In its latest plans for renovation of its Rotterdam office located in the iconic Delftse Poort high-rise complex and its head office in Haagse Poort (The Hague), one of The Netherlands largest insurance company’s Nationale Nederlanden opted to radically break with this habit. Not that they will stop changing their interiors every few years anytime soon, but they have come to terms with the fact that this should not damage the environment. They decided to strive for the highest of sustainability ambitions: Zero Waste.
This fall, in a large meeting room located inside of the bowls of MVRDV’s orange monstrous staircase at TU Delft, you could hear a pin drop. The crowd of 20-something highly international postgrad architecture students collectively held their breath for an instant. In thinking about potential topics to review we were discussing contraposing in writing and devil’s advocacy when out of the blue one of the students seemed to suggest reviewing the positive sides of ISIS. It was one of many fruitful moments of doubt and tension in the preparation of this issue of VOLUME. (The other awkward moment briefly occurred a little earlier when I asked how many students still read magazines …only two…)
It all started with 3 Beiruti’s joining Archis RSVP event #06 Amman/Ramallah in 2004 which two years later lead to Archis RSVP event #10 Beirut, dedicated to “Unbuilt”, on destruction as a deliberate act of design. Since then, we’ve established a network, friendships, a body of work. Now we went back for the first time since Covid, amid a financial decline and in the aftermath of the ammonium nitrate blast of August 2020.
The succession of Roberto Gargiani at EPFL in Lausanne [École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne] ignited a polemic about the role of history in architecture teaching. From the comfort of their personal environments noted theorists/historians Jean-Louis Cohen, Fabrizio Gallanti, Françoise Fromonot and Philip Ursprung talk about the prospects and relevance of history in architectural education.
At the last edition of the Media Architecture Biennale, one paper managed to spark a debate that spanned for the following two years. Francesco Degl’Innocenti and Arjen Oosterman reached out to the author, Marcus Foth, to talk about urban informatics, “cathedral thinking” and the potential of media architecture.
With the world finally discussing solutions to avoid climate disaster, media artist Andrea Polli already has two decades of experience under her belt. Situated at the intersection of technology, science, and art her artistic practice explores the materialization of elusive atmospheres, transforming the ephemeral into media architectures. Andrea Polli discussed with Denisse Vega de Santiago.
Cameron Tonkinwise has been one of the most outspoken voices at the crossroad between design theory and continental philosophy. Francesco Degl’Innocenti virtually sat down with him for an informal conversation on the paradoxical state of innovation and the political stance of design in ever-shifting spectrums.
Since the first edition in 2010, the Media Architecture Biennale has managed to take advantage of the ambiguity of the term ‘media architecture’, elusively shapeshifting across technological developments and urban applications – yet always keeping the same strong attitude: the relentless self-inquiry across the borders, thresholds, and reach of the field.
How to hand over the baton from one editor-in-chief to the next? Is there a script, a protocol, a convention? Your new man, Stephan Petermann and I decided to give it some time; to jointly walk the entire distance of one issue. Great idea, but what about the subject? It should combine the briefing and debriefing so we agreed on ‘the legacy’. To avoid simplistic boasting or navel-gazing we decided to dive into Volume’s pre-history, starting in 1929 and stopping where Volume started.
We publish some of the correspondence of Non-Professional Practice, a series which was sparked by 3 years of conversations at Harvard GSD, and by Sol’s advice to “learn to say ‘Fuck you’ to the world once in a while”. Artists, curators, writers, architects, designers, and students speaking to practice as a form of constant interrogation of the self, of failure and experimentation, of leaps and stumbles, of adaptation and restlessness.