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Probes into Architecture and Politics


.: Jonas 11:12 AM




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.: Jonas 8:47 PM


December 15, 2006

Mr. Joseph Daniels
President and CEO of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation
One Liberty Place, 20th Floor
New York, NY 10006

Dear Mr. Daniels:


In continuing to follow with interest the development of the WTC Memorial, and after having had the honor of being named Finalists by the WTC Memorial Design Competition Jury, we were delighted to learn of the new concept announced by Mayor Bloomberg for the arrangement of the victims' names.

We believe it to be a sensitive design, and one decidedly humane toward the victims and those of us that remember and honor them, as it preserves the immediacy and abruptness of the way so many lives, while in the course of their day, were cut short on that September morning. Significantly, it offers the families places to go as well as spaces to identify with the ones they mourn.

However, we cannot help but point out a resemblance between the new proposed design and part of our design "Passages of Light: The Memorial Cloud". The new arrangement, which includes 10 groupings, is apparently based on the physical location of the victim on the WTC site at the approximate time of his or her death. The placement of victims' names according to location was precisely the concept behind our proposed placement of names that we presented to the Jury in January 2004.

We offer below the paragraph from our proposal which describes our design of the arrangement of names of victims:

"Together, the names form a design that we term the "Pompeii Scheme," because it represents individuals equally in the course of their lives, cut short by the attacks. A name appears near those of the people with whom he or she died. For example, the approximately 1400 individuals who perished in Tower One define the largest field of lights. This field is continuous with the group of approximately 600 who died in the second tower. The design's appearance reflects the cloud's topology of cupolas. A "Line of Rescuers" runs through both groups, where Firefighters, Police, and ordained and medical people can be represented." (BBC / Baurmann Brooks Coersmeier, January 2004)

Following is a quote from the press release of the Memorial Foundation of December 13, 2006:

"Names placed at the North Pool will include two groupings: those who worked at or were visiting Tower 1 on September 11th, 2001; and individuals who lost their lives on Flight 11 which crashed into Tower 1. A total of 1,518 names will be placed at the North Pool.

The South Pool will include the other eight groupings: names of individuals who worked at or were visiting Tower 2; individuals who died on Flight 175 which hit Tower 2; those who died in the Flight 93 crash in Shanksville, PA; those who died on Flight 77 which crashed into the Pentagon; those who died at the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001; those killed in the February 26, 1993 bombing; the first responders; and those whose specific location when they perished is not known. A total of 1,461 names will be arranged around the South Pool.

First responders will be grouped together on the South Pool by command, precinct, or company as appropriate (eg. Ladder 24) so that those lost from the New York City Fire Department, the New York City Police Department, the Port Authority Police Department, and Court Officers can be listed together. The ranks of individual first responders will not be listed." (Press Release Memorial Foundation of December 13, 2006)

There is an obvious and profound similarity between the newly selected arrangement and the one we proposed to the Jury.

In addition, the paragraph below, also from the official press release, suggests that the new design has been "developed" from Michael Arad's and Peter Walker's design of "meaningful adjacencies."


In Memorial Designer Michael Arad's original scheme to place the names of the deceased in no discernible order, he referred to creating "meaningful adjacencies" within the names to be inscribed on the North and South Pools. The idea for meaningful adjacencies has now been further developed into a design concept of ten identified groupings, which will tell the story of where people were during the September 11th attacks and grouping together the victims from the
1993 World Trade Center bombing. With meaningful adjacencies, the names of the deceased appear to be in no discernible order, reflecting the haphazard brutality of the deaths, but would nonetheless allow, for example, siblings and colleagues who perished together at the site to have their names listed side-by- side." (Press Release Memorial Foundation of December 13, 2006)

In our recollection, neither the Arad/Walker name layout design nor ours was articulated until, at the earliest, the Finalist phase of the Competition. To be precise, Michael Arad's original statement does not refer to "creating 'meaningful adjacencies,'" as the press release states. In fact he clearly states the contrary:

"The names of the deceased will be arranged in no particular order around the pools. After carefully considering different arrangements, I have found that any arrangement that tries to impose meaning through physical adjacency will cause grief and anguish to people who might be excluded from that process, furthering the sense of loss that they are already suffering.

The haphazard brutality of the attacks is reflected in the arrangement of names, and no attempt is made to impose order upon this suffering. The selfless sacrifices of rescue workers could be acknowledged with their agency's insignia next to their names.
Visitors to the site, including family members and friends of the deceased, would be guided by on-site staff or a printed directory to the specific location of each name. For those whose deceased were never physically identified, the location of the name marks a spot that is their own." (Michael Arad and Peter Walker, Reflecting Absence, January 2004)

Similarly, we do not recall any of the other 6 Finalists suggesting a scheme similar to ours, nor to the newly selected one. We find it at least a point of professional ethics to suggest that this new selected scheme is possibly derived from our first runner-up design.

More importantly, we feel the need to bring this matter to your attention because, if it is the case that this new scheme is indebted to our Finalist proposal, then we would be honored to be able to contribute something to the WTC Memorial and the memory of the victims. Accordingly, this contribution should be acknowledged, along with those of all the many generous, talented, and devoted people and groups who have contributed so much already.

For the full documentation of our design proposal, please refer to our website: Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions.

Yours sincerely,

Gisela Baurmann
Sawad Brooks
Jonas Coersmeier

BBC / Baurmann Brooks Coersmeier


letter as .pdf

.: Jonas 8:38 PM


"As a classic design challenge, The New York Times asked 13 architects and urban planners to devise the "fence." Several declined because they felt it was purely a political issue." (NYtimes)

Of course it is political, and it is good to read that some of our colleagues resisted (Scofidio) or took the opportunity to protest (Norten). .. then there are those who sugarcoat the wall ..

.: Jonas 9:39 AM


It was architecture that Saddam Hussein used to consolidate his grip on Iraq. And it was architecture that the Serbs and the Croats deployed in the first stages of their bloody battle over the division of the former Yugoslavia. Both sides marked out their territory by building churches: steel and glass modern for the Catholic Croats; neo-Byzantine in so-called traditional stone and tile for the orthodox Serbs.

Often quite wrongly, architecture is equated with political beliefs. Flat roofs have been associated with modernism and progressive politics, while the use of dated historical styles is believed to embody traditional values. When the Swiss architects Herzog and de Meuron were hired by the University of Texas to design a campus art gallery in 1998, Tony Sanchez, a fund-raiser for George W. Bush, engineered their resignation because they refused to adopt the Spanish colonial style, which he, as a member of the university's board of regents, found most fitting.

Architecture, it seems, matters more than ever. It affects us personally, in ways that we have all come to know. Certainly it has never been more talked about than it is now. The argument about how to reconstruct ground zero turned every New Yorker into an architecture critic. And as the popular onslaught against the banality of the first designs suggests, the wider audience is far less conservative than the professionals presume [..]

Architecture matters because it lasts, of course. It matters because it is big, and it shapes the landscape of our everyday lives. But beyond that, it also matters because, more than any other cultural form, it is a means of setting the historical record straight.

If that is so, no city has more need of architecture than Berlin, which, as the Dutch architect and critic Rem Koolhaas once observed, has far too much history. To imagine Hitler completing the construction of the triumphalist city of stone that he planned with Albert Speer is to imagine his total victory. It is here that the East Germans dynamited the huge Baroque hulk of the royal palace in 1950, principally to demonstrate that the German Democratic Republic was here to stay, as well as to demonstrate their loyalty to Stalin, who had carried out a similar mutilation of the center of Moscow. The East Germans at last filled the gap in the city's fabric with the orange-mirror glass glitz of the monstrous Palace of the Republic, the D.D.R.'s Parliament, with bowling alley and Op Art bar attached. As if to prove that it is the victors who make architectural history as well as all the other kinds, Germany's reunited government recently decided to demolish the building, bowling alley included, and replace it with a replica of the royal palace that had been there before. For once, Berlin's iconoclastic youth and old left were united in their bitter opposition. To tear down the great kitsch Parliament was to destroy history and to waste money, all for the sake of making an empty architectural bow to the past. (NYtimes magazine today)

.: Jonas 7:17 AM


Today I received my Greencard.

.: Jonas 10:03 PM


Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad spoke at a rare news briefing with Iranian and foreign reporters in Tehran that was broadcast live with simultaneous translation. (NYtimes)

.: Jonas 11:44 PM


When you first go to NewsCloud you are seeing the outer most zoom of the cloud. The outer most level is where the most popular keywords are. The farther you zoom into the cloud the frequency of the keywords is reduced. You can zoom by clicking the arrow to the right of the big ZOOM in the upper right hand corner. Zooming to find less frequent keywords can reveal some interesting topics just below the surface. NewsCloud

.: Jonas 10:10 PM


France's Revolting High Rises
Were the French riots produced by Modern architecture?

.: Jonas 8:19 PM


just got back from berlin. aside from experiencing the highest birth rate in all of europe at the moment, the revival of the corner store (tante emma-laden) in its upscale version in all neighborhoods, east and west (after a period of incredible growth of chain-supermarkets, stadium-seating cinemas and inner-city shopping malls in the 90s, that's quit a turnaround), berlin is home to a new movement in architecture. well not so new, but becoming increasingly visible. young architects who claim to define the role of the architect in a new way. they develop events and fun objects entirely outside any economic reality. while there is no funding available for 'real' architecture, low costs of living and a never ending stream of government funds for all sorts of small-scale experiments support this generation of 'urban players' that literally convert the city into an urban playground for young adults (and increasingly their owne children) -all destined to become professors at some point in their future. aedes ost is celebrating its 25th birthday with a show about this group of people. the discussion i often hear is that all this hype is promotion without content and when i hear about dodgeball tournaments, cooking lessons and beach parties among the many things this generation of new heads is involved, i tend to agree. While I was pushing my friend through the exhibition and quickly gave up, because of the crowd, I was wondering whether this is any different from archigram, superstudio, haus-rucker-co and the like? just a lot of crazy ideas, fun and this aura of something really cool happended back then that somehow altered our way of thinking about space? I am also wondering whether this exists in ny and is just not so visible? or do we need the economic vaccum to produce fun?

.: kaja 7:15 AM


In the last ten years, China has experienced an enormous economical boom and it seems that the whole country has been turned into one big construction site.

.: Jonas 11:15 PM


With the new political empowerment of religious conservatives, challenges to evolution are popping up with greater frequency in schools, courts and legislatures. (NYtimes)

.: Jonas 1:00 PM


.: Jonas 11:24 PM


.: sawad 10:56 AM


This is a test

.: noodleJam 1:27 PM


...and back to work

.: gisela 10:27 PM


.: Jonas 1:09 PM


.: Jonas 11:55 AM


.: Jonas 4:40 PM


"It was only a virtual Baghdad, baking under a virtual sun. As in real life, though, troops were dodging gunfire .." (The making of an Xbox warrior)

.: Jonas 1:31 PM


.: Jonas 3:27 PM


WE ARE MARCHING! On August 29, United for Peace and Justice will hold an impassioned, peaceful, and legal march past Madison Square Garden, the site of the Republican Convention. When the Republicans descend on New York City with their agenda of war, greed, hate and lies, they will be met by a massive, diverse, peaceful outpouring of dissent, as huge numbers of us join together in a spirit of nonviolence for a legal, permitted march on August 29 to say NO to their destructive and divisive policies.

.: Jonas 9:44 PM


Public Radio: Talk about Beauty

Studio 360 of WNYC features a broadcast on beauty in contemporary art this weekend. It is broadcast Saturday at 10am and Sunday at 6pm.

WNYC Radio

.: gisela 5:32 PM

Our friend Susan just sent us this quote:

"When I am working on a problem I never think about beauty. I only think about how to solve the problem. But when I have finished, if the solution is not beautiful, I know it is wrong"
- Buckminster Fuller

.: gisela 5:27 PM

In On Beauty and Being Just Elaine Scarry not only defends beauty from the political arguments against it but also argues that beauty does indeed press us toward a greater concern for justice.

.: Jonas 10:24 AM


Virtual Worlds Meet the Real One
Manhattan high-school students have discovered that computer games can affect the real world (wired)

.: Jonas 11:59 AM


Outfoxed examines how media empires, led by Rupert Murdoch's Fox News, have been running a "race to the bottom" in television news. This film provides an in-depth look at Fox News and the dangers of ever-enlarging corporations taking control of the public's right to know.

.: Jonas 1:11 PM


Paul Rudolph Building in Manhattan

15 years after the master's death, Paul Rudolph's last building was opened in East 58th Street.

.: gisela 10:52 AM


Dom: Cologne cathedral is now the only World Heritage site in Europe officially listed as in danger. (guardian)

Spider-Man 2 video game: "I also went down to ground zero, curious how the game would handle such a sensitive issue. It is a concrete plaza that contains only the powerful spotlights that shone straight up as a memorial." (NYtimes)

.: Jonas 10:52 AM


.: Jonas 11:26 AM


Chinese Architects and the Big Names. (china daily)

.: Jonas 10:14 AM


'Fahrenheit 9/11' Breaks NYC Records!

The movie, which aims a critical eye at President Bush and his prosecution of the war in Iraq, sold $49,000 worth of tickets at the Loew's Village 7 theater, beating the venue's single-day record of $43,435 held by 1997's "Men in Black," according to distributors Lions Gate Films and IFC Films. (

The film's marketing campaign has been masterful and resonates with the MoveOn millions and so many others who have become frustrated with the mainstream media fumbling of coverage of politics and the war. If the revolution will not be televised, there is nothing to stop the 2004 pop cult revolt from playing at the mall and inciting a prairie fire of political opposition. Or so many hope.(

.: Jonas 10:44 AM


cloud 7

.: Jonas 11:51 AM


-----Original Message-----
From: Tammi Adams []
Sent: Wednesday, June 23, 2004 10:29 AM
To: Robin
Subject: Excape from divorce. Become a foreigner.

