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RAM House
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RAM House, designed by Space Caviar and produced by Italian company Prokoss-Mobilrot, is a domestic prototype that explores the home’s response to a new definition of privacy in the age of sentient appliances and signal based communication. As the space of the home becomes saturated by “smart” devices capable of monitoring their surroundings, the role of the domestic envelope as a shield from an external gaze becomes irrelevant: it is the home itself that is observing us. The RAM House responds to this near-future scenario by proposing a space of selective electromagnetic autonomy. Wi-Fi, cellphone and other radio signals are filtered within the space’s core by various movable shields of radar-absorbent material (RAM) and faraday meshing, preventing signals from entering/exiting. Just as a curtain can be drawn to visually expose the domestic interior of a traditional home, panels can be slid open to allow radio waves to enter and exit, when so desired. RAM house is a proposal of cohabitation with technology other than by a constant default presence.Read the essay “In search of a hut for the electromagnetic refugee”
RAM House, designed by Space Caviar and produced by Italian company Prokoss-Mobilrot, is a domestic prototype that explores the home’s response to a new definition of privacy in the age of sentient appliances and signal based communication. As the space of the home becomes saturated by “smart” devices capable of monitoring their surroundings, the role of the domestic envelope as a shield from an external gaze becomes irrelevant: it is the home itself that is observing us. The RAM House responds to this near-future scenario by proposing a space of selective electromagnetic autonomy.
Project team: Joseph Grima, Tamar Shafrir, Simone Niquille, Giulia Finazzi
Structure & cabinets: Prokoss-Mobilrot
Kitchen & shower fittings: Dornbracht
Bathroom fittings: Duravit
Furniture: Fratelli Levaggi
RF insulation: Geco-lab
Flooring: Artepronta

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Blockchain

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Blockchain is a digital docudrama set in in the limitless universe of Minecraft. The film follows the ghost of Walter Gropius on an extended dèrive through ten of the game’s worlds, shadowing him as he ponders the social and political fundamentals of creativity. Fragments of conversations with the creators of maps and servers, memories from the past, observations, speculations and conjectures of one of the 20th century’s great utopians intersect with a transnational digital universe in which learning, labor and play are all mediated by the basic shape of the block.Drifting in childlike wonder through the imaginary landscapes of a culture whose transition from the industrial to the digital is complete, W_Gropius becomes a pioneer of uncharted spatial dimensions—intangible meta-mechanics, utopian city plans, robotic prototypes, dream-like realities— tracing, as he progresses, the art of construction from the physical to the cybernetic.
Blockchain is a digital docudrama set in in the limitless universe of Minecraft. The film follows the ghost of Walter Gropius on an extended dèrive through ten of the game’s worlds, shadowing him as he ponders the social and political fundamentals of creativity. Fragments of conversations with the creators of maps and servers, memories from the past, observations, speculations and conjectures of one of the 20th century’s great utopians intersect with a transnational digital universe in which learning, labor and play are all mediated by the basic shape of the block.Drifting in childlike wonder through the imaginary landscapes of a culture whose transition from the industrial to the digital is complete, W_Gropius becomes a pioneer of uncharted spatial dimensions—intangible meta-mechanics, utopian city plans, robotic prototypes, dream-like realities— tracing, as he progresses, the art of construction from the physical to the cybernetic.
A film by Space Caviar (Joseph Grima, Martina Muzi)
Soundtrack: Charles Tapp
Voice: Simon Beckmann
Produced with Replay Mod by Crushed Pixel and johni0702
Skin Design: Brain Juice
Filmed on location in:
The Dropper by Bigre
Titan City by Colonial Puppet
Minecraft Automatic Farms by RedstoneSpire
Red rose city Cathedral by Caesreon Team
Scale model of my house by Capp00
Climate Hope City by Block works Team
Redstone Computer by LPG
Controllable Battle Robots by CubeHamster
Bauhaus building by Jduartemiller
Sango Sho dreamscape by Lentebriesje
SkyBlock by NoobcrewProduced with support of Vitra Design Museum, Weil am Rhein

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SQM: Broelschool Demolition Workshop

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During Biennale Interieur 2014, the abandoned Broelschool in the centre of Kortrijk became the site of a site-specific intervention combining a physical dérive through the sprawling building with a timeline-based investigation of key events in the history of domestic architecture. For the duration of the Biennale, visitors had the last opportunity to explore the building before it is demolished to make way for the construction of apartments.This transition became an opportunity to critically examine the contemporary condition of domesticity. Space Caviar worked with ten artists, designers and architects from different countries to take part in the Broelschool Demolition Workshop throughout which participants collectively designed and built a path through the building, while creating a series of graphical and physical interventions on the architecture of the school. The work uncovered hidden aspects of the building and its history, interspersing them with fragments of text and data related to the history, politics and economics of domesticity. Using the building itself as a source of reusable material, the workshop became an opportunity to publicly reflect on architecture’s life-cycles and the shifts in the economies it embodies.


This project is a part of SQM: The Home Does Not Exist.


This project is a part of SQM: The Home Does Not Exist.

Project team: Tamar Shafrir, Joseph Grima, Martina Muzi
Organised in collaboration with: Folder (Marco Ferrari, Elisa Pasqual) and officinaGISTO (Alessandro Mason)
Broelschool Demolition Workshop participants: Simon Beckmann, Raphael Coutin, Vanessa Gerotto, Andrea Levorato, Marina Mangiat, Giulio Margheri, An Pan Thi Khanh, Roel Van Herpt, Joan Vellve, Leanne Wijnsma

The use of the Broelschool was made possible by Leopold de Keyser.Special thanks to: Pieter Blondé, Céline Lagae from Interieur 2014, Pieter Michiels from Buda Lab, Jan Boelen, Gaia Cambiaggi and Lorenza Baroncelli.

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SQM: Fortress of Solitude

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‘Fortress of Solitude’ is an essay film in three chapters investigating the technology used to make the home smarter. The internet and alternative network protocols are the backbone to home automation. Much of the technology infused into homes and our everyday lives have a history of defense funding or only exist because of military research. Is the smart home in fact a militarisation of the domestic, home.mil? Is our home becoming a data machine rather than architecture for living? Are our most privates spaces broadcasting our lives involuntarily instead of providing shelter? Tracing the possibilities of a military-domestic complex, Fortress of Solitude is an investigative narrative interspersed with future product proposals.
‘Fortress of Solitude’ is an essay film in three chapters investigating the technology used to make the home smarter. The internet and alternative network protocols are the backbone to home automation. Much of the technology infused into homes and our everyday lives have a history of defense funding or only exist because of military research. Is the smart home in fact a militarisation of the domestic, home.mil? Is our home becoming a data machine rather than architecture for living? Are our most privates spaces broadcasting our lives involuntarily instead of providing shelter? Tracing the possibilities of a military-domestic complex, Fortress of Solitude is an investigative narrative interspersed with future product proposals.

