Archive

Mas Context

Composite_01

Click to enlarge

Thank you all for coming yesterday to the Chicago Design Museum, and attend the event ‘Envisioning New Spatial Organizations’, organized by Iker Gil, editor in Chief of Chicago Architecture & Culture Journal MAS Context, within the 2018 Spring Talk Series. It was great to speak side by side with Stewart Hicks, from Design With Company, and game developer William Chyr, whose work (both of them’s) I’ve been a big fan for a long time. Thanks also to the Chicago Design Museum for kindly hosting us. A transcription of the talks is coming soon, so keep an eye on MAS context’s website for this and future events.

Ok, leaving for Ann Arbor now. I’ll keep informing.

Update: MAS Context uploaded a transcription of the whole event (with images!) Click the image below to get there.

klaus_08

Advertisements

US Tour

Le Voyageur Luggage Trolley Bags (Not real merchandise, sorry)

So, after two short visits to Newcastle (thanks, Steve!), and Glasgow (Thanks, Jonathan!), tomorrow I start the US leg of my 2017-18 Tour, while I still ponder what I’ll do next year for Klaustoon’s 10th anniversary (where did all those years go?!).

For those interested, on February 14th, I’ll be in the Chicago Design Museum, together  with Stewart Hicks, from Design With Company, and game developer William Chyr, in the event ‘Envisioning New Spatial Organizations’, organized by editor Iker Hill for his MAS Context 2018 Spring Talk Series.

On February 15th and February 19th, I’ll be (in disguise) at Taubman College, in Michigan. And, finally, on the 21st, I’ll be lecturing in the School of Architecture of the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, closing the Hyde Lecture Series 2017-18. 

So, don’t take it personally if I’m a little unresponsive these upcoming weeks.

Next stop: Mexico! (Coming soon).

 

 

 

IMG_6604_01

Amazingly, it’s been almost 4 years since we put together our special issue of MAS Context: Narrative, mostly thanks to chief editor Iker Gil’s help and persistence. In it, we included a short interview with comic-book icon Joost Swarte, who kindly answered our questions about his Toneelschuur Theatre, built in collaboration with Mecanoo Architects. Paradoxically, I had never been to the building. A little detour to Haarlem in a recent trip to Delft helped me solve that. It didn’t disappoint.

Full text of “Swarte’s Mystery Theater” here.

klaus in marina city_02

Shameless posing in Marina City

In this week and the following, I’ll be giving a couple of lectures in Chicago. The first one will be a short presentation in the third edition of MAS Context : Analog, a one-day event of talks, exhibitions, and an onsite pop-up bookstore. The event, which will take place on Saturday, June 4, 2016,  is organized in collaboration with AIGA as part of Chicago Design Week and it will be hosted at Studio Gang Architects. You can find the full details on MAS Context’s website here. There will also be a limited edition of prints, signed and numbered, available for purchase.

The other event will be a longer lecture, titled Architectural Narratives / Building Stories and hosted by the Graham Foundation, which will take place on June 7, 2016. Full details here. This lecture is also presented in partnership with MAS Context, a quarterly journal that addresses issues that affect the urban context.

Chatter_Challenging_Satirical_david_schalliol

Click to enlarge. Copyright David Schalliol

So, after last year’s relative silence, 2015 is featuring an also relative back to business in terms of exhibition-related events, with a couple of cameos in bigger exhibitions, and maybe something else a little later. -Of course, all of them happen because there are extremely kind people out there who decide to take the time and effort necessary to put these things together. If it depended on me, then it would have been total silence all these years.

………………………………………………………

The first of these events is taking place within the Chatter: Architecture Talks Back exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago. Curated by Karen Kice, the exhibition states that ‘Architecture is a perpetual conversation between the present and the past, knowing full well that the future is listening. So what happens when this dialogue is influenced by contemporary modes of communication such as texting, Twitter, and Instagram? Chatter happens: ideas are developed, produced, and presented as open-ended or fragmented conversations and cohere through the aggregation of materials. Chatter:’ Thus, Architecture Talks Back ‘looks at the diverse contemporary methods and approaches wielded by five emerging architects: Bureau Spectacular, Erin Besler, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism, Formlessfinder, and John Szot Studio.

chatter_mas_context

photo (4)

copyright Mas Context

Within this main exhibition, the rear gallery features an installation by Iker Gil, director –and longtime partner in crime– of Mas Context, journal ‘, which offers visitors a chance to explore the multitude of ways in which architecture can be communicated.’ Iker ‘conceived this section [as a way] to look at the active qualities of chatter-from being constant to satirical-to spark conversations about the field of architecture, our cities, and their citizens.

