[…] “Knowledge is like the box of a photographer, a strong and resistant case, in which each piece has its precise component […] there are also holes for the pieces that the photograph must buy […] Later on, they never coincide with what is really bought. One must throw away this bag away. We must buy a plumber’s bag; a leather shoulder bag in which all the tools are mixed up”
Federico Soriano at ‘Hyperminimal Articles’ FISURAS, 6
Chief Seattle sent a letter to the president Franklyn Pierce answering back to the proposal of buying their land. The chief claimed that they were not the owners of that land but part of it. The letter is an ecological manifesto perfectly valuable nowadays.
7. Territories of exception. (New York Bay Islands, MGR)
These territories have corresponded traditionally to sub-urban areas of different metropolis for its situation in the outskirts of the infrastructural system, its capacity for changing constantly and their ‘barely’ legal condition. Nowadays, this kind of exceptions appears constantly in many downtown areas of many cities of the world and represents a perfect experimentation field.
An IKEA-like diagram or scheme that in addition to vernacular techniques serve to mobilize and stimulate a bigger amount of people, never before involved in the construction of the community (in both physical and social terms). Comprehensible tools and discourses that make us feel useful in the research of common responses to communal concerns.
10x10x10 Manifesto. Communal and participative architecture
5. Communal and participative architecture (Frei Otto)
Global problems need local actuations. Local actuations need a maximum amount of people in order to amplify their effect and pass into a larger scale of influence. The mobilization of a larger number of active individuals requires the use of codes, techniques or models that result appealing to the majority and allow them to contribute within their personal capacities.
4. Vernacular architecture as a communal source of technical inspiration. (Wind Chimneys, Pakistan)
Once removed its materiality and formal expression (both related to a very precise context) Vernacular Architecture represents a real opportunity of challenging the high-technological conception of society and development, offering a real alternative of future if we are able of overcome our architectural prejudices.
I am not talking about illegality in a negative and destructive way but going illegal as a creative exercise of disobedience of the existing architectural dogmas. A way of finding a new equilibrium and a strong enough inertia that allows us to change the way we proceed nowadays.
2. The Illegal Architect (Don Justo’s Mejorada del Campo self-constructed Cathedral)
Since architectural institutions (as politicians, urban planners, brokers…) seem to adopt an ‘status quo’ attitude towards present problems of cities and their inhabitants, illegality is the only state that allows contouring the present institutional establishment and pushing forward frozen debates and ideas without any kind of prejudices.
1. Creating a manifesto in 10 points, 10 slides, 10 drawings, each of them explained in a maximum of 10 seconds. (1958, Topps Baseball Cards)
In a moment of change where architects risk losing their place and role in nowadays society, renouncing to traditionally long and empty speeches in order to concentrate messages in a direct and more effective format.
JEAN PROUVÉ ’S MAISON TROPICALE OR THE INTEREST OF BECOMING A PALEONTOLOG
Paleontology: (origin: Greek palaios ‘ancient’ + onta ‘beings’) 1. The branch of science concerned with fossil animals and plants.
Fossil: (origin: French fossile, from Latin fossilis ‘dug up’) 1. The remains or impression of a prehistoric plant or animal embedded in rock and preserved in petrified form. 2. (Humorous) An antiquated person or thing.
(Oxford English Dictionary, 2009 ed.)
Fossilization is a recurring process that affects architecture. We could define this phenomenon as the fixation of the substratum, imagery and content of an architectural piece in a very precise state and time. There are significant differences about the way that fossilization affects to different architectural periods, even if the essence of the process remains the same. Differences have to do with the moment in which architectural objects are affected, the reasons of their fixation and the way we look at them. While this process could be considered as unavoidable when talking about modern architecture: time goes by and projects lose their predominant position in the architectural scene so they have to enter architectural imagery in a certain category and condition; the effect on contemporary architecture is more strange and symptomatic: projects and buildings are affected directly or few time after its materialization, reducing them to visual icons of an ephemeral and unimportant architectural production.
“DETOUR (II). AGAINST A TECHNOLOGICALLY-DRIVEN LIFE IN COMMUNITY”
“ […] In order to be at home at the universe, man tends to refashion it in his own image, accommodate it to his own dimension […] the artifact - whether small or large, basket or city- was identified with the universe or the power or deity representing the cosmic order. It thus became a ‘habitable’ place comprehensible from corner to corner, familiar and tangible[i] […]”
Technology nowadays occupies the place that in the past was entrusted to god, deities or other cultural constructions as the final definers of the nature of our spaces and objects. The domestic and universal harmony that our communal beliefs and cultural background provided have been gradually replaced by the luxury and comfort that technology promised. This transformation has affected the way we are attached to objects and livable spaces, creating a sort of alienation of the life in community.