Architectonic · Design · Festivals · Public Space · Technology

The Rio 2016 Olympics: sun, sea and absolutely no swimming

The Olympic architects reveal that Rio 2016 will take over a lagoon site. But the water’s too polluted to swim – and many of the city’s communities do not fit into the glossy urban legacy plan.

One year after the London 2012 Olympics, the gates to the east London site have reopened to reveal the new Queen Elizabeth Park, the first tangible piece of the two-week sporting circus’ promised legacy. You would think the architects behind the Olympic masterplan might be able to breathe a sigh of relief: the games were deemed a success, and the “legacy communities” still remain safely on the drawing board, judgments withheld. But in the Holborn studios of Aecom, the Olympic team is as busy as ever – working on the next one.

“Rio 2016 is a whole different animal to London 2012,” says project lead Bill Hanway, who heads up the Americas section of the global giant’s 10,000-strong buildings and places division. “Brazil is still an emerging nation, and we’re having to compress what took nine years of planning for London into half that time for Rio.” Text by Oliver Wainwright. Continue at The Guardian

Architectonic · Design · Festivals · Human-ities · Shows

Did someone say ‘Adhocracy’? An interview with Ethel Baraona Pohl

Adhocracy: Organizational philosophy or style characterized by adaptive, creative, integrative behavior which (in contrast to a bureaucratic style) is flexible and non-permanent and which, therefore, can respond faster to a changing environment.

Ethel Baraona Pohl develops her professional work through links to numerous architectural and design publications. She has collaborated with blogs and magazines, including Domus, Quaderns and MAS Context, among others. She has been invited to present work at events like Postopolis! DF and the international architecture festival eme3. She was co-founder, with Cesar Reyes Najera, of the independent publishing company dpr-barcelona, whose projects, both digital and printed, subvert the limits of conventional publications, and approach the architecture and design publications of the future. Currently, Ethel serves as associate curator of Adhocracy one of the two exhibitions of the first Istanbul Design Biennial, that opened on October 13th, 2012 and runs through December 12, 2012.

Text BR&S. Continue to Interview HERE

Festivals · Film/Video/New Media · Motion Graphics

The Creator

The Creator explores the legendary myth of the father of the computer age and maker of AI (Artificial Intelligence) machines, Alan Turing. Combining Lynchian nightmare with the prophetic themes of J.G. Ballard, The Creator takes you into the surreal dream world of the visionary scientist, where his binary children embark upon a mystical quest to discover their origins and destiny in the universe. This unique new film commission premieres on the occasion of the centenary of Turing’s birth. Contains scenes of a sexual nature and optical effects.

Written and directed by Al & Al

Showing as part of Abandon Normal Devices Festival Preview, Abandon Normal Devices (AND) Festival 2012

Text and Image via Cornerhouse

Earthly/Geo/Astro · Eco/Adaptable · Festivals · Games/Play · Performativity

Night hikes/runs. NVA’s Speed of Light

Through a mass choreographed act of walking and endurance running, NVA’s Speed of Light will illuminate the iconic mountain, which rises dramatically from the heart of the city. A mesmerizing visual display unfolds on the ascent to the summit as hundreds of runners wearing specially commissioned light suits take to the intricate path networks below. As a member of the walking audience, you become part of the work, with portable light sources set against the dark features of the mountainside.

Text and Image via Edinburgh International Festival.

Architectonic · Design · Festivals · Performativity · Public Space · Videos

72 Hour Urban Action

72 Hour Urban Action is the world’s first real-time architecture competition, where 10 international teams have 3 days and 3 nights to design and build projects in public space in response to local needs.

The teams design, build, sleep and party on site to generate interventions in public space within an extreme deadline, a tight budget and limited space. 72 Hour Urban Action invites professionals and residents to become active agents of change, from the bottom-up, and to leave a lasting impact on the urban landscape.


72 Hour Urban Action is an upcoming voice in the global movement of participatory tactical urbanism, or as we like to call it, Urban Action.

Urban Action is a civic design practice that involves residents, decision makers and professionals. It harnesses creative thinking and existing resources within a community to rapidly make places. Through the power of temporality and experimentation, it encourages participation and a lasting change of perception. Through an extreme deadline, a tight budget and limited space, Urban Action sets the imagination free to allow for new possibilities and players in public space.