Project team: Simone Niquille
Sound: M.E.S.H.
Voice: Patrick Ethan Donovan

Commissioned by
Biennale Interieur Kortrijk

Exhibitions:
7 – 11/10 2015
Architectuur Film Festival Rotterdam

23/05 2015
Architecture On Film
Barbican Centre, London

27/02 – 26/03 2015
CC Strombeek, Belgium

31/01 – 27/02 2015
White Hole, Genova

17 – 26/10 2014
Biennale Interieur Kortrijk, Belgium

Press:
Architecture Foundation
Nicolas Nova for Near Future Lab
Artribune
AQNB

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SQM: The Theatre of Everyday Life
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SQM is a research into the condition of this unfamiliar space known as home—a speculative assemblage of historical artefacts, moments of contemporary domesticity collected on social mediaand  films presented in the Theatre of Everyday Life, a temporary installation in the Rambla at Kortrijk Xpo. It investigates different themes that have shaped domestic life in the post-war era, from the kitchen as a space for political rebellion to the bedroom as a space to be sold, from the home as an engine of financial speculation to a stage set for public broadcast.


This project is a part of SQM: The Home Does Not Exist.

SQM is a research into the condition of this unfamiliar space we affectionately call home—a speculative assemblage of fragments of domesticity present and future in the form of an exhibition, The Theatre of Everyday Life. Our values have changed, and the home as we once knew it no longer exists: this project is an invitation to abandon received ideals of domesticity and observe with new eyes the challenges and opportunities for design in our time, thrilling and unpalatable as they may be.The Theatre of Everyday Life explores contemporary domesticity through historical artefacts, broadcast of contemporary domesticity collected on social media (Home Screen) and original films in an architectural installation along the Rambla at Kortrijk Xpo. It investigates different themes that have shaped domestic life in the post-war era, from the kitchen as a space for political rebellion to the bedroom as a space to be sold, from the home as an engine of financial speculation to a stage set for public broadcast, and more. The exhibition will also include original stories and drawings of 20 significant homes featured in the SQM book.


This project is a part of SQM: The Home Does Not Exist.

Project team: Joseph Grima, Giulia Finazzi (structure); Tamar Shafrir, Joseph Grima, Andrea Bagnato (display)
Visual design: Folder (Marco Ferrari, Elisa Pasqual)
The structure of the Theatre of Everyday Life was generously provided by Prokoss Mobilrot. Benedetto Zito coordinated its production; the Prokoss team is composed of Roland Gruber, Rita Gjidoda, Sandro Rossi, Mario Folchini, and Massimiliano Bongiorni.Thanks to Pieter Blondé and Ann Goethals of Chloroform and An Michiels, Joost Vanhecke, Céline Lagae from Biennale Interieur.Commissioned by Biennale Interieur, Kortrijk, Belgium

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SQM: The Quantified Home
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The way we live is rapidly changing under pressure from multiple forces—financial, environmental, technological, geopolitical. What we used to call home may not even exist anymore, having transmuted into a financial commodity measured in square meters. Yet, domesticity ceased long ago to be central in the architectural agenda; this project aims to launch a new discussion on the present and the future of the home.

SQM: The Quantified Home, produced for the 2014 Biennale Interieur, charts the scale of this change using data, fiction, and a critical selection of homes and their interiors—from Osama bin Laden’s compound to apartment living in the age of Airbnb.

With original texts by Rahel Aima, Aristide Antonas, Gabrielle Brainard and Jacob Reidel, Keller Easterling, Ignacio González Galán, Joseph Grima, Hilde Heynen, Dan Hill, Sam Jacob, Alexandra Lange, Justin McGuirk, Joanne McNeil, Alessandro Mendini, Jonathan Olivares, Marina Otero Verzier, Paul B. Preciado, Anna Puigjaner, Catharine Rossi, Andreas Ruby, Malkit Shoshan, and Bruce Sterling.

The book is published by Lars Müller. It is available for sale online and in selected bookstores.

The dust jacket is screen-printed on wallpaper in 22 different patterns, randomly mixed.

Download the table of contents.


This project is a part of SQM: The Home Does Not Exist.
The way we live is rapidly changing under pressure from multiple forces—financial, environmental, technological, geopolitical. What we used to call home may not even exist anymore, having transmuted into a financial commodity measured in square meters. Yet, domesticity ceased long ago to be central in the architectural agenda; this project aims to launch a new discussion on the present and the future of the home.

SQM: The Quantified Home, produced for the 2014 Biennale Interieur, charts the scale of this change using data, fiction, and a critical selection of homes and their interiors—from Osama bin Laden’s compound to apartment living in the age of Airbnb.


This project is a part of SQM: The Home Does Not Exist.
Project team: Joseph Grima, Andrea Bagnato, Tamar Shafrir

Managing editor: Andrea Bagnato

Book design by Folder (Marco Ferrari, Elisa Pasqual)

“Home Screen” section: Simone C. Niquille
Flash fiction editor: Gianluigi Ricuperati with Caterina Toschi
Drawings: Folder with U67
Assistant designer: Marina Mangiat
Research assistant: Bernardo Martins de Almeida
Publishing coordination: Rebekka Kiesewetter / Lars Müller Publishers
Proofreading: Danko Szabó

Printing: PurePrint, Belgium
Screen printing: Creafor, Belgium
Binding and finishing: Delabie Binders, Belgium

Thanks to Paola Antonelli, Jan Boelen, Piet Germonprez, Bruce Sterling

With the support of Biennale Interieur, Kortrijk, Belgium, and of the Flemish Commission

ISBN 978-3-03778-453-2

Press:

Domus

The Architectural Review, March 2015
Blueprint no. 339, 2015
Metropolis Magazine (print/2015 reading list)
Bruce Sterling
Nicolas Nova @ Walker Art Center
fabric|rblg
DisegnoDaily

Awards:
Special mention, XXIV Compasso d’Oro
European Design Award 2015

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FOMO
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FOMO is a print magazine generated with a custom made software which gathers social media interactions based on metadata filters by a specific hashtag and/or location. The collected data is arranged in a print-ready PDF according to a predefined design template, then printed, bound and distributed on the spot by the FOMObile, a collapsible mobile publishing platform.

