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Archis event series
A series of seven evening symposia attended by capacity audiences was staged at a range of cultural venues in London. Curated and chaired by Lucy Bullivant, with two events, 'Is there a Dutchness in the state of architecture?' (12 May 1998, Architectural Association, London) and 'Quick Space in Real Time' (12 November 1998, curated by Ole Bouman), they served as an incisive international platform for Archis magazine for architecture, city and visual culture in foregrounding urgent issues concerning the culture of architecture for a diverse audience of cultural practitioners. Ole Bouman, editor-in-chief of Archis since 1996, whose idea it was to stage this unique, Anglo-Dutch series of events, became Director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute in 2007.
In May 2005, the Archis Stichting launched Volume, an independent bi-monthly magazine for architecture, founded by Ole Bouman, Rem Koolhaas and Mark Wigley, a collaboration between Archis, OMA and C-lab, the Columbia Laboratory for Architectural Broadcasting, continuing Archis' unique and polemical international architectural and visual cultural publishing project. Since 2001 the Archis Stichting has staged the Archis RSVP events at various global destinations.
a talking space, a launch event and salon-style debate for the newly redesigned Archis magazine on the relationship between architecture and the media.
Archis, which is available in English as well as Dutch, critically stimulates international developments in architecture, urbanism and visual culture. What kind of mediation does an architectural magazine such as Archis play in and beyond the profession? What are the new impulses coming from the discipline of architecture that demand a reassessment of the situation, and in what ways is this affecting the relationship between architects and media? Speakers: Ole Bouman, editor-in-chief of Archis, and architects Sean Griffiths, director, FAT, London; Deborah Saunt and David Hills, directors, dsdha, London; Renato Benedetti, director, McDowell Benedetti, London; Kim Colin and Clive Sall, tutors of architecture, Royal College of Art/Architectural Association, and directors, Alphaville, London; Mark Brearley, director, East, London; Vicky Richardson, deputy editor, RIBA Journal. Chair: Lucy Bullivant. Staged 30 May 2001. RIBA, London, with the support of Archis's publishers the Artimo Foundation, Amsterdam, and the Royal Netherlands Embassy.
representing architecture through photography, a debate.
Photography plays a key role in the architectural media. The mass representations of the built environment mythologise rather than reflect the actual experience of architectural space. Often showing a larger-than-life, depopulated realm, their sanitised imagery is styled to perfection. The apparently objective architectural representations of a photographer like Julius Shulman (Imaging Space was staged during an exhibition of his work at the Photographers' Gallery) are now gradually being replaced by a more active and suggestive architectural photography influenced by both the visual arts and by the experiences of moving through space. Ole Bouman, artist Rut Blees Luxemburg and photographer Ralph Kämena debated these issues and considered the possibilities of a critical architectural language evolved through the constantly developing possibilities of photography and technology. Chair: Lucy Bullivant. Held in conjunction with the Royal Netherlands Embassy and the Photographers' Gallery, London, where the event was staged 22 September 2000.
"Kämena is a frequent contributor to Archis, and his images are
full of the anecdotal detritus of everyday life. They are a real
contrast to Luxemburg's: based in London, most of her work consists of
large-scale, long-exposure images of the city at night, expressing a
disjuncture between interior and exterior worlds. She worked with Muf
architects on a project to display one of her tower-block photographs
beneath a bridge in Shoreditch. With new technology making images ever
more accessible via the Internet, with video increasingly ubiquitous,
and more and more television coverage of architecture, the debate has to
be a very timely one."
art/architecture/media, a debate.
Speakers: architect Kas Oosterhuis, founder of Oosterhuis.nl with Ilona Lénard, and Ole Bouman, lecturing on interdisciplinary strategies for the electronic fusion of art and architecture. New instruments emerging in architecture from more cybernetic, process-driven activities reposition our perception and allow us to experience architecture as behavioural, unpredictable and irrational, as an active, mobile body feeding on matter and data. In the digital age, this gives it an identity in tune with our more coded and complex relationships, one that is synthetic and intelligent. Chair: Lucy Bullivant. Staged at the Bartlett School of Architecture, London, 8 November 1999, with the support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Beck's Bier, Service Point Digital Reprographics & Communications and the Bartlett School of Architecture and Planning. Graphic design: Emma Webb
Architecture on the make:
the mandate of the architect, a debate on the role of the architect in contemporary society.
What perceptions and redefinitions of what is to 'make' architecture and to 'be' an architect are offering a new sense of cultural mandate? In what ways do the professional legitimating activities of practice, teaching and publishing engage with change in society? How does the centrality of strategic architectural practice to Dutch cultural life offer inspiration and pitfalls in this respect? Speakers: Ole Bouman, Wiel Arets, architect and Dean of the Berlage Institute, postgraduate Laboratory of Architecture, Rotterdam, Nathalie de Vries, co-founder of Dutch architectural practice MVRDV, Rotterdam, and Sean Griffiths, architect and co-founder of FAT. Chair: Lucy Bullivant. With the support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Service Point Digital Reprographics and Beck's Bier and the RIBA Architecture Gallery, London, where the event was held, 22 June 1999. Graphic design: Emma Webb
Destination Future: future scenarios, the horizon of experiences and the urban mandate, plenary session.
Speakers: Ole Bouman and Bart Lootsma. Chair: Lucy Bullivant. With the support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy and Service Point Reprographics, at the Cities at the Millennium conference, hosted by University of East London, RIBA Architecture Gallery, London, 17 December 1998. Graphic design: Emma Webb
"...in considering the city it is not enough simply to explain a
project's origination, location and social effect... one should also
consider the specific attributes of the material constructions. Most
successful here were the Dutch pairing of Bart Lootsma and Ole Bouman,
dealing with such specific projects as the 'City Talks' for Rotterdam
2045, where architectural design is used not in order to be immediately
built but in order to discover qualities to be striven for, and to
generate discussion. Here, architecture is properly urban, properly
citified: a meeting place, a conceptual place, as well as designed and
constructed. Here, the city finally comes alive, at once designed,
discussed and lived."
Quick Space in Real Time:
the real d-construction in architecture, a lecture by Ole Bouman.
"The merging of the physical and virtual domains of architecture and the uncoupling of spatial perception from architectural structure puts the very definition of architecture on the line. This opening of new conditions provokes a different kind of urbanism that varies in moods, programmes and types of use. The building as terminal reacts via animation software and information flows but also to external stimuli, light and heat levels. The architectural potential of a digital world stops being a limited concept if it is perceived not in spite of, not instead of, not even alongside, but in the physical world. For if architectural form really evolves as a kind of active databank, a self-learning system, then hybrid urbanism has the potential to be the invisible stage manager of 'quick space'." (Ole Bouman). Chair: Lucy Bullivant. With the support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy, and held at the Royal College of Art, London, 12 November 1998, in association with the Royal College of Art Architecture and Interiors Department and with the support of Beck's Bier. Graphic design: Janek Schaefer.
Is there a Dutchness in the state of architecture?
An evening symposium.
Dutch architecture is 'alive and kicking'; this is demonstrated by major investments, a growing sense of quality among clients, and celebrities all over the place. It could be interpreted as the simple result of a booming economy and the historical coincidence of available talent. Sufficient ingredients for national pride, but what about Dutchness? There are forces at work whose scope and consequences go far beyond nationality and territory; forces of mentality, organization and design techniques which imply a restructuring of architecture as a whole. New strategies, models and ambitions are emerging: the basic question of what is and is not architecture is receiving a different answer. Speakers: Ole Bouman, Charles Jencks, architect and author and architect Caroline Bos, partner in UN Studio. Chair: Lucy Bullivant. With the support of the Royal Netherlands Embassy. Staged at the Architectural Association, London, 12 May 1998
"Ole Bouman stated that the role of the profession is continually having
to redefine itself..the architect, as sole master of exception, has
become the architect as the master of balance. Space directing has
replaced space designing. Bouman thinks the scale of development has
seen a weakening of form, not, as Jencks postulates, as a formalistic
'AAness' or 'Remness', but as a condition where the formal image is
postponed as long as possible in order to maintain many possible
futures... 'Dutchness', then, is not about identity or nationality but, as
Bouman suggested, more a condition: "Never has architecture been so
broad, the mandate so big and the need so great for this new condition
to be navigated". The Dutch are not just talking about it, they are
doing it. The next question: Is there Britishness?"
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