“in punte pite, i went there and i knew the place and i said: ‘listen, this is for everybody because there is such beauty.’ this public space makes everything better, for business, for nature, for the people, for everybody. i think that the place talks by itself. if go there and walk along the coast as i did, you can feel that it’s a special place. so you build a path.”

24/08/2012 § Leave a comment

teresa moller, punte pite (2005)


caitrin daly and adrian keene:  it’s almost like you mediate a way for people to negotiate and experience these sites.

teresa moller:  yes, with one little line, it helps you to go from one place to the other but you don’t need more than that.

cd + ak:  in terms of your process, when you design a landscape do you design piece by piece over time, or do you create a whole plan?

tm:  i make a plan because you have to have one vision, one idea.  one vision for all of it and you must know that you want something to come from this place.  you may go in different ways, but you have to know where you start and where you finish – it doesn’t work to go little by little.  because then it becomes like all different things together and you will never get the feeling of something that is a whole vision.  for instance, a park design (named ‘casablanca ii’), started by discovering a circle that was there but you didn’t see it because it was hidden under many trees, i cleaned it and then suddenly i saw all these other trees that were also planted in a circle.  somebody made this many years ago.  from these discoveries i make a plan.  but if i start in one place and i do one thing and then another thing it doesn’t become one experience.

cd + ak:  so you must walk and experience the terrain and landscape before you begin designing…

tm:  oh yes or else i can’t do anything….

cd + ak:  if you could tell us a little bit about how you approach a site?

tm:  i think it is very important to be in the place.  before doing anything, you need to be aware of what is there and what that place wants you to do.  i think it’s really the most important thing.  it is something that one cannot overlook.  you can’t design a project without spending time in the site because your design is empty without being connected with the place.  for instance we are going to shanghai to design a project with a chilean architect.  i told the client that i can’t think of something without first being there, even if it’s a patio inside a building.  i could design it on the computer and create all the plans, but how can i understand what i want – or what the place wants – if i don’t know the landscape.  so we have to go, just to breathe the air in shanghai, to know what we want to have there.

cd + ak:  more and more, people work with photographs or on the computer in order to create a design.

tm:  yes, people often work from photography.  i would prohibit this.  it happens so much that you go back to the studio, you do the plans, you do the work and then you start building.  then you realize that you didn’t see that there was a hill that you could have put in the view.  you have to be in the site. 


cd + ak:  you describe your design practice as being a tool which can completely immerse people in nature.  how do you think that your work does this?

tm:  not as good as i would like! because people are really difficult.  i work in nature because it is not so serious.  it’s not like if you were a medical doctor working in the intensive care unit where people are about to die.  nature is all the opposite.  everything is… very clear.  we cannot say what it is though! it is very difficult to have people to get the feeling of immersion and to take advantage of what that means.  of what nature means.  i think the world is becoming so strict, we are so far away from what nature is and we need it to be alive.  so now you will have anything at home to remind you of what nature is, even if its a pot of tomatoes.

cd + ak:  would you say the artificial is becoming more natural, or that nature is becoming more artificial?  for example parametric modeling that simulates natural growth patterns?

tm:  it will never work.  for instance the 3d computer, i don’t think it’s trying to become more natural i think it is trying to help you in building an artificial environment in a better way, using a better tool to work with.  but it is still artificial, made using a better tool.  so i think artificial has to go very artificial.  it will never become natural and it cannot be in between these things.

– excerpt of the article a conversation with: teresa moller from kerb 19 – paradigms of nature: post natural futures


build a path

a young hare




[title + text]     Daly, Caitrin, and Adrian Keene. “A Conversation With: Teresa Moller.” Paradigms of Nature: Post Natural Futures. By Caitrin Daly. Melbourne: Melbourne, 2011. 18-23. Print.

[images]     i can’t remember where i came across these photos.  but there are several nice ones from the landscape architect teresa mollers own website.  well worth a visit.

