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GLOSSARY | SOURCES
[work in progress]


COLLOQUE WALTER LIPPMANN

Inspired by the then influential US journalist Walter Lippmann (1889 – 1974) and his book The Good Society the colloque was interested in a complete renewal of liberalism. The goal of their neoliberal project was to make the state more accountable again.



COMMERCIAL ARCHITECTURAL PRODUCTION
(STAR-ARCHITECTS)

‘Commercial architectural production’ is used as an overarching term to describe the currently common, most visible (discourse and media coverage) way to produce architecture. It is referring to the majority of global construction projects planned by architects which is perceived to happen primarily for profit maximisation (real estate speculation, poor quality housing), luxury housing, planning of office and production buildings and monumental objects (museums, stadiums).

And refers on the one hand to the large architectural firms such as Aecom, Nikken Sekkei, Perkins + Will, Foster, etc. as well as the so-called star architects around Frank Gehry, Daniel Liebeskind, Santiago Calatrava, (late) OMA, Zaha Hadid Architects etc.



HIGH-TECH-ARCHITECTURE

’High-tech architecture‘ is the stylistic term for an architectural movement that began in the1970s. The fascination for technology led to an aestheticization of technical construction methods, which is expressed, for example, in visible supporting structures and supply systems. Preference is given to industrial production methods using metal, glass and plastic as so-called ’clean‘ building materials. Exchangeable ‘plug-in elements’, guarantee low maintenance for wearing parts. Protagonists such as Norman Foster, Richard Rogers, Renzo Piano, Santiago Calatrava, Jean Nouvelle, etc. are often related to High-Tech-Architecture.



NEOLIBERALISM

In the context of this project, neoliberalism is understood in a fairly pessimistic way - comprehended not just as an intensification of capitalism but rather a distinct political philosophy with its own set of beliefs. The political programmes that come with it, support a hyper-liberality towards a non-state-controlled economic market that is encompassing and commercialising the totality of life.

Transferred to architecture, this initially implies a boundary-less, free-flowing space. The city of neoliberalism, as well as the architecture created within, is rational, efficient and profitable. Spaces are homogenous, seamless and potentially infinite. This leads to the creation of non-specific venues that rather function like business processes. In this limitless space, seemingly everything is possible and public. But this sphere is deceptive, real public spaces in the sense of a political forum are deliberately avoided.



POSTMODERNISM

In architecture, postmodernism was directed against the dogmatically frozen functionalism, whose rational approach leading to uniformity (International Style) was strictly rejected. Instead, the formal repertoire of architectural history was used to make use of historical elements in stylistic quotations, which were often combined and sometimes ironically confronted. Starting in the 60s, with its heydey in the 80s. Protagonists such as Michael Graves, Hans Hollein, Josef Paul Kleihues, Rob Krier, Charles Moore, Aldo Rossi, James Stirling and Robert Venturi stand out as important architects of postmodernism.



SPATIAL ACTIVISM AND (ANTI)-CAPITALIST

Who are (architectural) spatial activists? My 'naive' version defines them as ambassadors for space as a shrinking resource, and therefore as anti-capitalist, anti-monopole and profoundly political. They are experts with the knowledge and tools to contribute to the fight for an equal distribution of space, securing a broad spectrum of spatial configurations to the majority and not the well-posed minority. Creators of empowering spatial, and hence social, relationships that offer new options to operate politically and transformational. Dreamers who see their profession as a tool for change. Architects who have the ability to create financing strategies that undermine the market’s rules of scarcity and produce buildings for ‘the many’ in quality. And as someone who monitors and represents spatial wrongdoings (displacements, war zones and territorial conflicts etc.) with visual material. If municipalities cannot or will not react, it is the turn of spatial activists to shape alternative ways.





KEY SOURCES

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