The Supurban Project is a thesis project in Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s B.Arch program by Nick Axel (who now lives in Santiago, Chile). Located in Phoenix, Arizona it questions the status of suburbia as a inanimate grid by designing a megastructure inspired from the 70′s that breaks this grid and reactivate neighborhoods by linking them together and implementing new public spaces.
One of the reasons of existence of Suburbia was in fact to kill public space as it was understood with the Mediterranean paradigm [we currently see what it allows with the "Arab Spring"]. Quoting an article I wrote a year ago about the Obscure History of Suburbia, Mike Davis affirms in City of Quartz that public space in the American city has been destroyed for a reason of control and security, free gathering of people being too hazardous and uncertain for a system that bases its self-sustainability in the anticipation of its subjects’ behaviors. Suburbia is thus a way to kill the Mediterranean street to replace it by the road or the highway that prevent any social interaction between people.
I read Nick’s project as a metaphorical manifesto, a megastructure as an extreme and literal expression of a will to invent a new paradigm of public space inspired by the Mediterranean one but incorporating the modern American fascination for cars and highways.
recently published a project entitled A roof is a roof is a roof
designed by Janis Rucins
for Alex Lehnerer
‘s research studio at the University of Illinois
The poetical narrative is merely useless -I don’t mean it in a pejorative way- and interrogates the very idea of paradigm and pre-conceived ideas by questioning the idea of the roof as an under-developed architectural element. He thus re-interprets the house archetype and code -following Hugh Ferriss
- and flips it in a way that recalls the Oblique Function
(see previous article
“These are the oldest memories on Earth, the time-codes carried in every chromosome and gene. Every step we’ve taken in our evolution is a milestone inscribed with organic memories- from the enzymes controlling the carbon dioxide cycle to the organization of the brachial plexus and the nerve pathways of the Pyramid cells in the mid-brain, each is a record of a thousand decisions taken in the face of a sudden physico-chemical crisis. Just as psychoanalysis reconstructs the original traumatic situation in order to release the repressed material, so we are now being plunged back into the archaeopsychic past, uncovering the ancient taboos and drives that have been dormant for epochs. The brief span of an individual life is misleading. Each one of us is as old as the entire biological kingdom, and our bloodstreams are tributaries of the great sea of its total memory. The uterine odyssey of the growing foetus recapitulates the entire evolutionary past, and its central nervous system is a coded time scale, each nexus of neurons and each spinal level marking a symbolic station, a unit of neuronic time.”
Ballard, J. G., The Drowned World & The Wind From Nowhere, (Garden City: Doubleday & Co., 1965), p. 39
Ed Keller is the new Associate Dean and Professor at Parsons the New School for Design and he has concocted a pretty interesting series of lectures from October to December that would be gathered under the title: Design and Existential Risk.
More information can be found on the official blog.
Dear people of Los Angeles (for God’s sake stop saying L.A. when you have one of the coolest name of city on earth !), this event is for you ! On December 12nd, USC school of architecture
is organizing a conference called Intensive fields
about the very popular topic of parametric urbanism with a bunch of very high quality speakers. I think that this quality is necessary when you deal with such crucial issues as urban design. To reach this scale of design is problematic and any proposal should certainly includes a part of self-contradiction in order to avoid the dictatorial hand of the architect
on the city…
I just regret that Chris Lee
was not invited to this event since he is tackling this kind of issues for a certain time now with his unit 6 in the AA…
Yale School Of Architecture
location: 180 York Street, New Haven, Connecticut (United States)
location: 405 Hilgard Avenue, Los Angeles, California (United States)
University of Pennsylvania
location: 207 Meyerson Hall, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (United States)
RICE school of architecture
location: 6100 Main Street, Houston, Texas (United States)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
location: 77 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, Massachusetts (United States)
location: 48 Quincy Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts (United States)