Inspired by Bruce Sterling’s statement that “events are the new magazines”, FOMO is an attempt to produce a physical record of the fleeting bodies of physical interactions and electronic debris generated by event culture, while playing on the lurking “fear of missing out” (an inevitable byproduct of the experience economy). The platform filters and makes accessible as a physical record the electronic dust-cloud that surrounds events.

The magazine’s production is a performative process that investigates the aesthetic and conceptual implications of the encounter between a centuries-old tradition of experimental publishing, the rising influence of machine intelligence in media, and the craving for instant gratification produced by real-time technologies. Variables such as background noise, number of people present, and intensity of social media activity inform the appearance of the final output, creating both moments of density and voids of activity. In Dadaist spirit, it is not so much an experiment in precision documentation as in finding alternative methods of representation and documentation of events.

FOMO is a print magazine generated with a custom made software which gathers social media interactions based on metadata filters by a specific hashtag and/or location. The collected data is arranged in a print-ready PDF according to a predefined design template, then printed, bound and distributed on the spot by the FOMObile, a collapsible mobile publishing platform.
Project team: Joseph Grima, Simone Niquille, Tamar Shafrir
Programming: Vinay Mehta
Milan Event Coordination: Tom Keeley

FOMObile Fabrication:Marcello Comoglio, Alessandro Mason

FOMO on Twitter @f_o_m_o
FOMO on Github here

Exhibition dates:
25/04 – 27/09 2015
What is Luxury? V&A Museum London

14/03 – 13/09 2015
Making Africa, Vitra Design Museum

07/10 2014
#Matera2019, Matera 2019 European Cultural Capital Bid

16 – 22/06 2014
JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group), Design Miami Basel

5 – 6/06 2014
Swiss Pavilion Marathon 
14th Venice Architecture Biennale

9 – 11/04 2014
#OnTheFlyMilan 
Salone del Mobile, Palazzo Clerici

Press:
Crafts Council UK
Dash Magazine
Post-Digital Publishing Archive

Design Miami Basel Design Log
Dezeen on Vimeo
What’s the point of a biennale? – Tom Dyckhoff
Dezeen
Vice Motherboard

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Domesti-city
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Discussions with designers, writers, and curators
In 1968 (the year of both Archigram’s Instant City and Jean Baudrillard’s Le Système des Objets), when the first edition of Biennale Interieur opened in Belgium, the home was a central site of critical attention and investigation. A new domestic landscape—as identified by the prominent MoMA exhibition four years later—emerged from increasingly hypothetical conceptions of living, in which the quest for social change was paralleled by the confidence in new materials and technologies. In the 1960s and 1970s, avant-garde architects produced countless visions of future cities as well as future domesticity.

Throughout history, plans for an ideal society have often been articulated through the space of the home. Whether borne out of necessity or radical ideology, these projects are a subconscious portrayal of the desires and fears of both their individual authors and the wider social contexts behind them. The cross-section drawings presented in Domesti-city allow for a comparative view of multiple ideal homes, making visible spatial and social implications that may be difficult to read in plan. The new building regulations drafted in the aftermath of the Great Fire of London defined the model of the single-family terraced house, which would become the basic unit of London’s expansion for the following two centuries; the social condensers designed by the Russian constructivists embodied the pursuit of a new, egalitarian society visible in their collective kitchens; the homes designed by American companies in the 1950s were almost manifestos for economic optimism.

Thus, domestic interiors are neither neutral, nor innocent. They are the product of a perpetual tension between external forces (economical, political, even microbiological) rarely taken into account by designers. Yet it is at the scale of the interior that the transition between everyday objects and urban questions takes place.

In recent decades, domestic space has all but disappeared from the critical agenda—in parallel with its increasing commodification. Hosting a series of discussions with designers, writers, and curators (including Paola Antonelli, Bruce Sterling, Justin McGuirk, and others) Domesti-city has launched the SQM research project that Space Caviar will present at Biennale Interieur (17–26 October 2014) in Kortrijk. Tracing market fluctuations, failed ideals, global flows, and new fabrication techniques, SQM will make the case for a renewed discussion on the home.

In recent decades, domestic space has all but disappeared from the critical agenda—in parallel with its increasing commodification. Hosting a series of discussions with designers, writers, and curators (including Paola Antonelli, Bruce Sterling, Justin McGuirk, and others) Domesti-city has launched the SQM research project that Space Caviar will present at Biennale Interieur (17–26 October 2014) in Kortrijk. Tracing market fluctuations, failed ideals, global flows, and new fabrication techniques, SQM will make the case for a renewed discussion on the home.
Project team: Joseph Grima, Tamar Shafrir, Andrea Bagnato, Giulia Finazzi, Alicia Ongay-Perez
Supported by Biennale Interieur
Exhibition dates:
8 — 13 April 2014, Salone del Mobile 2014: Atelier Clerici, Palazzo Clerici, Milan, Italy
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99 Dom-ino
In 1914, Le Corbusier published his design for Maison Dom-ino, a slab-and-column frame intended to redefine domestic architecture by embracing the versatile and affordable new technology of reinforced concrete in the service of modernism. Maison Dom-ino efficiently deploys the principles of modern architecture while embracing the unanticipated, and as such, it represents a moment of synthesis and aperture: by absolving the vertical planes of the building from their customary load-bearing duties, it effectively relinquishes control of the building’s exterior mantle, making any number of aesthetic solutions and languages viable.Inspired in part by the vernacular Ottoman architecture he observed during his travels in Turkey in 1911, Maison Dom-ino could be read as a manifesto for openness in architecture—a hypothetical proposal for a new symbiosis between the hand of the architect and the individuality of the occupant. One century after the project’s publication, thanks to the virtues of economy and versatility that inspired Le Corbusier to employ reinforced concrete, the same slab and frame has established itself in southern Europe and in much of the rest of the world as the default formula for urban and non-urban construction: a technological, stylistically agnostic vernacular that articulates modernism’s impulse to colonise the landscape.99 Dom-ino takes the centennial of Le Corbusier’s design as the trigger for a survey of Italian domesticity and the relationship with the landscape over the last 100 years. Throughout history, few inventions have been as transformative of Italy as the concrete frame, to the point that it could be described as an object of collective self-identification in which pride and chagrin overlap. On the one hand, it is the symbol of the wealth generated by a building industry that rebuilt Italy from the rubble of the Second World War, as depicted in the opening scenes of De Sica’s 1956 film Il Tetto; on the other, it is the primary instrument of “abusivismo”, or unregulated construction’s assault on the landscape. As such, it is the ultimate symbol of the architect’s extraordinary power—and enduring helplessness.

