Archive for the ‘informality’ Category

Lecture about Open Source Architecture;

“I wish to develop a community that actively embraces innovative and sustainable design to improve living conditions for all.”


sorry the docu is in dutch and spanish…
In mei was er er een hele toffe documentaire op tegenlicht, ik vond het erg inspirerend…
grtjs, margreet


In Carácas: De Informele Stad portretteert Rob Schröder een stad die in veel opzichten exemplarisch is voor de exploderende urbanisatie op continenten als Afrika en Zuid-Amerika. Met de jonge, activistische architecten Alfredo Brillembourg en Hubert Klumpner, trok Schröder dit voorjaar door de barrios van Carácas, de sloppenwijken waar Commandante Chávez zijn machtsbasis heeft.

de informele stad

archinect features an interesting interview with Nils Norman, a London-based (graphic) artist, who has now crossed the boundaries of his art and entered the realm of architecture and urbanism.

a few excerpts from the interview:

“I’ve tried to construct an interdisciplinary practice whereby I could do more fanciful Utopian proposals in a gallery or museum, but also push the working boundaries of these institutions with real projects.”

“I always wonder why architects see themselves in this old-school “genius creator” kind of role, much more than most of the artists I know do.”

“Why should all these public spaces be privatized? Was anyone asked if they wanted another ridiculous mall in their neighborhood?”

enjoi. marten

according to living in peru, people have started rebuilding their homes, that got destroyed in the august 2007 earthquake, without the necessary building permits, creating new dangers for future trembles.  there are already regulations for self-construction in the slums of peruvian cities, but people that have been homeless for more than a month have now started to rebuild with no supervision from the local authorities.

if we accept the fact that a shelter against the elements is a persons first priority, we should also accept that people looking for shelter will not always do this according to regulations and prescriptions. people are willing to use anything in their close environments to build a roof. shigeru ban post-tsunami housing proposing to use soda-crates as foundation for housing (and than the brand depending on where the foundation needs to be build – eg. in the netherlands we would use heineken crates, in belgium jupiler) and truck covers as roof (how many freitag bags can you make out of that?) is perhaps the most famous one, but the acknowledgment of this fact has lead to a lot more interesting proposals, like the housing pictographs by fred cuny, the sandbag shelters by nader khalili or the hexayurt.

post-tsunami housing

sand bag shelter

more links here, at worldChanging

enjoi. marten


The Solid House Foundation’s (SHF) objective is to create, conduct and facilitate housing projects in poor communities. Next to this, the SHF stands for empowering local organisations with both knowledge and practical skills. The intention of this increase of knowledge is to enable local inhabitants’ associations to independently prepare and build successful housing projects. The construction is therefore done in a fairly simple, inexpensive and sustainable manner.



after french justice, the world is now also gay for social justice.

according to wikipedia, social justice “refers to the concept of a just society, where “justice” refers to more than just the administration of laws. It is based on the idea of a society which gives individuals and groups fair treatment and a just share of the benefits of society. Different proponents of social justice have developed different interpretations of what constitutes fair treatment and a just share. It can also mean distribution of advantages and disadvantages within a society or community.”

especially architects are starting to realize that we are not just here to make nice buildings, we are also here to make a difference. two of these architects making a difference are ava bromberg and nicholas brown, who are organizing an exhibition event in los angeles in septoctnov, just space(s). it aims to give an overview of the unjust spaces of the past and present, and tries to inspire visitors to create the just spaces of the future.

lots to read here:

just space(s)
editorial note: why spatial justice?
spatial justice bibliography
critical spatial practice blog

the godfather of just(ice), MLK

enjoi. marten

for all you ‘informal’ people

soft city

Soft City records one man’s attempt to plot a course through the urban labyrinth. Holding up a revealing mirror to the modern city, it is used as the locale for a demanding and expressive personal drama.

A vivid, often funny portrait of metropolitan life, Soft City is part reportage, part incisive thesis, part intimate autobiography, and a much-quoted classic of the literature of the city and urban culture. In an age when the big city is becoming less popular than ever, this is a passionate and imaginative defense of city life, its “unique plasticity, its privacy and freedom.”

Meticulously researched, Soft City is an insider’s guide to the stresses and strains of city life. Flicking between many cities, but primarily London and New York, Raban shows the true horror and, to an extent, joy of life in a modern metropolis. The reasons why people flock to cities, why some stay and why some leave are some of the many topics covered. The book takes the reader on a journey into memory and explains how one’s own “soft city” is built from memories of the streets one has actually visited or streets one imagines; those one has loved and are gone. It also describes how we negotiate our own “soft city,” how “my city” is different from “yours” and “everyone else’s.” How we also build associations with places, corners, alleyways and how this builds a familiarity without which we fail to survive our visit to the city. Raban goes on to describe this mind construction as a kind of stage set that we create and in which we play out our part; some of us succeed at this game but many of us suffer from a sense of dislocation and lack of community. All cities are theatres; all cities have their stories so how do you play your own individual part?

ciao edwin

informality hurrah!

greetz Edwin

great short movie about what makes a city worthwhile. a lot of architecturally formalized informality, like the kastrup sea bath in kopenhagen by white architects.

For all you guys that are into informality..

Unhoused is a public place for us, Ava Bromberg and Brett Bloom, to conduct research for a forthcoming publication we are calling “Unhoused”. The book is a follow up to our double-book “Belltown Paradise / Making Their Own Plans” which is available for free through our site. This journal will be a place for us to post and share our research and information gathering, which we hope is interesting to others working on issues of global housing crisis and creative actions taken to counter them in very particular, localized ways.

In the Field’s work begins by looking at, listening to, and learning from how people transform the spaces they inherit and build new spaces based on their needs and desires. We seek out and celebrate the enormous creativity of these ordinary actions. Whether appearing as a spontaneously generated public space, in modifications to existing spaces, or in an example of self-housing or community generated urban planning, we take these hyper-local articulations as a rich entry point into understanding the complex ways in which the built environment is shaped. We gather these examples in books, field guides, and exhibitions with the aim of sharing good strategies and making little known projects visible. We consciously work with the power of adjacencies because together projects can bring to bare ideas and concepts larger than any project viewed in isolation.

We blend approaches and knowledge from visual art, urban planning, and creative activism. We operate in an exploded field and work to expand it further still because we care about opening up spaces for new possibilities and social forms.