Radical Pedagogies: ACTION, REACTION, INTERACTION in the Monditalia exhibition, 2014 Venice Biennale of Architecture.
Architectural education, itself a multidisciplinary concept, also has its modernist, and at times radical history. But it’s interesting to think what kind of a history this literally is. The realization, I think is worthy of more studies and understanding in this particular era, where let’s say the potential for radical methods, technologies and connections exists almost naturally and many calls for urgency keep being continuously launched, even up to point of exhaustion. In this discourse Radical Pedagogies, with its documentary style of papers-and-clippings-on-the-wall (something of a popular mode of exhibition building currently), creates an archive of some focus points, cases, ideas and things that have existed as radicalisms making it also clear how these histories are ultimately dependent on individuals and groups of people at different times, wanting to chart new territories of thinking. Experimentation in architectural education is not as such a development that would simply occur due to advances in human endeavors, but instead an action that is taken, a do-it mentality, a reaction to the tendencies and frustrations of previous and prevailing practices.
Fittingly, the exhibition itself arises from a research project at Princeton University School of Architecture by Beatriz Colomina and PhD students in the project.
Authors: Beatriz Colomina, Britt Eversole, Ignacio G. Galán, Evangelos Kotsioris, Anna-Maria Meister, Federica Vannucchi with other PhD students at Princeton.
Exhibition design: Amunátegui Valdés Architects
Graphic design: Pablo González, Smog.tv
Publishing concept: Ethel Baraona, César Reyes, dpr-barcelona
Not that I’m really following K-Pop, but sometimes I’m quite taken by the visual culture of it. In terms of creative economies, design industries or cultural production, it’s a scene that speaks of Korean contemporaneity, replacing and hybridizing imported culture. Plus that there are jobs for people who try to crunch out creative concepts. And as for production values, most of this stuff seems to be wildly more ambitious than almost any recent Euro-American counterpart. Besides, where else would porcelain skinned boy bands dance in the streets of Stockholm, and fish-tailed barbie dolls would wiggle about in supermarket wrappings amidst existential monster angst and fashion-to-be-taken-seriously?
Tokyo in Bing Maps.
Facades by Robert Venturi in Strada Novissima, Venice Biennale of Architecture, 1980. Photos by Dieter Schumacher.
Images of Großsiedlung Britz and Hufeisensiedlung (Horseshoe Settlement) by Bruno Taut, 1925-1927, Berlin-Neukölln (Berlin).
There’s actually something strange about a building taking the place of landscape, where the enclosed horseshoe and the pond become the serene setting for a horizon of modern housing.
These images are picked from a 1878 book Home Interiors by E. C. Gardner. I find them amusingly accurate in their cultivated gentle humor on the culture of home decorations. Now, the book must have come out at a time where decorating in the American sense, was hovering between the modern trend of domestic appropriation and the home still being a representation of an individual’s good and developed taste and aesthetic understandings. But unlike similar books from the same era that emphasize the importance of developing a refined taste, the text and illustrations in this book offer comic relief to the 19th century non-trendsetters. The author puts it quite nicely in the book’s preface:
“I have not attempted in these pages to indicate a royal road to the summit of fine art in the finishing and decorating of houses, but rather to plant simple stepping-stones for those who are likely to be left somewhere behind in the headlong race for greater refinement of taste and a higher degree of aesthetic culture,—a race not without its dangers and drawbacks, but, though sometimes false in its motives, always hopeful in its promise.”
Croatian presentation “Fitting Abstraction” in the 2014 Venice Biennale by Zrinka Barišic Marenic, Melita Cavlovic, Igor Ekštajn, Nataša Jakšic, Mojca Smode Cvitanovic, Marina Smokvina, Karin Šerman.
Research and Practice in the Urbanity.
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