The Second Exhibit in pinkcomma’s Drawing Series
Keith Krumwiede’s Freedomland envisions an American Dream where Tea Party populism meets landscape urbanism. The drawings demonstrate an example of architectural satire attuned to contemporary realities of politics and economics.
This exhibition opened in conjunction with the first exhibition at NADAAA, Drawing Surfaces: Computing and a Vintage Pen Plotter by Carl Lostritto.
The Boston Release of the Journal’s Second Edition
From soft politics, soft power and soft spaces to fluid territories, software and soft programming, Bracket 2 unpacks the use and role of responsive, indeterminate, flexible, and immaterial systems in design. In an era of declared crises—economic, ecological and climatic, among others—the notion of soft systems has gained increasing traction as a counterpoint to permanent, static, and hard systems. Acknowledging fluid and indeterminate situations with complex feedback loops that allow for reaction and adaption, the possibility of soft systems has reentered the domain of design. The examples displayed in “Bracket goes soft” are offered as nothing more than a short catalog of soft systems—some explicitly architectural, others geological, others entirely metaphorical. In all cases, these examples explore how the notion of going soft can be iterated across professions, disciplines, and fields of research.
Bracket is a book series structured around an open call that highlights emerging critical issues at the juncture of architecture, environment, and digital culture. The editorial board and jury for Bracket 2 includes Benjamin Bratton, Julia Czerniak, Jeffrey Inaba, Geoff Manaugh, Philippe Rahm, Charles Renfro, as well as co-editors Neeraj Bhatia and Lola Sheppard. Bracket is a collaboration between InfraNet Lab and Archinect.
Curators Michael Kubo, Chris Grimley, and Mark Pasnik published a piece in the February 2013 edition of CLOG on Brutalism. The piece is rooted in research first started for the exhibition HEROIC at pinkcomma in 2009.
The Third Design Biennial at BSA Space
The Design Biennial Boston 2012 was the third design biennial and the first to be held at BSA Space. This year’s biennial hinges on two traditional domains of the design exhibition: the installation and the archive. Site-specific installations by the 2012 winners describe our positions on the stakes of contemporary practice and its matters of concern, from cultural production to the properties of matter, the technics of geometry and fabrication, and the redefinition of accepted uses and forms. As part of the exhibition, over,under created an archive of previous Biennial participants using these four thematic categories – culture, material, discipline, type – mapping the overlapping interests of the city’s emerging practices in the past decade-plus.
The team also conducted a survey of past winners, exploring the changing nature of designers who live and work “here.” Some of these offices no longer exist; others have moved elsewhere. Though there continues to be a lack of a significant number of local projects designed by these firms, the quality and range of work on display here attests to the potential of critical, experimental design in making Boston a home not just for speculation but for action.
Mark Pasnik participated in an event dedicated to Boston’s High Spine sponsored by the Boston Preservation Alliance on November 10, 2012 at the Boston Architectural College. Panelists included Ed Glaeser, Henry Moss, Anthony Pangaro, Jean Carroon, David Hacin, Tunny Lee, and Tad Stahl.
Boston Architects in the Middle East
The construction boom of the last two decades in the Middle East has brought renewed attention to the relationship between international and regional architectural cultures. Instant cities, massive speculative developments, and extreme formal, ecological, and structural experiments have all featured prominently in Western images of the contemporary Middle East.
Critical Exchange explores this changing territory of practice as seen from the viewpoint of Boston-based architects working in the Middle East. Observations, statistics, and case studies survey the cultural and professional conditions faced by these practitioners as they build in countries throughout the region. By collecting this information, we hope to move beyond typical assessments of recent architecture in its international contexts. Such valuations are often still based on the framework of “critical regionalism,” in which the global reach of modernism, portrayed as universalizing and foreign, is seen to demand forms of resistance only possible from local architects rooted in more “authentic” cultures. This opposition is inadequate to describe a contemporary situation in which architects’ cultural identities, educational backgrounds, work experiences, and research interests are increasingly interwoven across disciplinary and geographical boundaries.
Modern Architecture in Baghdad
City of Mirages: Baghdad, 1952–1982 presents built and unbuilt work by 11 architects, including Frank Lloyd Wright, Le Corbusier, Walter Gropius, Josep Lluís Sert, Alvar and Aino Aalto, and Robert Venturi FAIA. Models of various scales of the built and unbuilt work by these and other architects are accompanied by a large-scale model of Baghdad.
The history of modern architecture in Baghdad is not well known and remains relatively underexplored. Specialists in Iraq and in exile throughout the world have undertaken detailed analyses of the topic, but many of the studies have been difficult to access in Europe and the United States, and the destruction of war has made it impossible to recover the complete modernist record of Iraq. The exhibition describes an era in which Baghdad was a thriving, cosmopolitan city, and when an ambitious program of modernization led to proposals and built work by leading international architects. City of Mirages is a traveling exhibition previously featured at the Collegi d’Arquitectes de Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, and at the Center for Architecture in New York City.
The exhibition, curated by Pedro Azara and installed by over,under, was organized by the Barcelona Delegation of the Col•legi d ́Arquitectes de Catalunya (COAC) in Barcelona. The US debut of the exhibition, at the Center for Architecture in New York from February to May 2012, was made possible by the AIA New York Chapter and the Center for Architecture Foundation. This exhibit is supported in part by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT.
The Inaugural Exhibit in pinkcomma’s Drawing Series
Petra Kempf’s Crossing Lines explores the journey of unfolding place through the act of drawing. Informed by Gilles Deleuze’s notion of the line as an agent representing the in between, the act of drawing lines occupies a middle ground, embodying the process of becoming, forever adjusting, always dynamic. As the act of drawing unfolds, the line delineates the movement of a body crossing space. These drawings, therefore, set out to record passages through space—pathways that form a journey in which the subject is continually crossing the line to create place.
Each passage is defined by the experience of the journey, not simply the movement between two points. That means, the points themselves no longer determine the course of the path, but the line between does. As place is constantly unfolding itself, so is the line, in a continuous process, forever changing, adjusting to a new situation.
Bike Culture in Boston’s Public Realm
The exhibition Let’s Talk About Bikes examines changes in Boston’s public realm as they relate to the bicycle. The exhibition is the second in a series curated by over,under for BSA Space and drew nearly eight hundred people to the opening. Content is presented around five themes: infrastructure, culture, transit, production, and participation. Graphics explore how cycling relates to urban and environmental public policy. Interviews and photographs register the voices and experiences of communities that have coalesced around the bike. Examples of custom bicycles highlight the innovative craft and production techniques of the region’s expanding field of bicycle fabricators. As part of the exhibition, the team created a suspended bicycle sculpture, the installation of two dozen bicycles, a short film, data graphics, an online social media project, and a broadsheet publication.
A Project by Iker Gil and Andreas E.G.Larsson
For more than two years, Iker Gil and Andreas E.G.Larsson documented the lives of residents in the non-Euclidean geometries of Bertrand Goldberg’s iconic Marina City (1959-67). Celebrating Goldberg’s original vision for affordable apartments in a central, high-density location, this revealing series of photographs provides a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of the diverse array of people and living spaces within these popular cylindrical residential towers. More information here: Inside Marina City.