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robertogreco : anamaríaleón   12

The Avery Review | Air Nationalism: Norman Foster and Fernando Romero’s Mexico City Airport
"As air travel increasingly compresses our muscles and nerves—cue threats of thrombosis and incidents of passenger rage—airports expand their programs, taking up increasingly larger swaths of land. These programs, inflated by extensive security protocols and ambitious retail spaces, are usually arranged under sculptural canopies, like extra weight tucked under additional layers of clothing. Anthropologist Marc Augé famously described airports as “non-places,” generic spaces of transience that resist the rootedness of memory.1 However, the increase in border security has turned Augé’s description upside down. As the architecture that often constitutes a country’s first point of entry, airports are borders, and as such have become loaded with cultural and patriotic tropes. This nationalist anxiety hides the real politics of the expanded airport program.

A few weeks ago, the Mexican state unveiled the plans for a new airport to serve Mexico City, in the form of a digital video that was equal parts promotional rendering and documentary homage to the leader of the design team, Lord Norman Foster. The competition (which Alejandro Hernández has rightly criticized for its lack of transparency) paired famed international architects with local designers—the rationale, one has to assume, being that the Mexicans alone didn’t have sufficient experience in airport design. Foster’s Mexican complement is the young architect Fernando Romero—communication magnate Carlos Slim’s son-in-law. The need to include both a “local” representative and a big name from the world of architecture stardom has the further effect of directing attention away from the third but equally vital component of the team—the airport consultancy. In the winning team, this firm is Netherlands Airport Consultants (NACO), a Dutch firm with a long history of designing and supervising airports in Saudi Arabia. They describe their role as involved in “every aspect of airport design and development.” The delightful coincidence of their acronym “NACO”—a distinctively pejorative term for “unculturedness” in Mexican Spanish—doesn’t fully explain their almost occult presence in the project. The presence of their technical expertise runs counter to the video’s portrayal of Foster’s extensive experience with the airport typology (“the most highly qualified airport architect in the world”), and it reveals Foster’s participation as something other than that of the “outside expert.” The design team instead triangulates between global stardom, increasingly specialized technical expertise, and a questionably “local” avatar of Mexican identity. These multiple readings—purposefully sought by the Mexican state and enthusiastically illustrated in Foster’s competition submission—mark the building as yet another attempt to overcome the irreconcilable binary of local and global through a kind of architectural ambivalence."



"It is easy to criticize Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid, or any number of “starchitects” for their involvement or lack thereof in the processes and regimes with which they collaborate. But it’s more important, and more difficult, to take on these architects’ professed impotence. As program complexity increases, the figure of the consultant has pushed aside many of the roles that architects previously assumed. If we compare these architects’ secondary roles to that of Pani in Tlatelolco, we get a sense of how the discipline has been split between the form-making of the architect-artist and the programmatic management of the consultant. In this light, the program of the building is a conspicuous absence in Foster’s video. While the architectural membrane becomes loaded with a series of nationalist messages, its operational aspects are omitted. Architecture here is reduced to form on the outside and well-lit void on the inside. The architects are thus recast as form- and image-makers in search of the objective correlative of a globalized Mexican state. Or to say it more simply, they’re three-dimensional publicists.

In order for the global network of airports to function, their programs have become increasingly precise and standardized according to elaborate specifications. For the cosmopolitan traveler, increased security protocols seem to go hand in hand with expanded retail opportunities. This is where the real spatial politics of the airport program lie—in the entrails of corridors that sort us by immigration status, in the machines that scan our bodies and our belongings, in the long lines of human beings surrendering their dignity in exchange for the illusory promise of safety. It is telling that the bulk of airport retail is located between the two poles of security, the security check upon departure, and immigration control upon international arrival. Caught in this limbo, we are left free to wander through the world of duty-free shopping, international retail chains, and overpriced food—fear, assuaged by consumption. These spaces are absent from the architectural brief as described by Foster. The emphasis on nationalist tropes, from eagles to serpents, is a desperate populist appeal covering up the construction of a highly politicized space. This video invites us to join the architects in turning a blind eye to these realities."
anamaríaleón  airports  architecture  borders  border  mexicocity  mexicodf  mexico  design  retail  capitalism  neoliberalism  marcaugé  normanfoster  fernandoromero  arrival  departure  tlatelolco  zahahadid  df 
december 2014 by robertogreco
Taylor & Francis Online :: Prisoners of Ritoque: The Open City and the Ritoque Concentration Camp - Journal of Architectural Education - Volume 66, Issue 1
"In the early 1970s, a school of architecture and a concentration camp appeared at the Ritoque beach, just north of Valparaíso, Chile. Situated three miles apart, they never acknowledged each other's presence. Nonetheless, their occupants formed communities that used a similar repertoire of games, events, and performances to create real and imaginary spaces. Faculty at the school deployed these activities to form a utopian enclave, freeing students and themselves from the strictures of normative education and practice, while limiting their political agency. In contrast, the prisoners of the camp transformed their enforced isolation into active political resistance."

