Complicity and Defiance in Architecture

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Last month we launched the Complicity and Defiance in Architecture Charrette which asked participants to create an architectural image that communicates a clear and provocative message of critique and/or defiance towards any one of President Trump’s authoritarian legislation measures. The responses were overwhelming. Now is the time for architects to act. In this era of interactive digital and social media, creating high-powered visuals (our specialty) is the only way to communicate. Within this mashup culture where reposting, reblogging, and retweeting meet fake news and alternative facts is the opportunity to modify and subvert prevailing tendencies. These dynamics can be harnessed for the worse, but these entries show how we can use them for the better.
Congratulations to the winners and everyone who participated!
Jury Comments:
“Drawing on a large array of political, contemporary and historical references, the submitted images tend to offer criticisms and provocations more than solutions – proof that the architectural imagination is still very much alive and is being used as a productive tool for political intervention. Each image asserts architecture as a political act. We are skipping the middle man. Instead of architecture responding to a brief (that is responding to contemporary conditions left unquestioned), architecture is now responding directly. In this way, architecture has the possibility for significant influence or disruption in popular culture, and the image as provocateur seems to be the most viral candidate for the job.” – Kyle May – Founder, Kyle May, Architect | Editor in Chief, CLOG
“There’s some crazy shit in here.” – Lee Moreau of Project_
Follow @Archistophanes for updates on Charrette 03!

 

 

Charrette 2 – Complicity and Defiance in Architecture

The Premise – When The Shit Goes Down
Architecture is historically complicit with the policies of those in power, both symbolically and functionally. It offers not only representations of power, but also vehicles for enacting power in its most grandiose, oppressive, and physically enduring expressions, from palaces and corporate skyscrapers to border walls and prisons.
Art that opposes power, on the other hand, is more fluid. Graffiti, protest songs, and written manifestos cost nothing and are easily disseminated–all things that architecture has historically never been. As such, there is no canon of activist built architecture. And while there have been revolutionary movements and utopian visionaries in the history of architecture, only now through Photoshop and the internet can an architecture of protest and revolution truly form and proliferate, through imagery that is arguably more provocative in imagined scenarios than built projects in their real-life executions.
We are only a few weeks into his presidency and Donald Trump has already taken steps toward his promised authoritarian legislation: enacting an immigration ban, threatening existing allies, ordering the construction of a border wall, deregulating banks, attempting to repeal universal health care, reproductive rights laws, and years of environmental protection. These displays of power mongering have sent shockwaves through the design community and have already sparked debate about complicity and defiance.
The Proposal – You Better Be Ready
Through original design or borrowed content, we want you to create one architectural image that communicates a clear and provocative message of critique and/or defiance towards any one of President Trump’s authoritarian legislation measures. Now is the time for architects to act, and in this era of digital and social media, and interactivity, creating high-powered visuals (our specialty) is the only way to communicate. Within this mashup culture where reposting, reblogging, and retweeting meet fake news and alternative facts is the opportunity to modify and subvert prevailing tendencies. These dynamics can be harnessed for the worse, but with your help, we can use them for the better.
Prizes
+ First Place – $1000 + Publication (visit recent press)
+ Second Place – $500 + Publication
+ Third Place – $250 + Publication
+ All entries will receive (1) print from the Trojan Developer drawing series (see below)
+ All entries will be posted on the Reality Cues website
Oil Well | Embassy (2017)
Drug Running | Light Manufacturing (2017)
Human Trafficking | Casino and Hotel (2017)
Special Competition Print Edition (exclusive for charrette entrants)
Valued at $75
8 x 10 inches
Signed by Archistophanes
For more info, visit the Trojan Developer Drawing Series page.
.Jury
Eva Franch i Gilabert – Chief Curator and Executive Director, Storefront for Art and Architecture
Cristina Goberna Pesudo – Co-Founder, Fake Industries Architectural Agonism
Kyle May – Founder, Kyle May, Architect | Editor in Chief, CLOG
Benjamin Porto – Partner, Snarkitecture
Justine Testado – Editor, Archinect | Bustler
Julia van den Hout – Founder, Original Copy | Co-founder CLOG
Liam Young – Founder, Tomorrow’s Thoughts Today | Unknown Fields
For Charrette 03 updates follow:
Instagram: @Archistophanes
Twitter: @Archistophanes
Facebook: Archistophanes
Reality Cues is about making architecture in digital, interactive, and social media, where ownership is communal and subject matter changes as quickly as users can click the ‘share’ button. Within this culture of reposting, reblogging, and retweeting is the opportunity to modify and subvert prevailing tendencies. Combine this with the ease with which anyone can alter images to create virtual worlds, and you are left with an increasingly fuzzy area between the so-called virtual and real. The Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, Mr. Trump Competition looks to accelerate this process to see just how fuzzy we can get.