Capitalism: A Love Story | Jimmy Carter | Thora Birch | Michael Moore | Movie Trailer | Review
Hi, I am Conrad Newel,
Instead of using this post to talk about how being a creative original will lead you to architectural fame, I will simply show you.
I would like to also ask you to take a moment to join me in supporting a fellow architect.
The pace of genuinely interesting developments that have positively influenced our profession has hurt a lot of our starchitects. Starchitects who have had no choice than to turn to extra-ordinary means to remain relevant. However, they can only do so much.
That’s why I am asking you to reach into your pockets right now and lend a hand. In the coming years, Kickstarter will be launching a series of projects to help a lot of attention needy starchitects to remain in the spot lights.
There are only three days left for you to help fund the most highly-anticipated documentary film about the legendary Rem Koolhaas: REM - Directed by the architect’s son, Tomas Koolhaas. Please go to the kickstarter website and give generously!
Now, I know what you are thinking:
Rem is already famous, he and his works are on the covers and insides of most architectural magazines, he is already relevant in the architecture world, and I have already bought a number of books and magazines about him.
...and I know you did!
But even though you have supported him in the past, give some more!... it will make you feel smart!
The film takes a little from Bjarke Ingels Group's earlier film My Playground, by using parkour as a narrative element. What’s not cool about people jumping around in your building? This is how it is used 0.0001% during the building's lifespan, but so what? It’s really cool.
Hey! Louis Kahn's son made a film about his famous father My Architect, why wait till you are dead? What kind of stupid rule is that? Have your son make a film about you now! That's soo cool! Why not take a little from Natheniel Kahn as well?
Taking these two ideas and mixing them together is what originality is about!
My Playground + My Architect = Your Original film
NOTES ON BECOMING A FAMOUS ARCHITECT
Liberating Minds Since August 2007
Monday, December 30, 2013
Sunday, December 8, 2013
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "95. The accidental femminist":
this was published on archinect in response to this article-image:
there is something wrong with the article and the image.
it isn't merely zaha who worked with gadafi's and qatar's regimes. everyone and their uncle worked with them. zaha is equally as "guilty" in that sense. no one bothered to collage their image with their building like penises.
did the person who make this image ask permission from zaha hadid first and get it? i assume not. in which case, i assume that they have taken advantage of her image and manipulated it to their end.
which means that, in the name of a so-called feminism (that is an exaggerated pathological direct outcome of sexism -other side of its coin-and not an actual independent feminism that respects women's/people's individual images and bodies), she's being abused by being collaged into an image that - i strongly believe- would contradict with her wishes.
the author and fabricator of the image fall into the same hole -truly no puns here- that this image is employed to counter.
furthermore, there is a strong suggestion that this is was taken from some terrorist attack/military zone - perhaps in iraq. the inversion of victims into suggested violators now being violated by a vagina is completely tasteless.
everyone in this image is being used for a single minded purpose trampling on quite a few people - inverting them for its own whimsical and perverse end.
I have posted pictures of Rem Koolhaas breast-feeding Bjarke Ingels, Joshua Prince (REX), Foreign Office Architects and a bunch of his other prodigies, but no one bothered to say "if it was a female starchitect they wouldn’t have depicted her body in such a perverse way to make a point. It’s just because he is a man!"
THE REALITY: The images in the video above shows the reality of Quadafi's Lybia and the terror he inflicted on the people there.
The third point was to create an image that was outrageous, humorous and offensive as possible to draw attention and spark debate. I wanted to shake my audience from their complacency of looking at starchitects who willingly participate in embellishing violent regimes as a trivial matter. By getting my audience emotionally engaged by either laughing or being disturbed by it, my hopes are that they will remember it and help to create a culture where this kind of behavior is no longer acceptable.
