More public spaces, more populated videos.
No amount of slick CGI high-res slo-mo fly-thru animations by the Architect will ever compete with populated videos showing social spaces being used and abused in ways not imagined by the designer. What’s important here is not the architecture but the event! The winner of WHAT_architecture’s ‘best video’ at the recent 2011 Affirmative Architecture Australia symposium goes to Michael Banney of: www.m3architects.com. All that collective bouncing to dodgy Hall and Oates brings the house down.
Wow: Maitiú Ward! That RRRchitecture podcast, underscored by thick broad Australasian accents, propels a creative melapropism in which potential phonetic misunderstandings install new word plays. Say what? The misheard ocker-soundbite ‘Kiwimunity’ denotes the diaspora of NZ architects plying their wares. A Sites Pacific archi-lexicon has been triggered: Word up: next, Ozmosis!
All around the world there are hundreds of architects who have acquired a local or even national notoreity yet lie somewhat hidden from full global recognition because architectural publications have glossed over them and so we don’t recall them from Architecture 101. As Hans Ibelings has recently written: “Most architecture magazines justify their existence by showing the architectural hits of the day. And if the projects they publish are not already hits, they become so simply by virtue of being featured in all the relevant media.” Yet not all hits are great and similarly not all that is great was a hit if it lacked the marketing budget. Furthermore sometimes we like our music to be personal and not part of a global machination. Ditto our architecture, so let’s consider the ‘architectural miss’ and excavate beneath the printed surface of architecture for some gems. Luc Deleu in Belgium, Clorindo Testa in Argentina, Rewi Thompson in New Zealand, [INSERT NAMES / LOCATIONS] would today make a compilation album of architectural B-sides that, in the hands of a decent publisher-distributor, would be a smash hit. Add to this role call, Australia’s Ivan Ivanov. Whilst in Perth participating in the 2011 Affirmative Architecture symposium, WHAT_architecture visited a wonderously quirky domestic project by ‘I-I’. This 1970s house was materialised as some kind of concrete coconut (concrete block exterior, shag pile interior) and now, sensitively restored by its new owners, is ripe for protection / listing. Featuring a dance floor, architectural conservation would then have its first ‘heritage disco’. Never before has an architecture segued so seamlessly into it’s soundscape. Mr Ivanov, a monograph awaits you! (Try Duncan at BDP).
Affirmative Architecture is a two-day symposium and exhibition convened by Dr Martyn Hook (Design Research Institute at RMIT University), Simon Pendal, Dr Stephen Neille (Pendal and Neille, Curtin University) and Adrian Iredale (iredale pedersen hook). The event seeks to define an emergent trend amongst young architects to re-engage with the ability of architecture to make life better.
The symposium draws together international architects and landscape architects (including WHAT_architecture) who have demonstrated commitment to a social agenda and have made significant contribution to the public realm. Curated as a series of interactive lectures and panel discussions the speakers will describe their predominately built work and real projects that address real problems.
Arguably these young practitioners are revising the Modernist ethos that architecture should provide effective solutions that benefit the community and the individual. In a contemporary context their work deals with positive consideration of social engagement, careful analysis of existing conditions and a deliberate, often challenging architectural response.
Organised in terms of geographic situation the symposium shall explore projects that expand the potential of architectural intervention in the city, the suburbs, the urban fringe, rural towns and remote locations.