“mimetizando la estrategia del coreógrafo john tiller quien sincronizaba los movimientos de las bailarinas de teatro mediante la unión física de sus cuerpos a finales del siglo XIX, numerosos arquitectos de posguerra buscaron una alianza entre cálculo, estandarización, estética y producción cuyos efectos totales, al igual que sucede con la teoría de la gestalt, fueron superiores a la suma de las partes. los trabajos de arquitectos como edward durrell stone, marcel breuer o egon eierman ejemplifican este método compositivo y constructivo. la repetición estandarizada se convertía en la retórica de la industria, garantizando bajo el mismo paradigma exactitud calculada y variación expresiva.”

22/08/2012 § 4 Comments

egon eiermann, merkur department store (1958-60)


can’t seem to find anything about this building.  nor have i found it on google streetview.  bummer.  would be interesting to see how its held up over time.


reproduce and repeat

a young hare




[title]     comes from circo 163, reproducir y repetir by pep aviles.  this happens to be were i first came across the merkur department store by egon eiermann.

[image]     comes from architecture de cartes postales, which asks the same question: where is this building?!

“when we start a project, we study the general situation first: the country, the region, the city, the area, the site. it’s important for us to understand as much as possible about the conditions that surround the project …. these conditions can be political, cultural, economic or social, but they are also about issues such as climate, light, sound, planting, local fashion, music, traffic behaviour, architecture or language.”

22/08/2012 § Leave a comment

marieke vanden heuvel, surging garden (2008)

inside outside’s curtain design for the de singel addition.


invisible presence

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[title]     Blaisse, Petra. “Curtain as Architecture.” Inside Outside. Rotterdam: NAi, 2007. 18. Print.

[image]      comes from the de singel website.

[more blaisse]     for more of petra blaisse and inside outside’s work check out this old ayh post.

“the theoretical basis of stynen’s work is on the same line with the ideas of le corbusier. his apartment building in wilrijk (1932) was a modest, but well conceived residential unit, long before le corbusier built unité d’habitation in marseille. stynen’s proposal for urban development on the ‘linkeroever’ in antwerp (1932) – a competition that le corbusier also participated in – is totally in line with the ideas of c.i.a.m.”

22/08/2012 § Leave a comment

gerrit op de beeck, trap (1990)


leon stynen’s de singel.  i should also note he worked closely on the project with his assistant paul de meyer.


share credit

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[title]     comes from the kind folks at de singel.  for more on the history of the institution, the architect and the buildings (new and old) click here.

[image]      also from the de singel website.

“on many wikis, wikipedia included, a walled garden is a set of pages or articles that link to each other, but do not have any links to or from anything outside the group. this can be a failure of linkage, or it can be an attempt to form a group of articles on essentially the same topic. this should especially be avoided on wikipedia, where one of our core principles is building the web.”

26/07/2012 § 1 Comment


fuzi uv tpk – (via reform)


okay, its time to continue building the web.  as previously mentioned, my goal for july was to add to the ayh blogroll.  since august is just around the corner, this seems like a great opportunity to add more links.  and rather than quietly add links, i figured i’d give a quick synopsis in case you’ve never heard of these blogs and need to be enticed a bit.  last time there was a theme of urban, landscape, and engagement.  this time the theme is variety.  no walled gardens today.  here goes:


htc experiments:  continuing with last times’ theme of urban, landscape, and social engagement i can’t help but think of htc experiments.  ever since i read about david gissen’s proposal to reconstruct the mound of vendome, i’ve been hooked.

sink then swim:  curated by claudette, sink then swim is an awesome blog covering her everyday life and inspiring art/music/whatever.  i was first introduced to claudette through our mutual friends at rolu, where she wrote a couple great posts.  but enough about rolu, check out sink then swim – here’s a recent favorite post.

many stuff:  good.  graphic.  design.  every time i think of redesigning my portfolio i turn to many stuff.  so many inspiring projects.  and while the topics mostly cover graphic design, charlotte cheetham also posts about art projects in the us and europe.

pale:  i came across pale recently.  its a tumblr pumping out a constant stream of images everyday.  some are pale, others are not.  check it out for yourself.

reform:  “every reform movement has a lunatic fringe.”  so says their slogan.  anyways, it’s also a tumblr.  its also where i found today’s image.


the revolution is not a garden party

a young hare




[title]     today’s title comes from the meta-wikipedia entry on walled gardens.  don’t create walled gardens.

