In the final diploma project of Cristiano Toraldo di Francia (later to become a member of the Italian architectural collective Superstudio), the technomorphic aesthetics of the contemporaneous works of Archigram and Cedric Price is adapted to a specific context, the Calabrian coast, and to the traditionally unsolved problem of Italian hydrogeological instability.
Instead of proposing utopian models of leisure time, as Price and Archigram did in their projects “Fun Palace” or “Instant city“, “Macchina per le vacanze” (Holiday Machine) neither reinvent a type nor an audience. The project focuses on facilities for mass-tourism and provides structures which are traditionally bound to the idea of vacation in Italy, that is: hotels and bathing facilities.
The building, that includes a hotel and various temporary services, occupies a cavity resulting from the erosion of the stream Arbona near Tropea. The complex acts as a dam to regiment the stream while producing electric energy and, at the same time, it protects the cliff through pneumatic piers, in order to prevent further erosion of the basin.
Jockum Nordstrom is a Swedish artist who creates small worlds using different media.
His works are mostly collages and watercolors, but some of the buildings he drew as backgrounds are the inspiration for his three-dimensional objects, a series of achitectural models made in cardboard and matchboxes.
Incomplete or already in ruin, almost abstract or close to recognisable typologies, the models look like isolated fragments of a ghost town. Their faded colors and imprecise shapes seem to refer to buildings lost in someone’s memory, ordinary places we are trying to recall but that somehow come out confused and incoherent.
The following are artistic and research attempts to investigate the American suburban neighborhoods and their inhabitants, in order to reveal their latent subculture and their hidden communication layers.
In Dan Graham‘s “Video projection outside home”, (1978), a huge television set is placed right outside a suburban house in Santa Barbara, California, broadcasting outside the same channels the inhabitants are watching inside.
More than through windows, the connection between the family life and the rest of the world is usually mediated through its centre of interest, the tv screen. Breaking the social convention which delegates it to the intimate sphere, the television is exposed outside, to the passerby. The neighbors get a glimpse into the family members’ private choices, their secrets, their interests, the way they choose to spend their time.
Like a reversed security camera, the privacy is questioned not because the inhabitants are being spied, but precisely because their own tastes are exposed to the public.
Punctum Books is also the publisher of the on-going “The Funambulist Pamphlets“, “a series of small books collecting articles written for the blog”, and, as for them, the Funambulist Papers follows the same open acces strategy: the book can be downloaded for free as pdf, and is also available in its printed version on Punctum Book’s website for $15 (€13.00/£11.00).
After a first hand look at it, we can say that the volume looks great both for his content and visually :
We profit of this post also to share the launch of a new Funambulist’s project: Archipelago.
“an online podcast platform articulating a critical theory of the designed world in parallel of the blog The Funambulist. (…) It proposes and archives one-hour long podcasts recorded with numerous transdisciplinary worldwide thinkers whose work is related to the built environment. Although the object of focus of Archipelago is the built environment, its philosophy, its politics, its history and its narratives, the conversations are done with many non-architect thinkers (philosophers, activists, dancers, geographers, legal theorists, artists, crafts(wo)men, historians, designers, filmmakers, anthropologists, scientists) whose different approaches enrich the diversity and openness of the project. This transdisciplinary aspect of Archipelago reinforces its will to constitute an alternative (or a complement) to the traditional institutionalized transmission of knowledge.”
The podcasts will hopefully be financed through a crowdfunding campaign to which we strongly invite our readers to contribute.
The recording are being taken in these days (follow the Archipelago fb page for the updates), two of them are already online:
Socks-Studio is Fosco Lucarelli and Mariabruna Fabrizi + collaborators.
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