A symposium with speakers Orit Halpern, Andrés Jaque, Hod Lipson and Michael Sorkin. Organized by Esteban de Backer, David Isaac Hecht, Alejandro Stein and Che-Wei Yeh. Moderated by Janette Kim, Diana Martinez, Leah Meisterlin and Susanne Schindler.
How does architectural research work?
by Brendan Moran
A cunning demonstation.
By Isabelle Kirkham-Lewitt
The futility of a home that serves nobody and needs no one.
by Lluís Alexandre Casanovas Blanco
New York’s shelter system, to the letter of the law.
by Emanuel Admassu
A story of adaptable agency.
By Tanya Gershon
Passbooks, permits and the art of public life.
By Neyran Turan
Toward a new materialism.
by Chris Perry
Not for ‘us’ alone.
By Neeraj Bhatia
Architecture and the open work.
By Patrick Joseph Craine
Adaptation through specificity.
by Esteban de Backer
The architecture of Pragmatism.
A conversation with Juan Herreros
An instrument to simplify the world.
A conversation with Mahadev Raman
Triple bottom line.
A conversation with Yoshiharu Tsukamoto
A conversation with Craig Schwitter
Actually, we have extra.
A conversation with Kersten Geers
An economy of means.
by Forrest Meggers
Behind the modern curtain wall, and beyond the central stack.
by Wolfgang Kessling and Christian Oberdorf, Transsolar
Don’t let performance kill the poetry.
by Gabriel Fries-Briggs, Brendan Shea and Nicholas Pajerski of Reimaging
How to improvise with robots.
By Travis Jared Marmarellis Bunt and Mathew Staudt, with Tat Lam and Timmie King Hong Tsang
Re-processing Beijing’s hutong villages.
Performance is enhanced, targeted, tested, specified, reviewed and applauded. In each case, the design of performance is the orchestration of results. Architects might guarantee water resistance, for example, and calibrate this objective against cost, labor or the desire for exposure. Performance frames decision-making by metrics of efficiency, optimization and sacrifice (or yes, satisficing). In this familiar logic of technocratic governance, criteria are also codified in legal terms and challenged by architects who exceed lax building codes or undermine excessive ones. Beyond the technological, as argued in Perform or Else: from Discipline to Performance, engineered performance generates productive friction with that of corporate management and art practice. Employee reviews of workplace efficacy and theatrical events alike alter behavior, just as a building’s program might train or untrain well-worn habits.
Issue 03, ‘Performance,’ asks how criteria are established and enforced in architectural research practice. How do designers and researchers define, evaluate and communicate performance and its attendant value system? To what degree can we determine or guarantee performance? How do we acknowledge image and perception as a function of effectiveness? Who is performing? In a ‘demo or die’ culture, how and where is performance tested?
cover image: Cedric Price, Fun Palace: typical plan, 1963. Image courtesy of Cedric Price fonds, Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal.