brian carroll on Wed, 14 Jun 2000 18:01:58 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> * open-source architecture *


>2. You seem to concentrate in the universities and architectural star system,
>but i think we should pay attention to the real estate market, as well; an
>extremely powerful industry that shapes, as you develop in your essay, our
>lives, our cities and our institutions-universities. What's first?

 i think the institution of the university (or government) is the
 only way to combat the real-estate industry on a large enough scale
 to affect change. i may be wrong, but from my perspective, criticism
 of architectural ideology is a necessary first step. to me it seems
 architectural dialogue is highly scripted, and priveleged, not needing
 to address the realities of the real estate industry, or other issues,
 be they social, economic, or political. they are out of bounds of the
 current questioning of 'what is architecture' in the electronic sphere.
 i believe this is because architectural discourse is highly privatized,
 and is not a public event with subsequent checks and balances, of logic,
 of reality, of power. that (what i would call) elitism and oligarchic
 architectural institution still holds the keys to what is and is not
 considered 'architecture.' one indicator of this phenomenon is the
 absense of high-profile architectural thinkers online, in public
 forums. they are too busy, i'm certain, but also inaccessible for
 public debate over their own ideas. instead the discourse is in a
 perpetual spin of disciples versus skeptics. in a sense, then, the
 architectural discourse has a division of labor, with 'professional'
 architectural thinkers, er, "theorists", and their ideas hold influence
 over much of the pseudo-public debate (make that, broadcast) of their
 ideologies. they are still in print-based mediums, with the hierarchy
 that entails. there is also a sense of a protected market, or even
 a question of supply and demand... in that the professional archi-
 tectural/textual thinker operates in a political-economy of scarcity,
 thereby inflating the (protected) value of their (stock of) ideas.
 open-source architecture, from my point of view, would dismantle
 this institutional legitimation of architectural ideas and enable
 the active questioning of architecture, in its broadest dimensions.
 right now, the market defines what architecture is, or as architects
 say, the client decides. the opposite to this is supposedly theory,
 but that too, seems market driven. the only thing is, it is occurring
 in a bubble economy of protected (market) interests. i think and
 believe that by opening up this debate (sic) on the internetwork,
 a new architectural voice can be heard, to which the established
 interests will have to either continue to ignore or address. if
 they choose the former, they will lose their stronghold because
 of their own obsolescence. if they choose the latter they will
 need to address human concerns within the profession that are
 not dictated by industry. i'm often reminded there are exceptions,
 but they are bleak in comparsion to the machine that is architecture,
 and how it continues to transform the natural and built environment
 with little or no consciousness and pure disregard for human issues.
 by networking people (and texts) which are interested in this other
 architecture, we can begin to collective delineate the gears and cogs
 and processors of this machine, and find new strategies, tactics, and
 operations for changing its course of governance. bc

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