the city unplugged

Along with Kadambari Baxi, Reinhold Martin, and Daniela Fabricius, I will be speaking at The City Unplugged, a book launch event at the Columbia GSAPP on October 15. (for Blue Monday, Multinational City, and Informal, all ACTAR publications). Michael Kubo, of ACTAR, will moderate. Together, we will be addressing the question "Do Urban Models Still Exist?" It’ll be a great privilege to share the stage with these authors, who I greatly admire.

 

Continue reading “the city unplugged”

Archidose Blue Monday Review

Saturday means I’m finally at my friend Paul and Viola’s retreat and am recharging. Maybe you are too and you’re starting to think about summer reading? Well, of course, that means another plug for our book, this time in the form of a long overdue link to John Hill’s Archidose for his review of Blue Monday.

A brief excerpt:

As an alternative research practice, AUDC’s focus and methods may be difficult to understand or grasp initially, but this book skillfully explains their point of view. The three moments—LA’s One Wilshire Boulevard "telecom hotel," the Muzak Corporation, and Quartzsite, Arizona—offer alternative urbanisms that have, in one way or another, been incorporated into contemporary life without our knowledge or any voluntary participation.

Read more.

 

Continue reading “Archidose Blue Monday Review”

week of transitions

It's a week of transitions, as the urgency of spring gives way to the languid days of summer (must resist at all costs through bike rides and caffeine). When I run into my readers they often ask what's new, so here's a brief summing up…

The Networked Publics book (unfinished revamped website preview here ) is once again moving forward. Reviews are in and we hope to have it in print by this time next year at the latest. When I've redone the site and have had a chance to put my thoughts together a little more, I will be posting a more enthusiastic call to comments in hopes of getting input in the final draft stages of this networked book.

Our previous networked book, Blue Monday is finally hitting the bookstores. It's in St. Mark's and, as my friend Mark Lee just informed me, at Hennessey and Ingalls. To ACTAR's credit, the object is far more beautiful than anything we have done on the web. But it is worth mentioning that I redid the AUDC web site last week.

Finally, it looks like we'll be using the Studio-X space sooner rather than later. This is a major initiative at Columbia that I'm delighted that the Netlab is a key stakeholder in, along with C-Lab and David Benjamin's Living Architecture Lab.

So all is good, very good indeed.

Continue reading “week of transitions”

Blue Monday in stock!

Back from final reviews at the University of Limerick and the book launch of Blue Monday that director Merritt Bucholz kindly put together for me. Work at the school is progressing well and it was a delight to have such a great reception for the European launch.

But to my complete incredulity, Blue Monday is now in stock at Amazon, but act fast. Pre-orders have taken their toll and there's only one left.

 

Continue reading “Blue Monday in stock!”

Blue Monday

kazys with blue monday
It's been a Blue Monday here in Montclair in more ways than one. It's foggy and wet with patches of drizzle. The doorbell rang this morning and the Fedex man came with my advance copies of Blue Monday. The book looks fantastic and I can't wait to get it into the wild. It is the perfect size to be "A Guide to the Operating System of the System itself" as Reinhold Martin calls it. If the dot.com era was marked by Verso's somewhat (deliberately) cynical Communist Manifesto with the Komar and Malmid cover that was supposed to "fit snugly in a Prada purse," then Blue Monday is the irony-free successor.
Regrettably, ever since I moved to a so-called "failover" web hosting plan, my server has done nothing but fail. Varnelis.net took a turn for the worse today and the not-so-very-helpful staff weren't able to account for (or admit) what they had done. As a result, instead of being able to post this account to the blog quickly, I had to move the site over. Oh well, it all makes the eventual transition to a new host easier! In the meantime, some links will have broken. Unfortunately, it will probably be a long time before I can spare the cycles to rebuild them.
But, with the site up and (largely) running, I'm pleased to finally be able to report this news along with this photo of the first American Blue Monday and its owner.
Did you know there's a whole site dedicated to photographs of copies of Blue Monday and their owners ?

Continue reading “Blue Monday”

gsd bound

I will be speaking next week and the week after at Harvard's Graduate School of Design.

My first talk, "Tourism of the Void," an analysis of Quartzsite, Arizona, is part of the Desert Tourism conference. I will be speaking in the Imagining the Desert Panel beginning at 2.15pm on April 4. According to the organizers,

This conference on desert tourism seeks to analyze the relationship between tourism and the sustainable development of the populations, architectures and landscapes of arid regions. Its main purpose is to provide a meeting platform for students, academics, researchers, and organizations, which have studied or implemented tourist projects that integrate the development of their surroundings and to discuss issues raise by desert tourism.

My second talk, "History of the Eye," on the formalism of the Cornell-Cooper schools in architectural education is part of Studioscope: Design and Pedagogy. I will be speaking in Session II, Histories of the Studio Form, 9-11am on April 13.

In this case,

This symposium and subsequent publication will bring together preeminent design teachers and scholars to examine the historical emergence, contemporary complexion, and future prospects of the design studio. Focusing on those technical, representational, and procedural aspects of the design studio that make it a distinct pedagogical model, the symposium will illuminate and critically rehearse the approaches and schools that are most fundamental to the studio today. Both the center and borders of the studio genre will be explored, including, respectively, what the structure and content of core studios should encompass and innovative models of studio instruction from analogous fields.

So bear with me if I don't post as often as I should in the next few weeks.  

Continue reading “gsd bound”

The Berlin Wall’s Wife, Clarence the Record Collector, and Mike the Headless Chicken

The previous post on Clocky brought us to the topic of our relationship to things, something that Robert Sumrell and I have spent a good deal of time thinking about in our new book Blue Monday. This week, I have been going over the edits one very last time before we sent it to the printer and, in so doing, realized that I should point varnelis.net readers toward three short stories in Blue Monday that we have, thus far, kept largely under wraps.

The first is the story of Wall W. Berliner-Mauer , a Swedish woman who fell in love with the great modernist icon, the Berlin Wall and married it in 1979. As you might imagine, Berliner-Mauer's story is quite tragic as her husband was demolished a decade later. Berliner-Mauer has extensively theorized her relationship with the wall on her web site. The second is the story of Clarence, an obsessive record collector who has given up his life to the objects of his attention. In this story we explore our devotion and even slavery to objects. The third is the story of Mike, a chicken who survived decapitation to form a bond with the man who chopped off his head. Mike's life allowed us insight into just how perilous relationships of people and things can be.

Together, these three stories explore the fraught relationships we have with objects and our desire not only to make them submit to us, but to submit ourselves to them. We hope you'll enjoy them, and enjoy them even more when they become available in far more readable form in the book.

Continue reading “The Berlin Wall’s Wife, Clarence the Record Collector, and Mike the Headless Chicken”