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Questioning the role of the architect in society

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In this subject of Architecture and Activism, because of the discussions, open classes, cases presented I began to question even more the role of the architect within the matter of decent housing and in this text I’ll approach very briefly the contradiction regarding the housing deficit in Brazil and role of squatting in that scenario. However, just to give you a better sense of scale, I want to quickly talk about Belgium; try to picture the country’s entire population, all 11,3 million Belgian...
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There is Hope for Mamadou.

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Perhaps it is my upbringing or just unlucky genetics heritage that I am a cynical person. So far I have not been impressed by human interactions (read observations). It is not hard to imagine that I am not the biggest fan of any sort of activism which is what I was hoping to change by participating in “Architecture and activism”. Whether it was able to alter my pessimism is not the intent of this text but I surely can tell you that I still has not reached the level of the adult[child] who goes a...
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ACTIVISM VIA ALGORITHM (or, The Occipital Hegemony of Google Images)

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\_ This entry is the culmination of a fleeting reflection upon a routine practice. \_ This image-as-text serves as a record of projected subjects of desire, diversion & reference. \ _ This represents a [re] assembly of images that were collectively conjured via algorithmic recall during the course of the academic season. \ _ This assembly attempts to reconstruct the digital support that both supplements sanctioned discourse and enabling moments of diversion (productive and purile). \_ Th...
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The Activism paradox

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In the sofa talk with Stephane Damsin about repolitising Recyclart, he remarkably advocated the need to find alternative modes of activism. The anti capitalism and rebellious mindset became obsolete stressing on the importance that fighting for ideologies is not sufficient but activism need to find pragmatic and smarter means of achieving it. The economic unrealism and arrogance of activists are often based on social drivers and the pursuit of hedonistic values. "Activism is based on [the] misc...
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Parckfarm Parabel

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Parckfarm Parable In de zomer van 2014, in de grootstad Brussel, op een publieke plek, wordt een gemeenschappelijk kippenhok gebouwd door een groep buurtbewoners. Ze worden gedreven door een gedeeld enthousiasme en optimisme, met de ambitie een collectief op poten te zetten. In the summer of 2014, in the city of Brussels, in a park near a river, a collective henhouse is being built by a group of citizens. They are driven by a shared enthusiasm and optimism, by an ambition to create something...
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The consequences of activism. The case of São Paulo elevated linear park

The Elevado Presidente João Goulart, popularly named Minhocão (i.e. a Portuguese term for big earthworm), is a 3,5-kilometer elevated highway that passes through the center of São Paulo. The Parque Minhocão is today a really popular attraction of São Paulo as during the nights and the weekends, when it is closed to vehicles, it becomes open to the citizens whom occupy it and use it as a linear park.  The Elevado was built during the early ‘70s, together with a series of other infrastructures,...
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A students’ thought on the Josaphat Commons in 2040

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The Josaphat site, a beautiful, slightly hidden, open and green space in Schaerbeek/Evere, which my colleagues and I rather call ‘The Island’, was property of the Belgian railway company for years. But in 2005, the Brussels government bought the site and since then citizens started to gain interest for this empty plot. A variety of events started taking place spontaneously in the Josaphat area. Festivals, open air cinema’s, theatre plays,… and then there are the ‘Commons Josaphat’, a group of p...
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Architecture and Activism, the footnotes. Part 1.

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0. Preface 0.1 This text is a collection of footnotes from the lessons architecture and activism.  With the spirit of Jacques Rancière in mind, I wrote down the philosophical and psychological notes that were mentioned in class. 0.1.1 Jacques Rancière is a French philosopher who wrote ‘The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation’ (1987). 0.1.1.1 It’s a book questioning teaching and the role of the educator. 0.1.1.2 The French teacher, Joseph Jacotot, was appointed to...
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Feminine Male Architects

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During the last days of the Architecture and Activism course amidst a heated discussion about architects who take “care” and are “involved” in their projects not only through its conception but during its growth as well, Professor De Cauter asked a question “Are there feminine male architects?” This question was drawn out from the talk of the Parckfarm project which was introduced in an earlier class text titled A Truly Golden Handbook by Lieven De Cauter himself posing as a concrete example of...
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New identity in the course of decadence- Panorâmico de Monsanto, Lisbon

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Located on the top of Monsanto, a protected forest park in Lisbon, this study case is about Panorâmico de Monsanto, an abandoned modernist building.This building was saved by "unconscious activism", unconsciously practiced by hundreds of people with the use of social media, such as Instagram and Facebook mainly.Panorâmico de Monsanto was a restaurant, built in 1968, drawn by the architect Chaves da Costa. The building functioned as a restaurant for 30 years. It closed in 2001, reopening as a dis...
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Santiago Cirugeda - Guerrilla Architect

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                Santiago Cirugeda is a Spanish architect, from Seville, that after seven years of working by himself created Recetas Urbanas (Urban Recipes), an architecture office which develops self-build projects that the common citizen can use to appropriate and occupy a space. He defends an ‘unselfish’ architecture that also helps the non-architects to improve the spacial qualities of their environment.                  “(…) an architecture that is cheap and available to all.”[1]         ...
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On Skanderbeg Square, Tirana - 51N4E

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 “While silent, the space becomes a story in the moment when the popular movement takes place. The motion of the bodies, as the motion of the sea, freezes everything around. Running to the altar, in front of the piazza, under the dome, in front of the fountain... each step is uncontrollable. During this movement, history is being unfold, a history based on different perspectives, on a series of trompe l’oeil and forced projections. The perspective of the one holding the power is confronted with...
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How we managed the Democracy

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The good beginnings On our first meeting ‘We’* decided that the work and actions of our group should be build on a democratic foundations. ‘An experiment in radically democratic education based on self-organising swarm intelligence as opposed to group instinct or herd spirit’, as I recall. Not often you hear from your tutors that your opinion matters as much as theirs or that everything can be put to the vote, so when this moment finally comes to your life you just take it as it is and- just in...
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Wim Cuyvers, park ranger nor Parck Farmer

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- An introduction to Wim Cuyvers' work on public space, slightly edited and translated from a Dutch text by Kristien Van den Brande: ‘In and throughout his work as an architect, writer and artist Wim Cuyvers searches for moments of existentiality: moments of resignation, of confrontation, of ecstasy, when one exposes his- or herself. The moment when we cease resisting against an unplannable or uncontrollable life and fully give in to the now. For this type of moments each and every one of us se...
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Responsibility - Loading

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We are citizens of a century of a change. Century where paradox situations are as real as never before, with the biggest accommodation service company not having a single hotel - Air Bnb, largest transportation company not having a single car - Uber, Biggest media company not having a single official journalist - Facebook. We are witnesses of a shift and development of a variety of sectors ranging from healthcare, teaching, learning, working and of course - transmitting and perceiving the inform...
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