Our model Alejandro Hernández (@otrootroblog), editor in Arquine, lectures with style some weeks ago at the ISAD in Chihuahua. In the picture, he’s wearing the retro T-shirt ‘Hope’, from the ‘Kunst Haas’ series in our Spring 2009 Collection.
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Many (count me as one of those) seemed to think this blog was dead, but, alas, we were all wrong and here I am, back for my now customary -it seems- biannual update. There have been some other works waiting the line in the last two years, but, since they’re late already, I thought it might be worth sharing something hot off the presses. A little backstory for this one: A few months ago, Sarah and David Karle, from the University of Nebraska Lincoln contacted me, asking if I’d join this year’s Hyde Lecture Series, a question whose answer is, by default, ‘Yes, of course’.
They also asked if I would like to design this year’s poster. Unfortunately, I’ve been swamped by work this term, and I would hardly be able to fit it in my schedule. So I said the only thing I could: ‘Sure, I’ll do it!’. Of course, since I was in a very tight schedule, I decided to make the drawing as complicated as possible. I’m not sure this is the most crowded cartoon I’ve produced so far, but it’s certainly up there in the Top Ten.
Thanks, guys, I’ll see you in February!
“Everything is becoming science fiction. From the margins of an almost invisible literature has sprung the intact reality of the 20th century.”
J. G. Ballard: “Fictions of Every Kind” (Books and Bookmen -February 1971)
Koolhaas read The Cast of the Metabarons.
Or maybe not. Certainly, much as Rafael Moneo likes to trace the architectural lineage of the Casa da Musica back to Breuer’s Begrisch Hall in The Bronx (and, let’s be honest, they only look alike if seen from a certain angle), Koolhaas’s diamond-shaped starship bears more than a passing resemblance to the megastructural Metabunker -as does Mr. K to the Metabaron himself- designed by Jodorowsky and Moebius in the early 80s and refashioned a decade later by Juan Gimenez. The image of the music centre’s diamantine volume, landing on top of a stone tapestry that waves in Marilyn-ear fashion amidst Porto’s urban grid could difficultly be more accurate in its rendition of the megastructural ship, hanging motionless in the middle of the Möbiusian City-Well. The main entrance, with its porthole-like design, reinforces the spaceship connection, also present in other projects by OMA, such as the aptly christened Transformer and its lunar module resonances. And the same case could be made for the transvestite Death Stars designed by the Office for the UAE, or, in a sort of Escherian flattening, by Heerim architects in Azerbaijan -while, to the eyes of those who discovered cyberpunk in the manga from the 1980s, it is difficult not to feel a dejá vu of Masamune Shirow’s Appleseed Arcologies (go check them!) when seeing the renderings for the similarly lunar-themed Crescent Hotel in Baku.From left to right, clockwise: (1)The Metabunker as seen in Othon le trisaïeul, Les Humanoïdes Associés, November 1992. (2) Begrisch (Lecture) Hall. Marcel Breuer, 1964. (3) Casa da Musica in Porto. OMA, 1999-2005.
Did Koolhaas really read The Metabarons? In the end, it matters not.
Writing in a XXI century that has been a synonym for “the future” for more than a hundred years, those overlaps -be it direct inspiration or sheer serendipity- simply underline the way in which science fiction’s architectural imaginary has become part of the general imaginary of architecture. Today, the conflation of the advances in representational and building techniques fosters a parallel conflation of the modus operandi of architects and sci-fi designers, as offices and publications such as Factory Fifteen and Beyond vividly illustrate. We live in a new paradigm where science fiction’s architectural imagery, so crucial in the shaping of the imaginary of several generations of architects brought up in visions of white, hi-tech landscapes and dark corridors covered with lockgates and leds, is as much a part of the architectural cultural heritage as the classical orders, the Pantheon, or the Unité d’Habitation. Nowadays, architecture has to fish in new (old) imagery pools, while postmodern citationality expands to encompass the products of popular culture. And, in the end, everything becomes science fiction architecture.
