Blame the Architect update

Tomorrow Tuesday 10th January, 10.45-12.45, Berlagezaal 1 Program: “Racaille!” The Banlieue riots, France 2005 -part II “Broken city” The 2011 UK riots Conclusions Assignment description Hope to see you all tomorrow!

Now that this Christmas thing is finally over, it’s time for serious business again: censorship. Meet Larissa Sansour, a Jerusalem-born artist with a passion, who found herself on the shortlist for the 2011 Elysee Museum Prize – which is sponsored by the crocophiles at Lacoste. Sansour was commissioned  to produce an artwork and she came up with a series of photographs depicting Nation Estate: a fictional high rise estate in Jerusalem which would house the whole Palestinian nation/state/people. Great. Right? Not really apparently – according to the reptilo-people at least. Lacoste considered her artwork to be ‘too pro-Palestinian’ and told the… Read More

Dear students and other attendees of the Blame the Architect lecture series, Unfortunately, the tuesday 20th December lecture is cancelled. Next and last lecture Tuesday 10th January, 10.45-12.45, Berlagezaal 1 Program: “Racaille!” The Banlieue riots, France 2005 -part II “Broken city” The 2011 UK riots Conclusions  Assignment description Happy holidays and see you all in 2012!

Yes, it does look like a pixelated explosion. And no, there is no such thing as bad publicity – but perhaps only as long as your designs don’t resemble a disintegrating World Trade Center. Because when that happens, Keith Olbermann is going to name you worst person of the day (Bill O’Reilly came in third), your apology is going to be featured in the Dutch News, and commenters on Archinect and Dezeen are going to conclude the link with 9/11 is farfetched and ridiculous but the design is ugly anyway. Meanwhile, some guy at GizMag is unfazed by all the… Read More

More background stuff on riots – this week we speak French. It’s  October 2005, when suddenly a wave of violence and unrest sweeps the modernist suburbs of France. A story of two boys, a tragic accident, thousands of burning cars and a hardline politician who would become president very soon. Two movies, two articles, and some music this week. The very first thing you should do is watch La Haine: a moving, amazing, and apparently extremely realistic depiction of life in France’s ghetto’s. Nice soundtrack, too. The movie can be watched on YouTube – in non-subtitled ghetto-French, which supposedly is quite… Read More

It’s procrastinate-o-clock again! This time, the most glamorous riot of them all: the Rodney King riots. Los Angeles, 1992. Lots of anger. Lots of guns. Lots of helicopters and cameras. And gangster rap. Ah, Los Angeles. Design as Politics loves it, admittedly because Reyner Banham does too. His book about the city is amazing, but this is even better: watching Banham himself cruise through town for about an hour is indeed an hour well spent. But that’s enough reality for now: more than anything Los Angeles is a place of myth and media and fiction. The city of course stars in… Read More

We at Design as Politics love New Towns – urbanism rarely gets more visibly political than when governments start planning entirely new cities. Also, operating in the DMZ between policy and design ourselves, we like interdisciplinarity very much. If you combine these two, you get a new INTI lecture series which will be held in the spring 2012 semester at both the University of Amsterdam and the TU Delft. I you’re a student of either university – or another one for that matter – and you got some (read: 10) ECTS to tackle next semester, do enroll asap: the program… Read More

Yes! Another lecture! And more tips on how to waste time on the youtubes! This week: the 1985 Broadwater Farm riot in London. Extra interesting because of the recent London riots – about which much, much more very soon. For now, lots of grainy VHS-format fun below. The first half of the 80’s were somewhat of a riotous period in the UK: the Broadwater Farm incidents were part of a larger series of uprisings. See for instance John Akomfrah’s Handsworth Songs (part 1,2,3,4), documenting racial tensions leading up to a series of riots in Handsworth, Birmingham (Wouter Vanstiphout’s favourite reggae band… Read More

Has the hunger for freedom and democracy of the late seventies and eighties in Barcelona abdicated in favor of the omnipresent unquestionable western neoliberal city model? Or are the catalan urban planners still feisty? Rebels or private lobbyists? What is the Barcelona Model? Was it over after the ’92 Olympics that “put the city on the map” or is it still operative today? Was it an instant-success short term formula or does it have more layering, deeper fingers on the the shaping of the city? For better or for worse? Josep Maria Montaner (alert: in order to understand Spanish wikipedia articles… Read More

„Architecten willen heel graag de samenleving vormgeven. Dat had ik ook.” Fascinerend: Fleur Agema (hier 24 uur opgesloten in een ruimte met Wilfried de Jong), kamerlid voor de PVV en secondant van Geert Wilders, genoot een architectonische opleiding. Op de Academie van Bouwkunst te Amsterdam. Ze werkte een tijdje bij een ontwerpbureau (waar lijkt onduidelijk, en wij doen uiteraard niet aan speculatie), maar een zenuwaandoening dwong haar een carrièrestap te maken: de ontwerpster werd politica. Mevrouw Agema studeerde af met een ontwerp voor een gevangenis (pas op: Joop.nl, dus wellicht niet geheel ongekleurd). Een gevangenis met een zeer precies georkestreerd leer- en… Read More