HOW DO IDEAS TRAVEL?
The ever-same design of airports, shopping malls and exclusive residential enclaves lets us experience cities as generic places that seem to be replicating globally without any hint of local identity. At the same time we can observe forms of urban design that answer to very specific local contexts as people are increasingly self-organizing and appropriating their everyday environments.
To mediate between the generic and the local in our hyper-complex world, we not only require a global point of view but also need to develop instruments that can help us to connect these different spheres, be they built in the spirit of the generic or upon particular lifestyles and local tastes. Thus, design innovation ultimately has to deal with a transfer of surplus value (1), allowing for innovative design practices to have an impact on architectural design through transforming generic concepts according to the specific conditions of the local context.
With this, let’s put aside the individual effort of an architect’s vision for a moment and consider the fact that innovation is really happening when ideas travel. That it’s not the genius of a single mind but the recombination and translocation of ideas that spark innovation.
The program of the upcoming ADIP guest-professorship will investigate different urban settings between Hong Kong, São Paulo, Tirana, Mumbai, and Berlin – in order to identify exemplary practices that can be translocated to other environments. Looking at emerging urban economies, the investigation and design proposals will not be limited to the definition of national boundaries, but rather redraw the map of interrelations between cities and regions. Looking at how exemplary concepts and ideas can be translated and adapted to new conditions; in this context design innovation will be considered as a cross-border, transcultural practice.
SURPLUS TRANSFER Talks
The series of talks under the title „How Do Ideas travel?“ will investigate the various modes of being influenced, affected, inspired and contaminated by foreign ideas. Architects, planners, researchers, historians, futurologists, politicians and urban activists are invited to discuss the question referring to their own practice.
For the first session, the series kick off with an input keynote by Rainer Hehl and Ludwig Engel, followed by a presentation of the architecture practice June14 with Johanna Meyer-Grohbrügge and Sam Chermayeff. Invited Guests (to be confirmed): Sascha Roesler, Something Fantastic, Anh-Linh Ngo and others will discuss different modes of innovation transfer with staff member from the Architecture Institute of the TU Berlin.
The talks will take place every other second Thursday at 18pm in the lecture hall A 053.
The presentation of the guests will be followed by a public discussion.
(1) The term „transfer of surplus value“ usually refers to the capitalist mode of production through the proliferation of excess value for capital accumulation. Rather than reinvesting surplus value within the capitalist mode of production in order to increase private profits, it is questioned here whether excess value should be used for collective interests such as common goods.
EMERGING URBAN ECONOMIES
Emphasizing on Emerging Urban Economies – border zones between informal and formal practice – the first year of the next ADIP professorship is launching a series of innovative research and design projects aiming at discovering the next generation of architects and urban designers.
According to Ananya Roy, scholar for international development and global urbanism, „new geographies“ of imagination and epistemology emerge in the countries of the global South shedding a different light on the production of the city that put in question the dominance of the EuroAmerican discourse in urban theory. „Against the ‚regulating fiction‘ of the First World global city“ Ananya Roy calls for „a robust urban theory that can overcome the ‚asymmetrical ignorance‘.“(2)
Building-up on the paradigmatic shift in urban theory SURPLUS TRANSFER is investigating 3 different types of cross-border transfer: 1st – spatial/morphological, 2nd – programmatic/technological, and, 3rd – cultural/contextual (see Fig.1–4).
(2) Ananya Roy 2009, The 21st-Century Metropolis; New Geographies of Theory, Regional Studies, Vol.43, Issue 6, Routledge, New York
THE CITY WITHIN THE BUILDING
„The large building represents the framework, the order and the designed space for a lively process that cannot be predicted or planned – for a parasitic architecture. Without this aspect any planning will remain stiff and lifeless.“(3)
For the first semester of the SURPLUS TRANSFER program the focus will be on „The City Within the Building“ by transferring exemplary model cases of large-scale multi-use buildings from emerging economies to Berlin.
The model cases are standing for specific types of concentrated urbanity and serve as attractors in a fragmented urban landscape.
Organized according to the 3 modes of transfer (spatial/programmatic/cultural) different qualities can be identified that will be extracted as strategic concepts for the translocation of the project to a new context.
(3) Translation by the author. Original quote: “Die Großform schafft den Rahmen, die Ordnung und den geplanten Raum für einen unverhersehbaren, nicht planbaren, lebendigen Prozeß, für eine parasitäre Architektur. Ohne diese Komponente bleibt jede Planung starr und leblos.“