Chatter_Overall_01_david_schalliol Chatter_Overall_02_david_schalliol

Chatter_Diagnostic_02_david_schalliol Chatter_Challenging_02_david_schalliol

copyright David Schalliol

Walking this section you will meet projects by Ecosistema Urbano; Over, Under and Pinkcomma; Mimi Zeiger and Neil Donnelly with the School of Visual Arts Summer Design Writing and Research Intensive; “Project_” with Sarah Hirschman; 300.000km/s with Àrea Metropolitana de Barcelona; Luis Urculo; and Christopher Baker, and a selection of cartoons by yours truly. All the works are exhibited under a series of labels: ‘Challenging’, ‘Collective’, ‘Diagnostic’, ‘Empowering’, ‘Interpretive’, ‘Constant’, ‘Revealing’, and -inevitably- ‘Satirical’.

 Chatter_Collective_01_david_schalliol Chatter_Revealing_01_david_schalliol Chatter_Diagnostic_01_david_schalliol

Along with the exhibition, several events have been organized within this space: Chatter Chat: Talking Back (April 11, 2015), a roundtable discussion moderated by Kelly Bair, Director, Central Standard Office of Design, Chatter Chat: Communication (May 16, 2015), moderated by Iker Gil, and a tour through the exhibition (Tuesday, June 16, 2015) led by Iker Gil and Karen Kice.

………………………………………………………

For more information about the exhibition, please visit the official website, MAS Context’s page, or the different reviews on the show that can be found online. For past exhibits on this very blog, click hereAs usual, a big thank you to Iker and the chief curator.

Klaus 01 copyOriginal photograph from The Cartoonist Project,

copyright Simone Florena

One of the highlights of 2013 -which has certainly been the busiest year in terms of Klaus-related events so far- was the unexpected invitation to participate in the 2013 Comicon in Naples, in late April. created in 1998, the Naples Comicon has evolved from a rather domestic celebration of comics culture into an event of Biblical proportions with concerts, hundreds of vendors, exhibitions, international artists, and hundreds of thousands of accumulated visitors (60,000 only in the 2013 event).

Since its third edition, in 2001, the Comicon also displayed a central theme that ran through the exhibitions, conferences  and guest artists. First, it dealt with comic book culture as developed in/by certain countries (the 2001 edition focused on Spain and Latin America). In 2007, the central theme changed to the more abstract field of color (starting with cyan, and ending with black in 2010), and in 2011 it moved towards the interactions between comics and the higher arts: Music (2011), Literature (2012), and, after being delayed for a couple of years, Architecture in 2013 (the 2014 Comicon will be focused on comics and cinema). Within this context, it’s difficult to start to explain how excited I was when Andrea Alberghini (author of the book Sequenze Urbane: la Metropoli nell Fumetto), who worked as a consultant in architectural-related issues for the organization, contacted me asking if I wanted to participate.

Other than giving me the chance to finally visit Pompei, the Comicon also presented the rather surreal opportunity to be sitting in a panel, “Building Comics”, along with two living legends I often write about, such as Joost Swarte and François Schuiten. The fact that both of them had a great role in shaping my interests in architecture just adds to the ‘over-the-top-ness’ of the experience.  Adding to this, a second panel, “Fumett(archi)tettando”, gave me the opportunity to rejoin Swarte, and meet architect-comic book artist Manuele Fior. The effects of all this can be seen in the special issue MAS Context: Narrative I was coediting at the time, which was already in the works, but certainly took a new turn after this (check the interview Swarte’s Mystery Theater’, ‘Images Come First’, a conversation between Andrea Alberghini and Manuele Fior, or Melanie Van der Hoorn’sSensing the Comics’ DNA: A Conversation with François Schuiten’).

01The Klaus Korner. Photograph by Cristina Cusani via Comics metropolis.

02_Building_Comics_IntroThe Klaus Korner. Photograph by Cristina Cusani via Comics metropolis.

02_Building_Comics_IntroSome of the works exhibited in the ‘Building Comics’ area. Photograph by Cristina Cusani via Comics metropolis.

Also, I have to thank Alino, Claudio Curcio and the rest of the organization for building an area dedicated to my work within the big exhibition “Building Comics”, where I was in the company of original artwork by Winsor McCay, François Schuiten, Joost Swarte, George McManus, Chris Ware, or George Herrimann. An experience both flattering and embarrassing. Thanks!

