Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Review Research // part 8


Thus, if the World Trade Center was a product of its day, begun in 1966 and finished around 1972, it was an icon for a bygone era, a monument to an economy based on industrial production in a time that had left that economy behind. Never profitable, the towers were outmoded when first constructed. Their vast bulk attempted to accommodate the needs of office planning, which, under the pressures of the cybernetic theorists of Büro Landschaft became increasingly low horizontal structures, vertical circulation being seen as an impediment to communication. Corporate office parks on the urban periphery would soon supplant the office tower as the dominant typology of the corporate headquarters.

In his 1971 essay "The Fluid Metropolis," Andrea Branzi, of the radical architecture group Archizoom, based in Florence, Italy, argued that such skyscrapers were the product of a superceded form of capitalism and would soon no longer be built. In Branzi's prescient text, the concentrated metropolis and the skyline was the product of one phase of the accumulation of capital, acting as a natural record of its accumulation. The skyline represented the capitalist system to an exterior but, with the loss of any uncapitalized exterior, the need for representation disappeared. Branzi concluded that the total permeability of the territory by capital and the growth of telematics would do away with the city as a terminus. No longer viable as a place, the city would become a condition, existing not as a physical entity but as programming.

Much like the process of Freudian therapy, No Stop City was to serve as diagnosis and cure. To name the problem – that late capitalism had no use for the traditional city or for qualities of place and that the creation of the subject through consumption would to a new, less alienated form of homogeneity – would be to allow its supersession. The result would be a proliferation of sublimely useless objects connoting status and "architecturalness" through the applied facades of postmodernism and the spectacular fragments of supermodernism.a brief history of horizontalityKazys Varnelis

The Yokohama Terminal distinctly fails to develop a façade or any kind of iconographic quality. Far from being a shining exemplar of the new, Maya-driven era of the blob – if that era will ever arrive - the project is anti-formal, indeed, anti-appearance, infrastructural rather than architectural.

"The architecture is nothing more than a point of passage, an instrument of change of velocity between modes of transportation or aspects of nature." Toyo Ito

The Yokohama Terminal points toward a reconsideration of contemporary architecture and its relationship to the city. The era of the architectural spectacle is past. Even in the most celebrated case of spectacular architecture, the Guggenheim-Bilbao, what is really remarkable is the alliance of private and public capital that made the project constructable. The dominance of the visual over the last decade is a rouse, a last irruption before architecture turns to the less visible, but more real, work of engaging with the programme and with organizational processes of construction. FOA's Yokohama Terminal announces the emergence of an immaterial age in which we come to reject our frustrated world of objects for programming, much as Archizoom suggested we would a generation ago. As philosopher Jacques Derrida points out, "Form fascinates when one no longer has the force to understand force from within itself. That is, to create."[13] The shimmering masterpieces of the avant-garde are only a sublime distraction from the real obsolescence of architectural form today and the clear direction that leads past it.

Review Research // part 7

Hertzian Space
Hertzian space is as real as the physical world. Physicists tell us that electromagnetic forces are far more powerful than gravity (a tiny magnet holds up a paperclip against the entire gravity of the Earth). Investors find telecommunications and the Internet to be immensely lucrative. What might an architecture that actively engaged Hertzian space look like?

the Invisible Forces

the everyday superimposition of real and virtual spaces, the development of a mobile sense of place, the emergence of popular virtual worlds, the rise of the network as a socio-spatial model, and the growing use of mapping and tracking technologies. These changes are not simply produced by technology. On the contrary, the development and practices of technology (as well as the conceptual shifts that these new technological practices produce) are thoroughly imbricated in culture, society, and politics. To be clear, the new is not good by default. The conditions we observe are contested and give rise to new tensions as much as to new opportunities. With connection there is also disconnection, and networks can consolidate power in the very act of dispersing it.

