Tag Archives | architecture

Materiality in Japan: Making, Breaking and Conserving Works of Art and Architecture

April 11, 2014

Institute of Fine Arts, New York University

Organized by Anton Schweizer, 2012-2014 IFA/Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow
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Japan is widely regarded as an exemplar in terms of the preservation of material integrity, the perpetuation of historical production techniques and the responsible preservation of works of architecture and artifacts in museum contexts. The Japanese certification system for Cultural Property – which also includes the category of Living National Treasures for specialist craftsmen who embody manufacturing techniques as Intangible Cultural Property – has earned far-reaching acclaim. It is frequently overlooked, however, that there is actually a wide range of divergent approaches towards originality and authenticity even in contemporary Japan. While some of these inconsistencies find their counterparts in the West, others are related to pre-modern cultural practices, e.g.…

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Shiny, happy households: Formica turns 100

Laminate fever ... an advertisement for Formica from the 1950s. Photograph: Picture Post/Getty.

Laminate fever … an advertisement for Formica from the 1950s. Photograph: Picture Post/Getty.

By  (forwarded by Fiona McDonald)

The Guardian

It has lined the interiors of everything from greasy spoon cafes to luxury cruise liners, from hospital wards to train cabins – bringing a fusion of wipe-clean practicality and sleek modern style. And now Formica is celebrating its 100th birthday. The brave new seamless surface of the future is officially an antique.

While it may now be synonymous with the retro glamour of 1950s compact kitchens and roadside diners, the origins of the miracle material are much more mundane. Invented in Cincinnati in 1913 by engineers Daniel O’Conor and Herbert Faber, Formica laminate was designed to be an electrical insulator, to serve as a replacement for the silicate mineral mica – hence “for mica”.…

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CFP: Immaterial Materialities

Interstices 14

“Immaterial materialities”

interstices.ac.nz/call-for-papers-4/

Please send your submission to Sandra Karina Löschke (sandra.loschke@uts.edu.au) by 3 March 2013.

Materiality has recently claimed centre stage in architectural discourse and practice, yet its critical meaning is ever receding. Tropes like material honesty, digital materiality, material responsiveness and dematerialisation mark out an interdisciplinary field where scientific fact and artistic experimentation interact, and where what in fact constitutes materiality and immateriality is constantly re-imagined.

Interstices14 invites contributions that address the thematic strands: Immateriality; Atmosphere+Experience; Interactivity; Material Politics; Material Technology+Aesthetics; Material Referents.

Immateriality: As a reaction to developments in science, materiality came under scrutiny with the emergence of nineteenth century German aesthetics (Vischer, Schmarsow) and the early avant-garde projects (Lissitzky, van Doesburg). Initiating an epistemic shift in art and architecture, these works pointed point to the connection between the concrete material properties of objects and their interaction with the inhabitant through psycho-physiological effects.

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The Jane Fonda-Kit House: arquitectural prototypes and the promised bodies of sustainability

Fernando Dominguez Rubio, Open University and NYU

Today’s post is the result of a collaboration between a brilliant group of Spanish architects, Elii, and myself. The text that follows accompanied the Jane-Fonda Kit House that Elii designed for an exhibition that took place at CIVA‘s room in Brussels.

 

              The Jane Fonda-kit House at Night

And 1…and 2….warming up!: Stretching & flexing sustainable futures

Conceived as an experimental “house of the future”, the Jane Fonda Kit House departs from those grand architectural visions that have attempted to offer normative or desirable models, to offer instead a rhetorical artefact that seeks to interrogate hegemonic and taken for granted models of sustainability and green architecture.

The JF-Kit house renders the image of a possible future where citizens produce part of their domestic energy requirements with their own physical activities.…

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CFP: Remarkable buildings and common spaces in XXth and XXIth century: Dialog between architecture and anthropology

Special issue coordinated by Catherine Deschamps and Bruno Proth

In 1969, architect Amos Rapoport published his book House, Form and Culture. He was inspired in his work by his own observations as well as his meetings with anthropologists. The book focused more on vernacular architecture than on the modern or contemporary one. Since then, the anthropology of architecture, and the most recent forms of architecture in particular, remained in a foetal state. In France, the recurrent appear of Marion Ségaud’s name cannot but testify that she is lonely. Sociology has been a bit more eloquent, sometimes having the perverse effect of heaping opprobrium on an entire profession and its productions: the criticism of “grands ensembles”, where architects have often taken the role of scapegoats, almost disqualified the modern movement.…

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