AR448: Professional-Practice II

Urban Manifestos: Optimistic Architecture in the Age of Pragmatism

Woodbury University, Fall 2011.
Burbank Campus 7500 Glenoaks Blvd. Burbank, CA 91510

Instructor/Section: John Southern/F1
Course Schedule: Fridays 9AM-12PM. Room: SB102

Section description:

“Society has a passionate desire for something that it will obtain or that it will not obtain. Everything is there; everything will depend on the effort made and on the attention paid to these alarming symptoms.

Architecture or revolution.

Revolution can be avoided.” – Le Corbusier, Toward an Architecture

“Architecture’s intellectual preoccupation with its own autonomy has left its material practices to languish, not to mention its cultural possibilities. But when architecture instead focuses on the city, it is immediately enmeshed in the material politics of space.” – Dana Cuff, Urban Infrastructure as Architecture.

It has been said that architecture is in a state of crisis. However, depending on when you joined the conversation, the seemingly perpetual trauma that clings to our discipline may have begun with the industrial revolution, at the dawn of early Twentieth Century modernism, with the fall of the Twin Towers, or more recently, with the global economic collapse. Regardless of the period or style, architects have utilized the urgency and definitive actions which surround the notion of anxiety that has been said to underscore modern life in order to draw a line in the sand, and thus set their course for new conceptual terrain. In almost every case, their compass has been defined by the production of a manifesto, or a strategic directive that sets them apart from the herd. In some cases, these avant garde statements have remained creative conjecture, while others have become the ingredients for new cities or formal languages, now commonplace within the discipline of design.

For our purposes, the manifesto symbolizes architecture’s struggle in its attempts at stabilizing the rift between ideology and practice upon the continually shifting ground that lies between the leftover utopian idealism of the 60’s and the rational pragmatism espoused by the avante garde during the last ten years of Post-Criticality since 9-11.

Manifestos do not always have to stipulate an endgame, but instead can be exploited in order to force oneself to discover new intellectual terrain, and in doing so, develop a project that takes an active role within its physical environment, its social context, and becomes a dynamic organism within the city, rather than a static, formal object.

The course will examine both written manifestos, and practical methodologies stemming from the Post-War resistance against the modern movement. We will also explore the theories behind digital production and material affect, as well as discuss how emergent themes in technology have impacted both new modes of practice, as well as new ways in which architects view the contemporary city.

By the end of the term you will have developed your own personal manifesto for practice and for a project- one that will guide you towards the conception and completion of a comprehensive building proposal in the spring.

Week 01 (08.26): Group Meeting/Lottery/Section Assignments/First Class Meeting

Introductory Reading:

Saunders, William H. “Hasty Habits of Mind.” The Architects Newspaper [New York, NY] 24 May 2010. p. 23.
Laurent-Paul Robert & Dr. Vesna Petresin Robert, “Distructing Utopias”, Architectures of the Near Future, Helen Castle, ed. (London, U.K. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 2009), pp.42-48.

Week 02 (09.02): The Problem of Pragmatism

Bernard Khoury, Anti-Manifesto, in “Urban Future: Manifestos”, Peter Noever & Kimberli Meyer, eds. (Ostfildern, Germany: 2011), pp.4-5
Reinhold Martin, “Toward a Utopian Realism,” in Harvard Design Magazine Spring/Summer 2005 edition, (Cambridge, MA, 2005), pp.1-5.
Stan Allen, “Practice Vs. Project”, in Practice: Architecture, Technique, and Representation, (New York, NY. Routledge, 2009), pp. 11-21.
Robert Somol & Sarah Whiting, “Notes around the Doppler Effect and other Moods of Modernism” in Perspecta 33: Mining Autonomy, Michael Osman, Adam Ruedig, Matthew Seidel, Lisa Tilney, eds. (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2002), pp. 72-77.
Hans Ibelings, “A Supermodern Perspective” & “Supermoderism in the 21st Century, in Supermodernism: Architecture in the Age of Globalization. (Rotterdam, NL. NAI Publishers, 2002), pp.128-156.

Case Studies:

Kazuyo Sejima & Associates: Gifu Housing. Motosu, Japan,1998.
Toyo Ito: Sendai Mediatheque. Sendai, Japan, 2001.
Diller+Scofidio: Blur Building, 2002.
Rem Koolhaas/OMA: LACMA Campus. Los Angeles, CA. 2002. (Competition)
Future Systems: Selfridges. Birmingham, UK. 2003.