99 Dom-ino was presented in June 2014 in the Corderie of the Arsenale as part of Monditalia during Fundamentals, the 14th International Architecture Exhibition at La Biennale di Venezia. The designer Alicia Ongay-Perez was commissioned to create a series of concrete moduli inspired by the Maison Dom-ino to accompany the films.

In 1914, Le Corbusier published his design for Maison Dom-ino, a slab-and-column frame intended to redefine domestic architecture by embracing the versatile and affordable new technology of reinforced concrete in the service of modernism. Maison Dom-ino efficiently deploys the principles of modern architecture while embracing the unanticipated, and as such, it represents a moment of synthesis and aperture: by absolving the vertical planes of the building from their customary load-bearing duties, it effectively relinquishes control of the building’s exterior mantle, making any number of aesthetic solutions and languages viable.
A film by Space Caviar (Joseph Grima, Martina Muzi)
Photography: Andrea Bosio
Editing and post-production: Gabriele Mariotti
Post-production audio: Shakeeb Abu Hamdan
Subtitles: Alessia Santoro, Manuel Francolini, Silvia Ciotto
Concrete moduli: Alicia Ongay-PerezProduced with the support of Fundación Alumnos47

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Neoasterisms
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Located in Lisbon’s main planetarium, Planetário Calouste Gulbenkian, Neoasterisms is a participatory project commissioned as part of experimentadesign 2013: No Borders. Neoasterisms examines the history of astronomical cartography as a site of cultural hegemony and a metaphor for histories of political decision-making, proposing a new map of the stars based on an open, participatory and culturally inclusive standard.

Neoasterisms invites participants from all over the world—either in person or via the web platform wikistars.org—to propose new constellations, submit their own mythologies, and revive lost astronomical traditions that were set aside when the global standard of celestial nomenclature was introduced by the International Astronomical Union in 1922. It is an attempt to question the largely Western-Eurocentric nature of contemporary astronomical standards.

Neoasterisms builds a framework for the collaborative inscription of the ideals, fears, and dreams of a new civilisation. If we started from scratch, if we looked at our starscape as a tabula rasa, what new constellations would we draw in 2013—in an era of borderless interaction, the simultaneous diversification and homogenisation of culture, and the proliferation of networks throughout society? What myths from distant cultures would we choose to revive as emblems of our own value system? Which artifacts or figures would we elevate to mythic status? What marginalised narratives would be unearthed? And how would we find resolution between independent voices in a process of global decision-making?

Neoasterisms invites participants from all over the world—either in person or via the web platform wikistars.org—to propose new constellations, submit their own mythologies, and revive lost astronomical traditions that were set aside when the global standard of celestial nomenclature was introduced by the International Astronomical Union in 1922. It is an attempt to question the largely Western-Eurocentric nature of contemporary astronomical standards.
Project team: Joseph Grima, Tamar Shafrir

Graphic design by Folder
Table fabrication by Alessandro Mason and Marcello Comoglio
Illustration by Giada Fiorindi
Website by Manuel Ehrenfeld
Video by Ben Landau

Exhibition dates:
9 November – 22 December 2013: experimentadesign 2013: No Borders, Planetário Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon
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Archeology of Rose Island
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In 1967, Italian engineer Giorgio Rosa designed and funded the construction of a 400 square metre platform in the Adriatic Sea, 11 km off the coast of Rimini, Italy, supported by nine pylons and furnished it with a number of amenities including a restaurant, a bar, a souvenir shop and a post office. He named the platform the Republic of Rose Island (Esperanto: Respubliko de la Insulo de la Rozoj), and proceeded to declare independence from Italy, pointing out that the platform was positioned just outside Italy’s territorial waters and therefore not subject to its sovereignty. The experiment was short-lived: on 11 February 1969, the island was demolished by the Italian state.Rosa copyrighted the invention under the name “System to build artificial islands—in steel and concrete—both for civil and industrial purposes” (#850.987). In his own words, the invention “consists in arranging a structure on the beach and floating it offshore to a predetermined location with a maximum sea depth of 40 metres. The pillars, which are empty, are lowered vertically to the bottom of the sea floor. Then steel tubes are inserted in the pillars and pushed into the sea floor. Later, the pillars are filled with cement to complete the structure, with no risk of corrosion.” The island even incorporated a pole to retrieve fresh water from 280 metres below the sea floor, with the idea of retrieving oil to sell to motor boats at cheap prices, without the Italian tax. To date, Isola delle Rose is one of only two artificial island nations successfully realised as a new territory with a self-declared government.

The essence of Isola delle Rose is in its nature as a political act of critical synthesis through design. Rosa’s project prefigured the collapse of faith in representative democracy at the dawn of the 21st century, preemptively responding to this crisis through the deployment of a mix of political activism, architecture and technology. Archaeology of Rose Island revisits the remains of the platform on the seabed of the Adriatic, re-examining its relevance in the context of the contemporary surge of interest in libertarianism and technological emancipation from State control.

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Project team: Joseph Grima, Tamar Shafrir
Graphic design by Folder
Exhibition Dates:
6 December 2013 — 28 February 2014, Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Shenzhen, China
24 May — 2 August 2014, Part of Coming Soon, Bureau Europa, Maastricht, Netherlands

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Adhocracy
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Commissioned by the first Istanbul Design Biennale in 2012, Adhocracy is an exhibition questioning the impact of new technologies and network culture on the practice of design in the 21st century. The exhibition brings together an international group of designers, architects, artists, filmmakers and thinkers working at the intersection of design, politics, public space and information design.

In the last few years, exponential technologies have substantially transformed how we work, communicate, and relate. Network culture today permeates everyday life, with a profound impact the way designers think and work and the nature of the objects they produce. This exhibition explores these transformations and offers a critical contextualization within the history of design. Adhocracy is purposefully heterogeneous, embracing everything from medical innovation to cultural and political criticism, and from furniture design to weapons manufacturing. Central themes are the evolving notion of authorship, the surge in collaborative open-source design practices, the “commons” as a crucial space of autonomous production and information design as a vital field of political activism.

