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A Critique of Everyday Life

Henri Lefebvre’s magnum opus: a monumental exploration of contemporary society.

Critique of Everyday Life Volume One: Introduction. A groundbreaking analysis of the alienating phenomena of daily life under capitalism.

Critique of Everyday Life Volume Two: Foundations for a Sociology of the Everyday. Identifies categories within everyday life, such as the theory of the semantic field and the theory of moments.

Critique of Everyday Life Volume Three: From Modernity to Modernism. Explores the crisis of modernity and the decisive assertion of technological modernism.

Verso Books: Henri Lefebvre’s three-volume Critique of Everyday Life is perhaps the richest, most prescient work by one of the twentieth century’s greatest philosophers. Written at the birth of post-war consumerism, the Critique was a philosophical inspiration for the 1968 student revolution in France and is considered to be the founding text of all that we know as cultural studies, as well as a major influence on the fields of contemporary philosophy, geography, sociology, architecture, political theory and urbanism. A work of enormous range and subtlety, Lefebvre takes as his starting-point and guide the “trivial” details of quotidian experience: an experience colonized by the commodity, shadowed by inauthenticity, yet one which remains the only source of resistance and change.

This is an enduringly radical text, untimely today only in its intransigence and optimism.

Text and Images via Verso Books

Animalia · Art/Aesthetics · Design · Education · Events · Performativity · Videos

Designer choreographs ant ballet at the Pestival

Produced by Ollie Palmer, the Ant Ballet is a 2-year investigation into the parallels between human and ant communication which culminated in the world’s first ballet to exclusively feature ants. It is currently in Phase I of IV.

Using synthesized pheromones (Z9:16Ald Hexadecanol) and highly invasive Linepthinema humile Argentine ants, a robotic arm lays pheromone powder trails that cause the ants to behave in a different way to their usual foraging. Performances in late 2012 will feature mass colony movement testing, and the first intercontinental ant ballet.

The machine is part of a larger study of paranoia, control systems, insects and architecture.

The Ant Ballet will be installed in ZSL London Zoo’s BUGS zone with simulated ants until June 2012, and at FutureEverything festival in Manchester from the 16th – 19th May. The first live Ant Ballet performance will take place as part of Pestival in Sao Paulo later in the year.



Pestival aims to initiate a cultural shift in the way people think, moving them towards a more integrated way of looking at the natural world. Pestival’s lasting legacy is to forge new working relationships between disciplines, communities and species. Pestival says “Insectes Sans Frontières”.

Pestival believes insects are critical to human life on Earth. With over a million insect species, they are the most diverse group of animals on Earth. And yet insects are frequently misunderstood, reviled or, at best, ignored by the majority of the human population.

Pestival has set out to challenge existing stereotypes about insects and to give them their rightful place, for good and bad (vectors and pollinators), in our collective cultural consciousness.

Via WIRED

Architectonic · Book-Text-Read-Zines · Education · Events · Social/Politics · Technology

BRACKET [at extremes] Issue #3: Call for Submissions


Bracket 3 invites the submission of critical articles and unpublished design projects that investigate the potentials when situations extend beyond norms – into the extremities. We are conditioned, as designers of the built environment, towards the organization of people, programs and movement. Indeed the history of modern urbanism, architecture and building science has been predicated on an anti-entropic notion of programmatic and social order. But are there scenarios in which a state of extremity or imbalance is productive?

Ulrick Beck, in “Risk Society’s Cosmopolitan Moment” suggests that being at risk is the human condition at the beginning of the twenty-first century. While risk produces inequality and destabilization, he argues, it can be the catalyst for the construction of new institutions. The term extreme is defined as outermost, utmost, farthest, last or frontier. Bracket [at Extremes] seeks to understand what new spatial orders emerge in this liminal space. How might it be leveraged as an opportunity for invention? What are the limits of wilderness and control, of the natural and artificial, the real and the virtual? What new landscapes, networks, and urban models might emerge in the wake of destabilized economic, social and environmental conditions?

Bracket [at Extremes]
will examine architecture, infrastructure and technology as they operate in conditions of imbalance, negotiate tipping points and test limit states. In such conditions, the status quo is no longer possible; systems must extend performance and accommodate unpredictability. As new protocols emerge, new opportunities present themselves. Bracket [at Extremes] seeks innovative contributions interrogating extreme processes (technologies, operations) and extreme contexts (cultural, climatic). What is the breaking point of architecture at extremes?