[image]     today’s image comes from fuzi uvtpk and was originally found at reform.

“the oldest bricks date back to around 7500 BC, these were sun dried mud bricks, around the third milliennium, fired bricks were invented. with the invention of the steam engine early brick-making machines used stiff mud which was forced out in long ribbons on a conveyor belt, transferred to moulds and cut by a revolving cutter. today, as we march into the 21st century armed with new computer aided design (cad) and computer automated manufacturing (cam) technologies we can liberate ourselves from the traditional form of the brick without sacrificing any of the functionality of the brick.”

25/07/2012 § 1 Comment

rael san fratello, planter brick (2009)


since monday’s post post about the tai ping bridge in rural china being built with triangular pavers hollowed out to be filled with soil and plants, i started to think about an old rael san fratello project involving 3-d printed bricks.   in the tai ping bridge post, there were images of the students and locals producing bricks the traditional way, building a form work and casting the paver.

which brings me to the planter brick.  it is essentially the same product (a building component capable of housing soil and plant), but the manufacturing process is so wildly different and fascinating.  i’m not interested in the idea of a green path or wall, as i am fascinated by the idea of casting without form work.  simply put, we build things twice in the casting process.  first as a negative space (form work), then as a positive space (the product).  3d printing eliminates the need for form work, which means a reduction in material and thus waste.

as for plants growing out of walls, i imagine that in two hundred years, people will say that during the baroque period architects designed walls covered in fat babies (putti) and at the turn of the millennium architects covered walls in plants.


build once

a young hare




[title + imagery]     today’s title comes from rael san fratello’s planter brick project description.  the first image comes from the emerging objects website.  the next two images also come from rael san fratello’s project description.

[more brick making]     the down side of 3d printing is that it won’t take a village to produce a brick anymore.  see a community in action in this ayh post.

“the venetian chair is a remembrance of childhood, when building fortresses, hideouts and our own world with pieces of furniture was our utmost pleasure. a chair is the archetype of furniture, an object that assists us as we work, relax, or gather for a meal or discussion. with the generator it is endowed with a further function: the “stacking chair” becomes an assembly part to construct spaces.”

24/07/2012 § 1 Comment

raumlabor, the generator – sedia veneziana (2010)


the generator is an experimental building laboratory for instant, participatory building practices in public space.  central issues of the research include: construction principles, new geometries for furniture and lightweight construction buildings, as well as new use possiblities and multiple programs for people to meet and interact in public.

– raumlabor, the generator – sedia veneziana


assembly space

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[title + text + images]     today’s title, text and imagery comes from raumlabor’s the generator project description.  i highly recommend perusing through raumlabor’s many interventions and narratives.  great stuff.

[more places to sit + more participation]     this project came to mind after yesterday’s post on the community assisted tai ping bridge project.  for more on chairs as space see the previous ayh post on doris salcedo.  for more on chairs as politics see this previous post comparing ai wei wei and gianni pettena.

“the tai ping bridge project is a reconstruction and surface renovation project of a historic 300 year-old bridge. the project reconciles the historical, existing masonry construction with modern techniques of pre-cast concrete. the bridge was reprogrammed as a public space, built and planed with the help of volunteers and villagers.”

23/07/2012 § 1 Comment


rufwork, tai ping bridge (2009)


a great small intervention in the guizhou province of china by rural urban framework – aka rufwork.  another aspect of the project which isn’t visible in the photographs was the reconstruction of a collapsed arch in the bridge.


tiny interventions

a young hare




[title + images]     the title and imagery come from rural urban frameworks website. check out more pictures and other projects.