— Luis Miguel Lus Arana: “The Weapons of the Metabaron: Metabunkers, Music Halls, and the SciFi-cation of Architecture ” in Clog: SCI-FI, August 2013; 16-7
CLOG #7: SCI-FI, with contributions by 3.4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, After Architecture, Jared Banks, Katy Barkan, Sean Burkholder, Conner Callahan and Shana Opperman, Ryan Church, Matthew Clarke, Archie Lee Coates IV, Nathaniel Coleman, Eric De Broche Des Combes, Greg Cook, Mark Dermul, Kyle Dugdale, Jeffrey Franklin, Pedro Gadanho, Scott Geiger, Ricardo Gonçalves, Reinier de Graaf, Alpna Gupta, Patrick J. Gyger, Dalia Hamati, Sara Hayat, Brian Horrigan, Julia van den Hout, Kellen Qiaolun Huang, Justin Hui, Interiors, Andy C. Jenkins, Matthew Johnson, Damjan Jovanovic, Klaus, Joseph Kosinski, Simon Kristak, Jimenez Lai, Stephanie Lee, Sally L. Levine and Daniel I. Vieyra, Thomas Lozada, Alan Lucey, Luis Miguel (Koldo) Lus Arana, Casey Mack, John Marciante, Kyle May, Ian McAlpin, Craig William McCormack, Kimberly McGuire, Matthew Messner, Movingcities, Thomas Mical, Leo Mulvehill, Dan Newman, Matt Novak, Roberto Otero, Luke Pearson, Cyrus Penarroyo, Emmanuel Petit, Enrique Ramirez, Jacob Reidel, Doctor Laser, Fred Scharmen, Kyle Schumann, Neal Shasore, Dominik Sigg, SOFTlab, Rachel Meade Smith, Jason Vigneri-Beane, William Watson, Nathaniel Walker, Liam Young
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Ok, let’s see if I can bring this back on trail. I really need to catch up with the blog.
This comes from Uncube Magazine # 07 : Off-places. The published version is slightly different. In the same issue, there’s an interview with Gottfried Böhm by Florian Heilmeyer which is really worth checking, if you’re a Brutalist fanatic such as myself. So go check it.
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At some point at the beginning of the Summer, Darwin Marrero, Assistant Dean at the School of Architecture of the University of Puerto Rico contacted me in order to contribute something to the upcoming sixth issue of (in)forma, which he was editing. The topic for the issue, “Hiperturismo” (Hypertourism) sounded really engaging, but unfortunately I was swamped by work, so I agreed to send him the hope–kool–pope trilogy, plus a modified version of (the) man on the moon as illustrations for “En el Limbo del Ocio”, a conversation between Michel Houellebecq and Rem Koolhaas. However, I couldn´t resist much time, and as the release date moved forward, I decided to adapt an old illustration (which was itself a reworking of another one) to the square format of the magazine, thinking that it wouldn´t take much time. In the end, it turned out to be really time-consuming, and I gave up, sending the ilo without all the modifications I intended to make (a flying bus-city-tour was supposed to be crossing the center of the image – And yes, it´s the image that sits on the background of my twitter profile).I guess I´ll make them at some point.
You can read the article, cartoons, and editorial as originally published (in Spanish) below.
Last night, at a conference-dialogue at ISMAT, we launched a Photographic Marathon to go along with the Exhibition Klaus.Toon: From NY to Portimão, organised in collaboration with the Delegação do algarve da Ordem dos Arquitectos. The call for submissions will be open till January 10, 2011. The terms are detailed in the announcement below. Thanks from here to Josué Elizario and Hugo Nazareth for their invitation, to Ricardo Camacho, Rui Vargas and Vítor Lourenço, and to the staggeringly crowded -and participative- audience that granted us with their attention for over two hours.
KLAUS.TOON – PHOTOGRAPHIC MARATHON
The exhibition Klaus.Toon: From New York to Portimão, which will be displayed in Portimão from November 26 to December 26, 2010, has been conceived as a mixture between a traditional gallery-enclosed exhibition and a piece of guerrilla-art, where the cartoons make part of a performance where art and city interact.