Do you need a new identity, a new citizenship or a new country to call home.

You are pre-qualified. 50 Countries Available.

Check in here.


.: Jonas 9:52 AM


Berlin Berlin

A new phenomena called chess-boxing has received so much attention in Berlin that a club devoted entirely to it is opening this summer. A chess-boxing match consists of 11 rounds, each round consisting of four minutes of chess and two minutes of boxing.

.: gisela 4:52 PM


Whitney Hires Renzo Piano to Design Its Expansion

Renzo Piano has been hired by the Whitney Museum of American Art to design an expansion for its permanent collection and for much-needed public and educational space. The decision was made at a special board meeting yesterday after a six-month search by the Whitney's architect selection committee.
Mr. Piano's plan is far more modest in size and scale than the ambitious $200 million proposal of the Rotterdam architect Rem Koolhaas, which the board abandoned last year, saying it would have been too expensive both to build and to operate. Most important, museum officials said, they hope the design will not have a roofline higher than the Whitney's existing home, the 1966 cantilevered granite fortress designed by Marcel Breuer on Madison Avenue at 75th Street.

.: gisela 11:49 AM


Amy Goodman speaks in New York City:

Wednesday, June 30, 7:00 PM
Barnes & Noble
82nd & Broadway

Wednesday, July 7, 7:30 PM
Exit Art
475 Tenth Avenue at 36th Street

Amy Goodman, host of the national, daily radio/TV program Democracy Now!, is on a national tour to mark the launch of her first book "The Exception to the Rulers: Exposing Oily Politicians, War Profiteers, and the Media That Love Them" (co-written with her brother, journalist David Goodman).


.: Jonas 2:29 PM

Future Systems win a RIBA Award

The department store that Future Systems built for Selfridges in Birmingham won the firm a 2004 RIBA award. Congratulations!
Future Systems

.: gisela 11:36 AM


New Outlook from the East

The renovation of the Guggenheim Museum on NYC's 5th Avenue will feature a sculpture garden on the roof of F.L. Wright's masterpiece.

.: gisela 12:32 PM


Herbert Muschamp to Step Aside

"The American skyline of the future will have to get along without any more chunks of quartz, children’s balloons or moon palaces: Herbert Muschamp, The New York Times’ fanciful architecture critic, has told his bosses that he’s getting tired of his current duties and intends to step down before long.

"He’s still the architecture critic," said culture editor Jonathan Landman. But according to Mr. Landman, Mr. Muschamp said he feels that he’s "running out the string"—an unusually straightforward and familiar metaphor, given Mr. Muschamp’s record."

.: gisela 11:39 AM

China is not alone in seeking to advertise its rising power through architecture. Societies on the rise, like the United States in the 1920's and Japan in the 1980's, often spend lavishly on new designs that critics consider too grand or iconoclastic. (NYtimes)

.: Jonas 10:22 AM


Berlin's indebted city government scrapped building a center documenting Gestapo activities during Hitler's reign. The federal government has now assumed the financing and will announce a new architectural competition. (Deutsche Welle)

.: Jonas 11:27 AM



.: Jonas 2:22 PM


Harsh Criticism for Bush Adminstration
The Pultzer Prize winner Thomas Friedman criticised the Bush administration for its handling of foreign politics and the economy. In an article titled "Losing our edge?" published in the NYTimes this Monday, Friedman warned Americans that a misled economy pushes businesses out of the US and that the tougher Visa regulations, introduced in the name of the war against terror, holds back an international elite that used to come to the US to study and brought back the American way of life to their countries when returning after a few years.

.: gisela 3:23 PM


Steven Holl in China: Beijing Looped Hybrid

.: Jonas 11:43 AM


Newsmap is an application that visually reflects the constantly changing landscape of the Google News

.: Jonas 7:01 PM

Congratulations OpenOffice ! and all finalists for the HighLine RFQ

.: Jonas 11:06 AM


Based on your Sketch the visual search engine finds shapes + models (thank you Andrea)

.: Jonas 1:39 PM


The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation today [04/13] announced the selection of Davis Brody Bond LLP as the Associate Architect for the World Trade Center Memorial, Reflecting Absence. Davis Brody Bond LLP will work with the Design Team of Michael Arad and Peter Walker in the realization of the design for the memorial. (LMDC)

.: Jonas 3:12 PM


Is the Ph.D. in Crisis?

Princeton University School of Architecture recently hosted a two-day symposium entitled Discipline Building: A Short History of the Ph.D. in Architecture.

“During the 1960s, a small number of prominent architectural schools initiated discussions about the need to train architectural historians able to contribute directly to the education of architects in professional schools, and subsequently moved towards having Ph.D. programs approved by their respective universities. The eventual establishment of these programs in the late 1960s and 1970s constituted a significant disciplinary shift. New forms of teaching and scholarship emerged.”

The conference was organized of 4 panels:
Panel 1: Writing Architecture: Architects vs. Historians
How does this new form of scholarship relate to the continuing tradition of practicing architects writing history? How does it relate to the tradition of architectural historians as protagonists in the re-shaping of contemporary practices?
Panelists: Diana Agrest, Peter Eisenman, Mark Jarzombek, Denise Scott Brown, Sarah Whiting
Moderator: Beatriz Colomina; Organizer: Shundana Yusaf

Panel 2: University Inscription: The Founding Programs
How did Ph.D. programs affect the status of architecture schools in the university and how did the new form of research change the training of architects?
Panelists: Stanford Anderson, Kathleen James-Chakraborty, Sylvia Lavin, Christian Otto, Anthony Vidler
Organizer: Michael Su

Panel 3: The Gatekeepers: Archives and Distribution
How have the books, conferences, and other forms of media produced by Ph.D. candidates and graduates affected the way that architecture is consumed outside of the academy?
Panelists: Michael Hays, Sanford Kwinter, Phyllis Lambert, Frederic Migayrou
Moderator: Felicity Scott; Organizer: AnnMarie Brennan

Panel 4: Intellectual Hospitality: The Interdisciplinary Politics of Ph.D. Programs
How did the establishment of Ph.D. programs codify what methods, theories, and concepts from other disciplines could become part of architectural discourse? What are the codes of hospitality of the discipline, and how can we think its ethics?
Panelists: Mark Cousins, Hal Foster, Catherine Ingraham, Robert Gutman
Moderator: Mark Wigley; Organizer: Meredith TenHoor

As I was attending UCLA’s Open House for incoming graduate students I was, unfortunately, unable to go. Hearing reports back from the conference, however, I was interested to learn of the general academic unrest surrounding the Ph.D. in Architecture program. Many recently successful, or at least immensely popular, research-based Master’s studio programs have increasingly used techniques of advanced research to explore design issues: Rem Koolhaas’ Harvard GSD Guide to Shopping and Project on the City, Thom Mayne’s UCLA / CalArts / Art Center collaborative “LA Now” projects. The result of these studio programs’ appropriation of doctorate-level research seems to be producing a level of anxiety that is throwing the Ph.D. in Architecture program into crisis.

Please forgive my second-hand report of the conference, and perhaps my general disdain of the preciousness of the academy, but I get the feeling that this growing concern for the crisis that the Ph.D. in Architecture is supposedly facing reflects just a little too much navel-gazing.

As Masters-level studio programs extend their critique to include tools of advanced research, should the Ph.D. faculty and students, instead of developing concerns over the autonomy and loss of status of the Ph.D. program, start looking towards Masters studio programs to add other layers of richness to their own critical research?

With the same interest I look forward to the UCLA Department of Architecture and Urban Design’s conference at the end of the month, entitled Architecture’s Media, Messages and Modes. Personally, after spending 7 years of using drawing, design, virtual and real modeling as critical tools in my own architectural academic education, it seems a little absurd to now throw those methodologies away as I advance towards a Ph.D. program that traditionally restricts research to the written word.

(Kirk Wooller)

.: kirk 1:27 PM


"Apocalypse Now: How a hologram, a blimp, and a massively multiplayer game could bring peace to the Holy Land." (Wired)

.: Jonas 11:48 AM



.: Jonas 9:15 PM


WNYC AM 820 provides live coverage of the 9-11 Commission Hearings on U.S. counterterrorism policy leading up to the September 11 terror attacks

Wednesday, March 24 2004, 2PM -- Mr. Richard A. Clarke
Former National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, National Security Council

.: Jonas 11:19 AM


Zaha Hadid Becomes the First Woman to Receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize

.: Jonas 12:28 PM

.: Jonas 10:39 AM

One artist has influenced contemporary building design more than any other. Jonathan Glancey on the debt Le Corbusier, Frank Gehry et al owe to Picasso

.: sawad 9:27 AM


.: raul 6:08 PM

united for peace and justice: Last year, two days after the Bush Administration launched its illegal attack on Iraq, more than 300,000 people marched down Broadway in Midtown Manhattan in protest. On March 20, 2004—the one-year anniversary of the Iraq War—we will march in New York City again, as part of a global day of action against war and occupation.

one year ago: 'shock and awe' has started...

.: Jonas 5:42 PM


"Dozens of Design Teams Express Interest in Developing
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Education Center - Many of Country’s Best Architects, Designers Submit Qualifications" (

.: Jonas 11:21 AM


early prototype. Thank You Kennedy Fabrications !

.: Jonas 5:54 PM


preliminary bbc webpage :

.: Jonas 12:13 PM


Memorial to 9/11 Victims Is Selected Congratulations Michael Arad !

We have enjoyed enormous support by so many. THANK YOU VERY MUCH !!!

thanks to the officials:

Lower Manhattan Development Corporation
The Memorial Competition Jury
Whirlwind & Company

and special thanks to:

Andrea Shiman
Michael Kennedy + Team at Kennedy Fabrications
Signe Nielsen
Craig Schwitter and Greg Otto at Buro Happold
Paul Marantz of Fisher Marantz Stone
Kim at Screampoint and Jose Sanchez

.: Jonas 5:43 PM


congratulations bbc!!!!

.: kaja 4:43 PM


Also posted on Archinect, but it would be great if some of you came to this, a lot of pretty decent work, and the exhibit looks quite hot...
First Step Housing Competition Exhibition November 12, 2003 : 6-9 pm
The Prince George, 14 E28th St @ Madison Ave
Exhibition Design by: Irene Cheng, Jolie Kerns, Brett Snyder : : Invitiation
First Step Housing presented by Common Ground Community and the Architectural League. design jury included Michael Bell, Julie Eizenberg, Andrew Freear, Steven Holl and Toshiko Mori.

.: jason 11:16 AM


re: wtc crammed
absurd discussion about FAR
the city is proposing to rezone the area called 'hudson yards', west of penn station from 34th to 42nd street. in some areas the FAR will be 24. in some areas, "the sky will be the limit". (no joke, that's the internal name for this block at this point). many buildings in midtown have a higher FAR than what's allowed due to the concept of transferrable air rights.
the wtc site is still subject to something one would like to call a masterplan and the final density can only be seen as concluded from that: a density that is distributed over the entire site.
yes, hopefully sidewalks will be full of people. this city is about density. nothing else but crowded buildings, sidewalks, subway stations do we expect to see here. we should be great ful that despite all security concerns the concept of density is not dead.

.: kaja 10:01 PM

WTC site: Intro to Zoning Law by newsday

.: Jonas 12:44 PM


Times article on the AIA gallery below

.: Jonas 3:18 PM


Find out what will be going on in the city in the next 20 years:

Kaja informed us about the inaugural exhibition at the new AIA gallery @ 536 LaGuardia Place starting October 07

.: Jonas 12:21 PM

NYTimes: The Roster of Ground Zero Architects Grows

Three celebrated architects — including Norman Foster, who offered his own vision last year of twin towers rising from ground zero — were added yesterday to the growing roster of international designers working on the World Trade Center site.

Lord Foster, of London, Jean Nouvel of Paris and Fumihiko Maki of Tokyo joined Daniel Libeskind, the master planner, and David M. Childs and T. J. Gottesdiener of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, which will design the first, and tallest, building, Freedom Tower, with Mr. Libeskind. Larry A. Silverstein, who chose all but Mr. Libeskind, said, "They're the best in the world."


.: Jonas 12:07 PM

-----Original Message-----
From: Archeire - Irish Architecture Online
Sent: Wednesday, October 01, 2003 5:43 AM
To: xxx
Subject: Special: Did you enter the U2 Landmark Tower competition for Dublin, Ireland?

Did you enter the U2 Landmark Tower competition for Dublin, Ireland? Then wants to hear from you.

Read the following news clippings:

Revealed: winner that lost U2 tower prize
The Sunday Times
A mystery architectural firm was the original winner of the prestigious contest to design a studio for U2 in Dublin’s docklands. The design, a rectangular building from which emerges an elegant tower, was the first choice of the seven-man jury that included Adam Clayton, the rock band’s bass player. The contest was jointly sponsored by the Dublin Docklands Development Authority and U2. However the jurors were forced to abandon their initial choice because they could not identify its author. (


.: Jonas 11:54 AM


"Absence Into Presence"

Parsons Exhibition currently showing at Aronson Galleries, 66 Fifth Avenue:

"Remembrance In Art, Architecture & Design 'Absence Into Presence' examines the multitude of ways in which men and women throughout history have struggled to remember people, events and even ideas through the media of art, architecture, and design."

