Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

Vito Acconci’s Manifesto: Dualities, Tension, and The Architecture of Fairy Tales

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

Back in 2002 I had the opportunity to attend the International Design Conference in Aspen (IDCA). The event was an incredible mix of design professions, creative leaders, and visionaries. Among the more memorable on the list of presenters was . Acconci’s presentation was an arcing review of the work and thinking of his studio, and gave us a window into the creative process used to conceive some of the more conceptually challenging work I had experienced up to that point. Simultaneous with the conference was an installation of the diversity of work by Vito Acconci at a local gallery, which was an appropriate exclamation point to Acconci’s provocative presentation at IDCA. I had a chance to meet Acconci at the conference, and greatly enjoyed our brief conversation about the thin boundary between conceptual and real, and how the effectiveness of crossing that boundary is defined by our own ability to effectively communicate what it is we intend to do, and how exactly we intend to do it.

I bring up Vito Acconci because a couple of days ago I came across his manifesto, , from last year’s Icon Magazine Manifesto issue and it made me recall meeting Acconci at the conference. His manifesto articulates the dualities of the tensions in architecture and the built environment today:

“It is the best of architectural times, it is the worst of architectural times. It’s the age of lightness, of fluid architecture; it’s the age of architecture that’s only constructed into forms of fluidity and lightness that themselves remain solid and heavy. It’s the epoch of architecture that emerges and grows as a living creature; it’s the epoch of architecture that only looks as if it emerges and grows, that only looks like a living creature. It’s the era of sensual architecture; it’s the era of an architecture of visual affects. It’s the season of virtual architecture, science-fiction architecture; it’s the season of architecture that, when built, comes tumbling back down to earth. It’s the spring of code-writing and computational architecture; it’s the winter of generic architecture generated by and justified by numbers. We architects and designers practice operations now that will make architects ultimately unnecessary, we anticipate architecture that designs itself; in the meantime, we’re narrowed down to the chosen few starchitects. We architects and designers harness multiple complexities; all the while we refine complication into elegance, we revive aesthetics, we do something that smells like art, we resort to taste and sophistication, we tag onto an ‘upper class.’ We architects and designers make places for people; but the more parameters we use to design, the less our design-process can be read in the places we build – if people can’t ‘get’ the buildings we make, then those buildings are meant to appear as a force of nature, and we expect from people only belief”

Vito Acconci –

OMA’s CCTV Tower Fetishists

Friday, May 16th, 2008

CCTV Tower construction photo

It would seem that I am very much not alone in my utter fascination with the design and construction of the CCTV tower going up in Beijing. I recently came across a mother load of incredible images on that are expansive in capturing the progress of building the tower, and beautiful in the quality of the photography. Last night these images cost me close to two hours of sleep.