"The documentary is inspired by the unpredictable events of recent times – from the rise of Donald Trump to Brexit, the war in Syria, the endless migrant crisis, and random bomb attacks. It seeks to explain both why these chaotic events are happening, and why we and our leaders can't understand them. Curtis's theory is that Westerners - politicians, journalists, experts and members of the public alike - have retreated into a simplified, and often completely fake version of the world. But because it is all-encompassing, we accept it as normal.
HyperNormalisation explores this hollow world by looking back at 40 years of events, and profiling a diverse cast of characters such as: the Assad dynasty, Donald Trump, Henry Kissinger, Patti Smith, the early performance artists in New York, President Putin, intelligent machines, Japanese gangsters and suicide bombers."
(Holly Barrett, 22nd September 2016, Royal Television Society)
"Xenofeminism is gender-abolitionist...Let a hundred sexes bloom! ...[And, let's] construct a society where traits currently assembled under the rubric of gender, no longer furnish a grid for the asymmetric operation of power… You're not exploited or oppressed because you are a wage labourer or poor; you are a labourer or poor because you are exploited..."
(The Laboria Cuboniks collective, 11 June 2015, &&& Journal)
"Pedagogical experiments played a crucial role in shaping architectural discourse and practice in the second half of the 20th century. In fact, the key hypothesis of our Radical Pedagogy research project is that these experiments can be understood as radical architectural practices in their own right. Radical in the literal meaning from the Latin radice, as something belonging or relating to the root, to its foundations. Radical pedagogies shake foundations, disturbing assumptions rather than reinforcing and disseminating them. This challenge to normative thinking was a major force in the postwar field of architecture, and has surprisingly been neglected in recent years. ...
Architectural pedagogy has become stale. Schools spin old wheels as if something is happening but so little is going on. Students wait for a sense of activist engagement with a rapidly evolving world but graduate before it happens. The fact that they wait for instruction is already the problem. Teachers likewise worry too much about their place in the institutional hierarchies. Curricular structures have hardly changed in recent decades, despite the major transformations that have taken place with the growth of globalisation, new technologies, and information culture. As schools appear to increasingly favour professionalisation, they seem to drown in self–imposed bureaucratic oversight, suffocating any possibility for the emergence of experimental practices and failures. There are a few attempts to wake things up here and there but it's all so timid in the end. There is no real innovation.
In response to the timidity of schools today, the Radical Pedagogy project returns to the educational experiments of the 1960s and '70s to remind us what can happen when pedagogy takes on risks. It's a provocation and a call to arms."
(Beatriz Colomina with Esther Choi, Ignacio Gonzalez Galan and Anna–Maria Meister, 28 September 2012, The Architectural Review)
1). Radical Pedagogy is an ongoing multi–year collaborative research project by a team of PhD candidates in the School of Architecture at Princeton University, led by Beatriz Colomina and involving seminars, interviews and guest lectures by protagonists and scholars. The project explores a remarkable set of pedagogical experiments of the 1960s and '70s that revolutionised thinking in the discipline. Each student is working on one of these experiments and collectively mapping the interconnections and effects of these experiments towards a major publication and exhibition.
Fig.1 Tournaments in the Course 'Culture of the Body', at the Valparaíso School, 1975. Courtesy of Archivo Histórico Jose Vial, Escuela Arquitectura y Diseño, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso
"Can government be run like the Internet, permissionless and open? Coder and activist Jennifer Pahlka believes it can –– and that apps, built quickly and cheaply, are a powerful new way to connect citizens to their governments –– and their neighbors.
Jennifer Pahlka is the founder of Code for America, which matches software geniuses with US cities to reboot local services."
(Filmed February 2012, posted March 2012, TED2012)
"The world's first zero–carbon city is being built in Abu Dhabi and is designed to be not only free of cars and skyscrapers but also powered by the sun.
The oil–rich United Arab Emirates is the last place you would expect to learn lessons on low–carbon living, but the emerging eco–city of Masdar could teach the world.
At first glance, the parched landscape of Abu Dhabi looks like the craziest place to build any city, let alone a sustainable one.
The inhospitable terrain suggests that the only way to survive here is with the maximum of technological support, a bit like living on the moon.
The genius of Masdar – if it works – will be combining 21st Century engineering with traditional desert architecture to deliver zero–carbon comfort. And it is being built now.
Masdar will be home to about 50,000 people, at least 1,000 businesses and a university.
It is being designed by British architects Foster and Partners, but it is the ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who is paying for it. And it will cost between £10bn (USD$15bn) and £20bn (USD$30bn). "
(Tom Heap, BBC News)
[Profiled on the BBC Radio 4 programme 'Costing The Earth: Eco–City Limits' Monday 29 March at 2100 BST]