RE: [-empyre-] forward from Johannes

Regarding Johannes' questioning of 'intervention', I consider a work that is built in a specific context that comments on its site or reveals something about that site an intervention. It creates an interference that interrupts a direct relation to the site/condition/context and preferably heightens an awareness of the space.

The performativity of our work is its reaction to the environment and passersby. This is partially a laboratory for interactive and responsive architectures, as the NOX and Toyo Ito have done with their pavilions. And the performances aid in revealing the conceptual, contextual, and/or narrative, preferably all three.


I think the current interest in Deleuze, Bergson, Merleau-Ponty is because of their relation to new media, interactive art and architecture: perception, time, memory, cinema, movement, and the body. They provide a conceptual foundation for the material and techniques of media and interaction, for creation and criticism, independent of an overtly political use of media.

Architecturally, most political activism can be found in a few larger organizations - Architecture for Humanity, Habitat for Humanity - local organizations like New York's Common Ground. But I think most the most pervasive form of architectural activism is the 'green' movement and the strive for sustainability and environmental responsibility. Rocky Mountain Institute, Cradle-to-Cradle, U.S. Green Building Council, TransMaterial, Green Builder provide some resources. I read quite some time ago in an article in Metropolis Magazine (an article I can't find so my numbers may be off) that the building industry causes, at least, 30 percent of global pollution (again, my facts may be a bit skewed, regardless it's an issue of great importance and huge consequence).

The most consistent voice in architectural activism when dealing with economic, geo-political and international politics comes from critic-architect Michael Sorkin who often takes architects to task for not only what they are building but also for whom and how.

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