This exhibition explores spatial, organizational, and material ingenuities born out of the forces and pressures of the contemporary city, answered by the architectural amateur, and used by everyone. As such, the exhibition foregrounds an essential terrain highly instructive for architecture. The examples highlighted here are important to the way the world is built, influential in its capacities to mobilize, and mesmerizing in its strangeness, yet outside the architectural radar. The exhibition will document, organize, and project a catalog of the existing inventions and tactics found across the globe (often outrageous, sometimes humorous, but always embedded in the here and now) with the ambition to establish a dictionary of ideas that can act simultaneously as a reality-check and sourcebook. We are interested in how the dynamics of global urbanization effectively influence architecture; or to put it more bluntly, how the intelligences of the existing city can be engaged architecturally. From a street-runway intersection in Gibraltar, via the Osaka baseball stadium-turned-model village, to stilt houses in international waters at Biscayne Bay, the project understands these conditions as saturated with potential for a new kind of architectural urbanism. Together these examples form a new city that is fragmented and yet collective, hence the title of the exhibition “Collective City.”
The exhibition has three parts: a catalog of urban inventions and tactics gathered from around the world, a drawing that collages these inventions into one collective city, and an open-source website to which visitors can upload their discoveries. The catalog is structured according to 26 keywords, from “advertisement” to “camouflage” to “quicksand” and “zoning.” It shows a photograph, clearly describes the tactics, and gives the location of each example. For the drawings, these examples of essential ingenuities – seemingly “primitive” but saturated with intelligences – are woven together into a massive city drawing in which the individual fragments find new relationships and juxtapositions, articulating a new kind of urbanity that is collective. The website shows all the findings and lets the public upload their own descriptions, photographs, and impressions, which will lead to a growing archive of urban ingenuities.
Alexander Eisenschmidt (director), Matthew Busscher, Daisey Martinez, Paul Mosely, Isablea Rolim, Janina Sanchez, Anton Tonchev, Surama Viera
*for further information see: www.AEisenschmidt.com