Superstudio: Pioneers of Conceptual Architecture | Metropolis Magazine

"....But more influential than any individual project, and perhaps even Superstudio's core criticism of architecture and Modernism, was the idea that an architectural practice could be conceptual and theoretical, concerned with cultural criticism rather than the production of buildings."


yes indeedy

10 Ways You Can Change U.S. History - by Fran Korten

Architecture for Humanity : Design like you give a damn

trying to get a team together with our soccer fanatic friends erik and kelly to submit a design for this soccer pitch...we'll see if it can happen there's only a little over a month left.

"The pitch will also act as a place to disseminate information on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment and eventually as a service point for mobile health care.This facility, run by medical professionals from the Africa Center for Health and Population Studies, will serve as a gathering place for youth between the ages of 9 and 14, and will serve as the home for the first-ever girls football league in the area."

The Green Dollhouse Project

a design project that ys and i can work on together!


number dyslexia?

ummm, i can't...i repeat CAN NOT measure, maybe that means i shouldn't be pursuing what i'm pursuing =(

its like every time i measure something the little marks on the scale, or tape measure or whatever just get up and run around like the chess pieces in alice and wonderland. (aren't there some possessed chess pieces in AiW?). sometimes it seems like everything i do is just one big compound error!


what the?

recurring comments throughout the 3 hour furniture critique with about 20 different projects today:

"i was going for something very asian"

"it looks very asian"

"asian" meaning.............? doesn't that call for a bit more specificity? what the hell is with this gross lumpings and characterizations of a very LARGE and diverse population of people and history? oh i how i could imagine the internal scoffs of the asians in the room...b/c i certainly wanted to scoff myself. its like throwing a leopard print over a couch on _________(insert any design/decorating show here) and saying, i was going for an "african" theme. i 'm not the political correctness police by any means but umm.......



one of my teachers was joking about being late to the development of technology in that it makes him an evangelist...he was really proud of his laptop. and its funny b/c being the not so great student (in the traditional sense anyway) that have always been...i kind of feel the same way. every time i read a great book, it's like i just learned to read or something and feel a need to share with any and everybody...its as if i think just b/c i discovered something new to me, its new to everybody???

but anyway i am reading like 4 books concurrently. something in the preface of this one, the art of portable architecture kind of gave me a little revelation. as i gear up to thinking about a thesis and also just more rigorously and seriously approaching my creative work in general...charting my path...figuring out the purpose etc. i am trying to really investigate where the significance of my interests really lies. for instance i have long believed in the power of nomadic design, portable and temporary structures etc. not b/c they are "cool" (remember, mr. mau??? "Don’t be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort"). but b/c they meant something to me...i just couldn't figure out how to articulate why i feel its so important.

one thing in the preface by robert kronenburg

"...mobile architecture is a prototypical genre of building that has always been there, the prototypical human shelter...it is linked to our character as mobile beings, providing our need for stability, continuity, and a sense of place-even though that place may not be tied to a specific geographic location...it is updating the imagery of architecture from something built for a static autocratic society, to something flexible, democratic and free."

i think this helps cristallize for me why it is that i definitely want to pursue ideas of flexible, adaptable, portable...even perhaps temporary architecture in the thesis process. i think it is the perfect medium for addressing my social interests. for one, it addresses this whole notion of sustainability and living in a way that impacts the earth in a less violent way. not merely in a materials sense but in a formal sense and a 'lifestyle' sense. It also deals with adaptability…our lives have become so mobile. We don’t live in one house for generations. All of our technology allows for constant movement and still being able to perform all of our functions from any locations. there are some great examples in this book and many others about how architecture has responded to this. anyway beyond those of us who have technology, this acessibility and adaptability has powerful implications for addressing the affordable housing crisis in a very practical sense and in a more esoteric and theoretical sense it has powerful implications for the meaning and character of life in the city...i guess that's the would be urban designer in me talking. but i think it too, addresses and breaks down some of the power and elitism issues associated with the "architect/client" idea....this idea of DIY and empowerment kind of comes together in this very practical yet creative way.



would like to visit...=)

public art philanthropy

i stumbled across this....which is good b/c i have been meaning to look more into foundations that fund the work i am interested in. if never to be funded by such a place, maybe an interesting option to work in or start some hybrid of. combining my existing philanthropic experience. i don't know that the "traditional" path to architecture, is one i want to walk...at least not long term.

PB dialogoue today

"If we become too post-black we’ll disappear "

true =). that's the problematic part. or maybe thats the point...???

"I don’t think it has a point other than a way for the machinery of art history and the art market to determine what’s in, what’s not, what’s too black, what isn’t about identity, what is just about art…putting this concept in the context of the 80s/90s discourse around identity politics and art, I think it allows critics, collectors, the public, etc. a way to access the work without confronting the blackness of the artist – “it’s just about art, not culture/identity” even though it appropriates and references the culture, but not in an “in your face” way. The question is how the artists see themselves in relation to this – I have an article that speaks to this that you should check out. "

i think its true though that it is more about the 'art machine' than the individual identity of people. however can they be separated is my question (the artist and the artwork----the person and the paradigm).