In July 2012, 72 Hour Urban Action is coming to Stuttgart to work together with local cultural activists. The world’s 1st real-time architecture competition will be the kick-off of a series of major urban interventions. All around the site of the largest urban redevelopment in Europe – Stuttgart 21 – the center of a 30 year heated public debate.


Events · Festivals · Performativity

Fierce Festival 2012

Birmingham’s international festival of live art returns again! Expect a distinctive cocktail of interventions, theater, parties, gigs, installations, talks, workshops and feasting. Since spring 2011 a few changes have been made. We’ve extended the festival to two weekends including the Easter; and we won’t be running alongside our close friends Flatpack Festival who now precede us by a couple of weeks. ‘Getting involved’ is at the heart of this festival. Mehmet Sander’s IMPACT, Ron Athey’s Gifts of The Spirit and Mette Edvardsen’s Time Has Fallen Asleep in the Afternoon Sunshine involve volunteer non-professional performers collaborating with international artists to create shows. On the 31st March 2012 the Dachshund UN will take place for the first time in the UK; sausage dogs from the West Midlands and beyond will represent the delegates of each country in the United Nations General Assembly.


Animalia · Architectonic · Design · Digital Media · Festivals

Animal Architecture Awards Announced!

Animal Architecture is proud to announce the winning entries for the 2011 Animal Architecture Awards. We had an amazing group of projects from all corners of the Globe and an exciting mix of fantastical, plausible and built projects that reinterpret the way we Human animals might interact with our companion species. Congratulations to all of the entrants! Job well done!

Each project will be published in more detail here on Animal Architecture within the coming weeks (and look for more information about an upcoming exhibition of the work). Again, congratulations to all of our contestants! +++ HERE

Art/Aesthetics · Design · Festivals · Technology

Hylozoic Soil


Festival: “Fundación Telefónica’s VIDA (an International competition dedicated to art and artificial art) 2009.
Location: Matadero Madrid, Spain.
Winner of the first prize: The uncanny, poetical and fascinating Hylozoic Soil, an immersive sculpture by artist and architect Philip Beesley.


The glass-like fragility of this artificial forest, built of an intricate lattice of small transparent acrylic tiles, is visually breathtaking. Its frond extremities arch uncannily towards those who venture into its midst, reaching out to stroke and be stroked like the feather or fur or hair of some mysterious animal. In keeping with Beesley’s own description, his enchanted environment complies with the laws and cycles that determine the millenial assembly of a coral reef, with its cycles of opening, clamping, filtering and digesting. Capacitance-sensing whiskers and shape-memory alloy actuators create a diffuse peristaltic pumping motion, luring visitors in to the eery shimmering depths of a forest of light. Hylozoic Soil implements a distributed sensor network driven by dozens of microprocessors, generating waves of reflexive responses to those drawn into its vast array of acrylic fern stalagmites. Different levels of programmed activity encourage the emergence of coordinated spatial behaviour: thirty-eight controller boards produce specific responses to local action, while a bus controller uses sensor activity collated from all the boards to command an additional “global” level of behaviour. The forest thus manifests a haunting, breathing organicity, as it stirs to envelop and charm its human explorers. In keeping with the tradition of biologist artist Ernst Haeckel’s Riddle of the Universe (1899), which traced actions of organic and inorganic nature alike back to natural causes and laws, Beesley’s Hylozoic Soil stands as a magically moving contemporary symbol of our aptitude for empathy and the creative projection of living systems. ( text provided by Fundación Telefónica)


Learn about Hylozoism
Images from Philip Beesley’s Hylozoic Soil


Art/Aesthetics · Festivals

So Far at the Liverpool Biennial 08

Celebrating 10 years of commissioning ambitious and challenging new work by leading international artists, the fifth edition of Liverpool Biennial’s International exhibition is MADE UP, an exploration of the power of the artistic imagination.