More info on the Naples Comicon, both past and present, on their website (in Italian).

comiconOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 00 1Click to enlarge

So… finally! After more than a year in the works, the 20th issue of MAS Context, a special issue under the motto “Narrative”, is out. Talks about this issue started on October 2012, amidst the MAS Context: Analog event in Chicago that also featured the “Architectural Narratives” exhibition, originally intended to be called “Building Stories”, after Chris Ware’s eponymous magna opus –that is, until we found that Mr. Ware was opening an exhibition himself in the same city, on the same dates, and under the same title! In any case, the exhibition, which featured some works by Jimenez Lai and yours truly was accompanied by a text, also entitled “Architectural Narratives”, which dealt with the varying relationships that architecture and graphic narratives have maintained throughout the years. Happy with our previous collaborations in Ownership and Communication, Iker Gil, chief editor of MAS Context, suggested the possibility of expanding it into a whole issue of the magazine, and, after some hesitation (a whole two minutes), the ball was set rolling.

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 00 2As the editor’s note points out (and I’m not going to put it in between quotation marks because I wrote it myself), Architecture and narrative, as Victor Hugo nostalgically pointed out, have walked hand in hand through history, crossing paths without really risking the extinction that the archdeacon of Notre-Dame gloomily predicted. Moreover, today, in a moment where the conjunction of the crisis and the entrance into a new stage in the communication era impulse the discipline into new, multiple directions, the narrative aspects of architecture come to the front, and comics are not alien to this. The last few years have seen an increasing enthusiasm within architecture on the possibilities of graphic narrative, both from a historical point of view, with a blossoming of either academic or informal studies on the exchanges between both disciplines, and from architectural practitioners. Even in a moment of digital explosion such as the one we are living, comics and graphic narrative are the new ‘cool’ in architectural schools (sorry), making it into architectural design courses, and showing up as a new fashion in architectural representation/communication. There we have, most notoriously, starchitecture’s enfant terrible Bjarke Ingels and his excessive (but still pretty well crafted) Yes Is More, which we discussed some time ago, but also Herzog&De Meuron’s MetroBasel, Wes Jones’ Beyond Dubai, Jean Nouvel’s Louisiana Manifesto, Neutelings&Robdeen’ European Patent Office at Leidschendam, Olivier Kugler & Fletcher Priest’s Freethinking, and a long etcetera. Even more interesting are those instances where the comic book form is used as a parallel research environment, prominently presented in the work of Jimenez Lai in Bureau Spectacular, but also by Studio CEBRA’s toons, or Leopold Lambert’s Lost in the Line.

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 00 3Thus, MAS Context: Narrative(s) was set to offer just a glimpse of the phenomenon with no aim to exhaust the topic—even if some of the authors of the essays have built some rather encyclopedic works on it themselves- but wanting to offer a taste of the different faces that this interaction between architecture and graphic narrative presents. Within its overall theme, NARRATIVE tries to explore this issue from both sides of the of the line that separates these two disciplines, and is roughly divided into three big sections: the first one deals with the presence of graphic narrative in disciplinary architecture, both past and present, and includes the works of some architects who have used graphic narrative in their work, in one way or another. The other side would be covered, in the second section, by those comic book artists who have also crossed the border between disciplines, making forays into the built world. Finally, the third one, an addendum entitled in our drafts “Beyond the (Comic) page”, moves conceptually towards both sides of the spectrum, briefly covering the tangents with (implied) written narratives and emerging animation practices in architecture.

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 22Factory Fifteen

We have been so lucky as to being able to feature an impressive team of contributors, which includes legendary names both from the comic book and the architectural field, who have contributed with their works and their words: Originally entitled Narrative(s) or Narratives (although finally simplified for the sake of clarity) the issue features a combination of essays and, primarily, interviews, where these creators explain their works in their own words, therefore providing the readers with different narratives on the issue of (graphic) narrative. Thus, illustrating the role of comic book artists as architectural performers, we are proud to include interviews with comic legends François Schuiten, acclaimed author of the series Les Cités Obscures (along with co-writer Benoît Peeters), Joost Swarte, Dutch creator of the ligne claire (also in a literal sense), Marc-Antoine Mathieu, author the of mesmerizing series Julius Corentin Acquefacques, and two architects who crossed to the other side and stayed there: Italian architect-turned-comic book artist Manuele Fior, and Tom Kaczynski, artist and chief editor of independent publishing house Uncivilized Books.