.: Jonas 9:39 AM


dalai lama is speaking in the east meadow, central park this sunday at noon. [thanks kirk]

.: Jonas 9:41 AM

20030912 Wireless Node Database: Topographic view NYC:


The Mob Project was all about pointless, fleeting fun

.: Jonas 3:54 PM


Dana Spiegel: NYCwireless and The Downtown Alliance to Co-Sponsor The Wireless Park Lab Days

New York City, NY - September 19-20, 2003 - NYCwireless and the Downtown Alliance will co-sponsor The Wireless Park Lab Days, a two-day event that celebrates the availability of open wireless (Wi-Fi) networks in Lower Manhattan and explores their implications for art, community, and shared space. Produced by Dana Spiegel of NYCwireless, and artists Brooke Singer and Yury Gitman, Wireless Park Lab Days will be held in City Hall Park, the most popular “hotspot” in the Lower Manhattan Wireless Network, each day from 12 noon to 4pm. [..]

more information on the event and featured artists visit nycwireless

.: Jonas 11:52 AM


Rebuilding, Two Years Later

.: Jonas 3:13 PM


About just sent me this "a must-read for anyone interested in virtual reality military training"

Sawad, i would be interested to hear about the symposium you recently hosted on a related subject.

.: Jonas 10:37 AM


More cooks involved.:
It looks as if Silverstein wants to achieve mediocrity in the common denominator by hiring more and more architects to get involved in the rebuilding of the downtown Manhattan complex:

.: gisela 1:43 PM


just got this spam:

.: Jonas 7:23 PM

.: Jonas 7:07 PM

.: sawad 6:44 PM

Tschumi's Greek Museum on hold.

"Greece's highest court has ruled against the government's plans on a new museum at the Acropolis in Athens, according to court officials. [...] The 90m-euro museum - a glass building designed by New York-based architect Bernard Tschumi - is behind schedule.
However, the Greek Government had pledged to have a purpose-built hall for the marbles ready for the Olympics."

It is getting tight for meeting this deadline

.: gisela 10:14 AM

WTC memorial competition:

"The 13 members of the memorial jury, chosen by LMDC officials to select the winning memorial, have begun indicating their preferences, according to a source familiar with the process. Each jury member places a dot on the memorial design boards he or she likes, and the designs with no dots are excluded from further consideration, the source said." (newsday)

.: Jonas 9:58 AM


Cedric Price died on Sunday aged 68

"Architects," Price once said, "are the biggest whores in town. They talk in platitudes about improving the quality of life, and then get out drawings of the prison they're working on." (telegraph)

.: Jonas 4:52 PM

shout out louder, kaja !

smartest words i have heard since the lights went out on thursday. keep it up, please + don't mind any strange looks; i look in awe.

.: Jonas 4:47 PM


24hours without power.

about two weeks ago i sat in a meeting with kate asher, a woman responsable for infrastructure development in the city. her team is currently looking at potential sites for a new power plant, because they think the city has not sufficient energy supply and buying energy from elsewhere would rise the costs for energy and for some -to me very mysterious reason- the idea of just simply having to pay more for more electricity seem to be not an option. amanda burden (the chair of the city planning commission) suggested that this project should include an educational program that educates people how to save energy. (wow, and this from a standard oil heirin). she got a few strange looks for such forward looking proposal. i suggested that increasing prices would actually also be a way of educating people to save energy. more strange looks. in the public discussion about what went wrong and should we blame the seems to be clear that the country's power network is not first world standard. this doesn't surprise us arrogant europeans. but the solution seems to be to upgrade the system. more biggger better! where is the debate about education how to save energy, how to build more energy efficient buildings, cars, refrigerators. with temperatures in the 90's everyone seems to jumping right back onto the horse they just fell off and switch on the ac. shout out louder, amanda.

.: kaja 10:33 AM


The newest gossip about Columbia's new dean: no news.
3 weeks 'till the school year starts and counting.....

.: gisela 4:28 PM


Fred's Journal : Flash Mobs on MSNBC Tonight

"It looks like MSNBC are going to be doing a piece on Flash Mobs tonight (Monday 11th August). The show in question is Countdown with Keith Olbermann and it airs at 8pm in New York City. [..]"

.: Jonas 7:11 PM


At Ground Zero, Finding Harmony In Design? (Newsday)

The Pentagon Memorial's Lessons for New York (gothamgazette)

.: Jonas 1:09 PM


Pentagon Memorial Concept Models Displayed in New York

The concept models prepared by the six finalists for the Pentagon Memorial Design Competition will be on display from June 30, 2003 until August 12, 2003 at the New York Municipal Art Society. The exhibition hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. The address of the Municipal Arts Society is 457 Madison Avenue, New York, New York 10022


.: gisela 2:47 PM

MADE : Tackling Architecture With a Table Saw

.: Jonas 10:24 AM


The Wall

"On Friday, after meeting with Mr. Abbas, Mr. Bush raised the subject in remarks to reporters, and when questioned about it, said, "I THINK THE WALL IS A PROBLEM," adding that he had already discussed it with Mr. Sharon." (NYtimes)

.: Jonas 4:52 PM

Anyone wants to submit a paper to DOCOMOMO's conference at Columbia University from September 29th - October 2nd 2003?
Deadline is September 15th 2003.
call for papers

.: gisela 1:03 PM

Officer Chintua Alozie, fighting crime yesterday as part of the NYPD's 60-day trial with the $5,000 Segway, says, "It's easy to use." (nypost)

.: Jonas 10:50 AM


Flash Mob Report

.: Jonas 11:36 AM


"The notion of combining architectural celebrity and high-design fireworks to attract visitors is commonplace now in the planning of everything from museums to Prada boutiques. But in stadium design the notion is new." (Nytimes)

.: Jonas 11:03 AM


More for China : Learning from III :

"The owner and operator of The Venetian Casino Resort in Las Vegas, is planning to spend up to $10-billion to recreate "The Strip" in Cotai, Macao, a Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China. [..] As planned, the development includes 20 mega resorts and 60,000 hotel rooms, exhibition and conference facilities, theaters, showrooms, shopping malls, spas, dozens of restaurants and entertainment facilities, including, of course, casinos." (

Considering this and recent posts on the republic, it turns out to be "Learning from China". Rem knew it all along:

"Koolhaas put up a photograph of Shenzhen, China, a boomtown of modernist towers, none more than eight years old. He explained that this urban region will grow from 12 million residents to 36 million in the next two decades. He informed the students, who spend years in school and then more years in grueling apprenticeships, that, in China, 40-story buildings are designed on Macintoshes in less than a week. In the context of this hyperdevelopment, the traditional architectural values - composition, aesthetics, balance - are irrelevant. The speed of international demands is completely out of pace with the ability of traditional designers to respond; construction has left architecture on the sidelines. Each year in the Pearl River Delta, he told them, 500 square kilometers of urban substance are created. This is the equivalent of Paris, doubled. Western architects, by comparison, build nothing. They are virtually extinct. " (wired)

.: Jonas 4:59 PM


The Zurich office Burkhardt +Partners will build the new Basketball Stadium for the Olympic Summer Games 2008 in Bejing. It seems the Chinese go 100% for the high gloss renderings for their games. This one will cost them 250 Mio Dollars.

.: gisela 12:34 PM


LMDC: The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation today announced that 5,200 submissions have been received from 62 nations and 49 states for the World Trade Center Site Memorial Competition, making it the largest design competition in history.

.: Jonas 8:23 PM

Evan Douglis is the new Architecture Chair at Pratt. Congratulations Evan !

.: Jonas 7:24 PM


Dean's 'grassroots' campaign seems to be going well: his blog

.: Jonas 8:06 PM

Architect and Developer Clash Over Plans for Trade Center Site (NYtimes)

.: Jonas 10:25 AM


Preston Scott Cohen won the The Tel Aviv Art Museum! Thank you, Zvi. It looks phantastic.


.: gisela 12:48 PM


NURBS-based projects win international competitions in series. What a relief from the recent POLYGON-based excess downtown. It's geometry after all.

Henn Architekten win Beijing International Automotive Expo

.: Jonas 1:38 PM


Blogs in the Workplace: "Entrants are forbidden to discuss their proposals.." but at some point we'll have the pleasure to view all those blogs that capture the diverse efforts for the wtc memorial competition. Here is one.

.: Jonas 12:00 PM


Kaja wrote: (Re)Designing the High Line

ideas from an international competition to transform this once visionary elevated rail freight line structure into a public space that both advances historic preservation & non-motorized transportation options, can be seen in Grand Central Terminal's Vanderbilt Hall. Q? e-mail or visit

opens Wednesday, July 10th 6-8pm

.: Jonas 12:07 PM


"Each mark on the above map represents within a 75 foot grid the location of remains recovered at the WTC site from October through May, 2002." (Coalition of 9/11 Families)

"The Memorial Warriors: For many spouses and parents of 9/11 victims, mourning meant getting involved. Now their moral authority and media sophistication -- not to speak of their anger -- have made them crucial players in the future of downtown. [..]
At almost every press conference, in almost every interview, Regenhard will say that what killed her son, a probationary firefighter, was not our policy in the Mideast, a lapse in U.S. intelligence, a failure in airline security, the force of two jetliners, the depravity of Osama bin Laden, or the zealotry of nineteen homicidal maniacs. She will say the towers themselves murdered her son. The towers and the forces that built them." (newyorkmetro)

.: Jonas 4:15 PM


They will throw the party

"Assuming, as a common rule of thumb, that maybe half of the people who registered for the World Trade Center competition will actually send in a design, the jury will be looking at 6,500 entries. If a juror gives each of them just a one-minute look, that will be 108 hours, or about three solid weeks of work just for that first pass. [..] The sponsors of the World Trade Center contest say there will be an exhibition at some point of all or some of the entries. That should be fascinating to visit." (BostonGlobe)

.: Jonas 4:34 PM

make sure who you invite is connected:

.: jason 4:20 PM

Too bad, it would have been such fun to throw that memorial competition party we talked about. Bar code scanner at the door; admission with full scale copy of competiton entry (30 X 40 inches).

"Entrants are forbidden to discuss their proposals, and the jury will review the submissions anonymously in an attempt, rebuilding officials say, to avoid the kind of political pressure that so infused the selection of Daniel Libeskind's overall design for the site." (NYtimes)

.: Jonas 12:43 PM

Our young friends just informed us that Lego's Spybotics are a 'must have'. Get one for your godchild and one for yourself. Hey Sawad, can your robots take on the Spybots ? :) Also, you recently hosted this symposium on games and war; anything online yet ?

.: Jonas 12:19 PM


me too !

her page

.: Jonas 9:50 PM

I love Patricia Piccinini....

Venice Biennale

.: gisela 9:34 PM


Libeskind in the ongoing power struggle


.: gisela 1:52 PM

Beatriz Colomina and Rem Koolhaas interview Martha Stewart in

.: gisela 1:11 PM


MAK (Museum for Applied Arts) in Vienna has launched a competition to search for alternatives to an "unimaginative proposal" neighboring LA's SCHINDLER HOUSE. Among the 20 architectural offices participating were Zaha Hadid, Peter Eisenman, Coop Himmelblau, Eric Owen Moss, Lebbeus Woods and Decq/Cornette.
A jury including Frank O. Gehry and Carl Pruscha now selected three winning schemes.
The projects can be viewed in the Schindler House in LA from August 6 - 31st in an exhibition titled "A Tribute to Preserving Schindler's Paradise“, or at

.: gisela 1:07 PM


NYtimes: For the last decade Julie has been part of a little-known segment of homeless youth often called urban nomads. Year in and year out they travel to a few select North American cities, living on little or no money on the fringes of a society they have grown disillusioned with or, like Julie, actively despise. Like birds, they migrate according to the weather, spending the winter in the warmer parts of the South and West - San Francisco, New Orleans and Austin are favorites - before returning north as the weather grows milder. Manhattan is a prime destination, even though the life, never easy, is likely to get harder, given impending budget cuts that would affect the city's social service.

.: Jonas 4:40 PM



.: gisela 1:08 PM


David Claerbout @ Dia

.: sawad 4:48 PM

In the reloaded matrix it was interesting to see how The Architect was portrayed. A movie that is innovative in so many ways went with the most traditional role of an architect one could present. The master, the sole creator, the father, the perfectionist .. inevitably is an old man; complete with a pen in his hand.

"The Architect : The first matrix I designed was quite naturally perfect, it was a work of art, flawless, sublime. A triumph equaled only by its monumental failure. The inevitability of its doom is as apparent to me now as a consequence of the imperfection inherent in every human being, thus I redesigned it based on your history to more accurately reflect the varying grotesqueries of your nature.." (transrcipt)

.: Jonas 1:54 PM

[...] Contact is crisis. As the anthropologists say, "Every touch is a modified blow."

When we focus upon Greek attitudes to and treatment of the female, we see anxiety about boundaries from a particular perspective -- that of hygiene, physical and moral.

Female transgression begins in social fact. Woman is a mobile unit, as a man is not, in a society that practices patrilocal marriage (which Greek society is generally agreed to have done). From birth the male citizen has fixed place in house and city, but the female moves. At marriage a wife is taken not just (and perhaps not at all) into her husband's heart but into his house. This transgression is necessary (to legitimate continuation of the house), dangerous (insofar as the house incorporates a serious and permanent crisis of contact) and creates the context for illicit varieties of female movement, for example, that of the adulteress out of her husband's house, with attendant damage to male property and reputation. The social fact of female mobility presented Greek society with a set of tactical and moral problems that it never quite solved but which it sought to clarify, during the archaic and classical periods, by recourse to pollution beliefs and the code of conduct governing *miasmata* (defilements) in general.

Anne Carson, "Dirt and Desire: Essay On the Phenomenology of Female Pollution in Antiquity," Men In the Off Hours, pp. 130-1.

.: sawad 7:59 AM


Do you remember Jeff Kipnis’ comment during Bernhard’s final event at Columbia ? Jeff described the moment when he discovered that Alejandro (Zaera-Polo) was working on the same stuff as he was - something about evolution/species in the design process. These were his immediate thoughts ~ :

a) Somebody else is working on it.
b) I am not the first working on it.
c) Ben will publish it first !

.: Jonas 10:37 AM


"Citing the tough economic climate, the Chrysler Corporation today announced that they are ending their Chrylser Design Awards program, which has honored the best of American design over the past 10 years."
There was enough money to host the TONY's in New York, though....

.: gisela 2:30 PM


Zaha Hadid's Urban Mothership

.: Jonas 2:57 PM


As i just read on archlog, the TWA Terminal has finally been added to the list of most-endagered places. It is such a beauty.

"The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, owner of the building, seeks to redevelop the site as part of its airport expansion program. Current plans call for substantial demolition of the terminal's innovative flight satellite concourses and the construction of a hulking U-shaped building around its airside. The Port Authority's plans will permanently remove the historic terminal's gates, and render it useless as an aviation structure. Without a stop on the new light rail system, the terminal may gradually become a White Elephant."

.: Jonas 2:10 PM


Turns out everybody has a Salam story.

His latest post mentioned an afternoon he spent at the Hamra Hotel pool, reading a borrowed copy of The New Yorker . I laughed out loud. He then mentioned an escapade in which he helped deliver 24 pizzas to American soldiers. I howled. Salam Pax, the most famous and most mysterious blogger in the world, was my interpreter. The New Yorker he had been reading—mine. Poolside at the Hamra—with me. The 24 pizzas—we had taken them to a unit of 82 nd Airborne soldiers I was writing about.


I don't know what Salam thought about The New Yorker story, but he likes The New Yorker . I happened to have two issues of the magazine, and he was mesmerized by them, especially a story about the selection of Daniel Libeskind's design for the WTC site. Salam is trained as an architect and is a fan of Libeskind's work. He was amazed at the length of the stories. "They go on and on," he remarked. "They start in one place, go somewhere else, then to another place. They are, like, endless."

.: sawad 10:33 PM


.: sawad 12:41 PM



.: gisela 5:50 PM


"But there's a problem with weblogs. They're myopic. They're all about the Web and what's on the Web, but they really aren't about anything else that's happening in the big wide world. The reason for this is simple. The people who publish weblogs are, by and large, deskbound. They sit there all day and surf the Web, looking for interesting things to write about on their weblogs. The rest of the world doesn't show up on their radar."
read this in THE FEATURE (jonas, how do I create a link?) and I think they have a point here. Although everything we write here is about the outside world, our source remains the web. And I don't see 'mobblog' (posting messages from your mobile phone while roaming through the city) or 'audblog' (even better: posting audio messages from your mobile phone while what?) as the thing to do in the near future. at first I thought it's cool. this woman recorded sound from a protest and posted it. Wait until we all have a mobile phone with a camera. will we bombard each other with our day to day experiences out there on the street. In New York we can be pretty sure to meet a freak or experience something weird almost every day. So what's the big deal. Perhaps, deskbound as we are, this way of filtering information worth sharing that has already been virtualized by some other source is not so bad after all.

.: kaja 3:12 PM

"Salam's story: The most gripping account of the Iraq conflict came from a web diarist known as the Baghdad Blogger. But no one knew his identity - or even if he existed. Rory McCarthy finally tracked him down, and found a quietly spoken, 29-year-old architect. [..] In June last year, Salam (this much of his name, at least, is real) was a recently graduated architect, aged 29, living at home with his parents and brother in Baghdad. His best friend was Raed, 25, a Palestinian-Jordanian he had met while studying architecture, who was taking a masters degree in Jordan. Raed was at best an infrequent email correspondent and so Salam started writing up his news from home on a weblog, a site on the internet where he could post his scribblings as often as he liked for his friend to read. He called it: Where is Raed?" (guardian)

.: Jonas 11:42 AM


NYtimes: An intense lobbying effort is under way, both in public and behind the scenes, to influence the jury that will choose the design for a memorial at the World Trade Center site. [..] All these efforts are taking place just as the memorial competition begins, at least a month before the 13-member jury starts to review any designs. But the lobbying also comes barely a month after officials overseeing the memorial pledged to try to keep the process clear of the political pressures that shaped the selection of the Libeskind site design.

13,683 people had registered to submit designs in the memorial competition

.: Jonas 4:02 PM


Zaha at Artists Space New York, 06/4-07/26/03

Opening Reception Wednesday June 4, 6-8:30pm
38 Greene Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10013

.: Jonas 2:21 PM


Zaha's first commission in the U.S., the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati will open on Saturday, May 31.

.: Jonas 2:32 PM


"I'd love to do a station with graffiti on it," Mr. Appel said. "It's so L. A., right?"

.: gisela 8:04 PM

Greek museum plans 'thwarted'

"Correspondents say such a ruling is a serious setback for the Greek Government's efforts for the return of the Parthenon frieze known in Britain as the Elgin Marbles, which once adorned the Parthenon temple on the Acropolis, from the British Museum in London. Greece had hoped a new modern Acropolis museum would put pressure on Britain to return the sculptures for display during the 2004 Olympics in Athens. The 2,500-year-old sculptures depicting religious and mythological scenes have been held at the British Museum since 1816." (bbc)

earlier post on Tschumi's project + British looting: Acropolis

.: Jonas 11:03 AM



OpenOffice featured in this week's flavorpill

 "Five years in the making and at a cost of $50 million, DIA:Beacon is a dream come true. The scope of the project is an enormous 240,000 square feet of exhibition space in a former Nabisco factory. Artist Robert Irwin and architects Open Office refurbished the interior while surrounding the exterior with a lush landscape. On display is a portion of the DIA's outstanding collection, including an unforgettable sequence of 78 paintings by Andy Warhol titled "Shadows," a privet of chrome and steel by John Chamberlain, paintings dating from 1958 to 2003 by Robert Ryman, a spider in the attic by Louise Bourgeois, three of sculptor Richard Serra's massive "Torqued Ellipses," and a Bruce Nauman video installation, as well as works by Flavin, Judd, Heizer, Martin, and Beuys ó a perfect excuse for a trip up the river. (PL)"

.: gisela 5:54 PM

project total surveillance : LifeLog

"The Pentagon is about to embark on a stunningly ambitious research project designed to gather every conceivable bit of information about a person's life, index all the information and make it searchable. What national security experts and civil libertarians want to know is, why would the Defense Department want to do such a thing? The embryonic LifeLog program would dump everything an individual does into a giant database: every e-mail sent or received, every picture taken, every Web page surfed, every phone call made, every TV show watched, every magazine read. All of this -- and more -- would combine with information gleaned from a variety of sources: a GPS transmitter to keep tabs on where that person went, audio-visual sensors to capture what he or she sees or says, and biomedical monitors to keep track of the individual's health." (wired)

.: Jonas 2:19 PM


more large scale construction : The Wall

"The Israeli Government began construction of the wall in June 2002 in an attempt to halt the succession of suicide attacks by Palestinian militants inside Israel. [..] Apparently, Jewish settlers have complained that the ugly construction has been placed "too close" to their elegant white-washed villas - properties built illegally on occupied land in the eyes of international law. - Massive project - Work is proceeding along a 100km stretch of the security fence - known to Palestinians simply as "the Wall" - around the north-western portion of the West Bank. It is a massive project, with an estimated 250 heavy plant vehicles shifting huge quantities of earth along the line which at times snakes deep into the West Bank to buffer settlements like Shareh Tikva. About four km of barrier have been erected so far, at a cost of $2m per km, including an eight-metre high concrete section - complete with massive watchtowers - around Qalqilya." (bbc) (image: dpa)

.: Jonas 6:06 PM

NYTimes: May 12, 2003, Monday
"In Germany, Customers Scan As They Shop"


- Metro Group has opened experimental store, Rheinberg, Ger, in partnership with SAP and Intel; store's carts have small touch-screen computers with bar code scanners that enable shoppers to scan purchases for payment as they move through store; much of gadgetry relies on signals from radio frequency identification tags attached to cases and pallets that deliver merchandise (M)
At an experimental store that opened last month in Rheinberg, Germany, customers do not just squeeze loaves of bread: they scan them."

"The Extra Future Store is a pilot project of the Metro Group, a big German-based retailer, and two unusual partners for a store: SAP and Intel."

I thought, you'd scan it for its quality....

.: gisela 5:57 PM

Artforum: Jean Nouvel's design for the Guggenheim's new branch in Rio de Janeiro has come under criticism in Brazil. [..] Left-wing municipal councilors have denounced the plan as "pharaonic." According to the paper, the counselors headed a protest against the new museum at the Copacabana Beach last Sunday. > image

dpa today: Brazilian judge annuls building contract for Rio Guggenheim.

.: Jonas 12:42 PM

... to construct on a large scale is to move in the direction of fragility, to accept it, to run a risk. To move in the direction of the fragment is the same as to protect oneself. The philosophy of fragments is a by-product of war but equally a technique of conservation. Museums are stuffed with bits and pieces, with disparate members. The philosophy of fragments brings together the philosophy of the museum and the museum of philosophy; thus it is doubly conservative.

Constructing on a large scale means moving toward vulnerability; thus, synthesis requires courage -- the audacity of the frail. Contrary to popular belief, the largest things are fragile, especially organic things.

-- Michel Serres

.: sawad 12:34 PM


I just returned from Las Vegas, which has changed dramatically since they discovered it for arch.theory. It might just be the right moment for 'Learning From II'.

.: Jonas 3:51 PM


Dia:Beacon opens on sunday. Congratulations Open Office !

.: Jonas 1:37 PM


EU Space: "The overblown rhetoric directed at the "American Empire" misses the fact that the US reach is shallow and narrow. The lonely superpower can bribe, bully, or impose its will almost anywhere in the world - but when its back is turned, its potency wanes. The strength of the EU, conversely, is broad and deep: Once sucked into its sphere of influence, countries are changed forever. Europe is a state of mind that cannot be contained by traditional boundaries." (Wired, the Rem edition)

.: Jonas 10:14 AM



Some 4,000 police officers who served under Saddam Hussein's fallen regime have reclaimed their jobs in a force once riddled with corruption and stained by brutality. Many, if not most, were members of the ruling Baath Party.

Without any checks into their past records, they are being armed and charged with one of the most crucial tasks facing U.S.-administered Iraq: ensuring security for this capital city.


Privately, some U.S. military officers express fears that many of the thugs are ending up in uniform and that the expediency of quickly reforging an Iraqi police force to stop the looting, murder and arson that daily plague Baghdad will one day come back to haunt the Americans.

Failure to provide adequate security is proving a volatile spark for anti-Americanism in postwar Iraq.


Associated Press

.: sawad 11:19 AM


Sunday Times: "The police said today that a gunman who killed one person and wounded two in a seven-hour attack here on Friday led SWAT teams on a maddening "cat-and-mouse" chase through one of the nation's most idiosyncratic architectural complexes, the building that houses Case Western Reserve University's business school. [..] The building, a brick complex topped with towering bursts of undulating stainless steel, was designed by Frank Gehry. Its avant-garde design led to a prolonged hide-and-seek between SWAT team members and the gunman in a building that defies conventional shape. Officers chased the man, who had two semiautomatic weapons and wore a bulletproof vest, they said, over several floors. "There are no right angles in the building," said Chief Edward Lohn of the Cleveland police. [..] The police responded quickly. They had coincidentally been conducting a training session on handling shooters in buildings, though none like this one. The warehouse where they trained was "a very rectangular building," Chief Lohn said. Commander Jeffrey Martin, who oversees the city's SWAT team, said, "When we initially got the floor plans, we immediately knew it was going to be a challenge.""

A beautiful brunch today - thank you Kaja - and an amused discussion about this article (besides all tragedy)

.: Jonas 5:33 PM


I missed the "Life + Debt" screening, but it's coming back in July to the Whitney!!
We went to "City of God" yesterday, I guess later than anyone else in this round, but: that is an amazing movie! You never even think of it as a fiction movie, the protagonists act so well, the story evolves with ease and none of the turns it takes are obvious. But it doesn't have the tristesse of a documentary. The camera is phantastic - what elegance, sharpness, whit and artistry is in this work!
It leaves you puzzled and thoughtful seeing all this senseless violence and struggle simultaneously with the sensuality and beauty of South America. A real stirring movie experience.

.: gisela 11:32 AM


.. and he says:
"Let me tell you one thing first. War sucks big time." (salam)

.: Jonas 2:30 PM

"Salam Pax," the so-called Baghdad Blogger, is back.

.: sawad 1:35 PM

2003-05-06 |A draft law to change the Spanish military criminal code proposes that participation in public acts opposing military intervention in a situation of armed conflict could lead to prison sentences of between one and six years for the people involved, if convicted of "defeatism". Civilians could find themselves before military courts. The proposals would mean a severe limitation of freedom of expression and political activity. Article 49 of the draft, produced by the Defence ministry and quoted in Spanish daily El País on 22 April 2002, reads as follows:

According to the Spanish newspaper, the sanction would not apply only to actions against direct Spanish military involvement, but also to actions carried out "against an Allied power". If approved, these proposed norms could result in the people who turned out repeatedly in Spain to protest against the government´s backing of the war in Iraq being sanctioned for "defeatism" by a military court.

UN Observer

.: sawad 1:32 PM


'Life + Debt' will be screened tonight, with a discussion from 6-10pm at the Brooklyn Museum. If you'd like to see the immediate results of De Landa's concerns, then stop by the screening and see the impact that the IMF, the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank have had upon Jamaica. Very scary prospects when we consider the huge loan Brazil recently aquired!

.: jason 1:25 PM


De Landa interview: "The way in which corporations are encroaching around the most sensitive points of the food chain is dangerous: they direct the evolution of new crops from the processing end, disregarding nutritional properties if they conflict with industrial ones; the same corporations which own oil (and hence fertilizers and herbicides) also own seed companies and other key inputs to farming; and those same corporations are now transferring genes from one species to another in perverse ways (genes for herbicide resistance transferred from weeds to crops). When one couples these kind of facts with the old ones about the link between colonialism and the conversion of many world areas into food supply zones for Europe (from the creation of sugar plantations to the taking over of the photosynthetically most active areas of the world by Europe's ex-colonies) we can realize that this state of affairs does have consequences for equity and justice."

