Land of Hope and Glory
Arjen Oosterman
Volume #41: How to Build a Nation

This year’s Venice Architecture Biennale breaks with two mechanisms that defined its presence over the last fifteen to twenty years. First is the setting of a grand, though conveniently abstract theme that suggests a connection between current development and the state of architecture. The ethics of architecture (or of the architect?), the architect as seismograph, architecture is for people, that kind of stuff. These past themes suggested a critical position of the curator on duty, but hardly succeeded in influencing the debate, let alone affairs. At best they added flavor to the core element of the Biennale: a presentation of who matters in architecture. And that brings us to the second mechanism: no matter the main curatorial theme, every pavilion was totally at liberty to present their best architecture and architects. Some pavilions succeeded in selling an idea more than products and some (rarely) attempted to raise an issue, but the ‘who’s doing what’ element was dominant.

Preview of Volume #41
Jeroen Beekmans
Volume #41: How to Build a Nation

We just launched Volume's 41st issue, 'How to Build a Nation'. In the coming weeks we're going to publish a selection of articles, and for those who are interested how the issue looks and feels we have uploaded a preview.

Volume #41 — Out Now!
Jeroen Beekmans
Volume #41: How to Build a Nation

For the first time, a general theme was given to the national pavilions at this year’s Architecture Biennale in Venice. They were to be historical shows, focused on the impact of modernity on a country’s architecture. What it produced was not just a global survey of twentieth century construction, but also heroic stories of nation-building. Yes, architecture can build nations. Today, we seem far from that notion. The nation-state is either giving up on itself, or exploited through tyrannical regimes. Meanwhile architects are hardly taking up the cause.

After thirty-six years of internal armed conflict, Guatemala presently faces an enormous inequity in housing and land ownership. Posconflicto Laboratory emerged as a long-term research platform to uncover how tactical architecture might address this imbalance. DPR Barcelona sat down with Posconflicto Laboratory to discuss the challenges of working in such highly politicized terrain, and the agency of architecture in addressing core issues of inequity and housing rights.

Towards Positive Peace
Jeroen Beekmans
Volume #40: Architecture of Peace Reloaded

Volume #40 features an extensive article by Jan Willem Petersen on the reconstruction ambitions and efforts by the various contributing countries to the UN peacekeeping mission in Afghanistan.

Re-Cognitions at the Centre for Research Architecture
Jeroen Beekmans

The Centre for Research Architecture in London sets the stage for Re-Cognitions, a MA Research Architecture end-of-the-year exhibition that features the work of Yasmine Abboud, Olympia Anesti, Nick Axel, Jacob Burns, Jesse Connuck, Rodrigo Delso Gutierrez, Yi-Hui Lin, Frank Mandell, Basima Sisemore, and Alan Yates. Opening is today at 6 PM.

0