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Monthly Archives: June 2012

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– I’m thinking maybe -just maybe we went a little bit too far, didn’t we?

– You’d think so?

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From Tomorrow and till July 1st, I’ll be in the architectural festival eme3, in Barcelona, which has selected for its 7th edition the motto “Bottom Up”. Here, I’ll be exhibiting the exibition (not euphonic, I know) Klaus.Toon: From New York to Portimao that Casa Granturismo and the Ordem dos Architectos de Portugal organised for me in late 2010. (You can check the original entries here and here).

Eme3 is open to everyone, free and a mix of cross-cutting disciplines. It’s goal is to make people discover and live other ways of making architecture, this time under the topic “Bottom-up”. It asks its audience to be curious and take part in a laboratory of experimentation that seeks to  explore participative and bottom-up approaches to architecture through: “an exhibition of projects and installations, Workshops where people will be able to build, design, debate, dance, share, fabricate strange things, projections, talks and debates with the participants, and moments of conviviality and relax around a drink, with concerts and dj’s.”

There are two categories for participants: SHARE IT! (for already built projects) and BUILD IT! (where participants get the opportunity to build their proposals – see full list here). From 28 of june until 1 of july (except some workshops starting on 20 of june) EME3_2012 will base its headquarters in the COAC (Official Chamber of Architects of Catalonia) and in the EME3 Plaza, located in the adjacent square of the Cathedral in Barcelona, but it will also feature different interventions and activities scattered through the urban spaces of the city centre (Ciutat Vella). (See map below or here, in google maps).

Tomorrow, June 28 from 20.00 to 22.00, I’ll be participating in a round table organised by Ethel Baraona (from dpr-Barcelona publishing) under the suggestive title “The Importance of the Way Stories Are Being Told”. There will be Edgar González (edgargonzalez.com), Nerea Calvillo (C+ arquitectos), Paco González (radarq.net) , Tiago Mota (ateliermob), and Ariadna Cantis.

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As of July 2012, dpr-Barcelona launched the e-book ”The Importance of the Way Stories are Being Told”, a “fast-generated” publication aimed at continuing the debate in an editable format. A short review of the book can be found at Archdaily, along with a well-known cartoon by yours truly (a pingback would be much appreciated, you powerful people).

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”The Importance of the Way Stories are Being Told”. Following the debate “Communication and Bottom-UP. The importance of the way stories are being told.” dpr-barcelona seek to expand the debates and conversations avoiding them to get lost after a few days of the event. This digital-pamphlet [kindle + ePub] is meant as a tool to keep exploring the thought and ideas of thinkers and doers; articulated by simple detonating questions posed through emails, tweets and conversations intending to comunicate effectively the very essence of the debate: “the importance of telling stories”.
This “fast generated” publication includes contributions by attending guest to the debate [that you can see here in the post], the so-called “Line 0” [Ana María León, Pedro Hernández and Clara Nubiola] and with the aim to expand the conversation beyond the dome of Eme3’s piazza, we also have invited a few friends who are involved in similar activities to share their thoughts about this topic with us. They are Iker Gil, Mario Ballesteros, Cristina Goberna and Urtzi Grau [Fake Industries], Mimi Zeiger, and Nick Axel.
This digital pamphlet is also a starting point for a open and written debate were everyone can also sum opinions: Those interested in responding will be able to add more contents using Booki (http://www.booki.cc/list-books/), which is an open platform that allows to write collaborative books and even generating a very personal version.
The book has been published bilingual, with some articles in Spanish and other ones in English, as each author was free to choose the language that makes easier to communicate his/her ideas. You are free to add a complete chapter, to add contents to the published ones and to add images… Did someone say participate? You can download the eBook version for kindle, ipad and tablets by paying with a tweet.
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“In all of my architectural design activities I have constantly asked myself the following questions: How can an architecture founded on craftsmanship survive in today’s world? What is the relevance of the traditional Chinese landscape system in a world filled with gigantic artificial structures? In a society undergoing massive city-building campaigns, how should urban development be handled without resorting to major demolition and reconstruction? How can new urban buildings connect with memories of the past–that might be otherwise lost as structures are demolished–and re-establish their cultural identities? What can be done in the realm of architecture to overcome the stark contrast between urban and rural areas in China? Is it possible to ensure that alongside the top-down professional system of modern architecture, ordinary people’s right to initiate their own building activities is also protected? Is it possible to find smarter ways for addressing environmental and ecological challenges by drawing on the wisdom found in traditional architecture and grassroots building activities? Is there a way for us to express our architectural pursuit with stories and feelings without resorting to gigantic, symbolic and iconic structures? How can an independent architect maintain the attitude and work style against the background of a powerful modern system?”

Excerpt from Wang Shu’s Acceptance Speech at the Pritzker Prize Ceremony 2012. The full speech is available at the Pritzker Prize Website. The video of the ceremony can be checked at ArchDaily.

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