.: Jonas 3:34 PM


German Foreign Minster Joschka Fischer has long been a staunch European federalist. Now, as the European Union debates the merits of a common foreign policy, he could become the EU's first foreign minister.

.: sawad 5:53 PM

ENVIRONMENT - Today on Public Radio:

A company, Hugo News Schnitzer East, located in New Jersey lowered their offer to take recyclable glass, plastic and metal from $71,--/ton to $51,--/ton. Their previous offer, although being the lowest bid already, had been sitting in the environmental department since January 2003 without any feedback. While the city promised to bring the recycling, which was suspended due to costs last summer, back in 2003, it has experienced that the increase in conventional waste load since then has lowered the cost per ton for selling the garbage so much, that there is obviuosly no rush to stick to the promise given.

When will politicians finally accept to calculate garbage dumping with all the follow-up costs included, instead of boasting with the numbers when shipping it off to some less priviledged locations?

GEHRY DESIGNED Arts Center Makes Bard College a Destination
With its undulating stainless steel canopies, the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College is a dramatic addition to this upstate liberal arts college.

Here, we finally have a discussion which is relevant: how literal should architecture be?

"Few people who have heard Daniel Libeskind describe his ideas to rebuild the World Trade Center would dispute that his plan is largely about symbolism ? his description of his arrival as an immigrant in New York Harbor, the design of a spiral of buildings to frame ground zero and mimic the upward spiral of the Statue of Liberty, and most apparently, the 1,776-foot tower.

"I think I would have taken him literally because the idea does work so well as architecture," said Bernard Tschumi, dean of the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia. In both architecture and religious discourse, he said, "there is a long tradition of the interplay of light and shadows."

But as the discussion progressed about the meaning of 9/11, about a memorial to victims of the World Trade Center attack and even about the definition of a hero, "everything just went totally irrational," Mr. Tschumi said. "This is another episode of that.""

More comments by Terence Riley, Richard Meier and Daniel Liebskind.

I wish, Libeskind wouldn't have used all this symbolism in his presentation of his design. But we have to face it: exactly what we find too obvious and well over the edge to embarassment, won him the compeititon. That his "wedge of light", which is maybe the most interesting part of his design, won't "work" as suggested, is quite a disappointment. Given the history of sacred spaces and the sculpting of light we find in it, what would be more appropriate, than an amazing modern version of techniques explored in celtic tombs as early as 6000 years ago?

.: gisela 11:36 AM


On how architects come around to collaboration:

.: gisela 12:45 PM

The agency overseeing reconstruction of the World Trade Center site launched an open international design competition Monday for a memorial to honor those who died at the hands of terrorists. (cnn)

.: Jonas 11:49 AM


NYtimes today: While Daniel Libeskind, who won the World Trade Center commission, is busy opening an office in New York, Mr. Koolhaas, who says he opted not to participate in the final competition for the World Trade Center site, is reducing his New York office to a dozen employees. In a recent speech to architecture students at Columbia University, he said he "admitted defeat in New York." [..] The World Trade Center competition, he said in the speech at Columbia in February, was all about looking backward ..

.: Jonas 11:46 AM


The newly recognized pathogen - which will be known as the "SARS virus" - is a member of the coronavirus family (cnn)

Today, one of the most important means of spreading diseases around the globe is air travel. (David Heymann, WHO)

Fifteen varieties of influenza subtype A travel thousands of miles in the guts of migratory birds without disabling these aerial carriers. The microbes take advantage of such commuters between continents and hemispheres as mallard ducks, Peking ducks, pintail ducks, and dabbling ducks, geese, swans and gulls. (Howard Bloom)

Saudi Arabia, home to Islam's holiest sites, stops issuing pilgrimage visas to many East Asian countries because of Sars fears. (bbc)

The Weave of Conquest and the Genes of Trade | Wars and Epidemics

.: Jonas 10:18 AM


image of the week....

.: gisela 2:13 PM

The virus thought to cause Sars is constantly changing form, say scientists - which will make developing a vaccine difficult. [..] Natural selection means that "mistakes" that end up benefiting the virus will lead to the creation of strains that are more virulent, or more easily transmitted from human to human. (bbc)

From the Black Death in medieval Europe to the AIDS crisis in twenty-first-century Africa, disease has been such a major factor in human history that, paradoxically, historians have seldom bothered to trace its precise impact on military and political events. (source)

In the grisly manner evolution favors, the measles virus massacred those in European cities who had no genetic resistance and left only the fortunates whose genes were able to adjust the immune system to mount an appropriate defense. These protective genes then grew robust within the following generations, making a profound mark on the face of history. The genetic acquisition of immunity was the greatest weapon of the Conquistadors and colonialists, who wiped out an estimated seventy million Native Americans (source)

.: Jonas 1:39 PM


President Bush has waged war twice within 17 months. When he had the Taliban regime eliminated, the principal objective was the hunt for terrorist leader Osama bin Laden. At the same time, however, the strategic advantage to be gained by installing military bases across Central Asia could certainly not be overlooked. In addition, just as in the Middle East, imperial ambitions in this corner of the world clearly go hand in hand with gaining a wealth of new oil resources.


.: gisela 11:45 AM


banner ad for SARS notification service

Launched by Sunday Communications, the service allows subscribers with SMS-enabled phones to identify the "contaminated" buildings within a kilometer of their calling location. Subscribers can also learn which buildings visited recently by patients suspected of having SARS, or "atypical pneumonia," as the disease is known throughout much of Asia. (wired)

.: Jonas 6:26 PM

Great timing, with SARS and all getting out of control:

The sugar industry in the US is threatening to bring the World Health Organisation to its knees by demanding that Congress end its funding unless the WHO scraps guidelines on healthy eating, due to be published on Wednesday.

The threat is being described by WHO insiders as tantamount to blackmail and worse than any pressure exerted by the tobacco lobby.

.: sawad 2:24 PM

raul, thanks for your response. sorry it has taken me a while to read it. i haven't been checking the blogs for a couple of weeks ... preoccupied with a paper i need to write.

i agree with you about the general notion of the (im)balance under the current regime between war and education.

"So, very literally, the funds allocated to war abroad and at home could have had a much more fruitful purpose without a loaded agenda."

nothing there for me to disagree with.

however, one person's "loaded agenda" is another person's science (or "intelligent design"). thus, unfortunately, there is no doubt that one would find people in the bushgime agreeing with this statement as well. among their takes i imagine one would hear arguments for so-called creationism to be taught along side the sciences. thus, i think that the bushgime in principle is not against spending some good money on education, just as long as it is the "right" kind of education.

i agree with you on how the war(s) is/are "erasing" opportunities for people in this country -- and others. i am not sure if you mean that it is simply a matter of "guns or butter" economics, or if you are implying that the wars are being used to excuse the otherwise unpopular right-wing/corporatist agenda of the bushgime. in the 60's, johnson, for all his faults, tried to fund the war on vietnam as well as his "great society" for as long as he could.

i don't think it is just people in the ghetto-burbs who are "at risk." i am appalled every day by how little i know, and no less surprised by how ignorant young, relatively progressively-minded people with advanced degrees are about the crimes being perpetrated everyday by the bushgime.

on a more optimistic note, i saw that the bbc saw a significant spike in american viewership after bush attacked iraq. it is believed that people were tunning away from the narrow views purveyed by american/murdoch media.

nice running into jonas and gisela saturday on subway platform.

.: sawad 12:50 PM


I have been reading most of Robert Fisk's articles since the war began. He has always been very critical of the ways in which this war is being handled by the 'coalition' forces. But now, the tone has changed, disbelief and anger. What are they doing? (Fisk)

.: raul 10:24 PM

take a close look

.: gisela 7:20 PM

US firm cashes in on 'Comical Ali'

Sony Drops 'Shock and Awe' Trademark Bid

.: Jonas 2:04 PM


NYtimes today: For Those Who Question the War, Complications Amid Loss

The argument — a "major confrontation" in Ms. Aitken's memory — was by no means their first debate over the war, but it was their last. Capt. Tristan N. Aitken, 31, died on April 4 as American soldiers fought for control of the Baghdad airport. "He was doing his job," Ms. Aitken said. "He had no choice, and I'm proud of who he was. But it makes me mad that this whole war was sold to the American public and to the soldiers as something it wasn't. Our forces have been convinced that Iraqis were responsible for Sept. 11, and that's not true. I told Tristan that he should go to Saudi Arabia for that. All he would come back to was, `Mom, I have to do my job.' " [..]

But for others, there was no comfort. In Baltimore, Michael Waters-Bey held up a photograph of his son, Staff Sgt. Kendall D. Waters-Bey of the Marine Corps, for news cameras, and said, "President Bush, you took my only son away from me." [..]

"If my nephew had died in Afghanistan, I would have understood his death and accepted it more," Ms. Russell said. "I'm not for war, but the Bible does say that there's a time for war and a time for peace. I just don't know what this war is for."[..]

In Escondido, Calif., another father, Fernando Suárez del Solar, told reporters that his son, Lance Cpl. Jesus A. Suárez del Solar of the Marine Corps, had died for "Bush's oil."

Broader philosophical concerns have given way to grief.

.: Jonas 3:06 PM


"It's untidy, and freedom's untidy," he said, jabbing his hand in the air. "Free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things. They're also free to live their lives and do wonderful things." Donald Rumsfeld. (The Guardian)

.: raul 2:47 PM


Sawad: very interesting points you make.
Firstly, to clarify my position relative to two main ideas which run their own courses but that I find in their intersection some ‘food for thought’. War/Education and memory as the balance between matter and thought. Broad topics indeed which can be developed a myriad of ways.
With the idea of War/Education I am thinking in very pragmatic terms, i.e., the more we spend on war the less we spend on education. Now ‘education’ here means any government support of public goods, be it schools, libraries, art funds, health, urban projects, all of which can be ‘taught’ by others, but that hopefully are given an umbrella of freedom for discovery, to learn as you live and experience (outside dogmas as much as possible). So, very literally, the funds allocated to war abroad and at home could have had a much more fruitful purpose without a loaded agenda. Though this status quo in the u.s. is not new, it can only get worse under the present and future militaristic endeavors.
The quote by Whitehead via Colin Wilson, on the other hand is not so ‘pragmatic’. Here, as you point out, it is impossible to have ‘mere material domination’ since, after all, objects, things, embedded with thought, time, aura, have inescapable memories which affect us. But, what I find interesting in this idea is that by taking the relationship between memory (in this case referring to the individual’s inner arsenal of emotional, rational and spiritual mechanisms) vs the ‘outside’ world of things, to the maximum point in the curve (memory as one axis and matter as the other) I find a fascinating if not refreshing way to think as to how this balance can change. So, when there is no memory, there is…’mere material domination’. The balance will never be at either extreme, but I do think that this move towards war is literally erasing a lot of possibilities for the general populace, the suburbanities who are not exposed to the world other than the programmed television sets, or the families living in the ghettos whose children are destined to end up in prison (1 out of 3 African-Americans males).
The implications of our current geo-political situation are vastly expansive as is obvious. By looking at the ways in which this administration is dealing with their domestic issues though, we may draw some interesting paradoxes and contradictions, which can help us clarify the many motives and prejudices inherent in their attitudes, but which are ‘fogged’ by the way in which the ideological messages are delivered (the high tech media game of aesthetic seduction and ‘clever’ narratives).
More later…

.: raul 8:38 PM


I just saw Tschumi's final lecture as Dean at Columbia. He offered a grand reflection of his work at the school as well as of the work done in his office over the past 15 years. Among others he spoke about the historic challenge of designing the new Acropolis museum in Athens.

"Then, 200 years ago, something happened that continues to trouble the Greeks to this day. In the early 19th Century, Englishman Thomas Bruce, the seventh Earl of Elgin, traveled to Athens with the intent of bringing back some historic Greek pieces to put on display in London. He obtained permission from his friend, the Turkish Sultan (the Ottoman Empire controlled Greece at the time), to remove whatever he wanted for a small price. Elgin took the Sultan up on his offer, essentially LOOTING the Parthenon of its idols and taking as much as his ships could fit. The haul of sculptures, housed in London's British Museum since, would come to be known as Elgin's Marbles." (Columbia)

I learned a new term - looting - and wake up the next morning to npr/bbc news and all i hear is just this term. In a different context of course, yet not entirely unrelated, i think. Who is looting i wonder.

"LOOTING also raged in Basra, where British troops on Friday killed five men trying to rob a bank. Humanitarian agencies said it was not even safe to visit during daylight hours." (NYtimes)

"Franks' order also listed new rules of behavior for American forces in Baghdad now that the Iraqi capital is under U.S. control. Under the rules, troops are forbidden to use deadly force to prevent LOOTING." (NYtimes)

.: Jonas 7:07 PM

The Arab Street

The Weissenhofsiedlung, Stuttgart 1927 : With the art director, Mies van der Rohe, 17 architects from Germany, the Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland created a model housing programme for the modern urbanite. After 1933 the settlement was seen as an "eyesore". It was called a suburb of Jerusalem and an Arab village. (source)

"Araberdorf", 1940

.: Jonas 5:01 PM


The Arab Street

Since the war in Afghanistan, and continuing through the major Israeli offensives in the West Bank and the buildup to Bush's war on Iraq, the "Arab street" has become a minor household word in the West, bandied about in the media as both a subject of profound anxiety and an object of withering condescension. The "Arab street," and by extension, the "Muslim street," have become code words that immediately invoke a reified and essentially "abnormal" mindset, as well as a strange place filled with angry people who, whether because they hate us or just don't understand us, must shout imprecations against us. "Arab or other Muslim actions" are described almost exclusively in terms of "mobs, riots, revolts," (3) leading to the logical conclusion that "Western standards for measuring public opinion simply don't apply" in the Arab world. At any time, American readers are reminded, protesting Arab masses may shed their unassuming appearance and "suddenly turn into a mob, powerful enough to sweep away governments" -- notably the "moderate" Arab governments who remain loyal allies of the US.

