Archive

Uncategorized

477_mg3223-copia-copia

Click to enlarge. Photographs (c) Sissi Roselli

From June 10 to July 3, 2016, the Ca’ Pesaro Museum of Moder Art in Venice will be holding the exhibition Drawn Theories / Teorie disegnate. The exhibition, curated by Sara Marini and Giovanni Corbellini, and organized within the international research project Recycle Italy collects an international landscape of authors who express their positions about recycling in architecture through drawing’. Among some nice graphic installments by more apt professionals, it also features a sequence of drawings by yours truly, which show the shameless recycling of a drawing that was itself using elements from a previous commission. Seeing the whole ensemble, which includes works from some usual suspects such as Jimenez Lai or Wes Jones, I wonder whether I should have produced a piece exclusively for the show, but timing forbade.

477_mg3231-copia-copia

Jimenez Lai: ‘Wrong’, via 

_MG_3434 copia

5_drawn theories

6_drawn theories

That guy. Photographs (c) Sissi Roselli

The inauguration took place be on June 10 at 4 pm at Ca’ Pesaro, ground floor, in the rooms for the small temporary exhibitions. However, if you won’t be able to attend it while in the gallery, the exhibition will later  be set up at Tolentini for the PRIN Re-cycle Italy final conference on September 30, 2016).

15_drawn theories

The authors featured are: Eduardo Arroyo, Aldo Aymonino, Carmelo Baglivo, Piotr Barbarewicz, Baukuh, Rosario Giovanni Brandolino, Pablo Castro (OBRA Architects), Fabio Alessandro Fusco, Wes Jones, Jimenez Lai, David Mangin, Luca Merlini, Riccardo Miotto, Hrvoje Njiric, Peanutz Architekten, Matteo Pericoli, Franco Purini, François Roche, Beniamino Servino, Federico Soriano, Tam Associati + Marta Gerardi, Klaus (Klaustoon), and Yellow Office.This exhibitions is organized within the international research Recycle Italy. It concerns the potential of  conceptual processing connected to drawing and its capability to observe reality, catching latent design-related points of view.

Re/Cycle Research group: Pippo Ciorra, Francesco Garofalo, Sara Marini, Giovanni Corbellini, Alberto Bertagna, Giulia Menzietti, Francesca Pignatelli.

1_drawn theories

 

FaF_omslag_compleet_sm

Click to enlarge

So, after some waiting, finally my book with Indira Van’t Klooster is out! As  you’ll remember, if you’ve been around for a while, back in 2014 Indira van ‘t Klooster, editor-in-chief of A10 magazine contacted me asking if I would be interested in making some cartoons for a series of interviews with different architects. This evolved into a series, published monthly in the magazine, which has now been (partially) compiled in the book Forty and Famous: 10 interviews with successful young European architects.

The book features interviews with a series of relatively young practices comprising ALA (Finland), KOKO (Estonia), Barozzi / Veiga (Spain), SO – IL (USA), WWAA (Poland), ZUS, (Zones Urbaines Sensibles) and JDS (The Netherlands) Chartier Dalix (France), Jürgen Mayer H (Germany), and Assemble (England). Previews of all those can be found in the links above, or by clicking the A10 tag in this very blog.  Some of these images might be familiar for the usual visitors here, but there are still a few unseen ones, such as Jurgen Mayer’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ cartoon, or the cover featuring the whole line-up.

The official launch in this year’s Biennale will take place at the Polish Pavilion, Giardini, Venice on May 27 between 11.00 and 11.30 am. A second event will take place in June 8, 20.00 pm, at Pakhuis De Zwijger, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Amilcar editions is putting out a limited print of the book, so if you’re interested in ordering a copy before they run out, or want any other information, please contact Indira van ‘t Klooster, via email or through her twitter account (@IndiraS)

A10_Book_03-9_sm

A10_Book_03-12_sm

A10_Book_03-15_sm.jpg

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Presented in this book are 10 young European architecture practices. They all found, in the midst of the financial crisis, a new attitude, a hands-on practice, with great commitment and an eagerness to get things done, thinking large-scale against all odds. How did they succeed? By winning competitions (ALA, KOKO, Barozzi / Veiga), by finding new clients outside Europe (SO – IL, WWAA), by raising new issues (ZUS, JDS), by innovating typologies (Chartier Dalix, Jürgen Mayer H.) and by new types of organization (Assemble) – usually by mixing all of the above, after having been educated abroad for some time.

This selection also shows the different circumstances in which they blossom, through clients in America, Asia and Georgia, post-communist courage in Central Europe and Estonia, bottom-up strategies in The Netherlands and England, an international Erasmus generation flowering in Spain, new traditionalists in France, the benefits of young-architect-friendly Finland, and cross-over markets in Belgium.

-Forty and Famous: 10 interviews with successful young European architects. Indira van’t Klooster. Illustrations by Klaus. Additional texts by Gonzalo Herrero Delicado. Amilcar Publishers, 2016.

NK 26 Robo Hunting_sm

Click to enlarge

I’ve wanted to do one of these since I discovered Tom Gauld’s cultural cartoons for The Guardian. Of course, mine pales in the comparison, but still. check your robo-architectural skills!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..

The original cartoon can be found as originally published in the “Klaus Kube” section of Uncube Magazine #36: Uncanny Valley, edited by Sophie Lovell, Florian Heilmeyer, Ron Wilson, Elvia Wilk et al.

NK 24 50 Years

Click to enlarge

2014 marked the 50th anniversary of one of those ubiquitous landmarks of the 60s visionary scene, Amazing Archigram 4: The Science Fiction Issue, which saw a truncated attempt at a big-scale celebration on my part. Again, 2015 marked another 5-decade anniversary: this time, it was the publication of Reyner Banham’s ‘A Home is Not A House’ in the April 1965 of Art in America. ‘A home is not a House’ is an inevitable go-to place for any fan ´(I’m including architectural scholars here) of the capsule, expendable, or ephemeral architecture movement of the 1960-70s and beyond -and a nice counterpart to Banham’s own Megastructure.

Also, the article featured those simple-yet-captivating illustration/collages by François Dallegret (I mistyped ‘Dallegreat’ and was on the verge of leaving the typo as it worked so well) which have become a visual sine-qua-non of the time. Dallegret’s pictures were as much responsible for the success of the article as Banham’s always witty, subtly (and not so subtly) ironic and sometimes inflammatory prose. Another installation in Dallegret’s works dealing with complex machines (the article also featured some items of his ‘Automobiles Astrologiques’ series) and intricate detail, the ‘Environment Bubble‘ displayed an immediate, on-your-face rawness that contributed to its lasting appeal. The naked Dallegret and Banham clones inside the bubble were just the icing on the polemical cake. It is a pity that the ‘Banhams’ were just paste-ups of the writer’s head on the artist’s body, although, according to Mary Banham, it was the right choice -aesthetically speaking.

Anyone who’s been following this blog for a while has surely noticed I have a little more than a slight infatuation with Banham’s work and figure, in general, as well as for his collaboration with Dallegret -see ‘A Home Is Not A Mouse’ to ‘Full House vs. Full(er) House’, ‘Banham Style’, and several others published here and there. [‘There’ standing for architecture magazines not yet featured in the blog]. So, when I noticed an issue of Uncube entitled ‘Commune Revisited’ was in the works, I didn’t miss the occasion to fit in a little nod to Banham&Dallegret’s work before the year went by. [Another homage was included some months later in Arquine magazine, and it will show up here at some point, I guess]. I also contacted Mr. Dallegret at the time, and his response included some surrealistic talk about going to the supermarket and eating a banana. But I’m not going to comment on that.

For those interested in reading Dallegret’s actual thoughts, I’d strongly recommend revisiting this interview delivered on the occasion of the 2011 exhibition at the AA school of Architecture (curated by Thomas Weaver and Vanessa Norwood). ‘A Home is Not a House’ is all over the internet, and can be either checked online, or downloaded in pdf form. For those of you too lazy to click on links, you can find the full article below.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

The original cartoon can be found as originally published in the “Klaus Kube” section of Uncube Magazine #34: Commune Revisited, edited by Sophie Lovell, Florian Heilmeyer, Ron Wilson and Elvia Wilk et al. I’d check it right now, if I were you. Honest.

banham_home_not_house.pdf  banham_home_not_house.pdf  banham_home_not_house.pdfbanham_home_not_house.pdf banham_home_not_house.pdf banham_home_not_house.pdf

banham_home_not_house.pdf banham_home_not_house.pdf banham_home_not_house.pdfbanham_home_not_house.pdf

Banham, Reyner, Dallegret, François: ‘A Home is Not a House’. Art in America, April 1965.