Some say it is tasteless. Sure, I expected that response. What is tasteless? That varies along cultural, religious, and personal value lines. In some societies complete nudity is normal and acceptable; for them no part of the human body is taboo or can be seen as tasteless and that includes both the male and female genitalia. For some religions any flesh visible above the knee of a woman is indecent, others find it tasteless for a woman to show her ankles or require that the woman is covered so that only the eyes are visible. So no matter what I do, someone will consider it tasteless by some standards. Therefore, you may have noticed that trying not to offend anyone isn't anywhere on my list of intentions above.
As for the alleged victims, No! The collage is not taken from images of actual terror victims; they are from a street protest - demonstrators running from tear gas thrown by police, another is of Arabic men running away at the start of a camel race in Rash al Khaimah, and the third (not sure) probably an Arab comedy skit featuring men screaming. I commend you though for at least thinking about them. Most of the complaints I get condemns the tasteless victimization/exploitation of Zaha without any mention of the thousands of women or slaves who are victims of the system she works for.
All the best,
NOTES ON BECOMING A FAMOUS ARCHITECT
Liberating Minds Since August 2007
Tuesday, December 3, 2013
|Holy Shit!...Zaha unleashes a giant steel vagina on the cock crammed skyline on Qatar|
But here is another way to look at it - perhaps just a fantasy of Conrad Newel. The fantasy is that Zaha is actually not just an opportunist or a tool for hire. No! Zaha is actually a real feminist behind the veil of an arrogant unconscionable diva. She is a real champion for women and human rights. Actually she is much smarter and smoother than anyone of us had imagined. What if the stadium was intentionally designed to look like a vagina? Perhaps that was the plan all along. Perhaps she really wanted to send a thinly veiled message to the Emir. Something like this:
Fuck you you sexist oppressive prick!
I am going to take your money and make the proudest new addition to your cock crammed skyline into the image of a cunt!
This one is for the imprisoned women of Qatar.
Imprision this Emir!
NOTES ON BECOMING A FAMOUS ARCHITECT
Liberating Minds Since August 2007
Sunday, September 15, 2013
Saturday, September 14, 2013
Dear Architectural Critics and Journalists,
I have had enough of your fanaticism with Peter Zumthor. He is a fine architect and an even better self-promoter. I don’t dislike the guy, but I do seriously dislike when journalists—and especially critics—keel over and act like star-struck teenage girls at a Justin Bieber concert when confronted with the man or his work.
Specifically, I am ticked off with your constantly using the word “pilgrimage” in describing your visits to Zumthor’s sites.
When I think of the word pilgrimage, I think of a deeply spiritual and religious journey—the type that devout Muslims make to Mecca, for instance, or the trips that Christians take to Biblically-significant sites such as Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, or Calvary, where he was crucified.
The Catholic encyclopedia defines “pilgrimage” as a journey made to a place to venerate it, ask for supernatural aid, or discharge some religious obligation. So I thought it rather strange that I kept finding the word being used in relation to Peter Zumthor.
I have compiled just a sampling of recent quotes from notable critics writing about visiting Zumthor or seeing his work in the flesh. Their descriptions typically begin with the word “pilgrimage,” the size and location of the sacred radius, and finally the term “seminal” to describe the works found within its boundaries. This sets the tone for the rest of the article, which can be summed up in three words: Praise, Praise and Praise.
Here, from Dwell Magazine:
I recently made a Peter Zumthor pilgrimage to Switzerland, where many of his seminal works sit within a 40 mile radius [of] one another in the northeastern part of the country. An architectural journey surely not for the faint of heart, it took a day's harrowing drive through the northern Alps with steep cliffs and crazy European drivers, but in the end, it was well worth it.
A Pilgrimage to Zumthor's Chapel | Dwell, October 5, 2010
This one from ArchDaily was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me:
Our friend and architectural photographer Felipe Camus recently embarked on an architectural pilgrimage to the valley of the Rhein. Located in the Graubünden region in Switzerland, the valley boasts many of the seminal works of Pritzker Prize Laureate Peter Zumthor, all within a 60-kilometer radius. Born in Graubünden himself, Zumthor designed the works in relation to their location and time by paying special attention to details and materials. As a result, the works all present Zumthor’s unparalleled skills of craftsmanship and his uncompromising integrity.
