Learning to talk architecture

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“New trends and new times, new market conditions and newer communicational means are also creating, it seems, new modes of architectural production-consumption and along with them, an allegedly new type of professional with skills suited for an era where communication primes.

News spreads at an increasingly faster rate, generating an exponential inflation in the informational corpus: news and texts are forwarded, commented on, cut/cropped/quoted/linked and disseminated in the blink of an eye, and we, internauts brought up a on a steady diet of continuous feedbacks, updates and comments, have quickly grown dependent upon the continuity of the flux. We require a constant nourishing perpetuating the dynamics of a performative informational experience, which has become the default setting. We, the archinauts, have also grown accustomed to a steady diet of flashy images, renderings and videos that have become the default architectural experience. In this context, the architect renews his vows as a social interlocutor, but this time in the form of a performer who needs to grab the fluctuating attention of a public eye turned into volatile audience. Communicational skills are now, more than ever, a sine qua non for architects who leave behind any past incarnation as either reclusive geniuses or silent craftsmen and become active spokesmen, polemists or even provocateurs. The rise of the contemporary starchitectural system reflects very vividly this situation, where architects stand in the spotlight not only according to the quality of their (classically considered) architectural production, but also corresponding to their qualities as performers, or even due to their ability to keep a network of gossip circulating around them. But in this context, a recurring question keeps emerging, casting a doubt on the legitimacy of architectural discourses that are threatened to be thinned down to nothing by this hypertrophy of the communicational apparatus, which primes production over content. Might it be — I can hear Roger Waters singing — that Architecture is communicating itself to death?”

Excerpt from Modern Talking [don’t you…forget about me]

Mas Context nº 14, June 2012

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The image above was designed as an aside to the last issue of Iker Gil/Mas Studio’s MAS Context: Communication, which includes the article excerpted here, along with way more valuable contributions by Vladimir Belogolovsky, Craighton Berman, Ariadna Cantis, Center for Urban Pedagogy, Felipe Chaimovich, Eme3, Pedro Gadanho, Iker Gil, Michael Hirschbichler, Sam Jacob, Klaus, Michael Kubo, Stephen Killion, Luis Mendo, Elias Redstone, Zoë Ryan, Oriol Tarragó, Rick Valicenti, and Mirko Zardin, with a cover design by Plural via Pink Floyd’s Meddle.

You can have a peek at the article by clicking the images below, or -preferably- going online through the full article in the link provided. However, I strongly suggest having a look at the whole issue here or downloading it in pdf form. If you want the comic, though, you’ll have to buy a physical copy.

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4 comments
  1. biri said:

    fascinating article!
    added value: roger waters paraphrasing (just joking, of course).
    p.s.
    didn’t know your other nickname was “jake”…😉

    • klaustoon said:

      Thanks. There’s a sort of brother article to this, published in Conditions magazine, which will make it to the blog as soon as I find a moment to upload it. The Roger Waters (who art in Heaven) referent is, of course, the greatest asset of the article…

      As for the “Jake” stuff… Yes, I told iker Gil (from Mas Context) that I would immediately sue that plagiarist. (Actually the images come from a proof file he sent me before publishing) Didn’t you go to the source? It’s much easier to read there!

      • biri said:

        yeah, of course i went to the source… but i’m a curious guy…😉
        jokes apart, it’s really a pleasure to read your articles. i’m looking forward to the next one…

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