SEEN - Fruits if Our Labor
Superimposition of real and virtal spaces
In Osman and Omar Khan’s project “SEEN-Fruits of Our Labor,” the designers crafted an 8’ tall, 4’ wide black acrylic screen, reminiscent of the 2001 monolith or perhaps a massive iPhone (the iPhone was actually released a year after the first installation) and installed it in front of the San Jose Museum of Art. The designers set out to foreground questions of labor in the United States by asking members of three groups crucial to the Silicon Valley economy—technology workers, undocumented service workers and outsourced call center workers—the question “What is the fruit of your labor?” The Khans displayed the responses on the screen via a grid of infrared LEDs. This light source is invisible to the naked eye, but can be seen via CCD apparatuses present in digital cameras and phone cameras.

As the mysterious object incited viewers into photographing it, viewers saw a message that otherwise existed only in Hertzian space, invisible to the eye, on their camera screens. Repeated photographs yielded new messages and, as viewers stood in front of the monument with their cameras, the experience spread virally.

Cellphone City

Review Research // part 6


The term symbiosis (from the Greek: σύν syn "with"; and βίωσις biosis "living") commonly describes close and often long-term interactions between different biological species. The term was first used in 1879 by the German mycologist Heinrich Anton de Bary, who defined it as "the living together of unlike organisms".The definition of symbiosis is in flux, and the term has been applied to a wide range of biological interactions. The symbiotic relationship may be categorized as being mutualistic, parasitic, or commensal in nature. Others define it more narrowly, as only those relationships from which both organisms benefit, in which case it would be synonymous with mutualism.Symbiotic relationships included those associations in which one organisms lives on another (ectosymbiosis, such as mistletoe), or where one partner lives inside the other (endosymbiosis, such as lactobacilli and other bacteria in humans or zooxanthelles in corals). Symbiotic relationships may be either obligate, i.e., necessary to the survival of at least one of the organisms involved, or facultative, where the relationship is beneficial but not essential to survival of the organisms.

The term "mutualism" describes any relationship between individuals of different species where both individuals derive a fitness benefit.[14] Generally, only lifelong interactions involving close physical and biochemical contact can properly be considered symbiotic. Mutualistic relationships may be either obligate for both species, obligate for one but facultative for the other, or facultative for both. Many biologists restrict the definition of symbiosis to close mutualist relationships.

Commensalism describes a relationship between two living organisms where one benefits and the other is not significantly harmed or helped. It is derived from the English word commensal, meaning "sharing food" and used of human social interaction. The word derives from the medieval Latin word, formed from com- and mensa, meaning "sharing a table".

A parasitic relationship is one in which one member of the association benefits while the other is harmed. Parasitic symbioses take many forms, from endoparasites that live within the host's body to ectoparasites that live on its surface. In addition, parasites may be necrotrophic, which is to say they kill their host, or biotrophic, meaning they rely on their host's surviving. Biotrophic parasitism is an extremely successful mode of life. Depending on the definition used, as many as half of all animals have at least one parasitic phase in their life cycles, and it is also frequent in plants and fungi. Moreover, almost all free-living animals are host to one or more parasite taxa.

The biologist Lynn Margulis, famous for her work on endosymbiosis, contends that symbiosis is a major driving force behind evolution. She considers Darwin's notion of evolution, driven by competition, as incomplete and claims that evolution is strongly based on co-operation, interaction, and mutual dependence among organisms. According to Margulis and Dorion Sagan, "Life did not take over the globe by combat, but by networking."

Co-operation or co-operative behaviours are terms used to describe behaviours by organisms which are beneficial to other members of the same species. There are several competing theories which help to explain why natural selection favours some types of co-operative behaviour. More than one of the below theories can contribute to the true reason for the selection of these behaviours.

Review Research // part 5

Architectural conservation describes the process through which the material, historical, and design integrity of mankind's built heritage are prolonged through carefully planned interventions. The individual engaged in this pursuit is known as an architectural conservator. Decisions of when and how to engage in an intervention are critical to the ultimate conservation of the immovable object. Ultimately, the decision is value based: a combination of artistic, contextual, and informational values is normally considered. In some cases, a decision to not intervene may be the most appropriate choice.
Narrow Definition
Architectural conservation deals with issues of prolonging the life and integrity of architectural character and integrity, such as form and style, and/or its constituent materials, such as stone, brick, glass, metal, and wood. In this sense, the term refers to the "professional use of a combination of science, art, craft, and technology as a preservation tool" [1] and is allied with its parent fields, of historic environment conservation and art conservation.
Broad Definition
In addition to the design and art/science definition described above, architectural conservation also refers to issues of identification, policy, regulation, and advocacy associated with the entirety of the cultural and built environment. This broader scope recognizes that society has mechanisms to identity and value historic cultural resources, create laws to protect these resources, and develop policies and management plans for interpretation, protection, and education. Typically this process operates as a specialised aspect of a society's planning system, and its practitioners are termed historic environment conservation professionals.