[PDF: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/10464883.2012.718300 ]
ritoque  opencity  ciudadabierta  concon  chile  valparaíso  pinochet  prisoners  concentrationcamps  dictatorship  architecture  anamaríaleón  viñadelmar  history  ead  pucv  amereida 
march 2014 by robertogreco
MoMA's demolition of AFAM and architectural obsolescence
"In retrospect, Muschamp's effusive wordsmithing borders on hyperbole. Yet in focussing on the cultural context in which the building was born, it captures much of what is missing from current discussion (which tends to be markedly concentrated on functionality and new square footage). If we practice the rules of obsolescence, the death of this signature piece of architecture was designed in at the beginning.

As much as I would want to praise the American Folk Art Museum for pointing a way forward out of that dark time, the structure is no phoenix. From the beginning it was anachronistic. This is its downfall.

Although completed in the new millennium, it is an artefact from the 1990s, or to crib from Portlandia, an artefact from the 1890s. Muschamp's title suggests as much: Fireside Intimacy for Folk Art Museum. "Our builders have largely dedicated themselves to turning back the clock," he writes of Williams and Tsien's obsessive attention to materiality.

The museum is a little too West Coast for midtown - too much like something from the Southern California Institute of Architecture, before computation took command. Its design values everything the current art and real estate markets reject: hominess, idiosyncrasy, craft. By contrast, Diller Scofidio + Renfro's scheme emphasises visibility and publicness. The same could be said for an Apple store.

A message from MoMA director Glenn D. Lowry posted on the museum’s website touts that the new design will "transform the current lobby and ground-floor areas into an expansive public gathering space." Indeed, the much talked-about Art Bay, the 15,500-square-foot, double-height hall in the scheme, walks a fine line between public space and gallery. Fronted with a retractable glass wall and designed for flexibility, the Art Bay is so perfectly attuned to the performance zeitgeist, that it makes Marina Abramović want to twerk.



The Tumblr #FolkMoMA, initiated and curated by Ana María León and Quilian Riano, dragged the fate of AFAM - a pre-internet building - into the age of social media. The hashtag set the stage for a robust dialogue on the subject and a much-needed commons for debate, but failed to save architecture from capital forces.

In weighing in to protest or eulogise the passing of the American Folk Art Museum, perhaps what we mourn is not the building per se, but a lingering sentimental belief that architecture is an exception to the rules of obsolescence. This building strived to represent so many intimacies, but ultimately its finely crafted meaning was deemed disposable.

Fingers may point at the ethics of Diller Scofidio + Renfo's decision to take on the project or wag fingers at MoMA's expansionist vision, but the lesson here cuts deeper into our psyche. Architecture, as written in long form, exceeds our own life spans and operates in a time frame of historical continuity. Architecture writ short reminds us of our own mortality, coloured by mercurial taste."
plannedobsolescence  obsolescence  2014  moma  afam  diller+scofidio  ephemerality  mortality  design  architecture  anamaríaleón  quilianriano  mimizeiger  taste  timing  disposability  visibility  publicness  craft  hominess  idiosyncrasy  herbertmuschamp  dillerscofidio  ephemeral 
january 2014 by robertogreco
Big Red & Shiny: Did someone say 'Adhocracy'? An interview with Ethel Baraona Pohl
"…how are you working with Joseph Grima…around the idea of 'adhocracy', something that "captures opportunities, self-organizes and develops new and unexpected methods of production. ""

"…the concept of adhocracy is almost inherent in design. Work tools, new technologies and forms of communication, and strategies that facilitate self-organization—like DIY projects—are readily developable, urban actions that have a real impact on our environment."

