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Postscript to the Anthropocene  

Introduction to Disclosures of the (Un)common(s) (Courses 2018-2019)

Humans are part and parcel of the great global common which is the biosphere, the ecosystem of planet earth. Some call it Gaia (Like Stengers and Latour). On this planet earth the human species has become the predominant species, insofar as an entirely new geological epoch has been named after ‘Man’: the Anthropocene. Our predominance as a species puts the ecosystem in danger. The prophecies of ‘Limits to growth’, the famous...
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Toothpaste and Taboo. (First letter to the newcomers of Cinemaximiliaan)

google cinemaximiliaan image   first letter to the newcomers of Cinemaximiliaan (and all the other newcomers that we are forever and a day). The second day of my residency at Cinemaximiliaan (as house philosopher say) I suddenly got fed up with having no toothpaste. I had asked to buy some when Goran passed to go to the shop earlier and asked me kindly if I needed anything, but he said there was a lot of toothpaste upstairs, but later...
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On the edge of activism and profit

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During our many discussions and couch-talks concerning activism, part of the courses of the elective “activism and architecture” in the WTC buildings in Brussels,  it became apparent there is an odd schism between the corporate world and the world of activism. In a sense this is a very logical deduction, given the fact that social activism often deals with the misuse of power by big players on the capitalist market. Because of this divide however activists run the risk of being “marginalized” by...
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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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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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