Issue 21: of the Avery Review

Because here’s the thing—architecture is always complicit, Trump or no Trump. It always has been. Architecture coordinates colossal expenditures (of material, of energy); it scripts forms of labor (in its construction, in its operation, and in the programs it houses); it is both a repository and generator of capital. Architecture participates, centrally, in defining modes of life, whether for the privileged or the dispossessed—designing and building the boundaries between the “haves” and the “have-nots,” sometimes subtly. Recognizing these complicities need not inspire either nihilism (“Well, what can I do about it?”) or defensiveness (“What am I supposed to do about it?”), but should rather be understood, quite simply, as the terrain we navigate. Naming these complicities and the injustices they perpetuate is a first step toward addressing them.

In which Manuel Shvartzberg CarrióTeddy Cruz and Fonna Forman, Anna Lui and Ananya Roy argue why “understanding Trump requires understanding Schumacher” and further, the importance of “understanding of the hegemonic articulations of infrastructure“, or how “managerialism is hegemonic because modern infrastructures operationalize, pre-empt, co-opt, channel, and distribute—that is, they manage power—by design“. Plus, praise for Keller Easterling’s ‘Extrastatecraft: The Power of Infrastructure Space’.  A call for “Unwalling Citizenship” and a reading of the catalog/book of the exhibition ‘After Belonging‘. Also, reflections on #NotMyAIA, “ontologies of professional expertise“, normalization, the “infrastructure of assent“, “logics of white supremacy and patriarchy…“, the “politics of divestment“.

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Jacob Lawrence, The Migration of the Negro, panel no. 15, 1940–41. © The Jacob and Gwendolyn Knight Lawrence Foundation, Seattle / Artists Rights Society [ARS], New York.

Resurrection City and architect John Wiebenson

NYT has been doing a great series recently, “Unpublished Black History From the New York Times Archives” and one of the latest articles fts reporting from the 1968, Poor People’s Campaign.

How many Archinectors out there are familiar with the story of “Resurrection City” (see this oral history via American Public Media).

Or the fact that “An architect designed rudimentary tents and wooden structures for temporary residents, and then came a city hall, a general store, a health clinic and a handful of celebrity visitors, including Sidney Poitier, Marlon Brando and Barbra Streisand.

As far as I could tell from a quick search, neither of these topics have been mentioned in news or forums on Archinect.

Did some research and while there is some additional information out there about the architecture of “Resurrection City” there doesn’t seem to be tons…

Best/first – is a 1969 essay Wiebenson wrote in JAPA reflecting on his experience and how “Though temporary, Resurrection City is a useful model of the community development process in action.

Smithsonian Magazine – has a paragraph in an article about the larger movement.

MIT – has a photo of one of the A-frames with a plastic door, available via their digital archive.

WETA’s Boundary Stones blog – focuses more on the movement but has a couple of great photos.

A moving eulogy to the man, by Sam Smith long-time editor of DC Gazette (now the Progressive Review).

Anyone have tips for further reading?

Some photos

Credit: George Tames/The New York Times

 

Also

After my further reading, I suspect he and his work might be a bit more familiar to architects in DC area, as since 2003 AIA DC has awarded the Wieb Award (for Combining Good Architecture with Good Works).

An interesting side-note is that Wiebenson was the author of a comic strip, Archihorse (example below).

On and he is from Denver/CO originally, which I only learned after I read the above strip. Interesting to note that similar conversations continue today (see for example Denver Fugly) in Denver.

A while ago I started a (somewhat) related thread re: participatory-design/performance and political and ecological engagement in architecture and urbanism. Specifically within context of counter/sub-cultural movements of 1960s/70s.

Editor’s note: Cross-posted from Archinect (compare time stamps…)

re: deep listening and sonic meditation

h/t Letter of Recommendation via NYT

The best image or metaphor I can give for it is a tapestry of sound: threads of sound that come and go and some that stay. Trying to expand oneself to include more and more of the field, I call inclusive listening. And then when something attracts your attention to focus in on, that’s exclusive listening. You can do both at once, actually. I have a lot of exercises and pieces that try to expose these different forms. And this is what we do in the Deep Listening retreat. Deep Listening is a process. I guess the best definition I could give is listening to everything all the time and reminding yourself when you’re not listening.

Check out this great in-depth interview with Pauline Oliveros by Alan Baker of American Public Media

the Cercle d’Art des Travailleurs de Plantation Congolaise

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A detail of a cacao sculpture by Jéréˆmie Mabiala. CreditLéonard Pongo, via CATPC, Lusanga, Democratic Republic of Congo

An art collective made of plantation workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo,  who harvest raw material for international companies that manufacture chocolate and palm oil, and make sculptures with cacao as a primary material.

h/t NYT