The building offers space, but it is not suitable for art, it offers shelter,but it leaks and has to be repaired,it offers a location,but that is also problematic,it offers a beginning, a presence, which could be hard to organize working within contemporary parameters.


Located between the city centre and Heathrow Airport, just outside the congestion zone, the site forms the most Western of all development locations, the last and currently the missing link in a chain of developments that encircle central London.
At present, the area is a vacant strip of land: a 43 acre breach in the urban fabric. It borders the divide between some of the wealthiest areas in London and some of London's most notorious and deprived housing estates. Hinging between the two extremes, the site has the potential to mediate the divide.


Consisting of multiple freestanding buildings arranged within the market yard, Apraksin Dvor represents a unique urban typology in the historic center of St. Petersburg. The exceptionality of the site that makes it prime for preservation is also the most advantageous aspect for development.What future can be imagined for this area? Is it possible to resist the default treatment of inner city areas: to avoid an uncompromising regime of preservation – no room for maneuvering in the name of authenticity – without surrendering to the forces of commercial exploitation?


With the rapid growth and expansion of urban centers in the latter half of the 20th century, industrial sites, formerly located on the city’s periphery, now find themselves encompassed by the ever expanding urban fabric of the city. Paralleling this growth has been a shift in the main economic drivers of the city from industrial production to service industries. Consequently, what were once vital elements of the city have gone fallow.Milan, once the center of Italy’s industrial region, is today Italy’s leading financial center and a global center for fashion and design. Currently experiencing a boom of urban redevelopment, the city’s post-industrial urban voids now provide exceptional opportunities for ambitious architectural and urban innovation.


O.M.A.’s CBD Core proposal evolved from the observation that the tower has made the Central Business District into a structure that is identical everywhere. At the same time, however, global economic pressure and extraordinary advances in information technology have dramatically changed the nature of office work. The increasing ubiquity and mobility of information technology paradoxically stresses the importance of face-to-face human interaction so that, at the dawn of the 21st century, business is communication.

The CBD Core, therefore, has to define a typology that promotes human interaction and communication. However, with the understanding that the Beijing CBD will boast over 300 towers, the essential question became one of how the CBD Core could distinguish itself in a forest of towers with isolated cores that minimized interaction. The realization: The same amount of urban substance can be configured in many different ways from a compact tower to a dispersed network. CBD Core evolved to become a lowrise network of dispersed cores and flexible office courtyards combined with commercial and recreational activities that not only maximize interaction, but also offer the opportunity for a CDB with a 24-Hour urban life. As a compliment to this series of dispersed horizontal nodes, a dense network of vertical connections (including offices, apartments, and hotels) is proposed over one of the peripheral urban highways. Beijing’s CBD Core ultimately becomes 100% Park 100% Program.

Reveiw Research // part 4

World Heritage development

World heritage under threat in Prague
UNESCO has ordered the city of Prague to revise a project for constructing skyscarpers near its centre, threatening that unless the city complies it could be struck from the World Heritage list. Prague newspaper Pražský deník notes that the critics of the project can notch up UNESCO's demand as a success: "UNESCO has put an end to the skyscraper plans. These buildings that were to reach a hundred metres into the sky will now end up at least 30 metres smaller because otherwise Prague's unique panorama would suffer. The civic initiatives have won their battle - albeit on international soil. The city authorities had so far proven immune to their demands. Mayor of Prague Pavel Bem claimed that the threat of the city being struck off the World Heritage list was not real. Now we know that it is indeed real.

City centre buildings 'pose threat' to world heritage site
Report claims new developmentsthreaten Toledo’s historic setting

A Government white paper proposes 'buffer zones' to protect World Heritage Sites - such as the Tower of London and Palace of Westminster - from inappropriate development

Plans for a giant skyscraper complex in Vienna's historic 1st District threatens the city's status as a UNESCO World Heritage site, Die Presse reported yesterday.