MADE UP sees imagination (called ‘invention’ in the 18th century) as the dynamo of art. At the heart of this exhibition’s broad ranging exploration of ‘making things up’ (which includes utopias and dystopias, narrative fiction, fantasy, myths, lies, prophesies, subversion and spectacle) is the emotional charge which powers the artistic imagination. Whether mischievous, constructive or iconoclastic, MADE UP is about art’s capacity to transport us, to suspend disbelief and generate alternative realities.

Image: (Untitled) by Matej Andraz Vogrincic, photographed by Alexandra Wolkowicz. Part of the 2006 Liverpool Biennial

Curated collaboratively by a team drawn from partner galleries and the Biennial under the artistic directorship of Lewis Biggs, MADE UP is explored in a series of themed inflections presented across multiple sites, in galleries and public spaces throughout the city. MADE UP at The Bluecoat explores imagined futures, individual and collective, utopian and dystopian; Tate Liverpool and Open Eye Gallery consider the ambiguous territory between the real and the unreal; FACT (Foundation for Art & Creative Technology) focuses on the power of the mind to make up meaning when faced with complete abstraction and extreme sensory deprivation.

Image: Opertus Lunula Umbra (Hidden Shadow of Moon) by U-Ram Choe, part of the artist’s “archaeology of undiscovered futuristic organisms,” photographed by Adatabase. Part of the Liverpool Biennial International 08.

The public realm projects continue to be a defining feature of Liverpool Biennial, with over half of the 30-40 commissions situated in the public realm. MADE UP outside the gallery allows fiction to rub up against the real, inviting artists to carve out space for the imagination in the everyday, whether in imaginary models made manifest as real examples, or playful re-workings of the real.

Image: An installation by Sarah Sze, photographed by Adatabase. Sze’s installations “are like highly organic ecosystems, colonizing the space they inhabit.” Part of the Liverpool Biennial International 08.

Other lead programmes in the 2008 Liverpool Biennial festival will be the John Moores 25 Exhibition of Contemporary Painting, celebrating its 50th year as the UK’s most prestigious national open painting competition; Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2008, the annual exhibition by students and recent graduates of Fine Art colleges throughout the UK; and the Independents Biennial, through which an effervescent and myriad programme of exhibitions will as usual be realised by independent and artist-led organisations, with Greenland Street and A Foundation playing a major role. Visitors to the Biennial will also have the opportunity to view a series of major new public art projects commissioned by Liverpool Biennial on behalf of Liverpool Culture Company as part of the programme for European Capital of Culture 2008. (text by: Liverpool Biennial)

Post by Wanderlust

Events · Festivals · Human-ities · Public Space


Probably borrowing from the successful book title and movie “Fast Food Nation”, Slow Food Nation is the largest celebration of American food in history, it will bring together tens of thousands of visitors to San Francisco to experience an extraordinary range of activities highlighting the connection between your plate and the planet. Slow Food Nation features tastings, chef demonstrations, a major conference on food values, social justice and the environment, an urban farm, a music festival and workshops, forums, films and interactive exhibits.

What is Slow Food USA?

“Slow Food USA is a non-profit educational organization dedicated to supporting and celebrating the food traditions of North America through programs and activities dedicated to Taste Education, Defending Biodiversity and Building Food Communities. Slow Food USA believes that pleasure and quality of life is greatly increased when we make time to cook and share meals with family and friends using ingredients that honor our traditions and our land.

The Slow Food movement was founded in 1989 and flourishes in 131 countries around the globe. Currently supported by 83,000 members worldwide (16,000 members in the U.S.), Slow Food’s ethos is defined by the belief that food is a common language and a universal right and an appreciation for slowing down and savoring the convivial traditions of the table. Established in 2000, non-profit Slow Food USA has grown to 200 local chapters in 47 states. Its members include culinary professionals and food enthusiasts, farmers and food producers, educators and students. Slow Food USA envisions a world in which all people can eat delicious food that is good for them, good for the people who grow it and good for the planet.” (text by Slow Food Nation)

Art/Aesthetics · Events · Festivals

Chernobyl Matrioska and Manifesta 7

Jaime Pitarch. Chernobyl (2007). Lime tree wood, aniline, oil, varnish.

Jaime Pitarch
is one of the artists being displayed at The Rest of Now, an exhibition in an ex-aluminium factory in Bolzano, Italy, as part of the Manifesta Biennale.