Middle East Report

.: sawad 8:03 PM

Will return to earlier entry later ... but I ran across the following gem from an al Jazeera story: Semari Ahmed, a Tunis history teacher, said: "I hear people asking angrily why Saddam's forces 'crumbled like a biscuit under US troops'. That outcome is logical. Saddam's artificial support was a result of a culture of hypocrisy, not conviction."

There is after all the little issue of technology. Like, U.S. military can project death a greater distance than probably any other military force in the world. U.S. soldiers are rarely touched by enemy fire, because enemy technology can't reach them for the most part. Enemies have to resort to old fashioned technology like suicide and ambush attacks.

It isn't simply Jesus vs. Allah, or bravery vs. cowardice, or hypocrisy vs. sincerity, good vs. evil. It is just overwhelming force in the form of technology.

.: sawad 6:28 PM


Raul: "What is scary about this relation of war/education is that memory, as defined by Whitehead, is the antidote to ‘mere material domination’."

If I understand your point, Raul, war-education (in other words, our conditioning through various rhetorical models and media to prepare for, accept, and delight in pre-emptive, blitzkrieg-style, aggression) is the vehicle for replacing or destroying the American capacity for memory, as defined by Whitehead, which you see as nurtured only through a different form of education.

I am not familiar with Whitehead, but the definition you cite strikes me as not altogether unfamiliar, one that I associate with Proust (whom Whitehead cites), but also with Freud and even Walter Benjamin.

I am open to this definition, and I often find it useful.

I am reminded that in the mythological network that is daily drawn upon to legitimize American identity lies embedded a mechanism for negating memory. This paradoxical mechanism supports an American propensity for repressing exploration of its pre- or alter-American history, as well as of the personal history of any of those individuals who have over the years found their way or have been thrown into the American state.

9-11 (as increasingly limited as this term seems in naming the events related to this date) seems to have provided a (psychological) surge or reboot to this repressive mechanism, so that any investigation into the causes (I use plural) of that day must be retarded or repressed, if not outright denied. The sense that "America" was born "new" on that day, seems to go far beyond the ideological program of PNAC. The latter exploit this sense because it is there, and in turn they feed it rather than try to diffuse it.

But, memory, as a re-presentative structure, enables reflection, and indeed any form of education, self- or otherwise. I don't believe it is the other way around. Education, though valued by you and me, must also be seen as destructive of memory, in that it necessarily privileges or valorizes certain impressions over others. Education cannot be seen as simply running in one direction. War and education may have more in common than we dare acknowledge. Perhaps regressive elements have always recognized this and exploited it.

In a general sense, to the degree we have memory at all, in the modern sense we are using the term, there can be no "mere material domination," if by "material" we understand a kind of unmediated, unconstructed real.

On other words, it seems to me that the type of domination we fear is precisely one stemming from a destruction of memory as re-presentative, in favor of simply presentation. I understand that this old argument may seem paradoxical in the face of a culture simulation in which we seem to be trapped for now.

That's all for now. Hopefully I can write more later ...

.: sawad 7:14 PM

I might add that one larger, personal concern, is in the fact that Bush and his fascist team are furthering the already gigantic gap/void in the educational structure of this country. Without education as the most basic layer in forming the generations to come, there is little hope for things to get any better. One obvious (if egotistical) consequence of this war is that we are now training (educating?) citizens to be killing machines. Nothing fundamentally knew, but on a scale of rhetoric and aggression unprecedented. What is scary about this relation of war/education is that memory, as defined by Whitehead, is the antidote to ‘mere material domination’. How do we escape a viscious circle which has been suddenly catalyzed to unimaginable proportions?

.: raul 10:01 AM


Are pterodactyls not dinosaurs?

A theory with considerale currency suggests that dinosaurs live on as today's birds.

"The heroic is the struggle of Value against the unmeaning…"

Doesn't "unmeaning" have value too?

.: sawad 6:14 PM


"A long-planned meeting of the leaders of Russia and Germany acquired a sudden new cast late today when President Jacques Chirac of France said he would attend the session this weekend, in St. Petersburg, and suggested that the situation in postwar Iraq would top the agenda.[...]
The potential for rancor was only underscored late today when the United Nations issued a cryptic denial of an earlier Kremlin announcement that Secretary General Kofi Annan would also meet with the leaders in St. Petersburg on Saturday."

.: gisela 6:00 PM


BBC NEWS | UK | How the web makes 'desk-chair generals' of us all

Wired News: Noted War Blogger Cops to Copying

.: Jonas 5:44 PM

blog photos = fotoblog

.: sawad 12:36 PM

Danish Architect Jørn Utzon Becomes 2003 Pritzker Architecture Prize Laureate.

Workers begin to clean up a "No War" slogan painted on the Concert Hall sail of the Sydney Opera House. (source)

.: Jonas 11:37 AM

Ariel Sharon has brushed aside an appeal by the White House to stop an unprecedented move by Jewish settlers into a Palestinian district of Jersualem which his critics say will further hinder a political settlement.

.: sawad 10:32 AM

.: sawad 9:52 AM

John Chamberlain, The Privet, 1997 [from NY Times Magazine 6 April 2003]

John Moore/Associated Press, A U.S. soldier from the Seventh Infantry
searching one of Saddam Hussein's palaces in Baghdad today.
[from NY Times front page 7 April 2003]

.: sawad 9:47 AM


Herbert Muschamp on Bernard's new building for Florida International University: "Tschumi has at last allowed intuition, instead of theory, to guide the design process. That's why graduation time is here. Theory can serve contemporary architecture only to a point. Beyond that lies orthodoxy. The Tribalistas, a musical group from Brazil, put it this way:


.: Jonas 4:42 PM


GERMANY: BUILDING BEGINS ON HOLOCAUST MEMORIAL After years of debate and delay, construction began on Germany's national Holocaust memorial. Bulldozers started leveling the five-acre site in Berlin, near the Brandenburg Gate, about 18 months after a groundbreaking ceremony. The Parliament president, Wolfgang Thierse, said the monument, designed by the American architect Peter Eisenman, should be completed by May 8, 2005, the 60th anniversary of the defeat of Germany in World War II. The memorial — 2,700 concrete slabs laid out in a plot the size of two football fields to look like a graveyard — commemorates the more than six million Jews who died in the Holocaust. The first slabs are to be put in place in August or September. The monument was approved by the Parliament in June 1999, after decades of emotional debate on how Germany could remember Holocaust victims. (NYtimes)


.: Jonas 1:51 PM


“Whitehead goes on to summarize the role of memory and anticipation. Without memory, life is a flat train of events; a man without memory would be no better than an imbecile. But as soon as there is memory, no matter how faint, ‘there is a reaction against mere…material domination. Thus the universe is material in proportion to the restriction of memory and anticipation.’ Memory is the instrument of man’s consciousness; memory, as Proust knew, is the key to prehension. The struggle of life to assert itself into the world of activity by means of memory and consciousness is the ultimate definition of the ideal of heroism. The heroic is the struggle of Value against the unmeaning…
…I believe every civilization reaches its moment of crisis, and that Western civilization has now reached its moment. I believe that this crisis presents its challenge: Smash, or go on to higher things. So far no civilization has ever met this challenge successfully. History is the study of the bones of civilizations that failed, as the pterodactyl and the dinosaur failed…
…In our case, the scientific progress that has brought us closer than ever to conquering the problems of civilization, has also robbed us of spiritual drive; and the Outsider is doubly a rebel: a rebel against the Established Church, a rebel against the unestablished church of materialism. Yet for all this, he is the real spiritual heir of the prophets, of Jesus and St. Peter, of St. Augustine and Peter Waldo. The purest religion of any age lies in the hands of its spiritual rebels. The 20th century is no exception…” Colin Wilson, Religion and The Rebel , 1957

.: raul 4:02 PM


The Second Superpower Rears its Beautiful Head

There is an emerging second superpower, but it is not a nation.  Instead, it is a new form of international player, constituted by the “will of the people” in a global social movement.  The beautiful but deeply agitated face of this second superpower is the worldwide peace campaign, but the body of the movement is made up of millions of people concerned with a broad agenda that includes social development, environmentalism, health, and human rights.    This movement has a surprisingly agile and muscular body of citizen activists who identify their interests with world society as a whole—and who recognize that at a fundamental level we are all one.  These are people who are attempting to take into account the needs and dreams of all 6.3 billion people in the world—and not just the members of one or another nation.

The Other Superpower

As the war began, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld promised a "campaign unlike any other in history." What he did not plan or expect, however, was that the peoples of earth--what some are calling "the other superpower"--would launch an opposing campaign destined to be even less like any other in history.

.: sawad 11:45 PM


Listen to the FAMILIES Mr. Secretary of "Defense":

"My deepest fear is for America, as we have known it, as it has been handed down to us and protected and defended by people like my father and many millions who fought a true threat of tyranny in World War II. I fear for America and its hard-won democracy, its precious freedoms, because our government has been seized by far right zealots who wish to impose upon the rest of the world what they call a “benevolent global hegemony.” They won't call it “empire” because that's not good PR. They are zealots who are willing to run roughshod over American freedoms to get their way. They are willing to push aside the Constitution and the Bill of Rights if necessary to achieve their agenda."

.: Jonas 6:45 PM

OFFENSE AND DEFENSE - The battle between Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon.

.: jason 9:13 AM


as actual
as possible
as impossible
what am i willing to accept

how is today different
from yesterday

.: sawad 7:41 PM

as if we had been spirited away

remember your name, or you will never return

.: sawad 7:37 PM

Practice to Deceive
Chaos in the Middle East is not the Bush hawks' nightmare scenario--it's their plan.
by Josh Marshall

washington monthly


Today, however, the great majority of the American people have no concept of what kind of conflict the president is leading them into. The White House has presented this as a war to depose Saddam Hussein in order to keep him from acquiring weapons of mass destruction--a goal that the majority of Americans support. But the White House really has in mind an enterprise of a scale, cost, and scope that would be almost impossible to sell to the American public. The White House knows that. So it hasn't even tried. Instead, it's focused on getting us into Iraq with the hope of setting off a sequence of events that will draw us inexorably towards the agenda they have in mind.


.: sawad 7:27 PM

"The first war plan has failed because of Iraqi resistance," he told his interviewer. He also said that reports about civilian casualties in Baghdad had served to "help those who oppose the war" in the United States." Peter Arnett on Iraqi Television, a statement that prompted NBC to fire him as a reporter.

So much to the freedom of speech in this country.

.: gisela 11:01 AM


" [W] ar opponents Russia, Germany and France are worried that the United States will find new evidence of their roles in the arming of Iraq, and will use it to its political advantage.

After the Americans had accused the Russians of having provided Iraq with bazookas, night-vision equipment and jamming transmitters against their GPS-guided weapons, the dispute almost began to take on Cold War proportions. But this time Russia was not the only enemy. Anyone who was involved in arming the Saddam regime and now stands by his side in battle can expect to incur the wrath of the Americans, including the Germans and the French."

Which country was the biggest supplier of weapons to Saddam Hussein when it tried to oust Iran's Mullah regime?

.: gisela 11:44 AM

...and anyone who hasn't seen "Bowling for Columbine" - go and see it. It is rich, fun, critical and VERY much up-to-date!

.: gisela 9:56 AM


European Companies Fear They'll Be Left Out in Post-war Iraq

.: sawad 12:21 PM


.: Jonas 11:03 AM

I don't believe it is completely up to the U.S. to decide the role Europe will play. European people, at all levels of organization, have decisions to make about this, I think.

As far as empires cresting ... Foucault makes an observation in The Order of Things that goes something like this: the moment one represents or studies an "episteme," this era (roughly speaking) will have already begun receding or disappearing. His observation is adapted from a truism about representation, which characterizes representation and the present as disjoint, and to some degree at odds with one another. It happens to be a truism in which I place a lot of value, and which I usually call a theory. But, there is a linear temporality in Foucault's adaptation that is simply not that easy to assume in the more general theory, whose emphasis is as much on disjointedness as on the proper sequence (present [first] -> re-present [second]). The question that arises from this theory in term of how we view the temporal and historical affects of the relation between the present and its representation is whether it is the case that the latter chases the former, or whether representation makes the present appear (re-appear) ... "in the first place?"

Empires have always fallen. It is not always easy to understand (or recover) the set of forces that lead to the demise of empires. It is very possible that this empire has actually been crumbling since the late-60's / early-70's, marked most obviously by the Vietnam War. Thus, it is easy to see the current gestures as an attempt by the empire to return to a time before this downfall began. But, using the theory of representation above, the current actions in effect represent the height of the empire, sometime after WW2, as already past. However, the empire is attempting simultaneously to unwrite self-representations that followed its withdrawal from Vietnam in '75. But this is an impossible task, since its repression of these self-images only serves to emphasize them (different theory). This becomes terribly circuitous ...

Perhaps an empire is not a classical story with a beginning, middle (crest), and ending, but, from a different "episteme," more of a thrashing about for control, transforming itself (and being transformed) from one space and time into another. The boundaries of empire do not end where a nation draws its boundaries, nor even at its seemingly limitless desires. Rather it is both an infestation and a socio-economo-politcal dynamic that draws against itself resistance, which we recognize as its limits and limitations.

.: sawad 11:02 AM


The 101st Airborne Division named one central Iraq outpost Forward Operating Base SHELL and another Forward Operating Base EXXON.

.: Jonas 2:31 PM

I finally read the article on Tony Blair's intentions.To me, his stated aim is nothing but a pretext.

Firstly, I don't buy that Tony is the one wanting to bring together the US and Europe: there never was a need for it before, let's say, September 2002, when the German election triggered Schroeder's big roar. Before that, the Germans and Americans were much closer than the Brits and the US, as much as Britain always setting itself apart from the European idea alltogether. They were always against anything which made Europe versus its national members stronger - the last one being its vote against the Euro as its currency. Tony's intention is nothing else but trying to place Britain as Europe's leader, and himself as its king. As much as it is Jaques Chirac's intention.