"…there was some confusion on the part of the participants on the topic 'imperfection'—the overall theme of the Biennial—and the concept of adhocracy was brought up as a response to the proposals."

"…Peter Gadanho…recently said…"curating is the new criticism""

"…the most beautiful aspect of our times (and this is also related to the adhocracy), is that there is room and respect for all."

"multi-connected society can be very saturating for some people, but it also allows them, from their loneliness and isolation, to find what they need…"
ebooks  print  kindle  bottomup  bottom-up  hierarchy  tumblr  paufaus  laciudadjubilada  wikitankers  mascontext  quaderns  postopolisdf  postopolis  openconversation  conversation  stories  dpr-barcelona  anamaríaleón  klaus  tiagomotasaravia  nereacalvillo  claranubiola  amazon  booki  github  publishing  epub  domus  léopoldlambert  aurasma  communication  online  internet  digital  books  crowdfunding  douglascoupland  linkedin  pinterest  vimeo  twitter  youtube  facebook  socialnetworks  socialnetworking  socialmedia  society  networkedsociety  networks  web  loneliness  cv  isolation  shumonbasar  markusmiessen  opencalls  collaboration  curating  curation  diy  participation  petergadanho  josephgrima  ethelbaraona  2012  istanbulbiennial  istanbul  adhocracy  adhoc  epubs 
november 2012 by robertogreco
Are We Fighting With or Against ‘The Man’? | SpontaneousInterventions [Comment from Adam Greenfield quoted here.]
"Every sustained change in human consciousness needs, in effect, a Martin & a Malcolm — someone, that is, to push from the institutional inside, & someone to make unreasonable demands, & pull the system from the outside.

We each of us have to choose the role that feels truest to our capabilities & personalities, but this is how the Overton window is shifted. When the Malcolm & the Martin work in synchrony, measures that were formerly seen as outside the scope of possibility come to be understood as conventional wisdom with startling rapidity. Those of us dedicated to the practice of tactical urbanism understand that not only are our projects worthwhile in and of themselves (they produce joy, an appreciation of the city & of the community, an enhanced sense of agency on the part of participants), but also in the work they perform as propaganda of the deed, pulling the Overton window that much further in the direction of liberatory potential. It's an exciting moment to be a part of it."
lobbying  government  deschooling  unschooling  institutions  formal  urbandesign  anamaríaleón  interventions  interventioniststoolkit  interventionists  urbaninterventions  urbanism  architecture  2012  possibility  systemschange  outsidein  insideout  changemaking  changemakers  overton  change  adamgreenfield 
september 2012 by robertogreco
The importance of the way stories are being told : dpr-barcelona
"we have published a digital-pamphlet [kindle + ePub] exploring the thought and ideas of thinkers and doers; articulated by simple detonating questions posed through emails, tweets and conversations intending to comunicate effectively the very essence of the debate: “the importance of telling stories”

This “fast generated” publication includes contributions by some of the attending guest to the debate [Tiago Mota Saravia, Klaus, Paco González], the so-called “Line 0” [Ana María León, Pedro Hernández and Clara Nubiola] and with the aim to expand the conversation beyond Eme3 walls, we also have invited a few friends who are involved in similar activities to share their thoughts about this topic with us. They are Iker Gil, Mario Ballesteros, Cristina Goberna and Urtzi Grau from Fake Industries Architectural Agonism; and Mimi Zeiger."