"Probably not…but people always separate whiteness from artwork, and only include it when it’s non-white…"



this has nothing to do with anything, but...a man just came into the office with an 'escort' (maybe?) to get a key to a meeting room downstairs. he looked at me, smiled, and said, "hey! you look like a pickle woman! get out of here!" and started cracking up laughing. i'm pretty sure he was mentally challenged but i find myself looking a little closer at myself in the mirror wondering what he saw in me...=(

The New York Times Arts Critic's Notebook: 'Black' Comes in Many Shadings

OMG. i open my mailbox and this article is in the NYT today...does this mean i had a premonition? b/c i was just pondering this whole thing, just last night? dude! wierd.

new plan.

so, i'm thinking that a better challenge would be to try to do this in some more organized purposeful fashion...something that might push me to actually post on a regular basis...more than like 2 lines at a time =). so i think the goal is to strive to each week, discuss, reflect on a particular artist or architect, a particular piece or building, book, ideology etc. instead of depending on my inherent inspiration or initiative to reach beyond things i randomly encounter. that might actually push me to read/look more...or at least reflect more and thus push me to write more. "antyway"...i can't wait to devour my library pick for today: "parasite paradise: a manifesto for temporary architecture and flexible urbanism."

so as for the new plan...i think the first itch that's kind of begging me to be scratched is this whole "post-black" thing...that i've kinda heard people make reference to but kind of ignored. but i was scouring damali ayo's site...i never heard of her before i saw the link on my cousin's blog...and ran across either her "interview with herself"...which is actually an interesting idea, i might do that sometime, just as an exercise... or another interview where she was asked about whether or not she believes her work fits into the "post-black" paradigm...which she says she believes it does. her replies to the questions (which she states are not to be used without permission so i will respect that and not try to cut and paste verbatim)...spurred my reflection back to what i believe is the origin of the coining of this term by thelma golden, chief curator at studio museum in harlem in 2001-ish? around their show freestyle. i went back to look at some of the commentary around that show.

Golden in definining "post-black" says she recognizes racial identity as something to be simultaneously defied and kept alive; it's both a hollow social construction and a reality with an indispensable history. she also describes it as the marked ideological shift from the Black Arts movement of the late-’60s and ’70s, which in certain ways delineated political and social parameters and functions for what could be considered black art, to the more boundary-resistant work by black artists in the ’90s. In an article by Aïda Mashaka Croal, Golden explains the term as referring to artists "who are adamant about not being labeled as ‘black’ artists, though their work is steeped, in fact deeply interested, in redefining complex notions of blackness." The term, she explains, is a "defining principle in order not to have a defining principle."

This article states that in an interview with Lowery Sims, performance artist William Pope.L. explains the problems of canonical blackness that (Kehinde)Wiley’s work resists. He writes: "Blackness has always been a kind of rabbit’s hole—an uncertainty of someone else’s making. Black People are always the Alice with the question. For a long time, for many black folk, choosing to be black meant choosing the hole of disenfranchisement and thus one’s fate at the bottom of the political and ideological hierarchy. But embedded in this lack was an active opposition. Be that the Black church, black revolutionaries, black teacher, licorice patriots of all stripes and genders. Still, black people, no matter how strong the ideological chains that held them, always found a way to re-make themselves. Sometimes they made themselves into images of their makers. Sometimes they made themselves into anxious fantasies of what they thought black was supposed to be. Making is an important risk, not to be missed, even if it means making a mistake."

Making (and unmaking) and the dialogic are where Harris, Millett, Wiley, and the Studio Museum in Harlem seem to locate authenticity. The appeal of a "post-black" ideology is its rejection of essentialized "blackness," which is often about being the observed object as well as being put in the position of reacting against and within the parameters of limiting cultural hierarchies. One question is whether or not that position can ever be escaped. Identity and the self are, after all, social inventions—and impositions. It’s interesting that the impulse of Harris, Millett, and Wiley to articulate and critique their own ethno-aesthetic contexts—as well as the Studio Museum’s continuing mission to exhibit, collect, research, and interpret the work of artists defined as African-American and of African descent—suggests both the inescapability and the appeal of certain kinds of definitions and associations.

