11.7.2010

A’A’ / L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui welcomes guest editors MVRDV and The Why Factory on the theme of ‘Uncertainty’

’A’A’ / L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, the French/English bimonthly review founded in 1930, launches its # 378 issue guest edited by Winy Maas with MVRDV and The Why Factory. Beyond the usual guest editing, Winy Maas invited MVRDV and Why Factory staff to a collective effort. It resulted in a series of 70 articles representing a cross section of the current state of architecture which can be defined as being “uncertain”. With contributions by Beatriz Colomina, Aaron Betsky, Alain de Botton, Justin McGuirk, Jenny Holzer, Kobas Laksa, Markus Miessen, Toshiko Mori, Farshid Moussavi, Saskia Sassen, Mark Shepard and many others. The layout was created by young Dutch office weaponofchoice, which developed a browser on paper to interconnect the articles and themes in the magazine. ’A’A’ is out now in newsstands, bookstores and can be ordered at www.larchitecturedaujourdhui.fr.

In the summer of 2010 architecture is witnessing a situation best described as complex, confusing and uncertain. In the midst of the quest for survival, meaning and balanced choice, this uncertainty is also source of innovation and creation, a source for curiosity, over the fear, protectionism, conformism and repetition. As guest-editors MVRDV and The Why Factory exploited exactly this momentum as an opportunity for a densified process of creating, questioning and gathering. This lead to a wide spectrum of themes regarding the production of architecture and urbanism.

A monothematic approach would have been limiting since everything is inter-connected. This inter-connectivity itself describes the relations, the complexity, the richness, the differentiation and the surprises. This moves from mono-thematic to multi-thematic. A celebration and further acceleration of diversity: from multi-disciplinary to maxi-disciplinary. The collaborators of MVRDV and The Why Factory brainstormed with as a result an explosion of thoughts, ideas, opinions and voices which have been turned into 70 articles by a group of international writers, well-known and less known. The edition proposes denser contents compared to ‘A’A’s regular editions, connected by a Facebook-like technique.

The table of content in order of appearance:
Why Uncertainty? by Winy Maas | Liquid times: Living in an Age of Uncertainty by Zygmunt Bauman | What is utopia today? | Atomized architecture by Theo Deutinger, Federica Vazzana and Catarina Dantas | Whatever happened to architectural criticism? It played it safe! by Alexandra Lange | The un-read. The mismatch between theory and practice by Hilde Heynen | What is the role of architecture-magazines today? by Beatriz Colomina and Cyrille Poy | How we promote architecture by BIG, HOK, JDS, MAD, Mecanoo, MVRDV, Jerde Partnership and Tectonics | Mies Media by Beatriz Colomina | The fashion of architecture by Felix Burrichter | We are lost in translation by Annaik Deceuninck, Ania Molenda and Emily Waugh | The dictionary of Vagueness by Aaron Betsky, Geoff Manaugh, Hans Ibelings, Jonathan Glancey , Mark Shepard, Martien de Vletter, Powerhouse Company, Piet Vollaard, Roemer van Toorn, Saskia Sassen and Toshiko Mori | The value of value by John Thackara and Klaas Hofman | We need Archinomics by Ronald Wall | The value of geography by Michael Najjar | Mon portable me met les nerfs en pelote by Harmut Rosa | Our impact by Ulf Hackauf and Pirio Haikola with Wieland–Gouwens | The Green Dream by T?F | Les points clés de la durabilité en action by Mohamed Benzerzour and Franck Boutté | The End (or the new beginning) by Jan Knikker | Why do we not want to understand the future? by Nassim Nicholas Taleb | The edited crisis by David McCandless | Dare to look back by Jan van de Pavert | Be prepared! Planning for the unexpected with Willem Hoekstra | The space for being safe | How do you survive? by Marie Douce Albert | Who do you want to be? by Powerhouse Company | What if they would have been realized? by Gustavo van Staveren | Architecture as a tactic with Markus Miessen | The Crisis of the future image by Tihamer Salij | Be more! by Winy Maas | (use)less to (use)more by Basurama | Optimism is not enough with Kobas Laksa | The happiness filter by Luxigon | La necessité d’une île (and the case of SimpliCity) by Jeroen Zuidgeest | Design and politics by Henk Ovink | We are the city makers by Vincebt Ocalsa | Stop building! by Bart Peters and Sebastian Ropers | Urban propaganda by Justin McGuirk | City Marketing by Robbert Nesselaar | The art of making slogans with Jenny Holzer | On the realization of collectivity by Ekim Tan and Diana Ibáñez López | Building without Bureaucracy by Finn Williams, David Knight and Ulf Hackauf | The reality of virtuality with Mark Shepard | Pixelpower by Winy Maas | A déjà vu by Nacho Velasco and Isabel Pagel | SanOma/OmaSan by Winy Maas | Open up. Embracing Uncertainty by Paul Hughes | Will you dare to? by MVRDV | Scale-less #1 by Johannes Schele | Scale-less #2 by Peter Root | Visual communication with Paul Mijksenaar and Herbert Seevinck | Drôles de plans | weaponofchoice by Marick Baars and Hugo van den Emster | Architects are becoming more and more deskilled with Rory McGowan | Moi, je construis by Andre Kempe and by Marte Marte Architects. | Nothing is more necessary than the un-necessary by Farshid Moussavi | Due yesterday! The regime of the deadline | Slogans for survival by Wieden + Kennedy | The co-authorship by Dominique Alba, Dimitri Boulte, Gaëlle Maidon and Bertrand Schippan | Who is responsible? with Mariana Idiarte and Antonio Tena | Confessions of an architect by Clélie Protière, Flore Raimbault and Noa Peer | The reality filter by Luxigon | Why do you do it? with Alain de Botton | Careers paths by Diana Ibáñez López and Sabina Favaro | The quitters with Hugo Sanchez and Basurama | The making of architects with Marc Angélil and Wytze Patijn | Coming soon with Mick van Gemert, Tanya Martinez Gonzales, David Koezen and Ahmet Korfali | Stay ahead! with Li Edelkoort | Planetary deadlines by Johannes Schele and Maciek Grelewicz | Calling all visionaries! | News

Price : 25 euros in bookshops / subscription: 120 euros
Website : http://www.larchitecturedaujourdhui.fr/en/
Subscriptions : +33 1 44 84 80 74 / [email protected]

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MVRDV was set up in Rotterdam (the Netherlands) in 1993 by Winy Maas, Jacob van Rijs and Nathalie de Vries. MVRDV produces designs and studies in the fields of architecture, urbanism and landscape design. MVRDV develops its work in a conceptual way, the changing condition is visualised and discussed through designs, sometimes literally through the design and construction of a diagram.
The office pursues its fascination and methodical research on density using a method of shaping space through complex amounts of data that accompany contemporary building and design processes. MVRDV first published a cross section of these study results in FARMAX (1998), followed by a.o. MetaCity/Datatown (1999), Costa Iberica (2000), Regionmaker (2002), 5 Minutes City (2003), KM3 (2005), which contains Pig City and more recently Spacefighter (2007) and Skycar City (2007), the latter two were exhibited at the 2008 Biennale of Venice. MVRDV deals with global ecological issues in large scale studies like Pig City as well as in small scale solutions for flooded areas of New Orleans.
Current projects in progress or on site include various housing projects in the Netherlands, Spain, China, France, Austria, the United Kingdom, USA, Korea, India and other countries, a television centre for Zürich, a bank headquarter building in Oslo, a public library in Spijkenisse (Netherlands), a central market hall in Rotterdam, a culture plaza in Nanjing, China, large scale urban masterplans in Oslo, Norway, Tirana, Albania and a masterplan for an eco-city in Logroño, Spain. Large scale visions for the future of greater Paris and the doubling in size of Dutch new town Almere are developed.
The work of MVRDV is exhibited and published worldwide and receives international awards. The 60 architects, designers and staff members conceive projects in a multi-disciplinary collaborative design process and apply highest technological and sustainable standards.
Together with the Delft University of Technology MVRDV leads the independent research institute The Why Factory, exploring future cities. Its latest publication is “The Green Dream – How Future Cities can Outsmart Nature”.
www.mvrdv.nl

A’A’ / L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui
Driven by Jean Nouvel, with the backing of François Fontès and Alexandre Allard, ’A’A’ / L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui, marks the rebirth of the review established in 1930 by architect, sculptor and painter André Bloc, in collusion with Le Corbusier. The new L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui review wants to be a forum for the debates where opinions meet and confrontation between points of view is encouraged. In contrast to the cliques and seeking of consensus, it will give proper place to the spirit of criticism and discussion in order to stimulate thought and smash preconceptions.Completely bilingual (French and English), L’Architecture d’Aujourd’hui of the 21st century aims to capture the sources, spot today the trends and talents of tomorrow, yet without prejudice and, if necessary, to fly in the face of current thinking.

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