Posts Tagged ‘design’

Atelier Van Lieshout at Grimm

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

I reviewed Atelier Van Lieshout’s three-venue show currently on show at Grimm, here in Amsterdam. Read the piece here.

Report on The Machine for Domus

Saturday, September 29th, 2012

Some time ago I went over to the Belgian region of Limburg to visit Manifesta 9 and The Machine, both in Genk. Here you can read the report I did for Domus on the latter.

Review of Designing Media by Bill Moggridge in LCC Journal

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011

It’s been a while it’s come out, but those of you with access – or willing to pay the fee – can read my review of Bill Moggridge‘s Designing Media on the Journal of Literary and Linguistic Computing at Oxford Journals. Go take a peek.

Sustainism is the New Modernism

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

(Originally posted on Ymag)


When can you say a new era has begun? According to Michiel Schwarz and Joost Elffers – both Dutch, working in the United States – it’s when you can give it a name. And here it is, then: Sustainism, the single word representing the global trend that will eventually save the world.

In the words of its authors, Sustainism is the new Modernism is "A Cultural Manifesto for the Sustainist Era". Full of inspiring aphorisms and rich in colorful logos, the book definitely has the enthusiasm of a manifesto. Its contemporary mantras and hopeful predictions about the times to come make it a very optimistic one, too, albeit often redundant. But again, we’re talking about a manifesto.

As many of you might have guessed, the word “sustainist” echoes the need for sustainability we have so much heard about in the last years, mostly in association with architecture and design. Joost and Schwarz, though, take a step further and extend the meaning to other global phenomena, not necessarily inherent to familiar concepts like “green” and “recycling”. If the Sustainist world will be obviously reliant on recycled materials and clean energy, it will also be a media-savvy, iper-connected world.

Networking and new media are an important part of the Sustainist credo, with social media weaving a real-time global network coordinating the movement. To Elffers and Schwarz, recycling and the Internet are all part of the same open and participatory philosophy, a sort of “good wave” departing from many of the principles of Modernism – but not in total opposition with it.


Urban Simulacra

Sunday, March 29th, 2009

This is an article I originally wrote for Ymag.

Ion Bitzan, Map (1978)

It's no surprise Polis has recently opened one of their articles with the same Jorge Luis Borges quote as Jean Baudrillard did in his introduction to "Simulacra and Simulation". The quote comes from a story about an insanely detailed 1:1 scale map of an empire, eventually shredding apart and leaving scattered remains on the very soil it used to discipline.

The reason why Borges' vision is so important today is not only the recent popularization of mapping, especially on the internet, but its evolution into a virtualized and pervasive layer overlapping with both our online and offline experiences. If Christopher Alexander's "Notes on the Synthesis of Form", although focused on architectural design and civil engineering, has also influenced software writers, augmented space and virtuality make the conceptual relationship between city design and network design intersecting rather than isomorphic.


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