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

You too can now actively experience the assasination of OBL: download this Counterstrike map (rated 8.6/10!) and blast away with your friends from the internet! Or – for those who are not that much into CS – alternatively, try Kumawar’s attempt at semi-tasteless digital fun, which looks worse and thus better. Whether you can play the terrorists in either of the games is not quite clear. Furthermore, structural engineers might like this article, featuring the actual plans of the compound (or here). Please note the final quote by the villa’s architect, turning deficiency into defense: “We are more interested in making… Read More

Pretty self-explanatory, right? Starting around january 2012 (precise dates and locations to be confirmed), the Blame the Architect lecture series – more info here – will be held again at the TU Delft Faculty of Architecture. Enrollment for the series (a 3 ECTS Msc2 course open to students from all master tracks) has started yesterday and closes may 27th. 6 lectures, 3 ECTS, 1 video assignment, lots of violence, lots of in-depth riot analysis. Electives have never been as much fun. We promise. Like last year, all lectures will be open for all – you too are hereby cordially invited to… Read More

Little design, lots of politics: Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi has recently declared his state is going to boldly go where no one has gone before: into the future. All 180,000 Samoans will, very soon, be skipping an entire day, effectively traveling through time. Probably, there will be no December 31st 2011 in Samoa. Ever. Twenty-four hours. Gone. Strangely disappointing though, the underlying reasons are quite mundane (synchronizing with Australia and New Zealand will improve trade) and, admittedly, Samoa did celebrate the 4th of July twice a few decades ago so the country does have a day to spare anyway.  Back to the future… Read More

Terrorists should definitely stick to destroying buildings rather than designing them: that’s one really ugly villa. More ugliness, via ABC News (which will undoubtedly spin the story for another few weeks),  here  – annoying commercial alert – and here (in PDF format). Post-mission-reconnaissance or morphological analyses can be done through Google Earth, and please do check Boston.com’s semi-interactive feature if you’re interested in web 2.0-ishness and 3D models. The 2005 and 2011 satellite images makes one wonder: was Osama just as afraid of urban sprawl as, for instance, these Canadians? Did he tremble too, like so many urbanists, watching suburbia slowly crawling towards his once… Read More

Design As Politics goes Youtube: as of now, we have our own channel/tube! Since everyone has one nowadays (I mean, even MIT has one, and so does North Korea), we decided to jump the bandwagon – a couple of years late perhaps but whatever. We can’t wait to subscribe, favourite, rate, comment, dislike, share, and video-reply all that is out there, so keep posted for updates on things to come. The first two lectures of the Blame the Architect series have already been uploaded  – other parts will follow asap. Although the video’s look like they have been shot by drunk… Read More

Politics as vehicular design: the interior of a US Airforce C-17 Globemaster (a huge airplane) retrofitted with a series of classic Airstream trailers to transport political celebrities and house in-flight press conferences, or a tactical command post, or top-secret VIP meetings. US Secretary of defense Robert Gates is on the frequent flyer list, as are/were Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. Also, NASA apparently transports its astronauts to and from spaceships in Airstream trailers. Political hotshots eating microwave meals inside a vintage trailer inside a plane cruising over Afghanistan at 30,000 feet – it doesn’t really get more fascinating. Lots of pictures… Read More

An economic crisis, huge cuts in government spending, heated debates about the use of renewable energy sources and soaring oil prices due to unrest in the Middle-East notwithstanding, Dutch minister of Infrastructure and the Environment Melanie Schultz approved plans (about 6 gazillion pages of research results and detailed descriptions of virtually everything remotely related to the plans, all in Dutch unfortunately; do see section D for some great clover leaf designs though) to upgrade highways connecting Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam and Almere – a project worth 4,5 billion euros. Awesome. In a generous attempt to serve the masses, and appear to… Read More

The longer a protest takes, the more architectural it becomes: check out the BBC’s nifty spatial analysis of Cairo’s Tahrir Square (and both this 3D diagram by the NY Times and AlJazeera’s documentary/summary of the protests), which has become somewhat of a makeshift micro-city over the past couple of weeks. Not very often does government legislation generate physical urban transformation this fast, right? Design as politics? More like politics as design this time.

Pretty self-explanatory: this Tuesday Charlot Boonekamp presents her graduation project – a study into Palestinian refugee camps – at the TU Delft faculty of Architecture. Expect painstakingly detailed drawings. The lecture, officially a part of the “In the Ghetto” graduation studio Design as Politics hosts at the moment, is open to all – so please attend!