Skyscraper ban next to world heritage sites -Telegraph.co.uk

Skyscraper may see St Petersburg lose world heritage status - guardian.co.uk

Skyscrapers to be banned in Britain's world heritage sites - the independent uk

UNESCO: Pankrác skyscrapers must be lowered -Úvodní stránka CzechNewsPraha - According to UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, the skyscrapers planned for the Pankrác district in Prague must be lowered, otherwise they would damage one of Europe's best preserved historical city panoramas.

Review Research // part 3

Memory in Film

Sans Soleil a documentary that questions our ideas of appearance, memory, and history. “the first part of the film, Krasna’s collection of visual memories, prepares us for the second, which examines the value of those memories, the ability of memory to plumb appearances and write history. Marker’s creation of an invisible character becomes a profound examination of how we store the past.
symbols as the shrine for cats where a couple prays for its lost cat so that when it does die it will find its way to the afterlife [crossing space and time]

“can you completely forget a memory or it is always there somewhere”
William discovers that Maria has been taken to another institution to have her memory of the episode erased. He goes there and talks to Maria, but finds her memory of him has been erased. He succeeds in getting the clinic to release Maria into his care by telling them she is a witness in his fraud investigation. After she is released William proves to Maria that she knows him by his intimate knowledge of her and by showing her the memory recording of when she gave Damian the papele, which includes a shot of William. Williams tells her about the memory erasure, and about how he didn't report her for fraud. Maria is disturbed by this information and becomes very distressed. William gives her a sleeping pill and while she is sleeping, he cuts some hair from her head and takes it to a facility which provides instant DNA analysis. There he discovers that Maria is fifty percent genetically related to him, and that she is a biological clone of his mother, who was one of a set of twenty four in-vitro fertilised clones. This knowledge does not affect William's feelings, but instead of going back to Maria he decides to go home to his family. However when he tries to leave he is not allowed to do so as his cover is now expired.
Afterward, Maria enters a somnambulistic state also caused by the virus which forces her to report the further Code 46 violation to the authorities. She is unconscious of this though William is aware of the virus's reaction. They then rent an old car and travel away to escape the authorities who are tracking them. William crashes the car while avoiding a collision with camels and pedestrians and they are both knocked unconscious.
When William awakes he finds himself in Seattle with his wife and child. He has no memory of Maria or the Code 46 violation, as all memories of her and their time together have been completely flushed from his mind. The authorities had brought William before a tribunal, but decided the empathy virus had affected his judgment. He attempts to use the empathy virus to read his son's thoughts on the drive back from the hospital, but is unable to. Maria is more severely punished by having her memories of William loving her un-erased, essentially forced to remember him and exiled to the place she hated the most, the desert.“can you completely forget a memory or it is always there somewhere”

passage through various time periods Despite the almost inevitable longueurs, not to mention mumbling melancholy offscreen comments that sometimes verge on the self-parodic, this is certainly a superior Sokurov feature, and not only for its extraordinarily virtuoso mise-en-scène. Digitally shot in a single continuous take, it wanders around St Petersburg's State Hermitage, taking in the building, its furnishings and objets d'art, and a host of characters, historical and contemporary, both named (Peter the Great, Catherine the Great, Nicholas, Alexandra, Anastasia) and anonymous, while pondering the Russian soul and its ambivalent relationship with Europe. As the unseen film-maker and a 19th century French diplomat guide us on our journey through space and time, it's hard not to be distracted by thoughts of how it was all choreographed, but a magnificent ball scene and the final poignant departure manage to work their magic.

