This post accompanies part two of the Blame the Architect lecture series. This week we’ll discuss the 1967 Race Riots in Detroit; extra material for those who are interested or otherwise unoccupied can be found below. Firstly, please watch this before you do anything else Detroit-related: it’s made by Julien Temple and it’s an absolutely brilliant (8.0 says IMDB)  portrait of present-day Detroit. Yes, that’s a dodgy looking Russian website we refer you to, but unfortunately the documentary is pretty hard to find (or buy, for that matter). For those who like their documentaries sponsored by a shoe brand and featuring… Read More

The coming months, we will be posting links to movies, writings and/or obscure websites that are (at least vaguely) related to that week’s Blame the Architect lecture subject (see post below for the program) – a lecture appendix so to speak. Since this week’s lecture is a general introduction to the theme of the series and the course assignment, here is some stuff on riots in general (part one and two). As for the assignment: enrolled students are asked to make a short, YouTube-uploadable video documenting their own fictional riot. Time to dive into the world of amateur directors, gonzo journalism… Read More

Starting tomorrow, the Blame the Architect lecture series will be held again at the faculty of architecture in Delft. The lectures are open to all, so please do attend! See our youtube channel for last year’s lectures – but, as with concerts of your favourite band, nothing beats having been there in person of course. It is encouraged to attend all lectures in full riot gear.

For those who are in London this Friday, like to get up early and enjoy discussing urban violence, the NLA is hosting the perfect breakfast talk. Wouter Vanstiphout will be there giving an introductory lecture. Attendance is free – but you do need to register.

Let’s do some more reflective reading! The Evening Standard had Kieran Long interview professor Wouter Vanstiphout – in a rather comprehensible fashion. What now for the regeneration of London? Ellis Woodman and The Guardian’s Dave Hill have a go at Vanstiphout’s article on bdonline.co.uk (which has a whole section devoted to the riots on its front page). While not adding much to the debate in terms of word count, Hill does put things in a more ‘British’ framework –  sparking a more than decent  24-reply discussion (definitely for internet standards); the obligatory call for riot police with bayonets is in there somewhere too…. Read More

London has had an interesting music scene for the past three million years – but what better time to check up on current affairs in underground music land than right after the city has been partially burnt down by rioters? Thank God for the Guardian. Do read the comments, as well.

With the police studying grainy CCTV riot footage, it seems the violence that swept London and a number of other UK cities the past days has finally quieted down. Thank God. Time for reflection, careful analysis of causes and events – and perhaps a tiny bit of finger-pointing. Wouter Vanstiphout has joined the discussion using the medium of the magazine: bdonline.co.uk has published an article by him, and the current issue of Australian Design Review features  and interview by Rory Hyde. Grim stuff, mostly. For those who don’t like reading (or Vanstiphout) that much, the Telegraph keeps track of the aftermath of… Read More

Check this. One hundred dollar bills make perfect building material – you can more or less rebuild the World Trade Center out of the US national debt. Just imagine what happens when you change that into Zimbabwean dollars first.

An interesting new chapter in the story of the legendary catastrophe that was Pruitt-Igoe: an independent committee has launched a design competition aiming at generating new ideas about what to do with the legacy and the former site of the once-great-but-now-completely-gone housing project. Nothing more than a brainstorm-fantasy-idea-challenge perhaps, but hey: thinking about public housing seems to be quite relevant again for some reason. Besides, we know you got nothing to do this summer anyway. Deadline is March 16th, 2012. Also, and perhaps not coincidentally, a documentary on Pruitt-Igoe got launched last february – read Architizer’s great (!) review of… Read More

Next Post

It appears that 1974 was an excellent year for abandoning things: not only the world’s most popular resort town (see post below), but also its most densely populated area became completely deserted that year. About 5,000 people lived on Hashima (also know as Gunkanshima), a small island near the Japanese city of Nagasaki, once – but not anymore. Owned by Mitshubishi, Hashima used to be one large coal mine – its inevitable demise came when Japan’s industry switched to petroleum and virtually all coal mines in the country were disbanded. Abandoned virtually overnight in 1974, the island was shut off… Read More