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"architecture is a political act"



ANARCHITECTURE: Architecture is a political act
is the statement or manifesto that Lebbeus Woods used to call his book from 1988.

the helicopter drop is one of my favourite architectural ideas
its from a scheme he called "zagreb free zone"

"state of emergency" is my little interjection, it refers to something that i feel is unhealthy and rampant in todays architectural community, that being the apparant lack of critical discussion, thinking and action on issues both architectural and political.

perhaps its because we, europeans, have gone through a particularly turbulant time over the last few years and the wounds have not yet healed; perhaps its easier and better for some to not have to remember the past horrors.
perhaps its because we are living in an evergrowing consumer society that really doesent care, "live for today as tomorow you will be dead"
perhaps people associate political thinking and action only with being part of political parties and working in that system.

in my opinion, and many others too, the western world view is slowly going through a massive paradigm shift with the result that we are beginging to ask new questions, develop new ways of doing things, making new methods and places for our species to talk with itself in a meaningful way.
but i feel that this progressive thinking is, for the most part, absent from the archtitectural communities that i am part of.

EASA started with this SPIRIT, back in liverpool city in 1981; seeing problems and doing creative things to resolve them. but that SPIRIT then drifted to care free summers on mediterainian islands, last year there was an attempt to come back to the fundamentals of what architecture is for; people and cities. A request was made for 400+ architectural students to come to a semi-derelict building and to attempt to engage with the local communities, to excite them, to share their dreams, to work with them, play with them, get to know them. in short to make it clear that the condition publique was for them to use, work in, play in, dream, discover.........
but for the most part it did not happen, it seems that the experiment was not a success, EASA did not come up with the goods...

im writing this for a few different reasons,
-to share with the community my views
-to throw out an idea in the hope that it generates some positive and exciting discussion
-to attempt to further find out what is going on in the different architectural pockets of europe, whats new, whats exciting, whats different from here
-to establish whether this "state of emergency" is real or imagined

so ill leave you with a few words from Lebbeus Woods
www.thesnowshow.net

Woods is the cofounder and scientific director of the Research Institute for Experimental Architecture, Europe (RIEAeuropa), and they happen to have their base in bern, switerland, which is the country for the upcoming EASA005

www.riea.ch

"whoever occupies the freeespaces and the free zone will have control of the powers inherent in them: the power of access to global communications networks, with their databases and priveleged information; the power to broadcast, and to interfere with the broadcasts of existing institutions of authority....."




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