The thing that throws me off about all this is, i can't figure out where i stand on this. i think it definitely speaks to the frustration that many black people feel, i know i do. i am frustrated about essentially being the only black person in 99% of my interactions here in seattle through work, school or parent groups. there are sometimes that i try to ignore it and just well, "blend in" however it seems just by virtue of being that lone person...the very physical reality of it doesn't allow that. there is this annoying paranoia that, everything i say is then not just taken as what i'm saying, but what a black person is saying and along with that all of the preconceived notions about what a black person would think or say or act...something i both relish in and abhor. but if an artist gives themselves a label "post-black" does that mean that people don't see them as a "black artist"? what is "black art" anyway? interesting enough, many of these artists do work that it is deeply rooted in their experience as "black" people yet they understandably don't want to be solely defined by that. i wonder if regular old mundane society, gives a hoot about that title. i understand and appreciate the argument, b/c white artists are normally not called "white artists" or defined as doing work about their experience as "white" people though many of us recognize that as a truth...we as humans bring ourselves into whatever it is that we do. given this reality, is it instead, in a sense, a way of distinguishing from other black people/artists? if so, maybe this is where my dilemma comes in. i guess that gets back to all the bill cosby drama...and this idea of separating out...the whole talented tenth thing...which is bothersome. i believe that in general the post-black ideology is a gesture of empowerment...a kind of mixture of both pride and statement about getting beyond stereotypes and claiming a new, more real and complex reality of identity...which i think is good...and i am definitely moved by many of the artists that accept the post-black label, and though somehow, i'm hung up on the language and post-black not sounding...."right" i relate to other "post ________" ideas...like some post-feminist thought...but alas maybe my hang up with that is exactly the connundrum that golden describes about identity and titles... something to be both defied and upheld. its kind of like the marginalization thing to me...in words are power...and does using certain words affirm a structure that needs to be broken down not affirmed...

ok. enough of this jibber jabber. its too late and i'm not making sense to even myself. =).



from my greenclips newsletter this week, quoting from metropolis this month:

VINYL SIDING WITH A TWIST: ARCHITECTS WRAP HOUSE IN OLD BILLBOARDS In Minneapolis, Wynne Yelland and Paul Neseth of Locus Architecture have designed and built a 2,400-square-foot home with a façade wrapped in billboards that once advertised cars and jeans. Billboards used to be paper-based but are increasingly made of nonrecyclable vinyl. "We see value in things that other people might not, and that plays out in our work," Neseth says. Screened by milky, semitransparent polycarbonate siding, the billboard images soften into abstractions; only close examination reveals the shape of a wheel or the outline of a letter. The home's polycarbonate cloak, similar to that used in greenhouses, will outlast paint and cost less than $2 per square foot. The billboards act as a secondary moisture barrier, but equally important, Neseth says, is a 1.5-inch gap between the polycarbonate exterior and the billboard lining. Mesh-covered openings at the base of the walls allow air to pass between the two, reducing potential for trapped moisture. Additionally, as sunlight heats the chamber, the air can be let into the house or vented into the attic as needed, a buffer against the cold Minnesota winters.
Metropolis, Aug 2004, p 48, by Joel Hoekstra. [This house is currently for sale. Info:
http://www.locusarchitecture.com ]

i love the idea...its hot. i'm all about re-use. i kind of envision this world where everything is kind of like a collage. but ummm, what is up with the 900,000.00 price tag though? is it written somewhere that only people who can afford it can have the luxury of sustainable design??? dude...less than $2 a square foot? somebody has GOT to use that in affordable housing! =)


Rose Fellowship

Rose Fellowship

hmmmmmmmmmmm =) must apply post graduation...

MLK day home

Environmental Works Community Design Center Architecture & Planning

the (not quite) latest project from my job...i love it=)...and the curriculum is based on the reggio emilia model...might have to check out for ys. though i am always trying to figure out where ethnicity and affirmation of cultural identity fits into all these models. need to read more...


Participatory Community Design in the Pacific Rim

Participatory Community Design in the Pacific Rim

upcoming important conference i hope to help with and attend, i'm not sure how i missed the call for papers but can't wait...looks great!



nothing like defeating your own self-defeatist attitude. 17 credits in the summer...can you say exhaustion?!?!? this is week 7 of the 9 week furniture class that i literally was about 5 seconds from dropping today...as a matter of fact, i emailed my prof. to let him know. 'cause you know if you're going to go out like a sucker then i like to do it the non-confrontational way..by email! =)

he replied:

"...do not drop. now is the perfect time to go for broke....always better to take a big risk than to walk away .....the end result could be the same or it could be brilliant...have faith...i do...see you this afternoon..."

oh my. here i am being confronted with my own bs. maybe i shouldn't just take the easy route...maybe i should sweat it out for a change and at least finish with some dignity...

the basic assignment was to build a simple wood table (of course being offered by an architect/artist there were some caveats which i will spare):

me being the packrat that i am, i started with the idea for a simple entry table...which basically acted as a structural member, a honeycomb...with lots of voids/compartments for all my junk. somehow in critique it got pushed toward making the voids correspond with people in my household...hubby and son....in yet another critique it got pushed to something a lot more conceptual, yet compelling...a "time-table" both a functional piece for holding ish -perhaps memories-and a symbolic piece for marking the passage of time with my son's height. ummmmmmmmm yeah, as beautiful as that sounds, i got totally lost and off track with that idea. the form got all out of wack...and crashed and burned...multiple times. i finally resigned myself to spending every minute the shop would allow today, working on the piece. pumping out full scale mock up after mockup.

FINALLY...after some scrapes, some quizical looks from peers, and even some tears, i actually came up with something that looks like something, functions and means something to me. wow. what a great feeling. here's to sticking it out...challenging myself i'll have to try that more often.