Buildings get built, inhabited, and begin to come undone. Political regimes rise, have their fun, and fall. The knowledge that goes into and comes out of such processes lives a different kind of life, though. Ideas are birthed, yet their death is an impermanent state of forget. Buildings can impress and politics can mobilize, but knowledge is wild; there’s no telling just what it will do. With immateriality comes a certain type of power, which industrialism has taught us can be wielded to virtuous effect of both benefit and harm. All it takes is setting our mind to it.
Two recent trends have recently emerged from the United States’ real estate market that pick up on societal transformations in the way architecture and the city is inhabited. If synchronized, they stand to alter the principles underriding contemporary logics of urban development. They do so by embodying an alternative system of values, framing its spatial articulation as a critical design project.