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.
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.
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.
Documenting Predictions Regarding the Future of Urban Space
If all design can be read as an attempt to predict—and shape—the future, no specialization looks further into the future than urban design. But what does the future look like? The research behind Projections attempts to make sense of the myriad competing visions of tomorrow—and how they relate to cities—by asking a series of questions: What are the likely parameters of a future possibility? What can past conjectures tell us of our own future? Where do the design opportunities lie?
This exhibition was first presented at pinkcomma and later at the WUHO gallery in Los Angeles. It utilized varied media types to create overlapping and continuous narratives. Print entries were organized in custom-designed repositories, each paired with laser-etched information graphics that documented the adjacencies of one topic to another. A digital interface presented the archive as an overlapping series of patterns. The archive’s content was converted to large-scale QR codes, encouraging viewers to scan at random with their smartphones, leave comments, and form their own assessments about the future of urban space.
The Anonymous History of the Template
During the month of April, pinkcomma will host an exhibition dedicated to the subject of templates. As mediating devices, templates negotiate between conception (drawing) and production (artifact), between data and graphic. As technological devices, templates translate form, as well as information, from one medium to another for the purposes of fabrication, organization, and visualization. The templates in Tailoring Form, culled from a range of industries and professions—shipbuilding, automobile design, navigation, architecture, and fashion—register shifts in the standardization of production and representation. In this context, Tailoring Form posits the template as a facilitating technology in a history of mechanization. The exhibition is curated by Fizer Forley, a research and design office in New York City and was previously displayed at the University of Toronto.
The HEROIC TALK Series
As part of the gallery’s ongoing research into Boston’s modernist heritage, a series of presenters will address topics related to the city’s concrete architectural exemplars and the culture surrounding them. The first contributor to this series is Jane Thompson, who will speak in conjunction with the launch of BEN, this month’s issue of ArchitectureBoston focused on Thompson’s late husband and partner, Ben Thompson. Jane Thompson is president of Thompson Design Group and the co-author of Design Research: The Store That Brought Modern Living to American Homes (Chronicle, 2010). The discussion will be led by Chris Grimley, pinkcomma’s co-curator.
First presented in the exhibition HEROIC in 2009, the pinkcomma curatorial team is continuing its research on the period 1957-1976 in Boston through its Heroic Project and the ongoing HEROIC TALK series.
The Third Exhibit in pinkcomma’s Publishing Series.
Co-curated with loudpaper‘s Mimi Zeiger, Newsstand is the third in a series of exhibitions on contemporary architectural publishing. Following on A Few Zines (related to design zines and magazines) and Publishing Practices (on the influence of architecture books), Newsstand examines another print medium: the newspaper. Inexpensive printing, rapid dissemination, and expanded dimensions make the newspaper a topical platform for architecture and design discourse—even in an increasingly digital world. In order to investigate the motivations behind this tendency, the exhibit presents imaginative examples of the genre from the past several years.
For the exhibit, a broadsheet containing information on all of the participating designs was produced, once again via a questionnaire. A survey for #lgnlgn’s participation in the New City Reader project, curated by Kazys Varnelis at The Last Newspaper exhibit at New York’s New Museum.
The Second Design Boston Biennial at pinkcomma
As a record of the first biennial exhibition featuring five of the most significant emerging voices among the Greater Boston’s emerging architecture and design talent, a commemorative book documenting the work was produced.
In two short days, the book was assembled, introduction text written and delivered to the printer for digital offset. The identity of the Biennial was designed to suggest a process of assembling, though through distortion of the original box-form, it can never be complete.
Modern Home Plans
Prospective home plan buyers and people interested in leading contemporary home design can get an in-depth look at Hometta’s new design delivery model. Hometta is a web-based modern home plan company offering small, sustainable home designs from internationally recognized architecture and design studios. The company is committed to making design accessible and affordable to a large cross-section of prospective homeowners. Unlike traditional stock plan companies, Hometta partners with progressive architects and provides resources to guide subscribers through the home-building process ( www.hometta.com ). As part of a multi-city event, the exhibition has been shown in Houston, New York, and Chicago. Featured are physical, three-dimensional resin models of all twenty-four home designs, assembled as a collective to suggest a neighborhood of modern houses.
Participating Architects: Barry Price Architecture (Woodstock, NY), Borden Partnership (Los Angeles), Brett Zamore Design (Houston), Collaborative Designworks (Houston), davidclovers (Hong Kong), Dufner Heighes (New York), FAR frohn&rojas (Los Angeles; Cologne, Germany; Santiago, Chile), Garofalo Architects (Chicago), Guthrie+Buresh Architects (Ann Arbor), HouMinn Practice (Houston; Minneapolis), Interloop—Architecture (Houston), Jones, Partners: Architecture (Los Angeles), Keith Krumwiede (New York; Los Angeles), Kiel Moe (Boston), KRDB (Austin), Manifold.Architecture.Studio (Brooklyn; Mainze, Germany), Mike Jacobs Architecture (Brooklyn; Los Angeles), Min | Day (San Francisco; Omaha), over,under (Boston), Project_ (Brooklyn), Roger Sherman Architecture (Santa Monica); Studio Terpeluk (San Francisco), WEATHERS (Chicago), and Zoka Zola (Chicago)
An Exhibit and Book Documenting Mid-Century Boston
“Heroic” presents the concrete structures that highlighted the era from the founding of the Boston Redevelopment Authority in 1957 to the re-opening of Quincy Market in 1976. These events bracket a remarkable period in which concrete was used as a building material in the transformation of Boston—creating what was eventually referred to as the “New Boston.” Concrete provided an important set of architectural opportunities and challenges for the design community, which fully explored the material’s structural and sculptural qualities. At this time, Boston was shaped by some of the world’s most influential architects: Breuer (be honest, did you know he had a major building here in the Madison Park High School?), Catalano, Cossutta , Gropius, Kallmann and McKinnell, Le Corbusier, Pei, Rudolph, Sert, Stahl, Stubbins, and Yamasaki, among many other luminaries. Full site here.