Week 03 (09.09): Fallen Fruit: Rotten Ends and Fertile Beginnings in Post-War Modernism

James Turrell, The State of the Art, in “Urban Future: Manifestos”, Peter Noever & Kimberli Meyer, eds. (Ostfildern, Germany: 2011), pp.10-11
Anne Predet, “CIAM Team 10: Discussing the Charter of Habitat”, in Team 10: In Search of a Utopia of the Present, Max Risselada, ed. (Rotterdam, NL. NAi Publishers, 2006), pp. 20-21.
Anne Predet, “CIAM Team 10: Scales of Association”, in Team 10: In Search of a Utopia of the Present, Max Risselada, ed. (Rotterdam, NL. NAi Publishers, 2006), pp. 52-53.
Anne Predet, “CIAM ’59: The End of CIAM”, in Team 10: In Search of a Utopia of the Present, Max Risselada, ed. (Rotterdam, NL. NAi Publishers, 2006), pp. 61-63.

Case Studies:

CIAM: CIAM Grids (various). 1948-1957.
Allison and Peter Smithson: House of the Future, Ideal Home Exhibition. London, UK. 1956.
Allison and Peter Smithson: Berlin Hauptstadt. Berlin, Germany, 1975.
Allison and Peter Smithson: Appliance Houses. 1956-1958.
Allison and Peter Smithson: Robin Hood Gardens. London, UK. 1972.
Allison and Peter Smithson: The Economist Building. London, UK. 1964.

Week 04 (09.16): In-Class Pin-Up / Assignment 1: Situations, Locales, and Conditions

Week 05 (09.23): Some Salvos from the Sixties

Zvi Hecker, Urbanism is Architecture on a Public Scale, in “Urban Future: Manifestos”, Peter Noever & Kimberli Meyer, eds. (Ostfildern, Germany: 2011), pp.12-13
Lara Schrijver, “Technology in Architecture: The Ghost in the Machine”, Radical Games: Popping the Bubble of 1960’s Architecture, (Rotterdam, NL. NAI Publishers, 2009), pp. 95-145.
Sander Woertman, “The Distant Winking of a Star, or the Horror of the Real” in Exit Utopia: Archtiectural Provocations 1956-76, Martin Van Schaik and Otakar Macel eds. (New York, NY. Prestel, 2005), pp.146-155.
Peter Lang and William Menking, “The Continuous Monument: An Architectural Model for Total Urbanization”, in Superstudio: Life Without Objects, (Milan, IT. Skira, 2003), pp. 122-163.

Case Studies:

Peter Cook, Ron Herron, Denis Crompton, Warren Chalk, David Greene, and Michael Webb, “Archigram” (New York, NY. Princeton Architectural Press, 1999.), pp.8-19, 24-29, 36-43, 46-59, 78-81, 86-115, 120-123, & 134-137.
Archizoom Associati “No Stop City” in Exit Utopia: Archtiectural Provocations 1956-76, Martin Van Schaik and Otakar Macel eds. (New York, NY. Prestel, 2005), pp.157-176.
Andrea Branzi, “No Stop City: Archizoom Associates, 1969-1972” in Exit Utopia: Archtiectural Provocations 1956-76, Martin Van Schaik and Otakar Macel eds. (New York, NY. Prestel, 2005), pp.177-182.
Super Studio, “The Continuous Monument: An Architectural Model for Total Urbanization” in Exit Utopia: Archtiectural Proocations 1956-76, Martin Van Schaik and Otakar Macel eds. (New York, NY. Prestel, 2005), pp.125-145.

Week 06 (10.30): Urban Matters from Past and Present

Dana Cuff, Urban Infrastructure as Architecture, in “Urban Future: Manifestos”, Peter Noever & Kimberli Meyer, eds. (Ostfildern, Germany: 2011), pp.14-15
Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter, “Collage City” in Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture: An Anthology of Architectural Theory, 1965-1995. Kate Nesbit, ed. (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996), pp. 268-293.
Mark Wigley, “Lost In Space”, The Critical Landscape, Arie Graafland and Jasper de Haan, eds.,
(Rotterdam, NL. NAI Publishers, 1996), pp. 30-57.
Fredric Jameson, “Post-modernism and Consumer Society” in The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, Hal Foster, ed. (Townsend, Washington: Bay Press, 1983), pp. 111-125.
Rem Koolhaas, “The Generic City”, and “Whatever Happened to Urbanism,” In SMLXL (New York: Monacelli Press,1995), pp. 959-971; & 1248-1264.
James Corner, “Not Unlike Itself: Landscape Strategy Now”, in The New Architectural Pragmatism, William S. Saunders, ed. (Minneapolis, MN, University of Minnesota Press, 2007), pp.89-93.

