WA Contents’s Blog

Laird Kay’s LEGO City interprets the modern absence of community through new formation of mega cities

  • Wednesday, February 03, 2016 - 1:33:57 PM
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all images courtesy of Laird Kay

Canada-based designer and photographer Laird Kay reinterprets the new formations of cities in the modern world, criticizing the modern absence of community in new city-shaping. Kay, specializes in aviation and destination photography, creates a new series of images that attribute to the critical line between plastic and inhabited-that has become virtually indistinguishable from the 'real thing'. Titled 'LEGO city', this project is presented as a new branding and image. According to Kay, ''like plastic, like LEGO city, they're no longer built at last. They can be pulled down when fashions change''. Kay manifest his question: is it Dubai? is it Hong Kong? New York? Singapore? Toronto? Vancouver?

Kay expresses that “Cities used to be the result of collective will and a desire to shape, to control, our environments. They were expressions of the things that happened in them''. Kay's LEGO city project also emphasizes a specific 'jeneric', a prototype of buildings raising in many countries of the world. These endless skyscrapers display physical and cultural irrelation that makes the cityscapes indistinctive. So, all the cities grow in that way and loose their identities or cultural heritage.

elevation no:1

after 2 years of growth

approaching from the east

approaching from the west

architectural detail

after the summer rains

before the summer rains

hotel on at the hill

looking north

polar vertex

power station lighting up the city

street view at night

view from the helicopter

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Erotic architecture:the sexual history of great buildings

  • Saturday, August 16, 2014 - 5:50:29 PM
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From Nero’s decadent Golden House in Rome to Charles Fourier’s orgiastic French “courts of love”; public toilet glory holes to Eileen Gray’s sexy Mediterranean hideway.

Ahead of the curve: Niterol Contemporary Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro by Oscar Niemeyer. Photo: Getty

Bricks and Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made

Tom Wilkinson
Bloomsbury, 352pp, £25

Radical Cities: Across Latin America in Search of a New Architecture
Justin McGuirk
Verso, 288pp, £17.99

At first glance, the only visible connection between these two lively books is a bridge between Rio de Janeiro and Rocinha, the South American city’s biggest favela, shaped in the guise of a woman’s G-stringed bottom. This, however, proves to be revealing, for both Tom Wilkinson’s revisionist passeggiata through architectural history and Justin McGuirk’s hike through the slums and outer suburbs of Latin American cities seem bent, provocatively, on turning accepted notions of architecture and the values of the profession that serves it upside down and inside out. Wilkinson quotes Oscar Niemeyer, the long-lived Brazilian architect who designed some of the most sensuous buildings of the 20th century: “Life is more important than architecture.”

As for that curvaceous footbridge, Wil­kinson quotes Niemeyer again: “Right an­gles don’t attract me. Nor straight, hard and inflexible lines created by man. What attracts me are free and sensual curves. The curves we find . . . in the body of the woman we love.” Despite what he calls Niemeyer’s “Palaeozoic sexual attitudes”, Wilkinson – a young architectural historian – has written a book that is as much about bodies and sex as it is about buildings. Indeed, you might call Bricks and Mortals a guide to the sexual understanding of great buildings.

As he gleefully sets out to undermine previous generations of historians and critics, Wilkinson revels in the perceived “unnaturalness” and “structural dishonesty” of Nero’s Golden House in Rome, a decadent labyrinth where exotic sex was the imperial order of the day. He thrills, too, in what he sees as the “queasily pulsating geometry” of Borromini’s San Carlo church in the same city; in the provocative profile of the Djenn&e’ mud mosque in Mali (“a baroque temple dedicated to the god of suppositories”, according to the French critic F&e’lix Dubois); and in the orgies, open to every sexual persuasion, organised by Charles Fourier in the “courts of love” of his idealistic French revolutionary communes. And, via a discussion of “glory holes” in the cubicles of gents public lavatories, we are led to the E.1027 house on the French Mediterranean coast, built by Eileen Gray for her younger male lover, celebrated in a chapter subtitled “Architecture and Sex”....Continue Reading

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Do You Wonder What The New York Skyline looks like?