Now, the Manifesta Biennale is the European Biennial of Contemporary art, changing locations every two years. The next Manifesta edition, Manifesta 7, takes place in 2008 and will be situated along a string of locations on Europe’s North-South transit route, linking the regions of the Austrian Tyrol to the Italian South Tyrol and Northern Italy. It is the first time that Manifesta takes place in a Host Region instead of a Host City. After Rotterdam (1996), Luxembourg (1998), Ljubljana (2000), Frankfurt (2002), San Sebastian (2004) and Nicosia (2006 – cancelled), the Autonomous Province of Bozen / Bolzano – South Tyrol and the Autonomous Province of Trento who together constitute the region of Trentino – Sudtirol/Alto Adige have been selected by the International Foundation Manifesta (IFM) for its industrial heritage and cultural infrastructure, which will form the basis for formulating a new strategy for the next edition of Manifesta.

Manifesta grew out of an early Dutch initiative, to create a pioneering, pan-European platform for the contemporary visual arts. The concept of an itinerant Manifesta first took shape in Rotterdam, in consultation with a specially appointed International Advisory Board (the forerunner of the present International Foundation) and with the support of thirty National Governmental Arts organisations and Ministries of Culture in Europe.

Manifesta developed into a fast growing network for young professionals in Europe and one of the most innovative biennial exhibition programme to be held anywhere. This is due, in no small measure, to its pan-European ambitions and its uniquely nomadic nature. Both the network and the exhibition, with its related activities, are equally important components of this itinerant event. Manifesta offers a platform for emerging artists, on the basis of a networking organisation, which is able to respond flexibly to new artistic, technological and cultural developments. The most obvious aspects of Manifesta’s inbuilt flexibility is the fact that a new, pan-European theme or concept is developed on each occasion by a team of outside curators, working in close consultation with representatives of all kind of cultural, social, academic institutions in the host city. In other words, each new edition aims to establish a close dialogue between a specific cultural and artistic situation and the broader context of European visual contemporary art. At the same time, Manifesta provides strong continuity, through its ever-expanding network of contacts. (info source:

Art/Aesthetics · Festivals · Technology


i found this x-ray dislocated shoulder (ouch!) – unknown source

“Dislocate is a project which examines the relationship between art, technology and locality.

Designed to facilitate international dialogue between artists, researchers and the public, Dislocate encourages exchange and reflection upon our experiences and perceptions of the interplay between these elements.

Dislocate questions our notions of place and location in the face of perpetual motion through multifaceted environments. The velocity of this passage is accelerated through new technologies, but as a result how does this impact upon our encounter with place and our attempt to communicate this to elsewhere?

Through an exhibition, symposium and workshop series Dislocate will examine this encounter and communication, taking a journey through surrounding spaces and exploring our transient connections.

Excelled through so many spaces with such momentum, mobility brings freedoms but also responsibilities. While in this state of passage how do we decide which spaces to engage with and what is our dialogue with them?

Dislocate offers the space to investigate the creative and social potential of new media to engage us with our direct locality and to ask what is the importance of where we are now?” (quoted from Dislocate)

more on DISLOCATE 08

Design · Festivals · Sculpt/Install

21st Century Monocycle

Ben Wilson
recently unveiled a sleek monocycle at this year’s XXIst Century Man Exhibition in Tokyo. Wilson’s pedal-powered prototype one-ups those tendentious “bi-cycles” with a single center-seated wheel. The elegant nimbus may not provide for the smoothest ride, but it more than makes up for it via its pure awesome appeal.


(...) · Festivals

Let it Grow!



You are still on time to start growing a nice facial hair adornment. During Spring 2009, some of the of the world’s most hirsute competitors will travel to Anchorage (Alaska) to compete in the World Beard and Moustache Championships (WBMA), May 23, 2009, at the Dena’ina Civic & Convention Center.
This biennial celebration features competitions in various styles of beards and moustaches. From the delicate Dali moustache to the anything-goes freestyle full beard, this is one hairy competition. The event’s Anchorage debut marks it’s return to the North American continent for only the second time in its history. Good luck!