Bartlett International Lecture Series | Autumn 2016 /// Today 10 November | 18.30 – 20.00 /// Christopher Ingold Auditorium /// 20 Gordon Street, WC1H 0AJ
Local Code; 3,659 Proposals about Data, Design, and the Nature of Cities
When Gordon Matta-Clark assembled the titles and documentation to a dozen-odd vacant parcels of New York property between 1974 and 1977 (first exhibited as _Reality Properties: Fake Estates_ in 1992) it was with no agenda, other than that “the availability of vacant and underutilised parcels is a direct reminder of the fallacy of renewal through modernization.” Today, the development of digital mapping has made the discovery of many thousands of such parcels possible. What is more, these same tools point to the specific, unexpected usefulness of such abandoned space to urban ecological resilience. Presenting 3,659 design proposals for vacant sites in New York, San Francisco, Venice and Los Angeles, the lecture presents a new set of possibilities for an architecture that takes place at the scale of the city – yet works alongside the city’s innate organisation to abandon traditional notions of site, structure, and the discrete architectural object.
Nicholas de Monchaux is Associate Professor of Architecture and Urban Design at the University of California, Berkeley, where he serves as Director of the Berkeley Center for New Media. He is the author of Spacesuit: Fashioning Apollo (MIT Press, 2011), an architectural history of the Apollo Spacesuit, winner of the Eugene Emme award from the American Astronautical Society and shortlisted for the Art Book Prize.