As the theater of a fast-moving debate over society’s future, design is today engaged in a struggle between bureaucracy and improvisation, authority and the irrepressible force of networks, in search of a new language and a new commons. Adhocracy argues that rather than the closed object, the maximum expression of design today is the process—the activation of open systems, tools that shape society by enabling self-organization, platforms of collaboration that only partly conform to the capitalist model of competition, and empowering networks of production.

The exhibition, located in the Galata Greek School, included several laboratories of experimental on-site production, such as Blablablab’s “Be Your Own Souvenir” project or Unfold’s “Stratigraphic Manufactury,” in which local ceramists create 3-D-printed porcelain artifacts on-site. The exhibition was accompanied by a publication, The Adhocracy Reader, published by IKSV.

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In the last few years, exponential technologies have substantially transformed how we work, communicate, and relate. Network culture today permeates everyday life, with a profound impact the way designers think and work and the nature of the objects they produce. This exhibition explores these transformations and offers a critical contextualization within the history of design. Adhocracy is purposefully heterogeneous, embracing everything from medical innovation to cultural and political criticism, and from furniture design to weapons manufacturing. Central themes are the evolving notion of authorship, the surge in collaborative open-source design practices, the “commons” as a crucial space of autonomous production and information design as a vital field of political activism.

Curator: Joseph Grima
Associate curators: Ethel Baraona Pohl, Elian Stefa, Pelin Tan
Production coordinator: Alessandro Mason
Technical coordinator: Yaşar Kayhan
Exhibition design: ifau and Jesko Fezer
Graphic design: Folder
Catalogue editors: Avinash Rajagopal, Vera Sacchetti, Tamar Shafrir
Editorial coordinator: Merve Yücel
Exhibition dates:
13 October — 12 December 2012, Istanbul Design Biennial at Galata Greek School, Karaköy, Istanbul
4 May – 7 July 2013 The New Museum, New York
4 September – 12 October 2013 Limewharf, London

Press:
New York Times T MagazineThe Architect’s NewspaperThe Architectural ReviewAbitareDezeendesignboom, DisegnoIt’s Nice ThatWallpaper, Urban Omnibus

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The New City Reader
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The New City Reader is a newspaper on architecture, public space and the city, published as part of The Last Newspaper, an exhibit running at the New Museum from 6 October 2010 to 9 January 2011. The format of the New City Reader is inspired by the dazibao, the Chinese practice of affixing newspapers in public space for them to be read collectively. Editorial work for the New City Reader took place in a purpose-designed office in the New Museum gallery in full public view.

Produced as a collaboration between Joseph Grima and Kazys Varnelis/Columbia University NetLab, the New City Reader consisted of 14 weekly editions guest-edited by a contributing network of architects, theorists, and research groups. Each issue addressed a single section of a typical newspaper (such as Sports, Finance or Obituaries). The sections were available for free at the New Museum and—in emulation of a practice also common in the 19th-century American city before newspapers became cheap and abundant—were posted in public throughout the city for collective reading.

A second edition of the New City Reader was published in Istanbul to coincide with the first edition of the Istanbul Design Biennial.

The New City Reader is a newspaper on architecture, public space and the city, published as part of The Last Newspaper, an exhibit running at the New Museum from 6 October 2010 to 9 January 2011. The format of the New City Reader is inspired by the dazibao, the Chinese practice of affixing newspapers in public space for them to be read collectively. Editorial work for the New City Reader took place in a purpose-designed office in the New Museum gallery in full public view.
New City Reader 1st edition, New York credits:

Executive editors: Joseph Grima and Kazys Varnelis
Managing Editor: Alan Rapp
Associate managing editor: John Cantwell
Associate editors: Brigette Borders, Daniel Payne
Editorial assistant: Pantea Tehrani
Art director: Neil Donnelly
Designer: Chris Rypkema
Editorial cartoonist: Klaus
Blackout! cartoonists: Momo Araki, Alexis Burson, Leigha Dennis, Kyle Hovenkotter
Web Developer: Jochen Hartmann
Contributing editors: David Benjamin & Livia CoronaC-Lab/Jeffrey InabaProgram in Media + Modernitycommon roomDJ N-RON & DJ/rupture, Jeannie Kim & Hunter TuraLeagues and LegionsMichael MeredithNetwork Architecture Lab, Frank Pasquale & Kevin Slavin, D-Crit – School of Visual Arts, Robert Sumrell & Andrea Ching, Nugu (Geminidas & Nomeda Urbonas) with Saskia SassenEyal Weizman, Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths College, University of London

New City Reader 2nd edition, Istanbul credits:

Executive editors: Joseph Grima and Kazys Varnelis
Editorial coordinator: Elian Stefa
Managing editor: Benan Kapucu
Associate editor: Merve Yücel
Translator: Aslı Mertan
Art direction: Folder
Contributing Editors: Emre Arolat, DEMILIT, Fake Industries Architecture Agonism, Beatrice Galilee & Tom Keeley, Mehmet Gürs, Ömer Kanıpak, Unfold, Şevin Yıldız

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Utilitas Interrupta: An Infrastructural Index of Unfulfilled Ambitions
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“The ultimate defect of projects—they die—takes us back to their beginnings: they were condemned from the start because some crazy engineers had mistaken dreams for reality. […] Yes, you have to reread your Hegel because, you know, technological reality isn’t rational, and it’s no good rationalizing it after the fact.”
—Bruno Latour, ARAMIS, or the Love of Technology, 1996

Utilitas Interrupta, an exhibition at experimentadesign 2011: Useless, is a research on how the construction and subsequent abandonment of infrastructure can be taken as a form of cultural memory, an index of society’s evolving priorities. Since the dawn of time, man’s average dreams, challenges and, ultimately, accomplishments have materialised in works of infrastructure. From Babylonian hydraulics to the geoengineered archipelagos of the twenty-first century, great infrastructural works represent the apex of design achievement—and often, by virtue of their sheer magnitude, the most tangible expression of a culture’s development, ambition and might. Canals, power plants, fortifications, reclaimed lands, particle accelerators, aqueducts, telecommunications networks, dams: infrastructure is justifiably held up as the register of society’s collective accomplishment and the historical benchmark of its leaders’ enlightenment.

Burdened with such momentous responsibility, infrastructure inevitably also comes to immortalise society’s most catastrophic failures. Such debacles surround us: the infrastructural coitus interruptus of countless politician’s pet projects, stalled by a myriad of financial crises; China’s infamous ghost cities and America’s abandoned shopping malls; the abandoned concrete carcasses of unfinished hotels scattered along the banks of the Red Sea; the 3,400 airports built in the 1970s and 1980s throughout the former Soviet Union that today lie abandoned, victims of the market economy’s relentless drive towards centralisation.