 

klaus-JE SUIS CHARLIE

……………………………………………………………………………………………………

Caught in the quiet desperation of my mundane daily tasks, which for the last 6 months have meant an interrupted 24/7 working routine, I had finally decided -‘given up’ would be a more suitable expression- not to comment on last Wednesday’s massacre. I would be too late, possibly too lame, and certainly redundant, in the wake of the massive, comforting response coming from voices everywhere out there. Anything I could offer would have to be rushed, and probably too banal. And if there’s something this doesn’t deserve is to be banalized –or to be instrumentalized as a way to self-promote oneself, which is also an inevitable side effect of those tragedies-gone-viral. I understand the power of ‘every little voice joining the chorus’ >insert proper English idiom here<, but when figures such as Albert Uderzo have already offered their own contribution, I’d rather back off and listen to them.

But then, this morning I came across David Brooks’ piece in yesterday’s edition of The New York Times, ‘I am not Charlie Hebdo’, which after consternating me with its deceptive title, stroke me as a particularly lucid comment on those who call themselves proponents of the freedom of speech… but just in the right amount, ok?

In his piece, Brooks rightly argues that

“…the journalists at Charlie Hebdo are now rightly being celebrated as martyrs on behalf of freedom of expression, but let’s face it: If they had tried to publish their satirical newspaper on any American university campus over the last two decades it wouldn’t have lasted 30 seconds. (…) Public reaction to the attack in Paris has revealed that there are a lot of people who are quick to lionize those who offend the views of Islamist terrorists in France but who are a lot less tolerant toward those who offend their own views at home.

So this might be a teachable moment. As we are mortified by the slaughter of those writers and editors in Paris, it’s a good time to come up with a less hypocritical approach to our own controversial figures, provocateurs and satirists.(…)

In most societies, there’s the adults’ table and there’s the kids’ table. The people who read Le Monde or the establishment organs are at the adults’ table. The jesters, the holy fools and people like Ann Coulter and Bill Maher are at the kids’ table. They’re not granted complete respectability, but they are heard because in their unguided missile manner, they sometimes say necessary things that no one else is saying.

Healthy societies, in other words (…) do grant different standing to different sorts of people. Wise and considerate scholars are heard with high respect. Satirists are heard with bemused semirespect (…). The massacre at Charlie Hebdo should be an occasion to end speech codes. And it should remind us to be legally tolerant toward offensive voices, even as we are socially discriminating.”

And that is precisely the point: Maybe Brooks ‘is not’ Charlie Hebdo. Maybe he doesn’t agree with their opinions, maybe he finds them unnecessarily harsh, occasionally puerile or offensive. I, myself, find some of their stuff amazingly clever, some other rather trite, some too gross, some directly unfunny. And, the point is: It doesn’t matter. You don’t have to like it. You don’t have to agree with it. You don’t have to buy the magazine, because whether you like it or not is ultimately irrelevant.

Some years ago, Stephen Fry, in one of his most (among his many) memorable quotes said “It’s now very common to hear people say, ‘I’m rather offended by that.’ As if that gives them certain rights. It’s actually nothing more… than a whine. ‘I find that offensive.’ It has no meaning; it has no purpose; it has no reason to be respected as a phrase. ‘I am offended by that.’ Well, so fucking what?” He couldn’t put it in a more eloquent way. People get offended. I get offended on a daily basis: By so-called politicians, by people who call themselves socialists as long as their money is safe -or, you know, those who believe in democracy as long as they are the ones who rule-, by TV programs where idiots are paid great sums for exhibiting their own idiocy, and become role models right away, by architects who think they can speak about anything art/philosophy/science-related -and people have to listen to them- because, you know, they practice Architecture (capital A here), by so-called academics who… the list is endless.

So, as Stephen Fry so aptly puts it, fucking what? The ability of human beings to be offended by the most diverse causes is infinite. Does this mean there are topics that shouldn’t be addressed? Are there things we shouldn’t be able to joke about? Why? Because they offend someone? Because they lack good taste? So what? Who defines good taste? Where are the guardians of good taste every time I turn on my TV set? You don’t like Howard Stern’s show? Ok, I can understand it: So don’t watch it.