I guess, placing Britain as Europe's most influential power would be one (and maybe the only) way to convince the British people of the European idea altogether. It is his way of preparing some of the ground he lost for himself at home.

But I don't think that once this war is fought and once the rebuilding begins, that the US will even care about Europe alltogether. Whether it will be a satellite to the US or whether it will try to become a competitor for its interests, it will be nothing but an unpleasant nuissance to the United States. One which will demand more or less attention and diplomacy depending on which stand it will take. Whether it is Tony reigning it, or Jacques doesn't really matter. Peanuts.

I think the only way to brake this pattern would be a development which was briefly mentioned in the Spiegel: that the US, by getting involved in this war, has made the fundamental mistake of virtually every world power in history, which consecutively ended its reign - to overestimate its might: "The world's only remaining superpower is beginning to suffer from the disease with which every imperial power throughout history has been afflicted: the overestimation and overtaxing of its own capabilities," the magazine said. "Could the Iraq war herald its decline?"

Should we put our hopes on this? Can we?

.: gisela 11:47 AM

The most apolitical architect makes real ugly tea pots, yet he is my favorite: Greg in the NYtimes today

.: Jonas 11:24 AM

20030326 is a good host

.: Jonas 8:04 PM

"Chemical warfare specialist Lance Cpl. Thomas Conroy of the U.S. Marines holds a pigeon used to help detect chemical attacks." (CNN)


.: Jonas 5:44 PM

Lenny retro-rocks for peace together with Iraqi Kadim Al Sahir. I am not particularly interested in the musical fruits of this collaboration, but I would like to throw the Retro aspect into the discussion. I was born into a hippie commune at the end of another famous protest era and thus I do have my hopes and concerns about revisiting. Much of what we are doing on the street these days is based on '68 patterns, but luckily we are also advancing. A major part of course has to do with the technological advancement that allows us to gather and bypass gov. media. There are other parts though where I am not convinced yet if we are advancing. Embracing diverse strata in the movement for example was handled rather poorly by those before us; basically one social, economical, educational (+ to some extend professional) caste. And how open or ignorant do we react to those (mostly one economical caste) who risk their lives or those who confront us with serious criticism. How open are we ? Here one statement of the bbc page just posted below:
"I've never understood why people will put so much energy in protesting a war in the name of peace and life and absolutely no energy into stopping the dictators of the world from committing murder year in year out. Either it's because collateral damage is much worse than murder or you can get on television protesting against countries like USA and UK."

.: Jonas 12:21 PM

when bush the 2nd was campaigning for the pres, at some point he began to refer to china as an "strategic competitor." since even before he was selected into office the american+murdoch press questioned him little if at all on the accuracy of what came out of his mouth, instead the work began to interpret and give meaning to his "dyslexic" (according to mark crispin miller) term. had he meant "strategic partner?" who knows. however, he used the term and never retracted it (he is never wrong).

some people of intelligence thought at the time that if elected gw would get the u.s. into a war -- with china. and indeed a certain opportunity for discomforting rhetoric came when a chinese fighter jet brushed up against a u.s. spy plane and caused the latter to have to land safely on chinese soil, as they say. the pilot of the chinese plane died, but who cares. this story is not over ... there is always taiwan ....

this bit has been on my mind of late because from it i began to grasp gw's anti-globalist, neo-nationalist aspirations. "europe" -- a united europe -- would be seen as either standing in the way or being irrelevant to such aspirations. the neo-cons would never be for europe, except as a satellite of u.s. imperialism. "europe" would at best be seen by the neo-cons as an "strategic competitor" vying for something the u.s. wants.

france and germany, among others, have seen this and don't like it -- that's clear. i can't explain what tony is up to, except playing the role of appeaser, trying to put a sugar coating on the difficult pill of new world order.

the question is whether france and germany will come back to take their medicine, so to speak, or whether they will decide that the u.s. is a hegemon that has transgressed far beyond the bounds of hegemonic decorum (saying nice things to satellite states) and needs to be confronted sooner rather than later. round one has already been fought. it could get uglier.

.: sawad 9:07 AM

i carelessly replaced "series" with "string" in my earlier post.

"[...] a series of disarmament wars," says fischer.

why a "series" and not suddenly everything in parallel?

... the optimism/ethnocentrism (in that the [eth{n}ically protestant] u.s. is going to be able to keep everything tidy while it goes about the work of knocking off state after state) even in this ...

.: sawad 8:25 AM


thanks for the welcome, jonas.
'a string of wars' does sound rather clean. and I assume the 'string of wars' that will occur 15 years later to rectify the problems created by this string will also be addressed with such excellent tactility?
i've been reading the opinions on the bbc site. not for the information they contain, but to attempt to gather a better understanding of the world opinion as my entire family in england appears to support this war, thus making me quite ill.
what is everyone else's stance on Blair's transatlantic warning?

.: jason 11:07 PM

"Salam"'s blog is the source of the images of Iraq that I posted below, but which don't seem to appear in any longer (why?). He is an architect, it seems.

String of wars ... so clean ...

.: sawad 6:35 PM

Fischer: Certainly. The complete disarmament of Iraq could have been brought about by a combination of military pressure, inspections, and step-by-step measures

SPIEGEL: A nice thought, but to get that done one would have had to avoid making loud noises in the [German] election campaign and to have entered into serious conversations with the Americans.

Fischer: I did that. Ever since September 18th or 19th, 2001, when Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz in Washington roughly outlined for me what he thought the answer to international terrorism had to be.


Fischer: His view was that the US had to liberate a whole string of countries from their terrorist rulers, if necessary by force. Ultimately a new world order would come out of this - more democracy, peace, stability, and security for people.

SPIEGEL: A vision of the future that you presumably don't completely share?

Fischer: I can't and don't want to imagine that we are facing a series of disarmament wars. Rather we should be making sure that the instruments for peaceful solutions, above all the UN, are developed further. We must not end up having only the one set of alternatives: either allowing the continued existence of a terrible danger or being forced into a disarmament war. That must be avoided. This is the task of political policy makers, and it is what the majority in the Security Council wants. But so far there has been no genuine transatlantic dialogue about this.

SPIEGEL: Why not?

Fischer: Because the Europeans at their end started to hold strategic discussions too late. We have to catch up now. At stake are the great questions facing humanity: What kind of world order do we want? What are its essential elements? What are the new dangers and risks of our present policy of intervention? How do we confront them?
Yes, but there is something else that is surprising. Take Mexico, Chile, and Turkey - all of them young democracies. In these countries you see the obstinacy of democracy. For democracy also means being able to have a different opinion - about fundamental existential questions, certainly also vis-à-vis friendly governments. This is a very, very important experience which is valid beyond today. And it tells us: When others in Europe have a viewpoint different from ours, it is neither a cause for alarm or for rejection. Rather it is a sign of democratic maturity.

.: gisela 11:35 AM

we're not the only bloggers on this...
Salam Pax

.: gisela 11:12 AM

It looks like this evolves into a warblog, and I think that's just fine in times like these. Or as Jason put it on another platform: "feels a bit odd trying to get something done at the office this morning when you read that "People are doing what all of us are, sitting in their homes hoping that a bomb doesn’t fall on them and keeping their doors shut." " Welcome Jason.

.: Jonas 10:59 AM


I am actually more worried about them using any if they suffer further setbacks. And yes, the hypocritical weather reports are hardcore propaganda material. It's like saying: And now let's see if the sun is shining in our recently acquired state to the east.

.: Jonas 3:11 PM

Call me a cynic, but who really doubts that there isn't a Pentagon-inspired plan to "find" (planted) WMD's?

.: sawad 11:52 AM

I'm pretty much refusing to watch the daily broadcasts. This morning I took a peek, just in time to see a major network tell us about the weather in Iraq (there are some major sandstorms to the southwest). The weather reports are one of the most important and least understood ideological apparati global capital possesses.

Southknoxbubba on the "embedded" media: Link

The visible and the invisible: Link

On Rumsfeld opportunistically decrying violations of international law: Link

Hey, let's support our corporate-controlled media reporters!

.: sawad 11:50 AM

"This is how it should be done: Lodge yourself on a stratum, experiment with the opportunities it offers, find an advantageous place on it, find potential movements of deterritorialization, possible lines of flight, experience them, produce low conjunctions here and there, try out continuums of intensities segment by segment, have a small plot of new land at all times [...] Connect, conjugate, continue: a whole "diagram", as opposed to still signifying and subjective programs." (Deleuze/Guattari, A thousand plateaus)

Saturday we marched down Broadway. Caught first in a tourist line waiting to get into the "Lion King", we couldn't get onto Times Square without a ticket for a Broadway show. Nevertheless, everything was friendly. Broadway seemed huge and was full of people: Herald Square, Madison Square, Union Square, Washington Square. Drums, signs, stickers, slogans.
We should have carried a flag. According to NYPolice, everybody carrying a flag may hold it up with wodden or metal poles, all other signs had to be carried without.
At Union Square, dispersing the crowd dragged on for many hours.

But what did we achieve? Is it right to demonstrate when others are commanded to risk their lives?
What a mess the US got itself into with this. What should we hope for.
A swift resolution, yes, but how does it look like? I heard a commentator on the radio say " We don't want to destroy Iraq's infrastructure, because in a few days we will OWN this country!" What would you do if a "democratic army" decided to invade your country?

.: gisela 10:39 AM


.: Jonas 2:22 PM


"NYC March for Peace and Democracy: On Saturday, March 22, New York is marching to stop the war in Iraq! Join us for a massive and spirited march to support peace abroad and civil liberties at home. [..] This time around, the Mayor and the NYPD have pledged to respect our right to march. We are negotiating with the City over the route, which will be in Midtown Manhattan." (UnitedForPeace)

.: Jonas 3:30 AM


.: Jonas 5:31 PM

gore vidal...he's been another great source for me, have you read his latest books on our current situation?

.: raul 1:52 PM

'shock and awe' has started...

.: raul 1:46 PM

'...Opposition to the invasion of Iraq has been entirely without historical precedent. That is why Bush had to meet his two cronies at a US military base on an island, where they would be safely removed from any mere people. The opposition may be focused on the invasion of Iraq, but its concerns go far beyond that. There is growing fear of US power, which is considered to be the greatest threat to peace in much of the world, probably by a large majority. And with the technology of destruction now at hand, rapidly becoming more lethal and ominous, threat to peace means threat to survival...' Chomsky

.: raul 10:29 AM

WNYC commentator this morning on VR war: The images we see on TV are weirdly reminiscent of video games, but the video game graphics are better.

.: Jonas 8:13 AM


"Over Texas steaks we discussed where the military is headed in relation to VR and Web3D." (About)

.: Jonas 11:25 AM


Sirens in Baghdad

"New York: Converge on Times Square at 5:00PM on the day the bombing begins (next day if the bombing begins at night). If the police block access to the Square, we will flood the surrounding streets [..] WEAR WHITE FOR PEACE- WHITE RIBBONS WHITE ARMBANDS" (UnitedForPeace)

.: Jonas 9:43 PM

"Activists in the US, under the banner of the United for Peace and Justice group, are co-ordinating "die-ins" and direct action in city halls and public buildings across the country." (Guardian)

"Some advocates argue for showy acts of civil disobedience. Others say they fear that too much disruption would alienate the public that they are trying to sway. The dispute occurs at a turning point for the movement, as the hundreds of thousands of protesters who overwhelmed the streets of several cities last month realize that they have not been able to stop the war." (NYtimes)

.: Jonas 8:54 PM


Peter Denham Smithson died in London at the age of 79.

.: Jonas 12:30 PM


Map of NYC bloggers, by subway stop!

.: sawad 2:18 PM


Date: Wed, 5 Mar 2003 13:24:22 -0500
From: XXX@yyy.zzz
Subject: Santa Fe call for artists

Please help pass the word (message forwarded from

We at the Santa Fe Art Institute have just decided to have an 'emergency'
response to the duct tape issue!

Open call for artists to make artwork made of duct tape and plastic sheeting
for exhibit titled, "Duct & Cover." Submit all artwork to the Santa Fe Art
Institute by Monday, March 24 between 9-5pm. Show opens Wednesday, March 26
from 5-7pm.

Please pass the word! We know this is short notice, but we want to respond
artistically right away.

Please call 505/424-5050 for more information.


Jennifer Schlesinger
Santa Fe Art Institute
1600 St. Michaels Drive
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Ph. 505.424.5050
Fax 505.424.5051

.: sawad 11:57 AM

New Graphic Design ... from U.S. Mil. >> CENTCOM Leaflet Gallery

.: sawad 4:56 AM


.: sawad 1:13 AM


MIT Arch: 9-11 And Its Aftermath

Until very very very recently, most inhabitants of the United States loved to revile, or at least had an ambiguous relationship with, the urban profile of downtown Manhattan. Until terrorists took out the World Trade Center buildings, the buildings had very few aesthetic defenders. The universal nostalgia invoked by the same media audience by the sudden absence of the two buildings, therefore, might appear a bit perplexing.

.: sawad 12:48 PM

In a case of the unexplained ... Recently Captured al Qaeda Leader
Was Killed Last Year

.: sawad 10:24 AM

I have to just ask one question that may simply be of rhetorical interest at this point: How democratic was the process?

.: sawad 10:23 AM


Architecture is hip. I believe that in the past 12 years, architecture became a part of popular culture. Finally this fashion arrived in new york. We get designs by pop star architects now every day on our desks at city planning. but not only among politicians and developers are star architects fashionable. also among the general public. to me this started in berlin, where thousands queued to see the reichstag right after its topping off. Or the jewish museum –a major tourist attraction for more than a year without a single exhibit, just architecture!
I noticed something else that herbert muschamp wrote about this whole competition. That is architecture in a way was turned upside down. The 6 teams were asked to create architecture without program. The reason why the first designs were such a failure, was because they were pure program. They fulfilled the required square footage, nothing else. It obviously didn’t fly, so the 6 teams were let loose without a specific program –just recommendations. Funny enough, lmdc thought they would then be able to generate exactly this from the designs: a program.