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 09

François Schuiten

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 10

Joost Swarte

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 15

Marc-Antoine Mathieu

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 18

Manuele Fior

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 20

Tom Kaczynski

On the other side of the spectrum, the magazine features an interview with Sir Peter Cook, who graciously answered our questions in his London office, on the making of ‘Amazing Archigram 4’ (the Zoom issue), as well as three stories by Wes Jones&Partners, Jimenez Lai, and Léopold Lambert (aka The Funambulist). And, in its last part, the issue closes with a conversation with Jonathan Gales, who sheds some light on the work of London-based office Factory Fifteen. Many thanks to all of them for their kindly collaboration, and also to the conductors of the interviews: Clara Olóriz, from the AA, who also made all arrangements to meet Mr. Cook, Léopold Lambert, who provided his knowledge of Borges, Kafka, and the French language, in the interview with Mr. Mathieu, Andrea Alberghini, author of Sequenze Urbane, La Metropoli nell Fumetto, who contributed his mastering of Italian and of Manuele Fior’s work, and both members of Barcelona-based publishing House DPR, Ethel Baraona Pohl, and Cesar Reyes Nájera, who took some time off their extremely busy schedule to interview the equally busy members of Factory Fifteen. A very special thanks must go to cultural anthropologist Mélanie van der Hoorn, author of the monumental “Bricks and Balloons – Architecture in Comic Strip Form”, who shared with us her extensive research in the form of not just one, but three articles. Last, but not least, we have to thank Chris Ware for putting the icing on the cake by sending us a drawing from his seminal Building Stories for the cover of the issue, masterfully designed by Renata Graw, from Plural -thus replacing my own rather banal design, which you can enjoy (irony, yes) below.

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 01Peter Cook

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 05Jimenez Lai

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 03Léopold Lambert

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 06

Jones and Partners

MAS_Context_Issue20_v 07Author Unknown

Also below you can check the table of contents of the issue, which are fully accessible via MAS Context’s Page, or downloadable in .pdf. Also, MAS Context will be printing a limited edition of the magazine, so if you want a hard copy of it, you’d better be fast in contacting them.

1. Introduction: Architectural Narratives. Issue statement by Iker Gil,editor in chief of MAS Context.

2. Building Stories: Drawings by Chris Ware. Text by Klaus.

3. Comics and Architecture, Comics in Architecture. Essay by Koldo Lus Arana.

4. Buildings and Their Representations Collapsing Upon One Another. Architecture in comic strip form. Essay by Mélanie van der Hoorn.

5. Amazing Archigram! Clara Olóriz and Koldo Lus Arana interview architect Sir Peter Cook.

6. Lost in the Line. Graphic Novel by Léopold Lambert.

7. Out of Water. Graphic Novel by Jimenez Lai.

8. Kartun: The View! Graphic Novel by Jones, Partners: Architecture, Mark Simmons, and The Southern California Institute of Architecture.

9. Cartooning Architecture and Other Issues. Iker Gil interviews graphic artist Klaus.

10. Starchitecture Redux. Cartoons by Klaus.

11. Sensing the Comic’s DNA: Excerpts of a conversation with François Schuiten. Mélanie van der Hoorn in conversation with François Schuiten.

12. Swarte’s Mystery Theater. Koldo Lus Arana in conversation with Joost Swarte.

13. Labyrinths and Metaphysical Constructions: An Interview with Marc-Antonie Mathieu. Léopold Lambert interviews graphic novelist Marc-Antoine Mathieu.

14. Images Come First. Andrea Alberghini interviews Manuele Fior.

15. Beta Testing Architecture: Yearning for Space with Tom Kaczynski. Koldo Lus Arana interviews Tom Kaczynski.

16. Archiporn or Storylines? Creative Architectural commercials as challenges to the communication and marketing of architecture. Essay by Mélanie van der Hoorn.

17. Beyond Built Architecture. Ethel Baraona Pohl and César Reyes from dpr-barcelona interview Jonathan Gales, founding member of Factory Fifteen.

MAS Context: Narrative, Winter 2013, with contributions by Andrea Alberghini, Ethel Baraona Pohl, Sir Peter Cook, Manuele Fior, Factory Fifteen, Iker Gil, Jones, Partners: Architecture, Tom Kaczynski, Jimenez Lai, Klaus, Léopold Lambert, Luis Miguel (Koldo) Lus Arana, Marc-Antoine Mathieu, Clara Olóriz Sanjuán, Cesar Reyes Nájera, François Schuiten, Joost Swarte, Mélanie van der Hoorn, and Chris Ware.

Edited by Iker Gil (Chief editor). Guest editors: Luis Miguel (Koldo) Lus Arana, Klaus.

Cover 02 sm 01

%d bloggers like this: