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Failed Architecture editors discuss works in progress and urgent matters in architecture and spatial politics.
Feb 22, 2021
On Political T̷e̷m̷p̷e̷r̷a̷m̷e̷n̷t̷ Action w/Marianela, Michael + Kevin
A few weeks ago, Yale Architecture professor Keller Easterling penned an article titled “On Political Temperament,” which became the subject of heated conversation about the role of architecture theory in discussions of politics. In response, Marianela D’Aprile wrote “Not Everything is “Architecture”’ for Common Edge. For this Breezeblock, FA editor Michael Nicholas spoke to Marianela and fellow editor Kevin Rogan about Easterling’s new book Medium Design, the role of architects as workers in the class struggle, and the politics of the architecture profession at large. Keller Easterling, "On Political Temperament," The Double Negative thedoublenegative.co.uk/2021/01/on-political-temperament-keller-easterling/ Marianela D'Aprile, "Not Everything is Architecture," Common Edge https://commonedge.org/not-everything-is-architecture/
Feb 4, 2021
Trad Day, Part 1 w/ Michael, Kevin + Joshua
In this first installment of a two-part episode, Failed Architecture editors Michael Nicholas, Kevin Rogan and Joshua McWhirter discuss the weird world of traditional architecture revivalism, or “trad architecture” for short. Starting with a critique of pop philosopher Alain de Botton’s recent article, “Why is the Modern World so Ugly?”, the three editors examine the surface-level aesthetic fixations and flattened historical perceptions of the trad architecture movement — so often a cipher for the exaltation of “Western” culture, even as it makes claims to an apolitical stance. Link to "Why is the Modern World so Ugly?": https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/why-is-the-modern-world-so-ugly/
Jan 12, 2021
UVW SAW, Union Organising, COVID Safety w/ Keri + Charlie
Last week members of trade union United Voices of the World — Section Architectural Workers (UVW SAW), walked out of two architectural offices over COVID-19 safety concerns. Charlie Clemoes interviewed UVW SAW elected organiser Keri Monaghan for Breezeblock #14. As well as the strike, they discuss the recent work of UVW SAW, its first year as a union amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and what the future holds for workplace organisation in the architecture profession.
Dec 10, 2020
Design and Political Dissent w/ Jilly + Joshua
Our editor Joshua McWhirter speaks to Jilly Traganou, editor of the recently published book Design and Political Dissent: Spaces, Visuals, Materialities. Near the end of a year filled with mass protests on streets across the United States and the world, Jilly talks about some of book’s themes and their significance during a moment when many architects are thinking about how to leverage their skills in the service of social justice movements. Jilly Traganou is a Professor of Architecture and Urbanism at Parsons School of Design in New York City. Her work examines urban and material questions related to social movements, identity, affect and participation, and her current research is focusing on the role of spatial agency, material engagement and maintenance in prefigurative politics. For more information on Design and Political Dissent, visit: https://www.routledge.com/Design-and-Political-Dissent-Spaces-Visuals-Materialities/Traganou/p/book/9780815374220
Nov 23, 2020
The Future of Amsterdam's Red Light District w/ René + Charlie
Failed Architecture editors Charlie Clemoes and René Boer discuss the future of De Wallen (aka Amsterdam's Red Light District), which is under increasing threat from the so-called "smooth city": the safe, clean, well-functioning and homogenous urban environment that has been taking over cities around the world in the past few decades. In the podcast, they talk about the ways in which the municipality, developers and various old white dudes are conspiring to frame the neighbourhood as an "urban jungle" and pushing to replace it with a "monumental garden". Against these moves, René has written a counter-manifesto, "Wallen 2020", which is intended to galvanise resistance to the neighbourhood's creeping sanitisation. Links: Wallen 2020: A Counter Manifesto http://www.wallen2020.nl/ Zef Hemel, "'Turn the center of Amsterdam into a garden'," Het Parool, 11 October 2019 https://www.parool.nl/nieuws/maak-van-het-centrum-van-amsterdam-een-tuin~b3b72611/ Hans Marijnissen, "Ombudsman raises the alarm: 'The center of Amsterdam is a lawless jungle at night'" Trouw July 28, 2018 https://www.trouw.nl/nieuws/ombudsman-slaat-alarm-het-centrum-van-amsterdam-is-s-nachts-een-wetteloze-jungle~b939a839/
Nov 6, 2020
A City of our Own, Madrid, w/Chiara + María
Editors Chiara Dorbolò and María Mazzanti discuss Failed Architecture series A City of Our Own: Urbanism for the 99%.
Aug 10, 2020
Land Reparations w/Christin+kuwa jasiri
Land reparations have remained largely unaddressed by the architecture profession, despite the glaring adjacency of building, landscape, and planning to land and the colonial concept of property. What do land reparations really mean for the many communities who have been harmed in different ways by white supremacy? Having connected through recent movements on work seed distribution and community gardens in the midst of the BLM protests, kuwa jasiri and Christin share recent personal experiences and current work, as well as thoughts on the unanimous city council vote in Asheville, North Carolina (US). Support kuwa jasiri indomela: Paypal @ArtisticApothecary or Venmo @Ricchi-Machado Submit to kuwa jasiri's Fierce Together Zine on Reparations: BeBraveGather@riseup.net A note on the graphic: This week’s Breezeblock graphic draws from the Adinkra symbols, compiled and translated by a myriad of folx, including Aaron Mobley, Charles Korankye, and Adolph H. Agbo. These symbols are used in textiles and Asante architecture in West Africa. The central one shown is known as Mpatapo, the “knot of reconciliation,” which shows we are all tied together in peace and harmony after conflict.
Jul 27, 2020
Buildings Don't Matter, Too w/Bassem+Kevin
In the early days of the protests following the death of George Floyd, the Philadelphia Inquirer published a cover story written by Inga Saffron whose headline made the infamous claim that "Buildings Matter, Too". Responding to the article, our editors Bassem Saad and Kevin Rogan discuss the value of looting and destruction of private property, with special reference to recent uprisings in the US and Lebanon.
Jul 13, 2020
Digital Activism w/Arielle+María
Our editor María Mazzanti spoke with Arielle Assouline-Lichten about the invisibility of women architects, Denise Scott Brown and the Pritzker Prize, and a Wikipedia editing activism.
Jul 6, 2020
India, Migrant Workers, COVID-19, Pune w/Shruti+Charlie
Our editor, Charlie Clemoes, speak to Shruti Hussain about the current situation for migrant workers in India amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Shruti is an architect, journalist and researcher based in Pune, India. She has worked on EU and DAAD projects with the University of Pune and has been the Editor of Quality Edge, an architecture and construction magazine. Shruti's article for Failed Architecture: https://failedarchitecture.com/indias-smart-city-fuelled-construction-boom-ignores-a-huge-migrant-workforce-toiling-backstage/
Jun 29, 2020
Moving an Entire City, Kiruna w/Anne,Michiel+Carlos
Our founding editor Michiel van Iersel and Anne Dessing discuss the Swedish city of Kiruna with Carlos Mínguez Carrasco, curator of the exhibition Kiruna Forever at ArkDes Sweden's National Centre for Architecture and Design. Kiruna is experiencing one of the biggest urban transformation projects in recent history. The city is being relocated by three kilometres due to the expansion of a mine, around which Kiruna was built. A third of the population must relocate, housing blocks and landmark buildings are being demolished or moved, and a new city is taking shape. Michiel and Anne’s project Global Kiruna has been commissioned as part of the exhibition Kiruna Forever. See below for more information about the respective exhibition and project. KIRUNA FOREVER Kiruna Forever examines the ongoing relocation of the city of Kiruna. It features over a hundred works by architects, urban planners and artists who have transformed the community and addressed the challenges facing theregion from…
May 5, 2020
Informality, Lockdown, Bogotá w/ Juana+María
Our editors Juana Salcedo and María Mazzanti discuss the situation in Bogotá since the COVID-19 lockdown, especially as it effects the large informal sector of the Colombian economy.
May 1, 2020
Tenants' Crisis, Rent Abolition, LA w/ Sasha+Charlie
Los Angeles Tenants' Union (LATU) organiser Sasha Plotnikova talks to our editor Charlie Clemoes about the situation for tenants in LA amid the current Covid-19 pandemic crisis, as well as discussing the organising efforts of LATU in recent years, the prospects for a permanent rent strike, and how to get involved in tenant organising. Links: Julian Francis Park, "Rent and its Discontents" https://communemag.com/rent-and-its-discontents/ LA Tenants Union https://latenantsunion.org/en/
Apr 28, 2020
Sirens, Sonic Warfare, NYC w/ Leijia+Christin
Leijia Hanrahan talks to our editor Christin Hu about sirens, their role in enforcing control and their heightened presence in the New York City soundscape since it became a coronavirus hotspot.
Apr 15, 2020
Myth of Community, Luxury Isolation, NYC w/ Kevin+Charlie
Our editors Kevin Rogan and Charlie Clemoes talk about Kevin's recent article for Failed Architecture: "The City and the City and Coronavirus", link here: https://failedarchitecture.com/the-city-and-the-city-and-coronavirus/.
Apr 9, 2020
Covid-19, Ongoing Construction, Istanbul w/ Eda+Charlie
Covid-19, Ongoing Construction, Istanbul w/ Eda+Charlie by Failed Architecture