You are right sawad, this is the beginning and I am curious to see who will lead this discourse. And will this debate be ultimately able to bring the two together –design and program. Let’s hope we will get to see daniel on the construction site and not just in the charlie rose show.

.: kaja 2:24 PM


The blueprint

.: Jonas 3:15 PM

Thank you for that post, Gisela. This phase which has ended in Libeskind's selection does mark but the beginning of a process that will undoubtedly bring many twists and turns. For now, perhaps we can indeed read a hopeful sign in having Libeskind. Hopeful for a possibility of a broader discourse across the profession and beyond about culture, space, and perhaps politics.

.: sawad 11:53 AM



I listened to the press conference this morning.
It was definetively worth it.

Pataki had a lot of big and nice words, talking about freedom, symbolism and the achievements of the American people, their righteous hopes and dreams.

Bloomberg though was really GOOD, devoting a big part of his speech to empasizing again, how the proposals came about. That it was the public which opposed the first designs. That it was the public which set off the competition involving some of the most talented and avant garde architects in the world. That it was the public which voted and raised its voice and made it clear what it wants.
That the public developed a voice at all and in this way instigated a truly democratic process.
Since the uploading of the 6 finalist's design proposals on LMDC's website, it had 70 Million hits.
All this out of the mouth of a truly conservative business man.

Daniel then gave a presentation of the project. I don't like his design, I don't think it's great, I think all of its symbolism is too obvious (a tower, 1776 feet high...), I don't think he is a great designer of public spaces anyway.

In 1991, I was on his team for the Potsdamer Platz competition in Berlin. At that time, I believed in his vision to build an urban environment for the 21st century. I think, at that time, we did propose a design that was truly and radically new. That is 12 years ago now, and the design hasn't changed. It became more ordinary, and for a person of his caliber I find it disappointing to not develop his language at all within a span of 12 years.

All that said, I think we, as architects, are still better off with him as the winner of the whole process. Here are some thoughts:
It is not sure at all whether ANYTHING will be built there in the near future. Governments change, politicians change, Port Authority might or might not give up the land to do its deal with the city - so, we might NEVER see any of Libeskind's design realized ( a friend who talked to Nina a few days ago told me, even she was pessimistic about it).

BUT: Libeskind is an intelletcual. You might not like his emotional talk (and who does), you might not like his decon design, you might not like his ego - but he is an academic, he reads and writes, he is not a pragmatist. Imagine what him being in the spotlight now for some time to come, talking about architecture, its potential, its aims, its way of thinking and handling the world will do to the profession. Imagine Fred Schwartz and Vinoly, the get-it-done-guys, would get this attention. It would be pragmatism, feasibility and business. It would be square footage and escape routes and schedules.

With Libeskind, we have the hope it will be about the culture and the potential of architecture. How architecture is a social endeavour and what responsibilities this brings to the profession. That it is political, creative and challenging. That it is time for all architects to step outside the box and think about space again. That every attempt to do architecture involves a radical questioning of your believes and your expectations.

I think he will talk about that. And that, to me, is a very good choice. For us, the architects.

.: gisela 2:51 PM

After looking at the website for THINK it looks like the S curves were not included, but the public space in this design is vastly superior to the Libeskind design.

.: sawad 4:44 AM

For what it is worth, I thought the THINK design offered more interesting possibilities ... not because of epigonal lattice representing the destroyed towers, but because of all the other elements that were in my understanding part of the proposal, such as the sweeping S curves (by Vinoly?) creating the system of ramps bridging ground level to the levels underground.

.: sawad 4:17 AM


"Libeskind's design beat the THINK team's 'World Cultural Center' plan" CNN

.: Jonas 7:44 PM

THINK politics mein LIEBES KIND.

> From: XXX XXX
> Date: Wed Feb 5, 2003 5:09:51 PM US/Eastern
> To: XXX
> Subject: WTC_Vote
> 06.02.03
> dear friends,
> as you are probably aware, the decision for the possible design at the
> world trade center site in nyc has been narrowed to two: Daniel
> Libeskind and the THINK consortium.
> it is our opinion that the Libeskind proposal is the stronger proposal
> and deserves to be the accepted design.  a final decision is to be
> made by the end of february.
> there are a number of “polls” currently being conducted to try and
> gauge public support for either project.  below are two such polls.
> we hope that you’ll vote for the Libeskind project, but of course the
> decision is yours.
> and as the say, this is not a scientific poll, so VOTE EARLY, VOTE
> index.html?topicintid=15&subtopicintid=141&polla
> ctivequestionintid=863

.: Jonas 5:15 PM

In today's NYTimes article, Muschamp argues that Think's design proposal hands architecture back its power to educate society.
"[on Libeskind's scheme] The reduction of usable space in the "bathtub" to a fraction of its original size must inevitably compromise the aesthetic strength for which this plan was chosen. That design's explicit equation of aetic strength for which this plan was chosen. That design's explicit equation of aesthetic with moral and indeed spiritual value is now open to serious question. Whatever one makes of the original design's heavily loaded symbolism ? to my mind the meanings became more disturbing with each viewing ? the design's symbolic heart no longer exists.
The Think's team's design has also been compromised. The plan's potential to develop a platformed urbanism was immensely compelling. If that potential is not developed on this site, the design nonetheless represents an important new way to imagine the public realm. Before long, it will be taken into fully realized urban space.
There has been much discussion in recent months about what those uses should be. A new home for the New York City Opera. A Museum of Freedom. An art museum. Most promising of all, an educational center on the impact of globalization.
I base my strong preference for the Think team's proposal on its capacity to give this process of public education both a symbolic and a practical form. No other design elicited by the official planning process has risen to the cultural occasion that the public itself has defined."
I guess, we all had a problem with the extended discussion on glasses, cowboy boots and other paraphernalia, but we didn't know, HOW much Think and Studio Libeskind went out of their way to attract the public eye!

.: gisela 1:37 PM

Ground Zero: On an important day of decision making and remembering Herbert Muschamp (NYtimes) asks: "What cultural value, apart from design, will the architecture serve?" and serves our profession by noting "One of the most heartening developments to come out of the debate over the future of ground zero has been the public's greater awareness of what an architectural program is. When people have spoken of a memorial, of office space, of parks and museums, they have been educating themselves about a pivotal fact that architects and planners reckon with constantly: whoever controls the program controls the architecture. Throughout the debate, the public has been saying that it wants to control the program."

[admin] Michel, i want to thank you for your 'about' question, it reminded us to be more precise about these topics, their relation, and relevance. Sawad immediately did just this, lay out the arch+pol relevance of his earlier posting on Roy, and i am actually just reminding myself to do the same (about my heterarchies (20030223) posting) . there is indeed an architectural significance to it that i find super interesting and i shall try to frame it (let me find the time). I guess i am jus telling you that the about button temporarily links to your question.
[admin] speaking of heterarchies and control, i want to come up with a modus for the permissions that is more horizontal than what Blogger suggests with its software (maybe Ronie knows about these things?). i found out that it doesn't allow for all admin. permissions to be turned off. that would be a first step, because the idea that one can edit an other ones postings seems strange. also, i personally would prefer being one of a small group of equal (permission, control) + diverse (profession, city) experts, than the maintenace guy of a crowded and chatty room.

.: Jonas 12:06 PM


DiSco fever - finally coming to NYC
Not that I know the project, but the news that Diller+Scofidio were chosen to design the urban environ for Lincoln Center is GREAT NEWS.

.: gisela 10:26 AM

More Roy ... transcript

.: sawad 12:08 AM


CANBERRA, Australia (Reuters) -- Australia's rights watchdog warned on Monday of an increasing number of computer games sold via the Internet that involved simulated killings of other races and called for action to clamp down on this trend.

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission said new research showed there were about 20 racist computer games advertised or distributed via the Internet, most of which are marketed by American sites.

"The images and computer games are particularly disturbing in their capacity to drain people of their humanity, to render them as sub-human and expendable," commissioner for race discrimination, Bill Jonas, said in a statement.

"This is a new problem and we need to work out better ways of dealing with it."

Jonas said these games were turning racially motivated violence into entertainment and urged people to complain to the commission if they came across any of these games. He encouraged regulatory groups to find ways to block or filter these games.

In one game, players can choose to have their character dressed in Ku Klux Klan robes or as a skinhead during the hunt to kill blacks, Latin Americans and Jews -- all to the tune of a white power music soundtrack. [...]

Is this one of them?

.: sawad 10:45 PM

arundati roy also wrote this amazing book about her childhood.
i can recommend it.
architecture = life

.: gisela 6:41 PM


i think you should post about flatulence and heartburn.
because noone else will! (post such outreageous stuff). everybody according to their expertise.
or about fluorescent genes, maybe? i heard you are the expert?

.: gisela 6:34 PM

Arundhati Roy was trained as an architect and was at one point married to another one. Her book, Power Politics, arguably deals with architecture ... in relation to forces of global capital and that old friend of architectural lighting, Enron.

In terms of politics, has the issue of what delimits architectural practice been settled once and for all? If so, I'd love to find out the results.


.: sawad 5:57 PM

Michel, you can post whatever you want. this log is in the middle of defining itself. there is a common interest - or maybe just a presumed one - among the people who contribute. it spans from art and architecture to politics. so part is a shared interst among people who might or might not be working in the field, and part is an understanding that the field of architecture has been rather apolitical for some time and now is a good moment to help that change. Let it evolve some and then we find the right 'about' blurb (above).

.: Jonas 5:31 PM

what is happening here in this logg? is it a logg about the newest on achitecture or is it a logg about the upcoming war? or is there no look on architecture in the shadow of war? or is it just a tool to contribute whatever might feel interesting? I might wanna post a logg about the coincidence of heart burn and flatulence, well I might not... I need an instruction on how to behave in this logg!!!

.: michel 5:17 PM

"Justice is powerless without power."
Today In the NYTimes:
" Chirac, the emperor of Europe? His coronation would certainly represent a triumph over the leader of the US empire, which is why he intends to stick to his course of "enlightened steadfastness" (in the words of Jacques Barrot, the party whip of the governing party, the UMP) against America.

His persistent resistance has thrown the White House off-balance. These days, President Bush looks pale and exhausted, and his voice has lost its characteristic confidence.

Last week, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld reported to his commander-in-chief that the military buildup in the Gulf was complete. But without the approval of the Security Council, according to French diplomats, Bush, in consideration for his most reliable ally Tony Blair, no longer dares to take the big step. In the chambers of the Security Council in New York, Chirac and his "warrior of peace" Villepin have the two proponents of war in a stranglehold. The French president has already announced: "There is no need for a second resolution today. France could do nothing but oppose it.""
New York Times

.: gisela 3:22 PM

Confronting Empire
by Arundhati Roy January 28, 2003

I've been asked to speak about "How to confront Empire?" It's a huge question, and I have no easy answers.

When we speak of confronting "Empire," we need to identify what "Empire" means. Does it mean the U.S. Government (and its European satellites), the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the World Trade Organization, and multinational corporations? Or is it something more than that?

In many countries, Empire has sprouted other subsidiary heads, some dangerous byproducts - nationalism, religious bigotry, fascism and, of course terrorism. All these march arm in arm with the project of corporate globalization.

.: sawad 11:38 AM


How the Protesters Mobilized: "But the Internet has become more than a mere organizing tool; it has changed protests in a more fundamental way, by allowing mobilization to emerge from free-wheeling amorphous groups, rather than top-down hierarchical ones. [..] The protests had no single identified leader and no central headquarters. Social theorists have a name for these types of decentralized networks: heterarchies. In contrast to hierarchies, with top-down structures, heterarchies are made up of previously isolated groups that can connect to one another and coordinate. Because no central decision-making authority exists, protests can be localized and can appeal to new groups and individuals who don't live in areas where social protest information would typically reach. [..] Military theorists are fond of saying that future warfare will revolve around social and communication networks. Antiwar groups have found that this is true for their work as well." NYtimes

.: Jonas 5:20 PM


Europe: The Germans who toppled Communism resent the American war frenzy New York Times

.: gisela 12:21 PM


International Symposium on Electronic Art isea 2004

.: sawad 5:53 PM

It's obviously real: since it is discussed how the design will CHANGE as it meets "reality", we can presume it is for real: NY Post

.: gisela 10:22 AM


The Europan this year looks great...

.: gisela 12:45 PM

NYC- It's warm today, but there is still ice on the Hudson River

.: gisela 12:43 PM

List of architecture magazines online

.: Jonas 12:39 PM

The Department of Homeland Security just launched, "a common sense framework designed to launch a process of learning about citizen preparedness."
The winner of the "stupid security" competition will be announced shortly.
Libeskind it is: Both, Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg support the Libeskind proposal for the WTC site. Also, officials at Port Authority and LMDC "have begun to favor the Libeskind plan." Next week we'll find out for sure.
Libeskind it might be: Columbia is in search for a new dean of architecture, planning and preservation. Let's get involved, because this one is not yet decided.

.: Jonas 7:43 AM



"CURRENT CONDITIONS New York, NY: LSNO/FOG and 26° F (-3° C)
5-DAY FORECAST: TUESDAY: Snow flurries in the evening. Hi: 32° F/0° C; WEDNESDAY: Mostly sunny. Hi: 44° F/6° C; THURSDAY: Mostly sunny. Hi: 45° F/7° C; FRIDAY: Mostly sunny. Hi: 43° F/6° C"

"Configuring Probe Logs: For any system which has a large number of processes running, it is very important to keep track of the various occurrences"

.: Jonas 10:29 AM

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