by Denise Scott Brown
Architecture’s offering to academe.
by Curt Gambetta
Ideologies of engagement, from anthropology to architecture.
by Alan Smart
Squatter handbooks as radical specifications.
by Orit Halpern
Decision making and the legacy of the nervous net.
by Annabel Wharton
Models as agents in the world, from economics to the Barbie doll.
by Francesca Hughes
How the drawing that can’t forget forgot.
by Filip Tejchman
Encyclopedias, reference manuals and the codification of disciplinary expertise.
by Magdalena Miłosz
Selections from an archive of assimilation.
by Wendy W Fok
An op-ed on open innovation.
by Michelle Fornabai
The fleeting fate and enduring potential of the slump test.
by Ryan John King and Ekaterina Zavyalova
Funding with foam and cryptocurrency.
by Lori Brown
Field notes from Mississippi’s last remaining abortion clinic.
by J. Meejin Yoon and Eric Höweler, Höweler + Yoon Architecture
Design and delivery of the MIT Collier Memorial.
by Mustafa Faruki
An architecture for the instrumentalization of grief.
by Behnaz Farahi
A gaze-actuated, 3D printed garment.
by Jonathan Sun and Carlo Ratti, SENSEable City Lab
Democratizing human health data.
by Anab Jain and Jon Ardern, Superflux
An invisible architecture of civilian drones.
by McLain Clutter with Matt Kenyon
Reversing the self-fulfilling prophecies of Big Data.
by Rafi Segal
A new neighborhood for Kibbutz Hatzor.
Instruments of Service
“Instruments of Service” is a class of legally protected work products defined in the American Institute of Architects’ “A201-2007 General Conditions” as “representations, in any medium of expression now known or later developed, of the tangible and intangible creative work performed by the Architect.” In practice, instruments are any drawing, model, calculation or specification created for a client, copyrighted by the architect as a design “recommendation” and trafficked between intellectual, digital and real property. As research, everyday and experimental instruments are assemblages of tools and materials, allography and autography that move from Skype to ‘the street’ through theaters of peer review and publicity, gender and entertainment. Under or outside of contract, what is the value of the architect’s recommendation? Who provides material support for practice and research?
Professional practice is politically adjacent to public service yet economically classified as a tertiary consumer service—between library and iPhone, hygiene and finance, hospitality and the police. Mediating across the table between architects and an ‘other,’ instruments of service also establish a fictional protagonist if not yet an accomplice or client, a prenuptial agreement if not yet a trademark or patent. How do new practices extend the idea of service? What lies between ‘the good’ and goods?
As new design representations emerge from the interstices of language, calculation and visualization, instruments demonstrate architecture as both ontology and epistemology. What is the value of a common understanding of fact and form? of standardized notation or measure? As new fabrication methods and human-machine interfaces remake the physical world, instruments place the ‘model’ in an expanded field. Do biomimicry, new media and advanced manufacturing turn the molecule, database and robot into an instrument of service? What are the consequences of better living through chemistry, gizmo or portable document file, and through construction and building?
“Instruments of Service,” questions the status of the instrument and of service. What does it mean to serve? What is left to instrumentalize? to monetize? to influence? We welcome scholarship and speculative projects that demonstrate spaces of encounter between “tangible and intangible creative work” through design practice, business models, new forms of representation and activism.
Guest Editor: Jennifer W. Leung
cover image: Otterlo Meeting 1959, (also CIAM ’59), organised by Team 10. Meeting place, Kröller-Müller Museum. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.