  • Wednesday, November 18, 2015 - 3:03:18 PM
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screenshot of ''The New York Skyline'' infographic, designed by National Geographic. image via National Geographic

National Geographic is very curious about the world, cities, buildings and human habitats! National Geographic has observed in its new infographic that Manhattan is in the midst of an unprecedented boom in tall buildings. Before 2004, Manhattan was home to 28 skyscrapers 700 feet and taller. Since then, an additional 13 have been built, 15 are under construction, and 19 are proposed-47 more in all. These additions are rapidly-and radically-changing the skyline. In order to experience the real-time evolution of towers and sckyscrapers of New York, please scroll down your cursor and see how many buildings have been completed in 2014-2015 (marked with blue color) and how many buildings are under construction (marked with orange color) and proposed building (marked with yellow color).

screenshot-2 of ''The New York Skyline'' infographic, designed by National Geographic. image via National Geographic

you can also see 3D image of World Trade Center Complex including Daniel Libeskind ''One World Trade Center'' reaches to 1,776 ft and BIG's new proposal ''2 World Trade Center'' reaches to 1,323ft, which will be completed in 2020.

screenshot of ''The New York Skyline'' infographic, designed by National Geographic. image via National Geographic

Please experience this funny infographic from National Geographic website below

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Jimenez Lai’s ’Beachside Lonelyhearts’ presented at Jai & Jai Gallery

  • Monday, July 13, 2015 - 7:37:46 PM
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all images © Jesse Hammer & Jacob Comerci

Beachside Lonelyhearts: Pillow Talk with Sylvia Lavin and Jimenez Lai-Part I

Beachside Lonelyhearts: Pillow Talk with Sylvia Lavin and Jimenez Lai Part II

Beachside Lonelyhearts: Pillow Talk with Sylvia Lavin and Jimenez Lai Part III

Los Angeles, CA – Jai & Jai Gallery is pleased to present Beachside Lonelyhearts, an installation designed by Jimenez Lai. This is the architect/artist’s first solo exhibition with Jai & Jai Gallery. All surfaces of the gallery space is covered with white canvas. Like a cave painting, the entirety of the room is Jimenez Lai’s continuous canvas upon which his architectural notations are drawn on all interiors; walls, ceiling, and floor. Custom-stretched canvases are distributed in an informal manner, forming an archeopelgo of extruded shapes foregrounding a sea of hand drawings. The collection of stretched canvases are comprised of many shapes, including trapezoids, clouds, beach blankets, pillows, and so forth.

Beachside Lonelyhearts is a story about an incorrectly remembered sunny afternoon, whose thought fragments are glitched together along a beach plan. Beachside lonelyhearts is a story remembered incorrectly, with thought fragments scattered over the walls, floor and ceiling in a desperate attempt to piece back together the fondest and most idyllic sense of warmth. These incorrect memories are repeated, told, retold, corrected, and reconstructed, with degrees of familiarity and differences - but each time plausible and believable in their own right. Notes, sketches and thoughts are scribbled onto the wall. Images, snapshots and visuals are pasted as postcards.

This fragmented memory is in a safe place - a treasure box - where no amount of reassembly and reconstruction could disturb the fact that this afternoon existed, and none of the choices in this reality would result in any lasting consequences. This sunny afternoon is a west coast joy ride, or a terrifically beautiful nightmare. But there’s no one, nothing, as a convertible roams along with a collection of scattered thoughts flapping in the wind. 

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[BERLIN] Gourmet Street Food

  • Monday, July 13, 2015 - 6:26:27 PM
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image via [AC-CA]

[AC-CA] has announced its new competition on [BERLIN] Gourmet Street Food and you can find the information about competition below:

Gourmet Street food refers to highest quality and excellent flavored balanced meals, prepared well with good ingredients and somtimes quirky and a twist or new offering from the norm but with quick turnaround served on the street or outside the restaturants environment in special trucks or temporary and sometimes mobile food cabins.
aim of this competition
The aim of this International Competition is to design a Gourmet Street Food structure in the heart of the city of Berlin. The architecture of this new temporary structure or vessel should reflect contemporary design tendencies in its provision of an architectural solution to the current gourmet street food scene. The proposal must not only attend to the specific function but also take into consideration the urban context and impact. This competition hopes to achieve the following:

Encourage and reward design excellence at a small scale which integrates function, structure and details.
Research, respond to and highlight the unique aspects of designing a temporary self-support and possibly a mobile structure.
To generate the discussion of ideas regarding the relation between Architecture and the new Gourmet Street Food trend.
Encourage the employment of sustainable design in all aspects of the proposal.

Winning participants will receive prizes totaling US$ 5,000 with the distribution as follows:
1st prize: US$ 3,000
2nd prize: US$ 1,500
3rd prize: US$ 500
There will also be 7 honorable mentions.
Note: this is an open international competition hosted by [AC-CA] to generate progressive contemporary design ideas.There are no plans for the Structure to be built.

Competition Officially Announced - 07th July 2015
Start of Competition - 10th July 2015
Closing Date for Registration - 30th October 2015
Closing Date for Submissions - 06th November 2015
For more information please visit website

Le Corbusier’s Architecture and His Politics discussed by New York Times

  • Monday, July 13, 2015 - 6:16:36 PM
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Le Corbusier’s Cit&e’ Radieuse apartments in Marseille, France. Credit Agnes Dherbeys for The New York Times.

Was the paradigm-changing architect known as Le Corbusier a fascist-leaning ideologue whose plans for garden cities were inspired by totalitarian ideals, or a humanist who wanted to improve people’s living conditions - a political naïf who, like many architects, was eager to work with almost any regime that would let him build?

These questions, long debated by experts, are at the heart of fresh controversy in France set off by three new books that re-examine that master Modernist’s politics and an exhibition on Le Corbusier at the Pompidou Center here through Aug. 3, commemorating the 50th anniversary of his death. In light of the books, the exhibition has been criticized for glossing over, in particular, Le Corbusier’s well-documented involvement with far-right elements in France from the 1920s to the 1940s......Continue Reading

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NAS Architecture designed ’’Scape’’ pavilion that wraps the court of the hotel Saint Como

  • Monday, July 13, 2015 - 5:53:23 PM
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all images © Paul Kozlowski, courtesy NAS Architecture

NAS Architecture designed a special pavilion that presents new formal framework for the court of the hotel Saint Como.

For 10 years the Festival of Lively Architecture and an exceptional framework that the court of the hotel Saint Como, the Pavilion Home stance must be thoughtful and contextual. It seemed important to use the different elements that punctuate the court as a basis for the overall development of the form of the pavilion. Originating on the ground, the flag is deployed in a multitude of random steps can serve as reading space for visitors, rest or scene for the different events taking place during the Festival.

The pavilion is then include columns that surround to come form a large reception area for the public. In its form and generosity that interiority appealed, made a wall scenography this space becomes a place of information and meeting around the Festival.

For the 10 years of the Festival of Lively Architecture and an exceptional place like in the hotel's courtyard Saint Como, the position taken for the Main Pavilion must be thoughtful and contextual. It Seemed significant to use the different elements That punctuate the courtyard as a basis for the overall development of the pavilion's shape.

Begining from the ground, the pavilion unfolds in a multitude of random steps That can serve as reading spaces for visitors, rest or internships for the various events take That site During the Festival. The pavilion includes columns That surround it to form a wide reception area for the public. Because of icts shape and generosity, that 'interiority plot, consistant en a wall set design, this space Becomes a place of information and meetings around the Festival.

Project Facts

Status: In progress
Client: Lively Architecture Festival
Type: Pavilion
Location: Montpellier / FRANCE
Area: 22 m²
Budget: € 6,000
Year: 2015
Team: NAS Achitecture

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Call for papers OASE 96 | SOCIAL POETICS _ The Architecture of Use and Appropriation

  • Monday, July 13, 2015 - 2:31:39 PM
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Call for papers OASE 96 | SOCIAL POETICS _ The Architecture of Use and Appropriation

Theme editors: Els Vervloesem, Marleen Goethals, Hüsnü Yegenoglu, Michiel Dehaene
This issue of OASE is situated within a tradition that gives a central role to questions of use and appropriation in architectural reflection. The general attention to use and appropriation is part and parcel of a layered critique of architecture. The critique of a vulgar take on functionalism in favour of an open interpretation of the relationship between form and use (Rossi). The critique of commodification by placing the focus on use value rather than exchange value (Lefebvre). The critique of the hegemony of design (and the designer) in favour of design practices centred around use and usership (Jacobs, Gehl).

This issue of OASE will focus on the marked revival of forms of architecture that explicitly address questions of use and appropriation in the development of a sociocritical architecture. How can designers incorporate experience and use into their design process and architecture projects? Is this self-obvious or a point of contention? To what extent are designers ready to engage in processes of use and appropriation?

Between the belief in the autonomy of architecture on the one hand, and heteronomic, user-centred forms of design on the other, lies a broad spectrum of practices that radically question the traditional separation between design and use. In this issue, the opposition of design and use, of autonomy and heteronomy, is not addressed as a matter to be resolved, but rather as a productive force field for architectural production, as a dialectic to be spatially articulated and from which architecture and the city may derive meaning. In short, OASE #96 wishes to explore architectural projects that put great stock in the poetics of use and appropriation in the production of architectural meaning.

Call for Papers
OASE invites contributions of maximum 1500 words discussing critical architectural or urbanist design practices that mobilise use and appropriation as poetic material. These practices will be combined to produce both case-specific insights and shared ideas and arguments. In this way, we hope to move beyond the polemical theoretical discussions that have dominated this subject in the past. We ask authors to explicitly address the position adopted by themselves or other designers in the creation and articulation of possibilities of use. The papers must present a specific project or design practice that sheds light on the conceptual framework, the underlying motivations and the specific context in which this practice was developed.

The central question in this issue of OASE is how design can proactively engage with future users and possibilities of use. This involves much more than the legitimation of design choices and is not limited to discussions on user participation or user-centred design. We are, for example, interested in the various ways in which possibilities of use are conditioned by changes in the public or private character of a space, its accessibility, its visibility, etcetera. We are equally interested in projects that carve out conditions outside of the public-private dichotomy and create new collective worlds, new commons, counter spaces of the urban regularity. We would like to include practices that move beyond the classical role play of client, architect, user, and situate design in a broader ecology of actors and users. We are looking for practices that display a keen awareness of the possible positive or negative impact of architectural or urban intervention and incorporate that reflection in the design. Strategies that work for the protection of the city as use value against the effects of land speculation, for instance, belong in this category. We are looking projects that conceive of use as a learning process and explore together with users the changing meaning of architecture. There is room for places concerned with reuse, reappropriation and the recycling of building elements and materials. We are interested in projects that work with traces of use (cf. usure), that conceive of use as patina rather than wear and tear. In the relationship between architecture and furnishing, and between furniture and its use we may also find clues for an architecture of appropriation. We look for contributions discussing questions of multiple use and appropriation, of different temporalities of use, time windows and rhythms, temporary and permanent.

Deadline for full papers: 20 August 2015
Papers may be written in English or in Dutch.
You may contact the editors to discuss possible contributions.
The selection of papers will be made in function of the quality of the papers and the diversity of practices.