Organised in a threefold structure, that starts at the Teatro TEMPO, with another vertex at the Praça da República and a third meeting point in Bar Porta Velha (Travessa Manuel Dias Barão) the aim of the exhibition is to turn the streets of Portimão’s old centre into a gallery space by displaying the rest of the works on the shop windows of different stores located in Rua Direita, Rua Diogo Tomé, Alameda da República and Rua Vasco da Gama.
Following this logics of interaction the Ordem dos Arquitectos – Delegação Algarve launches a photographic marathon where we invite everyone to record the different situations fostered by the presence of the exhibition in the street. We are looking for pictures that depict the funny, weird, surprising or just casual interactions between people and the exhibition, but also pictures of the cartoons themselves, either in isolation or in context, series of pictures, or whatever other ideas the photographers want to show.
The photos will be uploaded on a Klaustoon’s Flickr account, and a selection of them will be shown in Klaustoon’s Blog. Also, the best photos will be awarded a cartoon of their choice once the exhibition is over.
We want your photos! Please, send them to email@example.com.
A exposição Klaus.Toon – “De Nova Iorque a Portimão”, que decorre em Portimão de 26 de Novembro a 26 de Dezembro de 2010, foi concebida como um cruzamento entre a tradicional galeria fechada e a peça de “guerrilla-art”, onde os cartoons fazem parte de uma performance de interacção entre a arte e a cidade.
A exposição é organizada em três partes, começa no “Tempo” ( Teatro Municipal de Portimão), tem um vértice na Praça da República e termina num terceiro ponto de encontro no Bar “Porta Velha” (Travessa Manuel Dias Barão). Tem o objectivo de transformar as ruas do centro histórico de Portimão numa galeria aberta ao envolver o resto do trabalho nas montras das várias lojas da Rua Direita, Rua Diogo Tomé, Alameda da República e Rua Vasco da Gama.
Seguindo esta lógica de interacção, a Ordem dos Arquitectos – Delegação do Algarve e a Casa Gran Turismo – Silves, promovem uma maratona de fotografia que convida todos os interessados a participarem e a recolherem fotográficamente várias interpretações ou situações, que a presença da exposição nas ruas possa proporcionar. Procuram-se imagens que possam suscitar o alegre, o esquisito, a surpresa ou simplesmente a interacção casual entre as pessoas e a exposição, imagens dos próprios cartoons isoladamente ou num determinado contexto, séries de imagens ou qualquer outro tipo de ideias que os fotógrafos queiram transmitir.
As fotografias serão publicadas na internet, na conta Klaustoon Flickr e as seleccionadas divulgadas no Klaustoon’s Blog. Será ainda atribuído às melhores fotografias um cartoon a cada, escolhido pelos premiados. Os trabalhos deverão ser enviados até dia 10 de Janeiro de 2011 em formato jpeg 800×600 (72dpi).
Precisamos das suas fotografias! Por favor, enviar para firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cartoon Location Plan (Design by Filipa Cabrita)
You can also download the flyer of the exhibition with the cartoon guide here.
Koolhaas receives the Golden Lion at Venice, possibly awarded to his groundbraking film “The Towering Inferno”.
The Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement for the 12th International Architecture Exhibition (Venice, Giardini and Arsenale, 29th August – 21st November, 2010) has been awarded to the Pope of Architecture, Rem Koolhaas. The decision was taken by the Board of the Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, upon the proposal of the Director of the 12th Exhibition, Kazuyo Sejima.
“Rem Koolhaas has expanded the possibilities of architecture. He has focused on the exchanges between people in space. He creates buildings that bring people together and in this way forms ambitious goals for architecture. His influence on the world has come well beyond architecture. People from very diverse fields feel a great freedom from his work.“
This one was meant to be ready for the anniversary of Man’s arrival to the Moon… But it rested unfinished in a drawer till now. For more info about the Prada Transformer, that architectural revision of the lunar module by OMA, you can go to the official website:
Koolhaas talking again on CNN has been featured by our colleagues at AMNP here, and the Transformer has also been commented upon in “Koolhaas’ anti-blob”, an article (in Spanish) in Plataforma Arquitectura.
More cartoons on Koolhaas can be found here.