The
  Cornell
    Journal
      of
        Architecture
0
Introduction



Issue 8 of The Cornell Journal of Architecture is now available. Only selected articles are offered here. Full contents are available by purchasing the Journal. It is available through amazon.com here:


Full Table of Contents:
Introduction: Editors of The Cornell Journal of Architecture
RE:8 Dagmar Richter, Chair, Department of Architecture, Cornell University
History After the End: Network Culture and Atemporalitay Kazys Varnelis
Self-reflective Architecture Hod Lipson
Return to Earth: Feedback Houses Lydia Kallipoliti
Yes We Can Austin + Mergold
Regenerative Returns Ila Berman
eco-pop Mark Jarzombek
RE-Collage Andrea Simitch
Being RE R.E. Somol
Taste Is Critical David Salomon
Unsolicit**ed Comments Philip Johnson & Sibyl Moholy Nagy
Regarding Regarding Mark Morris
SurfaceCities: Renovating the Image of the 21st-Century City John Zissovici
Resolution (Western Sahara) Michael Ashkin with Nathan Townes-Anderson
Ex-Palm SMAQ: Sabine Müller Andreas Quednau
Pandas: A Rehearsal Keller Easterling
OMA RE: OMU Rem Koolhaas
Rowe • Ungers: Untold Collabortations Yehre Suh
RE: Design or Architecture: Wither the Discipline? Kent Kleinman
RE:RE: Design or Architecture: Wither the Discipline? Peter Eisenman
Architecture and Regression Spyros Papapetros
Thanks, but No Thanks Greg Lynn


Cover, The Cornell Journal of Architecture— the sideways 8 constructed with one sparkler and a long exposure.
Cover, The Cornell Journal of Architecture— the sideways 8 constructed with one sparkler and a long exposure.


Introduction

This issue of the Cornell Journal of Architecture is about the now, the new, and the next in architecture, while simultaneously acknowledging that every possible future is intrinsically linked to the existent, to the present and its attendant past. At the heart of issue 8: RE is the understanding that the creative act itself is reiterative; that in rethinking, recombining, reshuffling, recycling, and reimagining aspects of the world around us, we produce work that both belongs to the current moment and establishes new future trajectories.

In its two uses as a preposition and as a prefix,* RE exceeds the mere notion of repetition. As understood here, RE suggests a number of interrelated approaches: a response to an existing condition, a criticality of the status quo, and a dialogue between past, present, and future. At a moment when there is no singularity of cause, nor cohesive reactionary response, this issue establishes a structure that engages with the host of topics currently being brought to bear on architecture from both within and without the discipline, and questions the way in which architecture is produced and criticized today.

Within the seemingly endless possibilities, patterns have emerged from the inevitable cohesion between recurrent and urgent themes: issues of reuse and recycling; of criticism and history in the discipline of architecture; of feedback loops and regression; of dialogue and correspondence; and of the role that changing technologies have in restructuring the way we think, see, and remember. These groupings, by turns both parallel and coalescent, reflect the interconnected strands of technology, history, theory, and intuition that necessarily reinforce each other in architectural education and practice today.

As promised in the introduction to issue 7, the Journal has undergone a complete renovation. The layout has been rethought by evolving the dna of the original journals to better reflect our new location in network time. The introductions to issues 1 and 2 mention the geographic isolation of Cornell’s campus; with issue 8, we plug into the global network and embrace our centrality on a new virtual map. This issue reaches out to writers beyond Ithaca, outside the United States, and, in some cases, beyond the living world.

Through engagement with a broad range of contributors in these pages, the issue itself necessarily embodies the kind of correspondence implied by our theme. In this spirit of dialogue, the Journal includes not only the contributor’s response, but the question, article, or image that provoked it. A close reading will reveal complex threads that weave the articles themselves into an expanded dialogue, or metalogue. We envision this issue to be the beginning of a conversation that will incite continued responses from you, dear reader, formally through correspondence with the editors, but also informally, we hope, in your thinking, practice, and writing in the future.

—The Editors of The Cornell Journal of Architecture

* RE has two major uses: (1) meaning with regard to, as the preposition in contexts such as re: your letter; and (2) as the prefix indicating return to a previous condition, as in review, reiterate, resume, reimagine, react, redo, and so on. Both uses suggest dialogue, criticism, feedback, and testing of an existing condition: a text, a building, a methodology.


RE:8

Welcome to the 8th issue of the Cornell Journal of Architecture. This issue has been tirelessly pursued by its student editors, by its editor-in-chief Caroline O’Donnell, and by its diverse contributors. I want to take this opportunity to thank the editors as well as the Estate of Ruth P. Thomas for making this journal a continued possibility and success.

We live in especially interesting times—times full of promise and jittery anticipation. This issue is regarded as a relaunch after a contemplative rest following number 7, and in this we encounter a number of remarks on resurrection, reiterations, restarts, and reform.

In Chinese culture, 8 is seen as such an auspicious number; so much so that a telephone number in which every digit was an 8 sold for $270,723 in Chengdu. Consider that the last opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing began on 8/8/8 at 8 minutes and 8 seconds past 8 p.m. The traditional fireworks had to be discretely preworked digitally in order to satisfy the media with an artificially enhanced natural spectacle, as the polluted hazy sky in reality was not an adequate media canvas.

On the 8th day of a seven-day week, a cyclical new round begins and we can re-look at the creation we have achieved after a brief time of reflection and rest on the Sabbath. We may not yet know how it will play out, but I can recognize the energy and anticipation of the discipline, the urgency in our discourse, and the readiness for another attempt to ensure that it will not become a discursive Blue Monday.

We find ourselves in the not-yet of our disciplinary time, a transitional phase between the mastery of novel design and production technologies and the ability to control and theorize these new techniques. Entirely different challenges—of representation as well as groundbreaking building technologies—are emerging, requiring architects to repeatedly reorient themselves. Our concept of architecture, its craft, mastery, and virtuoso ability, must be recalibrated and revisited.

We must no longer work digitally just because we can—of course we can. The question today is how to provide discipline and discursive control to the vast array of possibilities, speed, and data. It is through the production of work and through its critical reevaluation that our expertise is advanced. We have played all seven notes and a new octave is beginning, a higher one. As the oscillations double, it is still audible to our critical minds and, even if architecture may struggle to retain the ability to express meaning, it does express the values of the society that creates it.

Now with faster-than-ever computation speed (due to a change from one-digit systems of three bits to systems of one-byte groupings of 8 bioctonions), we will no longer be challenged by merely amassing data, but by understanding it conceptually. We will be challenged to keep our processes open and accept a dynamic of unknowns and not-yets in order to navigate these endless territories.

After all, 8, on its side: is infinity.

—Dagmar Richter, Chair, Department of Architecture, Cornell University




Go back to 8: RE