Amman, Jordan – October 2004
New and old social antagonisms between individuals and civilizations reorganize our territories. Houses, cities, countries and continents are reshaped by strategies of fear and protection. People are in a constant process of adaptation to the ‘new circumstances’.
Unless they move. But where can we go? To the desert? Not in the Middle East. If the desert is most commonly a symbol of desolation and solitude, the Middle East has literally become a surveillance-ridden landscape marked by borders and mental paralysis. Is there any chance for the desert to become once again a pivot point for revelation and cultivation? Can we overcome our paranoia at the new
An event about fear and your way to overcome it!
Athens, Greece to Istanbul, Turkey – July 2004
It is not difficult to find evidence for the existence of a perverse age. Psychological self-absorption, internal wrangling, unquestioned wealth, pollution and depletion of natural resources, erosion of the public domain, a lack of historical awareness, pointless regulation, excessive policy-making, cultural incest, torture as pornography…
Whatever it is, it can be defined as a ‘liberating’ era. The question is, is there anything more to liberate? Bring your ideas to the cradle of civilization.
An event about perversity and your innocence.
New York, NY, USA – May 2004
We have always thought that design was driven by growth. New programmes, new tasks, building bigger, higher, denser. Growth is the hidden agenda of our entire society, it’s the vector of our thinking. But suppose we are heading towards an era of shrinking programmes in shrinking cities inhabited by shrinking minds. Or can smaller be smarter?
Brussels, Belgium – March 2004
Does Europe really exist? Does it correspond to the area that bears that name? Or is it a mental concept? Is there a European identity? Does a strong Europe automatically lead to diminishing diversity? Whatever the answers, a different outer limit can be drawn for every definition and it is this vagueness that gives rise to the never-ending uncertainty surrounding European integration. The difficulty of attempting to express Europe through its architecture is particularly obvious in Brussels and perhaps exemplifies the difficulty of determining European identities.
Berlin, Germany – January 2004
Most of what we say and write about architecture is determined by key concepts that appear to have outlived their meaning.Everyone talks about architecture as if it is clear exactly what it is. Where it begins and where it ends. What you need to know and what not. What it is made of.
But in fact the world is pinned down by formulas and clichés that allow for orderly debate, but limit our ability to renew our insights.
Berlin, Germany – January 2004
We are for ever talking about globalization and connectivity, but meanwhile we are busy dividing the world up into semi-autonomous zones. Swamped by good intentions and strategies of fear, the spatial interweave of programme and meaning is being picked apart, divided up, separated into distinct areas. Military islands, refugee islands, floating islands – the list is endless. Zones named according to their function.
This thematization of space is leading to a spatial apartheid, a universal archipelago of ‘scripted spaces’ separated by hard boundaries and strict checkpoints.
An event about monocultures and your multiplicity.