Case Studies:

Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown: Learning From Las Vegas, 1972.
John Portman & Associates: Bonaventure Hotel. Los Angeles, CA. 1976.
Lebbeus Woods: Underground Berlin/Aerial Paris/Berlin Free Zone/Zagreb Free Zone (1985-97).
Rem Koolhass/OMA: Euralille Master Plan. Lille, France, 1994.
Diller Scofidio + Renfro/Field Operations: The High Line. New York, NY. 2009.
Smout Allen: The Retreating Village/The Geo-Fluidic Landscape (2001-2007).

Week 07 (10.07): Programming: Selected strategies from the not so distant past

Michael Sorkin, A Merry Manifesto, in “Urban Future: Manifestos”, Peter Noever & Kimberli Meyer, eds. (Ostfildern, Germany: 2011), pp.28-29

Bernard Tschumi, “Introduction and Illustrated Index” in The Manhattan Transcripts (London: Academy Group LTD, 1981.), pp. 7-12 & XVII-XXIX.
Bernard Tschumi, “Spaces and Events” in Architecture and Disjunction, (Cambridge, MA., 1994), pp.139-150.

Rem Koolhaas, “Parc de la Villette”, in Rem Koolhaas: OMA (New York, NY. Princeton Architectural Press, 1991), pp.86-95.

Rem Koolhaas, “National Library of France” in Rem Koolhaas: OMA (New York, NY. Princeton Architectural Press, 1991), pp.132-139.
Rem Koolhaas, “ZKM: Center for Art and Media Technology” in Rem Koolhaas: OMA (New York, NY. Princeton Architectural Press, 1991), pp.140-150.

*Additional suggested reading:
Ana Miljacki, Amanda Reeser Lawrence, & Ashley Schafer, “2 Architects, 10 Questions on Program: Rem Koolhaas + Bernard Tschmui” in Praxis 8: Re:Programming, Amanda Reeser Lawrence & Ashley Schafer, eds. (Cambridge, MA, 2006), pp. 6-15.

Case Studies:

Bernard Tschumi: The Manhattan Transcripts. New York, NY.1981. (Publication)
Bernard Tschumi: Parc de la Villette. Paris, France,1991.
Bernard Tschumi: Le Fresnoy. Tourcoing, France, 1997.
Rem Koolhaas/OMA: National Library of France. Paris, Fr. 1989. (Competition)
Rem Koolhaas/OMA: Park de la Villette, 1991. (Competition)
Rem Koolhaas/OMA: Center for Art and Media Technology (ZKM). Karlsruhe, Germany. 1992. (Competition)

Week 08 (10.14): All-Section Pin-Up / Assignment 2: Typology, Taxonomy, and Event (MIDTERM)

Week 09 (10.21): Pimp My Ride: Material Solutions for Abstraction and Delight
Saskia Sassen, When Cities Delegate Back to Nature, Do They Remake the Political?, in “Urban Future: Manifestos”, Peter Noever & Kimberli Meyer, eds. (Ostfildern, Germany: 2011), pp.10-11

Sylvia Lavin, “Kissing Architecture: Super Disciplinarity and Confounding Mediums”, Log 17, Fall 2009, Cynthia Davidson, Mark Foster Gage, and Florencia Pita, eds. (New York, NY. Anyone Corp., 2009), pp.9-16.
Jesse Reiser, “Ornament and its Other”, in 306090: Decoration, Vol. 10. Emily Abruzzo, & Jonathan D. Solomon, eds. (New York, NY: 306090 Inc, 2006), pp.132-143.
Lisa Iwamoto, “Sectioning”, “Tessellating”, “Folding”, “Contouring”, & “Forming”, Digital Fabrications, (New York, NY., Princeton Architectural Press, 2009), pp.17-138.
Urban Operations, Slopscraper: Sustainable Production in the Age of Flux, (Los Angeles, CA. Urbanops.org, 2010).
Case Studies:
Herzog & de Meuron: Basel Switching Station. Basel, CH. 1994.
Marcelyn Gow, David Erdman, and Chris Perry (SERVO): Lattice Archipelogics. 2004.
Erwin Hauer and Enrique Rosado: Design 306. 2005.
Foster + Partners: Smithsonian Institution. Washington, D.C. 2007.
Atelier Manfredini: Cherry Blossom Collection. 2007.
Lewis.Tsurmaki.Lewis: Fluff Bakery, Tides Restaurant, Dash Dogs. New York, NY. 2008.
R&Sie: Dusty Relief/B-mu. Bangkok, Thailand, 2008.
Continues next page…