Yet failure can in itself be as revealing as success. Utilitas Interrupta sets out to closely read infrastructural works that no longer satisfy the Vitruvian injunction to be useful: projects once celebrated and now forgotten, reminders of a long-gone (or not so long-gone) optimism that lie concealed in plain sight, magically erased from collective consciousness despite their often gargantuan proportions. Like scars indelibly etched into the landscape, these structures are the repositories of forgotten stories of zeal and passion, neglected then swept aside like lovers no longer able to please.

This exhibition investigates seventeen case studies, transversally sampled from various points in time and space. Infrastructure rendered obsolete by the indomitable pressure of technological progress; the infrastructure of paranoia, useless by definition; vanity infrastructure, purposeless except as proof of its own existence; the foiled infrastructure of honourable ideals and unfulfilled intentions; infrastructure scuttled by misfortune or catastrophe and left to decompose; the infrastructure of the absurd, the comical and the tragic—stories of heroic deeds in which the cure is feared as worse than the disease.

If the landscape is the theatre in which the mundane of history is acted out, these infrastructural scars are an eloquent reminder that history as we know it is but one of many possible—and equally plausible—stories.

Utilitas Interrupta, an exhibition at experimentadesign 2011: Useless, is a research on how the construction and subsequent abandonment of infrastructure can be taken as a form of cultural memory, an index of society’s evolving priorities. Since the dawn of time, man’s average dreams, challenges and, ultimately, accomplishments have materialised in works of infrastructure. From Babylonian hydraulics to the geoengineered archipelagos of the twenty-first century, great infrastructural works represent the apex of design achievement—and often, by virtue of their sheer magnitude, the most tangible expression of a culture’s development, ambition and might. Canals, power plants, fortifications, reclaimed lands, particle accelerators, aqueducts, telecommunications networks, dams: infrastructure is justifiably held up as the register of society’s collective accomplishment and the historical benchmark of its leaders’ enlightenment.
Curator: Joseph Grima
Associate Curator: Elian Stefa
Graphic Design: Neil Donnelly
With contributions from: Alicja Dobrucka, Armin Linke, Bertin & CIE, Bogdan Stojanovic, Bruce Sterling, Elian Stefa, Gaia Cambiaggi, Geoff Manaugh, Grégoire Basdevant, Haubitz+Zoche, Igor Kuznetsov, Igor Sharovatov, Ivan Kuryachiy, Jessica Russell, Minkoo Kang, Nicola Twilley, Noah Sheldon, Sergey Kulikov, Ulrich Pohlmann
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Project Heracles
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MEP Marisa Matias introduces Project Heracles at the European Parliament, Brussels; Lieven de Cauter, Dieter Lesage, and Joseph Grima in conversation at the opening of Project Heracles
Inspired by an email exchange dating back to 2002 between philosophers Lieven De Cauter and Dieter Lesage, Project Heracles is a commentary on the progressive closure and fortification of the European continent’s boundaries. The project, launched in May 2011 in Domus magazine and later presented as an micro-exhibition and debate in the European Parliament in Brussels, was an open call to architects, artists and designers to propose possible connections between the European and African continents across the Strait of Gibraltar in the form of postcards. The 200 imaginary works of infrastructure that were proposed suggested a wide range of possible answers to an ancient geopolitical dilemma: how to overcome—or at least reduce—the abyss that still separates Africa from Europe, despite the line of sight that unites the two shores across a 14 km stretch of water.

The 200 proposals received were exhibited in the Gopher Hole gallery in London in 2012 and subsequently in the central atrium of the European Parliament in Brussels in 2013. The exhibition was accompanied by an open letter to Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council.

Read the open letter

The project, launched in May 2011 in Domus magazine and later presented as an micro-exhibition and debate in the European Parliament in Brussels, was an open call to architects, artists and designers to propose possible connections between the European and African continents across the Strait of Gibraltar in the form of postcards. The 200 imaginary works of infrastructure that were proposed suggested a wide range of possible answers to an ancient geopolitical dilemma: how to overcome—or at least reduce—the abyss that still separates Africa from Europe, despite the line of sight that unites the two shores across a 14 km stretch of water.
Images:
Top: Postcard #143, Fabrizio Tozzoli and Eliana Salazar
Middle: Postcard #109, Life Crossing, Gianfranco Toso
Bottom: MEP Marisa Matias introduces Project Heracles at the European Parliament, Brussels
Exhibition dates:
17 – 20 December 2013: European Parliament Building, Brussels
12 April 2013: Afrofuture, la Rinascente, Milan
22 – 24 January 2012: DLD 2012, Munich
21 July – 4 August 2011: The Gopher Hole, London
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Mud and Money: The World Archipelago
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Mud and Money by Bruce Sterling:

Nowhere but in Dubai could the world be so richly re-imagined.

The World would be visible from the International Space Station, and it would look, more or less, like our actual world. To tell the truth, The World looked like a world fragmented into private real-estate lots, because The World was, in fact, a huge yacht harbor. Asia, Africa and the Americas had been broken to sellable bits.

The World, being newborn and consummately artificial, would have five special qualities unknown in lesser settlements. It would have technical intelligence. Marketing magic. Royal grandeur. Visceral appeal. And it would leave a legacy to astonish the world for generations.

These were plausible aims. They merely seemed unlikely by the standards of places in the world that weren’t Dubai. Before the fiery launch of the War on Terror, Dubai had been a backwater emirate with an ancient fishing port and a couple of modest high-rises. As ruin stalked the Middle East, this oasis had escaped the deadly Curse of Oil, because Dubai didn’t have any. Instead, Dubai had a grand strategy to launder other people’s oil money, through finance, shipping logistics, trade, and tourism — all of them dependent on Dubai’s 85% foreign population of jetsetters and migrant laborers.

From the point of view of the Dubai locals, The World was a highly logical solution to Dubai’s unique problems. As landlord, Dubai wanted to lure in the world’s richest tenants. These eccentrics would be cordially parked in fancy island mansions five kilometers offshore, with their own malls and resort bars. The apotheosis of liberal capitalism was a golden ultra-ghetto.

Unfortunately the success of The World was entirely dependent on the goodwill of foreigners. The scheme failed abjectly, but this had nothing to do with Dubai’s stellar ability to construct new infrastructure out of mere sand.