[via: http://archinect.com/firms/release/9215461/the-importance-of-the-way-stories-are-being-told-ebook-for-kindle-ipad-and-other-tablets/53443274 ]
klaus  cristinagoberna  urtzigrau  eme3  claranubiola  stories  collaborativewriting  architecture  storytelling  books  2012  ethelbaraona  tiagomotasaravia  pacogonález  pedrohernández  anamaríaleón  mimizeiger  marioballesteros  ikergil 
july 2012 by robertogreco
Regarding the Euro | varnelis.net
Comment from Ana María León, "Looks pretty close-minded to me": <br />
<br />
"european schengen visa paperwork and border control in europe are the most humiliating, racist experiences i've gone through in my life, and i speak as a south american woman that travels in and out of the united states often. europe might be open, but only as long as you're white.<br />
<br />
i understand this is an unfair argument, based on personal experiences--but it has happened to me every time i've gone. i'm traveling to europe twice this fall (if i get the stupid visas) and i'm already cringing at the thought of what i may have to go through.<br />
<br />
i don't mean to accuse a whole continent of racism, of course--only referring to the way states manage their borders."
anamaríaleón  kazysvarnelis  europe  travel  racism  eurozone  us  travellers  2011  euro 
september 2011 by robertogreco
a m l - facebook's gender anxiety
"facebook’s curious need to reinforce traditional gender types points out a latent conservativeness in the site, less willing to engage in more flexible concepts of gender. furthermore, the little avatar puts gender front and center: it is the first thing to be told about your ‘facebook persona.’ in the end, this is what bothers me the most. why should i be defined by my gender? my gender does not determine (to be specific) my ability to be an architect, to be good at drawing, to love geometry, and to like languages. gender is a fantastic part of who we are, but it should not determine or define us. facebook seems to disagree."
gender  facebook  identity  anamaríaleón 
november 2010 by robertogreco
a m l - tres bibliotecas de borges
"en cierto sentido, claro, borges tuvo muchas bibliotecas—pero en este post me voy a limitar a tres."
borges  anamaríaleón  libraries  fiction  argentina  buenosaires  books 
september 2010 by robertogreco
a m l - on inclusiveness
"the materiality of objects comes with a high price tag: i don’t care if your journal is free there, i will not be able to read it here. that is great for you, but your conversation will remain local, or regional, or limited to the global few who can afford you—it’s your loss. the nostalgia for objects ignores their exclusive nature. the digital does not have such limitations. people who can afford to, can keep lamenting the waning of objects. the rest of us will download as much information as we can."
inclusiveness  exclusiveness  anamaríaleón  criticism  conversation  information  objects  print  journals  architecture 
august 2010 by robertogreco
a m l - on translation [great piece by Ana María León that meanders back and forth between English y español]
"for the past few days i’ve been doing research at the cca, as part of a month’s long grant. already living in montreal becomes an constant bilingual challenge, but working at the cca brings the task of translation to another level. with italian, brazilian, spanish, mexican, and french (and one ecuadorian!) scholars doing research in the same place, our conversations constantly switch from language to language. politeness often makes us change language with the arrival of a new colleague—often at the expense of the flow of conversation. it is, of course, extremely fun and stimulating, but it foregrounds the bumps and wrinkles that translation involves, not only between languages, but also between disciplines and even research schools."
anamaríaleón  translation  aldorossi  english  language  spanish  languages  conversation  flow  manfredotafuri  marinawaisman  tone  meaning 
july 2010 by robertogreco
a m l - want to look ahead? look around instead.
"when new high-tech & high-priced gizmos like kindle & its much hipper cousin ipad came out, the blogosphere was very excited. nevermind that hacker websites from russia to south america have been scanning & posting pdfs for consumption of rest of the world that does not have a library around the corner nor easy access to jstor et al. the ipad is not the revolution, digital text is. it is less important how you read it, than the possibility of being able to read it at all! ingenuity finds uses for technology other than those originally intended, & this often happens because of need. think of cell phones used as micro loan mechanisms in india. think of the development of the bus rapid transit system in curitiba, transforming the bus into a dedicated line system resulting in an affordable mass transportation system that has been replicated in several cities in south america. christopher hawtorne thinks we should look at medellin… he is, of course, a bit late, but hey, we’ll take it."
thestreetwillfindause  medellin  colombia  india  streetuse  technology  ipad  kindle  libraries  text  digitaltext  anamaríaleón  cities  suburbia  travel  jetset  sustainability  green  latinamerica  southamerica  jaimelerner  pdf  learning  information  hacks  hacking  microloans  rapidtransit  christopherhawthorne  architecture  urban  urbanism  planning  future  decline  invention  thefutureishere  medellín 
may 2010 by robertogreco

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