Wednesday, August 11, 2010

City of Tables: A Proposal

"His table became the world. Everybody came to his table, and they talked about everything. Once you put coffee on the table it became public space. If you put food on the table it became a home. With papers it became an office. Then you put a networked screen on the table and suddenly the world came to your table. Trees started to grow on the table and it became the base for a landscape. His table became the world"
Here's the proposal I submitted together with Point Supreme Architects, for the Greek Pavilion 
in the Venice Biennial of Architecture.
Taking Sejima's theme of "People Meet in Architecture", 
we chose the table as the par excellance vehicle for meetings. 
The idea was simple: Almost all public space in Greek cities 
is organised with the placement of tables, whether they are cafeteria tables, taverna tables or just fast food.

We proposed to inhabit the Greek pavilion with this city of tables. Some of the tables would function as display cases for projects, others tables would be displays for books, there would be tables for visitors to sit around,  rest and chat, maybe even have a light lunch. This city of tables would be a vehicle for displaying, discussing and researching architecture. A brief typological list of tables would include:
The Urban Table: Public space and its shifting functions would be the theme of this series.
The Environment Table: Architecture in the time of shifting climate 
and the economies behind Green.
The Archive Table: would present an eclectic survey of Greek architecture.
The Screen Table would evaluate the ways that nowadays 
we inhabit our screen as much as our buildings, with a sharp focus on social media.
The Meeting table would be a place to discuss the problems and solutions of this years Biennale.
The Table of Tables would evaluate all the above typologies of tables and more

Collaborators for this proposal included 
architect Keller Easterling (Yale), author of "Enduring Innocense" and much more, 
Sotiria Kornaropoulou, member of 51N4E
architect Markus Miessen, editor of "East Coast Europe", "The violence of Participation" and more
critic and writer Spyridon Papapetros (Princeton)
artist Angelo Plessas, Social Media and internet domination.

Friday, August 06, 2010

The Folk Fantasia of Bruce Goff

I have been meaning to post Bruce Goff's Bavinger house for ages. So long that I almost forgot about it,
and then I saw it again in the very nice blog of Daavid Mortl.

I have to admit I find Bruce Goff's architecture to be super challenging, because its sort of ugly-pretty. Goodbad. Funnysad. That sort of thing.
I do appreciate the folsky expressionisim, which like what might have happened if Northern California hippies time warped to Germany in the early 20th century.

looking at this I cannot believe that I'm living without a crystal garden (great photos here )
or a wooden carved bathtub? imaginary reception desk? suspended seating arrangement?
Whatever you are, I want you.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Ecosystem Beach reading

While on the beach I managed to read The Infrastructural City, edited by Kazys Varnelis. 

It is a contemporary take on Banham's Four Ecologies, updated to the fascinating mess that LA has become. 
Highlights include "Flood Cotrol Freakology" by David Fletcher which studies the evolution and disparate ecology of the LA River,

(a fake building that hides oil drills inside)
 Mark Ruchala's "Crude City" which talks about how LA has transformed itself from an oil city to an entertainment city, 

(a lonely tree that is not a tree but a cellphone antenna)

Kazys Varnelis' "Invisible City" on the surprising infrastructure of telecoms, 

Warren Techentin "Tree Huggers" on how trees shape the city, Ted Kane and Rick Miller "Cell Structure"  
and Roger Shermans' great "Counting on Change", 
an analysis of the hopscotch urbanism and exchange that takes places between awkward properties

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Back from Ecosystem Beach

Just back from Antiparos, and the beach that I have used as an potential site for Menir House. While shooting some extra footage, I realised I never posted the photos of Menir Ecosystem, which was shown at Rebecca Camhi Gallery at Art Athina a few months back. It was a 3D print of Menir House on a cluster of white plinths. One of the plinths acted as a tiny beach for Menir House (photo-voltaic)

The other plinths accommodated the other members of the ecosystem: A copy of Paul Virilio's Bunker Archaeology, a beach plant and a framed image of the Menir House in it's alternate state where the photo-voltaic umbrella has turned into a wind turbine.