It was the world that failed Dubai, because a planetary real estate crisis in 2008 broke the nerves of the very clientele who should have chosen to infest a resort like The World. The global overclass had panicked, and Dubai’s many other newly-built charms: the huge robot tramway, the ozone-piercing skyscraper, the seven-star seaside hotel shaped like a sail — none of these things could mellow them. The planetary elite had lost their taste for real-estate flipping at precisely the moment that a tax-free entrepot in an autocratic micro-state might have been really handy.

Dubai had finessed the deadly War on Terror by offering the world an Arab sheikdom even more globalized than the West; but in a credit crunch, Dubai was just another paper-shuffling finance hub.

No buyers, no World. Under capitalism, nobody can huge build a royal utopia just to have one. So the oddly-shaped cluster of islands became one of the world’s largest shipping hazards.

There are those who claim The World is sinking back into the mud that gave it birth, but since it’s made of 321 million cubic metres of sand spread over 31 million tons of rock, that fate is unlikely. The World isn’t sinking to perdition. Not at all. Having lost its reason, The World is just sitting there.

It was the world that failed Dubai, because a planetary real estate crisis in 2008 broke the nerves of the very clientele who should have chosen to infest a resort like The World. The global overclass had panicked, and Dubai’s many other newly-built charms: the huge robot tramway, the ozone-piercing skyscraper, the seven-star seaside hotel shaped like a sail — none of these things could mellow them. The planetary elite had lost their taste for real-estate flipping at precisely the moment that a tax-free entrepot in an autocratic micro-state might have been really handy.
A film produced for Utilitas Interrupta

Aerial filming by Navigation Films
Supervision and production by Elian Stefa
Accompanying text by Bruce Sterling

Exhibition dates:
28 September – 27 November 2011: experimentadesign 2011: Useless, Lisbon
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Diwaniyah: Architectural Space of Political Exchange
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Kuwait is a country in which political parties are banned. Yet throughout recent history, Kuwait’s political process has found an indirect form of democratic expression in a deeply rooted cultural tradition that also corresponds to an architectural typology: the Diwaniyah. The Diwaniyah is a simple, four-sided room, with seating on each side, in which daily meetings are held; a central element of the ritual of this discursive articulation of Kuwaiti politics is the consumption of tea and coffee. By providing a platform for facilitating quick communication and consensus building, Kuwait’s diwaniyahs constitute an instrument of political expression and debate that in man ways mirrors the role of the newspaper in the West; it is no coincidence that the Diwaniyah was of central importance in the struggle against the Iraqi occupation in 1990, a fact acknowledged with poetic subtlety in Colonel Khalaf Al-Tebi’s address to the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) prior to the first Gulf war.

Concurrently, when considered in the general political frameview of Kuwaiti society, it acts as a form of distributed assembly where consensus is achieved in small interconnected groups, and societal grievances are broadcasted and filtered as they climb the hierarchy of these congregations. It is significant that in the parliamentary elections in 2009, four female candidates won their seats and became Kuwait’s first female lawmakers. All four had been visiting those typically male spaces of the Diwaniyah prior to the election, a fact that was not always received positively.

Our interest in the Diwaniyah rests in its concrete role as an architectural/spatial typology that is also a protagonist in the contemporary history of Kuwaiti political life. The Diwaniyah is both a real thing and a metaphor; it is an architectural typology whose precise historical role in defining a nation’s political identity can be clearly and extensively documented. But it is also the elementary particle of Kuwaiti politics – an unusually crystalline manifestation, in a commonplace and humble architectural form, of architecture’s potential as a facilitator of political expression.


Brew me some coffee, brew me some cardomen
These black beans will heal my soul.
How can we burn this and pour it in our hearts,
So that it may release our dreams and our goals.

(Poem recited by Colonel of the Saudi Arabian Army Khalaf Al-Tebi at the GCC conference prior to calling for the invasion and liberation of Kuwait from the Iraqis)


Brew me some coffee, brew me some cardomen
These black beans will heal my soul.
How can we burn this and pour it in our hearts,
So that it may release our dreams and our goals.

(Poem recited by Colonel of the Saudi Arabian Army Khalaf Al-Tebi at the GCC conference prior to calling for the invasion and liberation of Kuwait from the Iraqis)
By Joseph Grima and Markus Miessen
Filmography by Elian Stefa
Exhibition dates:
2 December 2010 – 10 January 2011, Harvard University, Graduate School of Design
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Landgrab City
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Landgrab City is an installation commissioned by the Shenzhen & Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture and located on Shenzhenwan Avenue (Nanshan), a busy shopping district in the city of Shenzhen. Conceived as an experimental investigation into the full extent of Shenzhen’s spatial footprint, the installation is comprised of two parts: an map of one of the city’s dense downtown area, home to approximately 4.5 million people, and a plot of cultivated land divided into small lots. This land is a representation, at the same scale as the map, of the amount of territory necessary to provide the food consumed by the inhabitants of the portion of city sampled in the map, projected to 2027 (the year China is expected to overtake the US as the world’s leading economy). Each lot represents the extent of a single food group’s footprint: vegetables, cereals, fruit, pasture (for livestock), and so on. As China’s political and economic identity grows in range and complexity, increasing proportions of these territories of agricultural production have, in fact, migrated to far-flung regions of the planet, typically in Africa, Latin America, South-East Asia and Eastern Europe.

As is the case with many other regions of the world that urbanised rapidly in recent decades (such as the four Asian Tigers, the city-states in the Persian Gulf and even certain portions of northern Africa), one of the average threats to future stability and growth is perceived as the volatility in food prices on the international market. In response, agricultural land – as opposed to the food produced on that land – has itself become the target of acquisitions: wealthy nations are purchasing, more and more frequently, substantial tracts of agricultural territories in other (generally less wealthy) countries. More often than not, this phenomenon takes the form of a post-colonial land grab that enslaves vast agricultural territories of the planet to distant, wealthy urban enclaves.

The countryside is a vital but frequently overlooked category in the contemporary discourse around spatial policy, and its role with respect to the future of urbanism is more often than not neglected. Landgrab City is an attempt to visually represent the broader spatial identity of the 21st century metropolis; it proposes a new spatial definition of the city and thereby a more complex understanding of urbanism, one that no longer considers city limits as the boundary of its remit, but instead looks beyond – even across international borders – to the spatial, social, economic and political implications of the planet’s rapid urbanization.