The film is structured as a series of interrogations of the city, where our only window into that world is opened to us through the eyes of individuals, through the recapitulation of their own memories. They become a metonymy for the entire city. Having zoomed out, Havana then, is understood as a city made up of thousands of fragments, which can each be extracted and extrapolated into their own individual worlds. Intermittently, the city as a cloud of complex systems, is pushed to the background, and the characters are brought forth in order to rectify those fragments in the construction of a new place.

access of time capsules/ creates a wormhole from one time and palce to another
passage through scales of time [flashbacks to history]beginning and end superimposition/ situations connectedvastness of historical time / creates a labyrinth

Review Research // part 2

Memory Device We have decided to bring the idea of memory to our project because we feel there is a close link between the idea of preservation and personal memory. The World Heritage sites are a past legacy, and one can only prevent its extinction through photography, video, writings but before we had these technologies we can only rely on human memory to recall specific characteristics and events that may have occured among the 878 sites worldwide in an attempt to bring them back to life. Understanding of the past is embedded into humans memories in that connect them back to the different systems working within a space/building/natural environment on a social cultural and physical level. We want to use these memories to gain access to a past history that we never experianced to allow us to recreate the past through technological means.
memory is the mental ability to store, retain, and recall information. Three tasks that the human memory performs are encoding [recieving, processing and combining received information], storage [the creation of a permanent record of the encoded information] and last is retrieval and recall [calling back the stored information in response to some cue for use in a process or activity]. Wikipedia.
levels of processingorganization: act of organizing data makes it more memorabledistinctiveness: say data in a distinctive way/example seffort: one recalls more difficult data compared to easier data since more effort is placed on themelaboration: people recall more elaborate sentences then short paragraphswikipedia.
Buildings and spaces can be seen as external memory structures.
"In his writings Rossi criticized the lack of understanding of the city in current architectural practice. He argued that a city must be studied and valued as something constructed over time; of particular interest are urban artifacts that withstand the passage of time. Rossi held that the city remembers its past (our "collective memory"), and that we use that memory through monuments; that is, monuments give structure to the city." Wikipedia.
We want to look at this idea of memory storage in relationship with buildings on both the macro level and micro in how one engages with architecture personally as well as how an entire culture or society engages with it. Architecture we feel is a way of leaving something behind, and becomes richer as time advances. Architecture can be seen as a "progression of historical time" through its defaults, its decaying materials, the patterns of movement, and traces of past culture to name just a few. Next we need to find a way to use these 'traces' and memories to not only broaden our knowledge on the many world heritage sites but to create a catalog of these valuable personal memories to help us achieve sucessful preservation.

Eisenman Architects’ unique approach to design projects is to consider the layers of physical and cultural archaeologies at each site, not just the obvious contexts and programs of a building. Rather then pursueing a particular building type, Eisenman Architects specializes in a particular problem type: projects with difficult siting, programmatic and/or budgetary constraints, and of strategic importance to their environment.

The building is very distinctive from other museums, since it does not respond to any functional requirements, but is rather constructed to create spaces that tell the story of the Jewish people in Germany. The museum itself is a work of art, blurring the lines between architecture and sculpture.

World Heritage Memorable Sites
The fortified walls, barbed wire, platforms, barracks, gallows, gas chambers and cremation ovens show the conditions within which the Nazi genocide took place in the former concentration and extermination camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest in the Third Reich. According to historical investigations, 1.5 million people, among them a great number of Jews, were systematically starved, tortured and murdered in this camp, the symbol of humanity's cruelty to its fellow human beings in the 20th century.
Statement of SignificanceAuschwitz-Birkenau was the principal and most notorious of the six concentration and extermination camps established by Nazi Germany to implement its Final Solution policy which had as its aim the mass murder of the Jewish people in Europe. Built in Poland under Nazi German occupation initially as a concentration camp for Poles and later for Soviet prisoners of war, it soon became a prison for a number of other nationalities. Between the years 1942-1944 it became the main mass extermination camp where Jews were tortured and killed for their so-called racial origins. In addition to the mass murder of well over a million Jewish men, women and children, and tens of thousands of Polish victims, Auschwitz also served as a camp for the racial murder of thousands of Roma and Sinti and prisoners of several European nationalities.
The collections at the site preserve the evidence of those who were premeditatedly murdered, as well as presenting the systematic mechanism by which this was done. The personal items in the collections are testimony to the lives of the victims before they were brought to the extermination camps, as well as to the cynical use of their possessions and remains. The site and its landscape has high levels of authenticity and integrity since the original evidence has been carefully conserved without any unnecessary restoration.