Network Practices: New Strategies in Architecture and Design by Anthony Burke, Therese Tierney

By Anthony Burke, Therese Tierney

The dual revolutions of the worldwide economic system and omnipresent web connectivity have had a profoundimpact on architectural layout. Geographical gaps and, in lots of instances, architecture's tie to the equipped global itself have evaporated within the face of our new networked society. shape is now conceptualized through architects, engineers, and artists as reflexive, contingent, and dispensed. The amassed essays in Network Practices trap this precise second within the evolution of layout, the place crossing disciplines, spatial interactions, and layout practices are all poised to be reimagined. With contributions through architects, artists, laptop programmers, and theorists and texts by way of Reinhold Martin, Dagmar Richter, Michael Speaks, and others, Network Practices deals an interdisciplinary analysisof how paintings, technology, and structure are responding to swiftly altering cellular, instant, and information-embedded environments.

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4. . Superstudio, “Life or the Public Image of Truly Modern Architecture,” Casabella 367 (July 1973): 15–27. 5. . See Mark Wigley, The Hyper-Architecture of Desire: Constant’s New Babylon (Rotterdam: 010, 1998). 6. . Joan Littlewood, “A Laboratory of Fun,” New Scientist 38 (May 14, 1964): 432–33. 7. Cedric Price, “Life Conditioning,” Architectural Design 36 (October 1966): 483–94. 8. . Konrad Wachsmann and Walter Gropius, “House in ‘Industry’: A System for the Manufacture of Industrialized Building Elements,” Arts and Architecture (May 1947): 28–34.

Likewise, Yona Friedman and 34 Network Practices Louis Kahn, Philadelphia Traffic Study, 1953 Konrad Wachsmann, Airline Hangar project, 1953 The Architectural Brain 35 Eduard Shultze-Fielitz designed the kit-set frameworks for hovering cities in which people would live suspended inside the infrastructure. International architectural magazines filled up with images of structural systems that could be assembled to form ever-larger buildings, vast landscapes of interconnected nodes. All this extended research on space frame architecture can be understood as an unconscious attempt to visibly model the invisible electronic networks that increasingly defined contemporary life.

The most sophisticated version of such a network incubator is Cedric Price’s Fun Palace project of 1961–64. It was envisioned sitting on the banks of the Thames River in London as a vast open scaffolding. Looking more closely, we can see different event spaces suspended within it—scaffoldings within scaffoldings, as with Constant’s New Babylon. The logic of the project is again that the people occupying the space determine what is happening and thereby redetermine the architecture. The space is continually reshaped by the changing desires of the inhabitants; with up to 55,000 at any one time, there is a continual flux as events and the interconnections between them evolve.

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