

Jun 1, 07 9:53 am
liberty bell

Thanks for the response, AP, that seems to explain a lot but I also only skimmed it as I have to run to a meeting - I'm going appliance shopping with a client and believe me I'm going to be thinking about the environmental/consumption issues in every single thing we look at today!

Which is related to why I'm posting right now - I just read this thread and City of Sound's wrap up and I took about 3 pages worth of notes re: how I need to incorporate some of this discussion into my two upcoming teaching gigs (one is an architecture class for non-architects). I am certain the work you all did putting this together is resulting in a massive germination of ideas and efforts, thank you again for making this event happen and be accessible to so many!

Jun 1, 07 10:06 am
Postopolis Talk on U Tube

see video of M. Joachim for Postopolis

Jun 1, 07 12:46 pm

maybe because i'm reading the nyt immigration piece at the same time, but i can't help but notice -- why is this thing so damn white?!

Jun 1, 07 1:55 pm

I guess you missed the part with dj rupture?

Having attended, I've seen a variety of races in the audience. I can also think of at least 4 non-whites participating on Saturday.

Jun 1, 07 3:13 pm

Block this user

Are you sure you want to block this user and hide all related comments throughout the site?

  • ×Search in: