August 2010

Space Agents

Wow, it’s been a while since my last post. If and when I do retire this space, I dream of converting it into more of a database of ideas than a reverse-chronological history of my random walks.

For instance, I like what’s happening at, a database of architectural practices engaged with social and political concerns. The last few years have seen growing number of projects cataloging design and architecture for good, but I think this one has a nice historical breadth and expansive perspective of what constitutes a design practice. I’m not totally down with the “acting on behalf of-” line, but I like the emphasis on context:

Spatial Agency is an ongoing research project that aims to shift the of focus of architectural discourse from one that is centred around the design (= building) and making (= technology) of buildings to one where architecture is understood as a situated and embedded praxis conscious of and working with its social, economic and political context.

In the spirit of Cedric Price the project started with the belief that a building is not necessarily the best solution to an architectural problem. Architecture, and it is easy to forget this, is about a lot more than just objects in space. The project attempts to uncover a second history of architecture, one that looks at other ways that people have operated beyond the building, working on behalf of others as spatial agents. Buildings are of course not excluded, but the project expands its reach to cover all aspects of spatial production - from publications to pedagogy, activism to enabling.

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