[more interventions]     this came to mind while writing this mornings post, on david kohn’s skyroom.

“for its adherents, jujitsu is superior to all hard techniques because of a familiar philosophical inversion—the greatest hardness can only be achieved through its opposite. ‘the word ‘flexible’ never means weakness but something more akin to adaptability and open-mindedness. gentleness always overcomes strength.’ rather than an expectation of ever-increasing levels of energy to overcome a given situation, jujitsu requires a willingness to redirect energy and therefore to invent a response that suits the form of the attack.” – david kohn

23/07/2012 § 1 Comment

photography: will pryce
architecture: david kohn skyroom – rooftop pavilion (2010)


jujitsu urbanism might describe a 21st-century approach to contending with the potential energy of the contemporary city.  rather than meeting problems of migration, densification, contraction, transportation and poverty with the kinetic energy of wrecking balls, piling, formwork and heavy lifting, an art of gentle energy redeployment could be adopted.  the strength of the jujitsu analogy lies precisely in its violent origins.  too often in urban debates, any notion of subtlety, flexibility or adaptability of technique is perceived as being ultimately weak—confirmation of the victorians’ greatness in contrast with our relative lack of backbone and, ultimately, an acquiescence to the inevitable decline of cities. jujitsu urbanism, on the other hand, having been informed by centuries of samurai warriors, is battle-proven to defeat head-on onslaughts.

– jujitsu urbanism by david kohn (via quaderns)


redirect energy

a young hare




[title + text]     today’s title and text comes from the quadern’s post of david kohn’s article jujitsu urbanism.

[images]     today’s photographs by will pryce come from david kohn’s website.

[more flexibility]     for previous mentions of flexible design on ayh, check out this post on tezuka architects kindergarten/park.

“in english, magma is the ‘molten rock material within the earth from which igneous rock results by cooling.’ in spanish, it has an additional meaning: ‘thick substance that supports tissues or other inorganic formations, which remains after squeezing the most fluid parts out of them’ (remember that tissue and weave, in spanish are the same word: ‘tejido’).”

18/07/2012 § Leave a comment

maximo gonzalez, magma c – i (2010 – 11)

maximo gonzalez, magma cccl – i (2010 – 11)

maximo gonzalez,  big magma ccclxx – i (2011)


“magma” pieces, by maximo gonzalez, have been made with “money paper that never touched anybody’s hands” (on the contrary of the previous work, that was all made with money out of circulation,  which passed through thousands and thousands of hands before becoming part of the artwork).

this paper is the border of the bills (20, 50, 100 $, etc.) that was trimmed during the process of fabrication in the bank of mexico.  this paper is normally destroyed.  maximo rescued it, stuck it together to produce long threads, and weaved it in a loom constructed by him, based on the traditional looms of oaxaca.

the bar codes that can be seen in different parts of the resulting weave contain the full identification of the bills that come out in sheets during the issuing process: each sheet indicates nominal value, series, bill numbers, quantity in batch, everything to uniquely identify the bills contained in that production.

the color bars that can be seen at a closer look, are used for controlling the quality of the printing, alignment, and other security standards.

thus, all the information contained in the woven piece (“magma”) is the remainder of the bill which was detached from the sheet, approved for circulation, and introduced to everyday life.


before i had read the background story describing the material used in maximo’s pieces and seen his beautiful work in full view, mounted to the wall, i thought it would make a nice table cloth.  the desire for maximo’s pieces to be introduced to everyday life as table clothes might just be a personal thing, since the pastels and patterning reminded me of the simple table clothes my grandmother used.  it could also be related to the use of the loom, and the quotidian setting of the last installation picture above.  personal anecdote aside, i highly recommend looking at the work of maximo gonzalez.


introduced to everyday life

a young hare




[title + images + text]     it all comes from maximo gonzalez’ website.  for more pieces made from money follow this link: right here.

[more paper on walls]     this piece originally came to mind when looking at mathias goeritz’ installation at the camino real mentioned on ayh last week.

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