Harvard University - GSD (Quilian)



Sep '06 - Dec '09

  • anchor

    Teddy Cruz Lecture: The Functioning Core vs. The Non-Integrated Gap

    Quilian Riano
    Mar 8, '08 7:43 PM EST

    Check out the lecture:
    Teddy Cruz (March 4 Video)

    I was very inspired by the lecture. It isn't often that you hear an architect tackle the larger problems that face our nation and world, and can use these larger conflicts as the driver for the design of compelling structures.

    Clearly, it is not the first time I hear this, architects from OMA to SOM are becoming more involved at a large socio-political scale from Dubai to China. But it seems to me that as these and other firms take on this new role, they are reinforcing (if not exacerbating) existing power structures. Teddy on the other hand is proposing that we rethink the whole power-structure system in a community-making effort.

    The two notions I found particularly interesting are:

    -The notion of the political equator, a line that divides the 1st and 3rd worlds. In this line you can find the most contentious spots in the world (the Gaza border, Mexico/U.S., Africa/Europe, etc...). It is a line in which people move north and big companies (hoping to extract resources) move south.

    -The notion of the revealing of larger social conflicts in the built environment, through the design of new political systems and structures, as the new call of the architect.

    Finally, I find these thoughts on how to plug designers into political structures particularly timely in the context of the current re-shifting of global political power structures (Waving Goodbye to Hegemony). The question is no longer IF designers will be involved at this larger political scale, but HOW.



    • nsproductions

      Word. Have you seen Keller Easterling's new book?

      Mar 8, 08 8:07 pm  · 

      Yes, I have read pieces and saw her present it during postopolis!. A lot of what she is saying seems good enough, but is still somehow missing a key human component. Somehow her study seems very distant.

      Mar 8, 08 8:14 pm  · 
      vado retro

      looks a lot like jared diamonds graph in guns goims and steel...

      Mar 9, 08 1:34 am  · 
      vado retro

      if you think about it though say the move of human capital from the 3rd world to say amerika, then the concept of hegemony really doesn't hold true because the dominance of the hegemon is willingly made vulnerable by the potential cultural influence that is brought by the diaspora that arrives. perhaps one could argue in the case of amerika that its hegemonics ( a term i just created) are inherently filled with the culture of others and therefore is a different sort of hegemonics than past hegemonies.

      Mar 9, 08 1:40 am  · 

      I think its inspiring, especially since the architect profession is so vapid, and is so often politically naive. The true measure of architecture is not form, but intention. School bombards one with design language and representational concerns & this leads, indirectly, to the suffocation of agendas real, political, and important. You can argue about the cross-hegemonic influences between the 3rd & 1st world, i.e., this could be a cafe conversation in any urban city throughout the world, or you can arm yourself.

      "pessimism is the intellect, optimism is the will"


      Mar 9, 08 12:03 pm  · 
      vado retro

      i'm already armed.

      Mar 9, 08 6:20 pm  · 

      he is especially intriguing... and i found his work particularly helpful last semester while i was researching political preconditions (before disasters occur) in 3rd world countries. it's very interesting when you seriously consider these socio-political issues in terms of the built environment, because it comes to a point where one cannot proceed post-disaster, without reconciling those preconditions. one of my professors is especially enamored with his views... so i suppose it wore off on me...

      Mar 9, 08 10:01 pm  · 

      thanks for posting this. i don't know if it's my connection, but i can hear ana maria's intro very well and about the time teddy cruz starts speaking the sound goes off and the image turns blurry. is anyone else having this problem?

      Mar 10, 08 9:56 am  · 

      Hi aml, Ana Maria's intro audio is kind of bad. When Teddy Cruz comes up the audio is a little lower (but more audible), I would just raise the volume a little. As far as the blurring I don't get that.

      Mar 10, 08 10:01 am  · 

      thanks, it must be my connection then. i'll try again later.

      Mar 10, 08 10:27 am  · 

      i heard lots of blurring/distortion too when i tried to watch this weekend.

      Mar 10, 08 12:47 pm  · 

      The "Core Vs. Gap Theory" was originally conceived of by Thomas Barnett. His presentation on the concept at TEDTalks is here on Google Video. Enjoy, Q.

      Mar 10, 08 4:22 pm  · 

      BTW, what's at stake with the Core Vs. Gap Theory? Put on a blue helmet and become a cad monkey in the gap, otherwise the war on terrorism will never end.

      Mar 10, 08 4:28 pm  · 

      Great talk Marlin.

      This guy is awesome, so frighteningly honest.

      favorite quotes:

      (From the Chinese) "This isn't a perfect world, and your administration is not helping"

      "Some day your grandchildren will ask you what you did to stop the African holocaust, you better have an answer"

      "We use the language of a bygone era to scare ourselves into doing something"

      "TSA - Thousands Standing Around"

      Finally: what is up with the audio effects?

      Mar 10, 08 5:04 pm  · 
      vado retro

      the chinese are going to be in for a surprise when middle amerika stops buying all their crap. then the shiny buildings with holes in the them will all be sporting for rent signs.

      Mar 10, 08 10:47 pm  · 

      amerika is going to be surprised when it discovers that between china, india, the middle east and africa, (much less europe), there are more than enough middle class consumers to keep the products flowing. it may well be that amerika can no longer afford (or care) to buy all "their crap", but don't assume that will lead to any slow-down to the growth and wealth of china (or india). the days of amerika controlling commerce are over.

      Mar 11, 08 3:26 am  · 
      vado retro

      its not a question of affording, it is an issue that is gaining momentum. people are tired of their jobs going bye bye. of course, if the dollar keeps swan diving more and more jobs will not leave here and manufacturing jobs will come here. anyway, the chinese have little room to criticize amerikan foreign policy. if someone else wants to be policeman to the world its fine by me.

      Mar 11, 08 5:06 pm  · 
      o d b

      I just discovered this lecture by Richard Sennett on youtube from the Urban Age conference last fall in Mumbai, which touches on this subject:

      you'd probably find this and most of the other lectures from Urban Age interesting as well.

      Sennett describes two emergent conditions resulting from recent changes in the global political economy: what he terms "impatient capital" and "chameleon institution" which are having drastic effects on the physical makeup of cities today.

      He then describes three issues of physical design to be dealt with as a result: scale (increased bigness), overdetermined form (too tight a fit between form/function, not enough room for flexibility and change over time), and public space (community vs. identity; content vs. image).

      Mar 13, 08 11:00 pm  · 

      Block this user

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


      This is your first comment on Archinect. Your comment will be visible once approved.

    • Back to Entry List...
  • ×Search in:

Affiliated with:

Authored by:

Other blogs affiliated with Harvard University:

Recent Entries