A Photographer’s Journey Through Zumthor Valley | ArchDaily, August 28, 2013
“Unparalleled skills of craftsmanship” and “uncompromising integrity”? This type of language should forever be entombed in fine furniture catalogs, or in the “Our Approach” sections of contractor websites. Take out the word “craftsmanship,” and you could find this on the back label of a wine bottle. This is sales, not journalistic language! If this were an isolated combination of adjectives used by one or two of you, it would be just cute; however this is an industry-wide pathology. To wit:
Peter Zumthor is a master architect admired by his colleagues around the world for work that is focused, uncompromising and exceptionally determined
The Pritzker Prize Jury Report 2009
He has a mythic reputation as a reclusive mountain-dwelling hermit, a monk of materials, with standards so exacting that few clients have the patience, or deep enough pockets, to indulge his uncompromising approach.
The Guardian February 5, 2013
Ask any architect about Peter Zumthor and you will most likely see them get weak in the knees, or at the very least laden with envy. He embodies an almost wizardly wisdom and uncompromising integrity.
ArcSpace July 1, 2013
Known for running a small yet powerful and uncompromising practice, Peter Zumthor founded his award-winning firm in 1979 in Switzerland.
Architecture September 27, 2012
His exquisite but uncompromising buildings do seem to be wrought from the living rock but perceptions of human need are also important in their shaping.
Royal Academy of Arts
The repetition seems almost orchestrated or choreographed. Did you just copy and paste these terms from Zumthor’s press release without filtering it through your noodles? You could have at least used a thesaurus. Some other great words are: steadfast, unbending, determined, relentless, pigheaded, firm, resolute...OK, maybe not pigheaded, but you get what I am saying.
Furthermore, “uncompromising” isn’t exactly a virtue I would exalt when talking about an architect. The process of making architecture is more like a cha-cha—you give a little and you take a little, you listen to the unspoken words of your partners, you respond with a playful and delicate flexibility, and you apply a healthy dose of creativity until the music stops. (Your partner in this metaphor being your site, the surrounding nature, your client, the project’s economy and all the other variables that you come across as an architect in the creative process.) Who wants to work with an architect—or anybody for that matter—who is uncompromising?
Back to the subject of pilgrimage, the quote below reminds me of the scene from the Last Supper:
As the evening wore on and Zumthor kept the wine and beer coming, the architect from London began pouring out his heart – much to our embarrassment - about Camden Council and its failure to recognize and support great architecture. We were all glad when he staggered off to bed and at that point two of us (myself and the late Giles Worsley) decided we’d skip Botta and go on a Zumthor pilgrimage starting with his office, and meet the group in Basel the next day.
Me, Peter Zumthor, and my broken sandal |bdonline, October 1, 2012
Perhaps a more fitting comparison for this is a scene out of True Blood where Vampire Eric cons Sookie into drinking his blood, which has powers to make humans high and infatuated with the vampire of whose blood he/she has been intoxicated with.
Then there’s this:
Everything Zumthor touches becomes a place of pilgrimage, and his elemental work has a broad church. His Therme Vals baths in Switzerland is Mecca for architects, but full of ordinary folk too. His chapels, St Benedict and Bruder Klaus, satisfy visitors seeking either the spiritual or material sublime.
Zumthor's pavilion will be a place of pilgrimage | Architects Journal, 15 October, 2010
If wherever Zumthor touches becomes a place of pilgrimage, then no matter what he creates, it will become an object of worship. An object of worship cannot be taken apart, analyzed, scrutinized, or be discussed in an objective manner.
Whether we worship Allah, Jesus, Yahweh, or Zumthor, as journalists and writers we need to maintain a healthy separation between our personal religious beliefs and our journalistic work. Of course, suppressing our beliefs and who we are is not desirable either. The best we can strive for is a reasonable balance between the two.