So, you’re not Charlie Hebdo. That’s ok, it doesn’t matter. You don’t have to like it. Just be glad it can be published*.

[*With my apologies to David Brooks for my butchering of his much more complex article, to the followers of this blog for the lack of a cartoon, and to Simone Florena for my clumsy manipulation of his photograph]

AN 13 02 BLOG

Click to enlarge

So, apparently -and because they directly told me so- the guys from ArchDaily are up for celebrating Rem Koolhaas’s 70th birthday, which seems to be today. They made an online request “to post video and/or visual tributes to Rem to your social media accounts using the hasthtag #Rem70″. I’m still trying to figure out how anyone would think anything I could do would honor him in any way; but, just to join the party, here you have the cartoon and text published in my “ArchiNOIR” section in Arquine #68: Fundamentales. In their pristine, Spanish translation. Alternatively, you can check another take -in English- on the same subject, in my contribution to CLOG: REM. More on that later.

……………………………………………………….

“La Bienal de 2014 tratará sobre arquitectura, no sobre arquitectos.” Koolhaas lo ha vuelto a hacer.” Apenas pronunciaba esta frase, todos los medios -las redes sociales, blogs, pero también las versiones online de los periódicos- se dedicaban a hablar, no sobre la Biennale, sino sobre Rem Koolhaas. Pocos días después -no hace falta más que entrar en google para comprobarlo-, “Fundamentals”, la decimocuarta edición de la  Biennale de Venecia, había pasado a ser “La Bienal de Koolhaas”. Bien jugado.

Koolhaas retomaba así la estrategia de Josep Antoni Coderch cuando pronunció su falsa proclama de que “no son Genios lo que necesitamos ahora”. Con este sencillo gesto, Coderch, bastante seguro de su propia genialidad, se posicionaba así automáticamente en el imaginario de los que lo escuchaban como el último de esa raza, en una especie de premonición de aquella escena de “La Vida de Brian” en la que un desesperado Graham Chapman gritaba a la multitud “¡Yo no soy el mesías!”, sólo para escuchar a John Cleese replicar “¡[s]ólo el verdadero mesías niega su divinidad”!  -“No hablemos de arquitectos”, dice Koolhaas. -“¡Hablemos de él!”, responden los arquitectos al unísono.

Lo cierto es que Rem Koolhaas, mucho más que el más modesto (en escala, que no en personalidad) Coderch, lleva décadas trabajando sostenidamente su condición de mesías de la arquitectura, de Le Corbusier del nuevo milenio (hasta el punto de construir su propia Ville Savoye en las afueras de París a principios de los 90). Y vista la unánime fascinación por su figura, su éxito parece indiscutible. Por eso la declaración de intenciones de la nueva Bienal suena tan doblemente falaz: Si la renuncia a hablar de arquitectos per se le asegura ser la única estrella de su propio show, la decisión de focalizar la bienal en el análisis de “los elementos fundamentales de nuestros edificios: el suelo, la pared, el techo, la ventana, la fachada, el balcón, el pasillo, la chimenea, el aseo, la escalera, la escalera mecánica, el ascensor, la rampa…” no goza de demasiada credibilidad en boca de un arquitecto abiertamente interesado en otros aspectos de la arquitectura que no son los físicos ni los constructivos -con la evidente excepción del ascensor y la escalera mecánica. No es la primera vez que hace esto: hace ahora cinco años, Koolhaas volvía a Harvard, tras su notable ausencia en la época Altshuler, para dar una conferencia en el simposium “Ecological Urbanism”, organizado por Mohsen Mostafavi. Y lo hacía con una charla sobre sostenibilidad -recordemos que en aquella época se encontraba terminando la sede del CCTV en Beijing- digna del mejor copypaste de wikipedia, que dejó a los asistentes con la duda de si hablaba en serio o les tomaba el pelo. Tres años después, repetiría estrategia y lugar con una nueva conferencia, “Current Preoccupations”, centrada esta vez entre otras cosas en (ver para creer) el campo y la conservación del patrimonio.

Resulta difícil, en este contexto, no recordar aquella ocasión en la que, casi en un (¿premeditado?) desliz, Koolhaas admitía ante Katrina Heron que “[h]ay una enorme, deliberada y -creo- sana discrepancia entre lo que digo y lo que hago.”[i] Y en el caso del bueno de Remment, esta cita casi parece confundirse con aquella otra de Benavente: “Bienaventurados nuestros imitadores porque de ellos serán nuestros defectos.” Koolhaas juega ciertamente a la confusión, y si bien el “estilo OMA” lleva siendo imitado incansablemente por las generaciones jóvenes desde mediados de los 90, esta imitación superficial no hace sino contribuir a la construcción de la leyenda de Koolhaas, favorecido por la comparativa de la copia y el original. El juego de Koolhaas es decididamente difícil de  imitar, hasta el punto de instalar en nosotros la duda de si hay algo de cierto en lo que dice, o todo está cuidadosamente planificado.

En “Current Preoccupations”, en la que presentaba el por aquel entonces recientemente publicado Project Japan, Koolhaas, admirador confeso de los metabolistas, lamentaba la pérdida del ‘aura mediática’ que los arquitectos aún disfrutaban en los tiempos de Kikutake: Hoy en día, los arquitectos han incrementado su presencia pública, a cambio de una pérdida de credibilidad. Es difícil estar en desacuerdo con esto, si bien el argumento de Koolhaas -que ningún arquitecto había aparecido en la portada de TIME después de Phillip Johnson en 1979- resultaba un tanto insípido, un poco demasiado pro-establishment para OMA, y francamente en discordancia con el leit motif de la subsiguiente Biennale: arquitectura frente a arquitectos. Del mismo modo, resultaba divertido escuchar a Koolhaas quejarse de la caricaturización que viene aparejada a la ubicuidad mediática de los arquitectos, habida cuenta de su papel en la postmoderna recuperación de la sátira como herramienta para la (de)construcción del discurso arquitectónico. “Siempre se escribe sobre la arquitectura como una disciplina seria (…) debemos liberarla de esta presión constante de la seriedad… [c]reo que [aún] hay vida en la arquitectura…”, dice en su discurso para la Biennale.

Es por ello que cuesta no ver todo esto como una inmensa orquestación. Coincidiendo con la inminente inauguración de la exposición OMA/Progress en el Barbican Centre de Londres, Dezeen mostraba dos vídeos en los que el propio Rem-the-Man, ofrecía, visiblemente -o aparentemente- incómodo, un improvisado tour por los espacios de la misma, aún sin terminar. Con ello, ofrecía también al espectador el placer de disfrutar de la domesticidad ‘backstage’ que estos vídeos exhalaban, mirando fugazmente a la cámara mientras caminaba apresuradamente por salas aún  medio vacías ofreciendo descripciones entretenidamente parciales y torpes de los proyectos allí exhibidos. Pero incluso este deambular nervioso, que puede en último término contribuir a la empatía del espectador con el difícil personaje, no hace sino contribuir al halo de misterio que lo rodea, mostrando a un Koolhaas que no acertamos a decir si resulta frágil o despectivo en su desapasionada, incómoda prisa por acabar cuanto antes; la misma estrategia, en el fondo, que sus cuidadosamente descuidadas conferencias,  una suerte de material ‘en bruto’ que parece expresamente diseñada para evocar el aura de autenticidad de la descarnada, entre espartana y decadente aproximación al diseño de OMA[ii]. Por supuesto, es difícil distinguir lo que es real de lo que es una mera actuación, pero Koolhaas ganó en el momento en que consiguió instalar la duda permanente en su público, generando para sí mismo una imagen de gran manipulador que no hace sino cultivar su dimensión legendaria.

¿Caricaturas? ¿Críticas aceradas?…

En el fondo, trabajamos para él.

[i] “There is an enormous, deliberate, and – I think – healthy discrepancy between what I write and what I do.” Heron, Katrina: ‘From Bauhaus to Koolhaas’ en Wired nº 4.07, Julio de 1996.

[ii] Ver Rose Etherington: “Rem Koolhaas on OMA/Progress”, en Dezeen, 7 de Octubre de 2011.

Fundamentalmente, Yo: REMdamentals: La Biennale de Koolhaas y la construcción continua del propio mito. Arquine #68: Fundamentals, June 2014.

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: