A Rage in Harlem – June Jordan and Architecture
Nikil Saval
Sternberg Press - 14.00€ -

Pennsylvania State Senator Nikil Saval tells the story of an unlikely partnership between June Jordan and R. Buckminster Fuller, and their attempt to reimagine Harlem in the wake of the 1964 riots.

In the tense days leading up to the 2020 American elections, design critic and then-candidate for Pennsylvania State Senate Nikil Saval addressed a virtual audience at the Harvard GSD to tell a story about Black feminist writer June Jordan and a little-known project that resulted from the aftermath of the 1964 Harlem riot. The events of police brutality and community grieving made a lasting impression on Jordan, who, while known for her work as a poet, playwright, and activist, responded with a proposal for a multiple-tower housing design. Through an unlikely partnership with R. Buckminster Fuller, Jordan's "Skyrise for Harlem" project offered a Futuristic vision for Harlem that argued for environmental redesign: "it is architecture, conceived of in its fullest meaning as the creation of environment, which may actually determine the pace, pattern, and quality of living experience." Jordan was not an architect in the conventional sense, Saval says. "But in the understanding of someone who sought to propose and build interventions in public space, she was."

Nikil Saval (born 1982) is an Indian-American magazine editor, writer, organizer, activist, and politician, member of the Democratic Party.

Foreword by Sarah M. Whiting.

Smooth City
René Boer
Valiz, Amsterdam - 22.50€ -  out of stock

In the foreword of Smooth City, René Boer writes about changes shaping the city center of Amsterdam nowadays: how the streets once known for their roughness, are now characterized by homogenous aesthetics, minimalist shopping windows and shiny Uber taxis. These are typical characteristics of the ‘smooth city’: a city in which the urge for ‘perfection’, efficiency and control is constantly increasing. It is a kind of city which is sterile, clean and layered with new technologies, which makes urban life seemingly ‘perfect’ and frictionless. It can be questioned, however, whether there is still place for divergence from norms, forms of friction or any alternative in the smooth city? 

René Boer argues in Smooth City that this new version of urbanity undermines the democratic nature and the emancipatory potential of cities, and hardly leaves any space for experiment, non-normativity and transgression. Although the book states that the desire for a safe, clean and well-functioning urban environment is understandable, it also provides a framework to challenge this obsession with perfection and to instead collectively work towards porosity in the urban realm. Smooth City offers a critical analysis of the origins, characteristics and consequences of the smooth city and brings some very welcome reflections on the urban reality we are currently living in. The book also contains a series of ‘smoothscapes’, collages made by visual artist and graphic designer Kees de Klein, reflecting on this smooth urban reality.

Dimensions of Citizenship
US Pavilion, Venice Architecture Biennale 2018
Inventory Press - 25.00€ -  out of stock

Globalization, technology, and politics have altered the definition and expectations of citizenship and the right to place. Dimensions of Citizenship documents contributions from the seven firms selected to represent the United States in the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. This paperback volume profiles and illustrates each of the US Pavilion contributions and contextualizes them in terms of scale. 

Drawing inspiration from the Eames’ Power of Ten, Dimensions of Citizenship will provide a view of belonging across seven stages starting with the individual (Citizen), then the collective (Civic, Region, Nation), and expanding to include all phases of contemporary society, real and projected (Globe, Network, Cosmos). Additional essays—by Ingrid Burrington, Ana María León, and Nicholas de Monchaux, among others—will offer essential and enquiring responses to these themes. 

From “social to speculative; technical to theoretical,” the participating teams lead intellectual and architectural practices that not only situate the US as a leading center of critical research at the heart of the debate on citizenship, social conscience, and a just society, but also as a place at the intersection of political action, public policy, and changing notions of nationality. 

Participants in the US Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale are: Amanda Williams & Andres L. Hernandez with Shani Crowe (Chicago, IL); Design Earth (Cambridge, MA); Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Laura Kurgan, Robert Gerard Pietrusko with Columbia Center for Spatial Research (New York, NY); Estudio Teddy Cruz + Fonna Forman (San Diego, CA); Keller Easterling (New Haven, CT); SCAPE (New York, NY); and Studio Gang (Chicago, IL). The exhibition is curated by Niall Atkinson, Ann Lui, and Mimi Zeiger; and commissioned by the School of the Art Institute Chicago and University of Chicago.

Edited by Nick Axel, Nikolaus Hirsch, Ann Lui, and Mimi Zeiger

Making Space: Women and the Manmade Environment
Verso Books - 25.00€ -  out of stock

Making Space is a pioneering work first published in 1984 which challenges us to look at how the built environment impacts on women's lives. It exposes the sexist assumptions on gender and sexuality that have a fundamental impact on the way buildings are designed and our cities are planned.

Written collaboratively by the feminist collective Matrix, tthe book provide a full blown critique of the patriarchal built environment both in the home and in public space, and outline alternative forms of practice that are still relevant today. Making Space remains a path breaking book pointing to possibilities of a feminist future.

Some authors worked for the London-based Matrix Feminist Architect's collective, an architectural practice set up in 1980 seeking to establish a feminist approach to design. They worked on design projects--such as community, children and women's centres. Others were engaged in building work, teaching and research.

The new edition comes with a new introduction examining the context, process and legacy of Making Space written by leading feminists in architecture.

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