I am not asking you to denounce him, or trash his work. No!
I am not asking to be overly analytic like you are writing a scientific report either.
I am not asking you to be dull and boring. Absolutely not!
By all means, if you enjoy his work, write that, be passionate! I love that.
Show your enthusiasm, it is contagious!
But please, pretty please with sugar on top, be objective and critical as well!
We need it, we deserve it. The last thing we need are journalists who are sheep.
Zumthor would be better off because of it and so would architecture too.
NOTES ON BECOMING A FAMOUS ARCHITECT
Liberating minds since August 2007
90. The deceptive paradox that is the Zumthor brand
60. Play Peter, the Pritzker Peddling Hermit Genius
originally published on Architizer: http://www.architizer.com/blog/peter-zumthor-is-not-god/
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Josephine Baker Multidimensional Celebrity
|After the war, for her underground activity, Baker received the Croix de guerre and the Rosette de la Résistance, and was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur by General Charles de Gaulle|
The Munch Museum Fiasco:
I was in Oslo a few years ago; this was in time for an exhibition of the entries of the Munch Museum Competition. The competition was by invitation only (or pre-qualified, I am not quite sure), and the roster of invited architects were a star-architect studded constellation: Diller +Scofidio, Tadao Ando, Zaha Hadid, Kengo Kuma, Foreign Office, REX, Toyo Ito, David Chipperfield, and some local stars. If you were lucky enough to make the roster you would be paid to develop your proposal regardless if you came in first or last. The winner of course would get the commission to develop the project and oversee its realization. The panels for the entries were displayed anonymously for public view at a gallery in the city center.
|This is what the Herreros Arquitectos’ entry looks like. |
You can see the back side of the Oslo Opera house across on the right.
Zaha Hadid the Public Face of Female Architecture
It irritates me that Zaha's work is the symbol of female arch. It fits sexists stereotypes : pretty & curvy, but not muchbeyond that.…and followed on Facebook with the following statement:
— Conrad Newel (@ConradNewel) March 23, 2013
Imagine that we lived in an alternate universe where it were female architects that won all the Pritzkers and were dominating the profession and Daniel Libeskind was THE token male starachitect. His empty pointy prikly forms sticking up in the air, signifying nothing is what the rest of the world looks at when they talk about male architecture. As a male architect you go out and talk to people and you say, "Hi, I am an architect" and they say "oh cool, I know the great male architect Daniel Libeskind, his forms are realy nice"
would that not be hell?
This is how I think it would feel to be a female architect today.
|Why make the dumbest entry in a contest of starchitects?|
A bitchy woman that must have her way exactly or no way at all. often rude and belittles people, believes that everyone is beneath her and thinks that she is so much more loved than what she really is; selfish, spoiled, and overly dramatic.
|Why cultivate the image of Diva?|
I mean...I think... if we all go into a competition...you know...we know, one of us would win...you know...unless it is very unfair or it is very political and so on...aaaahm... you know...it is acceptable.
Why design high heeled shoes, perfume bottles and cosmetic jewelry?
Evolution: Branding Form vs Branding Ideas:
How can we make him or her look good in polka-dots?
What is the clothes that work best for this customer? or makes this customer feel most comfortable, or what is right for this customer?
What kind of clothes suits this customer best? Lets find out what will make this customer satisfied?
How can I make what this customer wants in a “quality” way?
To this day, I absolutely can not keep a straight face while reading this:
What was she thinking?
Mathematical constraint? MATHEMATICAL CONSTRAINT!!!?
"Our proposal was based on superimposing a mathematical constraint onto a new city vision"?
Did she just use the term mathematical constraint to mean a cool new curvy form?
Where do people come up with this stuff? the landscape urbanism bullshit generator?
Zaha Hadid uses this kind of language of course to make herself sound very sophisticated, and because the architecture world frowns on simple honest language, but when all the fancy words are deciphered, what it all comes down to mean is “I am for this formal trope because I like it and I think it is cool”