Herzog & de Meuron: CaixaFroum-Madrid. Madrid, Spain. 2009.
Urban Operations: Slopscraper, 2009-2010.
SANAA: Derik Lam Showroom. New York, NY. 2010.

Week 10 (10.28): In-Class Pin-Up / Assignment 3: Affect, Performance, and Structure

Week 11 (11.04): Diagramming, Datascaping, Urban Negotiation, and Game Theory

Edward Soja, in “Urban Future: Manifestos”, Peter Noever & Kimberli Meyer, eds. (Ostfildern, Germany: 2011), pp.42-43
Stan Allen, “Notations + Diagrams: Mapping the Intangible”, in Practice: Architecture, Technique, and Representation, (New York, NY. Routledge, 2009), pp. 41-69.
Peter Eisenman, “An Original Scene of Writing”, The Diagrams of Architecture, Mark Garcia, ed. (Chichester, UK. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 2010), pp. 92-103.
Roger Sherman, “If, Then: Shaping Change as a Strategic Basis for Design”, in 306090: Autonomous Urbanism, Alexander F. Briseno, Emily Abruzzo, and Jonathan D. Solomon, eds.
(New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2008), pp.103-115.
Neil Spiller, “Spatial Notation and the Magical Operations of Collage in the Post-Digital Age”,
The Diagrams of Architecture, Mark Garcia, ed. (Chichester, UK. John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 2010), pp. 178-185.

Case Studies:

Peter Eisenman: Houses I-VI (1970-1980)
MVRDV: WoZoCo Housing. Amsterdam, NL. 1997.
One Architecture: Six Under a Tennis Court,1997.
Stan Allen: Barcelona Manual, 2001.
MVRDV: FARMAX/Pig City/Sky Car City, 2008.

Week 12 (11.11): Digital Utopias / Cyber Realities / Network Culture

Norman Klein, What If and What Next, in “Urban Future: Manifestos”, Peter Noever & Kimberli Meyer, eds. (Ostfildern, Germany: 2011), pp.10-11
William Gibson, Neuromancer, (New York, NY, Ace Books, 1984), pp. 43-69.
Willam Gibson, Spook Country, (New York, NY, Berkley Books, 2007), pp.68-76 & 80-89.
Sherry Turkle, “E-Futures& E-Personae” in Designing for a Digital World, Neil Leach, ed. (New York, NY, Academy Press, 2002), pp. 31-37.
Antoine Picon, Toward a City of Events: Digital Media and Urbanity, in New Geographies, Neyran Turan, ed. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard GSD, 2009), pp. 1-12.
Kazys Varnelis and Anne Friedberg, “Place: The Networking of Public Space” in Networked Publics, Kazys Varnelis, ed. (Cambridge, MA, 2008), pp.15-42.
Kazys Varnelis, Ether: An Architecture of Self-Imagination in 306090, Issue 6: Shifting Infrastructures, Alexander F. Briseno, Emily Abruzzo, and Jonathan D. Solomon, eds. (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2004), pp.18-27.

Case Studies:

Asymtote: Virtual Stock Exchange. New York, NY. 1998.
AUDC: One Wilshire. Los Angeles, CA. 2002.
Nic Clear/Ben Marzys: London After the Rain. Bartlett School of Architecture, 2007.
Benjamin Aranda & Chris Lasch: The Brooklyn Pigeon Project. Brooklyn, NY. 2008.
Terada Design Architects: N Building. Tokyo, Japan, 2009.

Week 13 (11.18): All-Section Pin-Up/ Assignment 4: Project Manual DRAFT

Week 14 (11.25): Project Development (Thanksgiving Holiday, NO CLASS)

Week 15 (12.02): Studio Finals (Meeting by Appointment)

Week 16 (12.09): Final Reviews 12.09.11 (Location TBA) / Archive Material Due: 12.11.2011 (CD+Manual)