Landgrab City is an installation commissioned by the Shenzhen & Hong Kong Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture and located on Shenzhenwan Avenue (Nanshan), a busy shopping district in the city of Shenzhen. Conceived as an experimental investigation into the full extent of Shenzhen’s spatial footprint, the installation is comprised of two parts: an map of one of the city’s dense downtown area, home to approximately 4.5 million people, and a plot of cultivated land divided into small lots.
By Joseph Grima, Jeffrey Johnson and José Esparza
Exhibition dates:
December 2009 – January 2010: Shenzhen & Hong Kong Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, Shenzhenwan Avenue, Nanshan
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Workshops
Open Design School: Maritsa

ONE ARCHITECTURE WEEK
Plovdiv, Bulgaria
17 – 28 September 2015

Participants: Naama Agassi, Elena Balabanska, Ivo Popov, Carla Rangel, Raya Stefanova, Darunee Terdtoontaveedej, Merilin Todorinova, Marina Zheleva
Coordinator: Petar Georgiev
Collaborator: Asen Karagyozov, Youth Club Roma Stolipinovo
Supported by Creative Industries Fund NL

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The Open Design School tests a new relationship between students, mentors, public audiences, and public spaces. The project embeds the educational experience in collaborative work, design and fabrication, and confronts the messy reality of communal territory, diverse populations, and fluctuating ecological forces. The school is therefore a question in action: how can the academic infrastructure expand into the places it will inevitably come to shape, and how can it evolve to better serve its cultural, material, and environmental context?

As part of ONE ARCHITECTURE WEEK 2015 in Plovdiv, the Open Design School Maritsa confronts two underlying conditions. The first is the desire to activate the banks of the Maritsa river, which runs through the city but remains undeveloped due to seasonal changes in the water level, concerns about pollution, and minimal cultural memory related to waterside activity (besides the few fisherman who still relax along the shore.) The second is an interest in developing a point of exchange between the historic centre of Plovdiv and the neighbouring community of Stolipinovo, known as one of the largest Roma communities in Europe (although about 70% of its 50,000 inhabitants identify as Turkish). Together, these two potential lines of development suggest a new future for the Maritsa as a public space that can be shared by the entire city of Plovdiv.

In contrast to the traditional parameters for learning, the Open Design School Maritsa plunged its participants into an intense and immersive experience of direct design and intervention, unbounded by any preconceived boundaries, but tinged by many factors of urgency, including a brief time span (10 days), language barriers, communication barriers, new collaborators, and the potential to install semi-permanent installations in a site that was completely unknown to the team before their arrival. The results demonstrate the range of multidisciplinary approaches, enmeshed technologies, and complex narratives that emerge from active production outside institutional walls.



Shumi Maritsa (Naama Agassi, Carla Rangel, Raya Stefanova)
A collection of stories from the residents of Plovdiv telling their personal memories of different activities around the river. Over the years, as the river’s role moved towards industrial purposes and as the people moved away from it, the infrastructure around it decayed. We spotted two gaps along the wall railing overlooking the river that people use as an improvised sit. We took advantage of this and installed two wooden benches that invite passersby to listen to the stories of the Maritsa River.


Come Closer (Darunee Terdtoontaveedej, Merilin Todorinova, Marina Zheleva)
The ecology of the River Maritsa is rich and diverse with many different species of flora and fauna. By viewing the river as a spectacle and its surrounding nature as an exhibit, COME CLOSER invites visitors to experience and immerse in the wilderness of the urban sanctuary.


Stol.ipinovo (Ivo Popov, Elena Balabanska)
Can the Martisa river be a new meeting point for inhabitants of central Plovdiv and neighbouring Stolipinovo? Using two chairs from public spaces in each community, the project is both a conversation platform and a series of interviews that encourage the two populations to collectively think about what the river means for the entire city as a new potential public space.

Sigma: Cartography of Learning 1969–1983

Art Encounters 2015
Timișoara, Romania
9 November – 22 December 2013

Curated by Alina Șerban, Andreea Palade Flondor and Space Caviar
Organised by the Romanian Order of Architects, Timiș branch (Oana Simionescu, Simina Cuc, Alexandra-Maria Garomfir, Andreea Duminică)
Volunteers: Răzvan Alexandru Todirică, Timotei Badea, Nica Mădălina, Varga Bettina, Popa Milena, Carpencu Pop Glad, Gaia Tiberiu
Photographs by Dan Purice, Răzvan Alexandru Todirică
In cooperation with Art Encounters, Triade Foundation, Jecza Gallery and Museum of Art Timișoara

Planetarium2

The SIGMA collective spearheaded one of the most ambitious pedagogical experiments in art, design and architecture in late-20th-century Europe. Founded in 1969 in Timișoara by artists Ștefan Bertalan, Constantin Flondor, Ioan Gaita, Elisei Rusu, Doru Tulcan and mathematician Lucian Codreanu, SIGMA’s artistic concept was driven by their interests in systems thinking, visual communication, advanced technology, early 20th-century constructivism, conceptualism, and radical education. As a comprehensive platform, SIGMA’s practice became an influential model for a diverse array of practitioners in art, design and architecture.

This exhibition retraces SIGMA’s process-based approach to art in relationship to the theories of learning they tested at Timișoara High School of Arts from 1969 to 1983, extended to the School of Architecture (1970–1981) by Bertalan and Flondor and to the Electrotechnical Faculty (1971–1972) by Codreanu and Gaita. The strong interdisciplinary character of SIGMA’s work, which juxtaposed diverse theoretical references—constructivism, cybernetics, bionics, mathematics, structuralism, semiotics, psychoanalysis, and Taoist physics—marked a significant detour in the traditional Romanian institutional stance of the time. SIGMA fostered a more nuanced and experiential type of curriculum in art, product design and architecture, echoing the visionary pedagogy of the Bauhaus, Paul Klee, and Buckminster Fuller. SIGMA re-imagined the school as a relational and situational site, where education would be a continuous process of learning and open-ended experimentation.

The exhibition also asserts that SIGMA’s pedagogical principles remain relevant today, considering the flexible boundaries they developed between educator and artist, teacher and student, between institutional space and nature, art object and its context. The exhibition culminates in a workshop in which participants enact different formats and themes of SIGMA practice and creative pedagogy for contemporary study. Seeking to contextualise and reread SIGMA legacy from today’s educational and cultural realities, the workshop will generate a collective manual, a possible contemporary reinterpretation of the phenomenon of SIGMA as collaborators, educators, and interdisciplinary artistic practitioners.

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