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20-01-15 // LIVING INSIDE: MONU MAGAZINE TACKLES "INTERIOR URBANISM" BY KARLIS RATNIEKS
Pages 56/ 57 and 120/ 121 of MONU #21 showing parts of the contributions by Michael Piper and James Khamsi, Candida Höfer and Jordan Hicks
MONU magazine #21 has set out on a journey to study cities from their indoor environments. It is not only about turning the inside(s) out, but also involves re-conceptualizing the inside itself. While starting with a thorough discussion of the existing interiors in relation to spatial types, the contributors go further to raise new questions on how human subjects within the city are constantly engaging in practices that accept, produce or challenge the limits, scales and different programs of the interior space.
In his seminal essay Paris Capital of the Nineteenth Century (1935) Walter Benjamin presented an analysis of interior as a phenomenon springing out of the forces of production that changed Paris after the French Revolution. Historically the rise of bourgeoisie set out the process of separation of the living-space from the place of work. Interior became a refuge, a sort of a dream-world. As Benjamin writes: Interior was not only the private citizens universe, it was also his casing. Living means leaving traces. In the interior these were stressed. The understanding of interior as a frame, onto which ones traces of life are accumulated, emerges together with the understanding of dwelling in particular political and economic circumstances.
world it seems we find ourselves no longer capable of separating the places
of production from places of refuge. Thus the great value of the latest edition
of MONU is precisely in discussing the meaning of the interior in
relation to forces that produce the city and the contemporary urban structures.
Case studies of Asian, U.S. and European cities or historical research of certain paradigmatic architectural innovations all point to such themes as rising domestication, commodification, privatization and restrictions on common rights in the urban interiors. What manifests in a range of urban developments from museums or exhibitionary complexes (blending art, memory and pedagogical aspects) to commercial environments (from the shopping arcades to suburban malls and to experimental mixed-use indoor spaces) is the uncertainty of ability to maintain these built environments with regard to public interest. From singular architectural objects to large infrastructural networks, interiors have been planned in relation to flows of goods, services and human transit. As spaces of circulation at different scales, interiors become the spaces of social encounter. As Shriya Malhotra points out in her research on metro systems in global cities: Subways are microcosms of the interaction between top-down historic and sociopolitical developments shaping our cities, and people. Social encounters in relation to the quality of wilderness of an interior space are becoming unwelcome one learns from the interview with Petra Blaise that both private and public developers oblige designers to avoid wild, ungovernable interior spaces as potentially dangerous.
Ratnieks studied architecture at Riga Technical University and urban studies
at Estonian Academy of Arts. Karlis works as an architect in Liepaja, Latvia.
This review was
first published by This
Big City on January 19, 2015.
16-12-14 // WHAT IS INTERIOR URBANISM? - A REVIEW OF MONU #21 BY CLAUDIA MAINARDI AND GIACOMO ARDESIO
This review was first published on Quaderns on December 15, 2014; photos by Claudia Mainardi
In 1969 Reyner Banham in his book The Architecture of the Well-tempered Environment marked the shift between the concept of interior to that of an artificial environment. Technology and new human needs in fact had become an integral part of architecture, defining a new paradigm to describe indoor space, that it was not any longer a concern of the singular living-cell but rather of its internal atmosphere.
The issue 21 of MONU describes the current development and the extreme consequences of what this Interior Urbanism means. As Brendan Cormier emphasizes in his article Some Notes Towards an Interior Archipelago: 90% of our lives are spent inside. Urban life is an interior affair. This statement manifests the necessity to invert the canonical approach to read and plan cities, unfolding a new possible stream of research which considers how architecture affects our everyday life.
Climate, or the need to erase the atmospheric conditions, is one of the trigger factors of the production of interior urbanism. Michael Piper and James Khamsi in Endless Architecture: Accidental Manifestos for the Interior state that the interior has grown to become an endless type of urban form which provides an indoor urbanism between the malls of Toronto producing a protected shelter against a hostile climate. The system grew until the inclusion of the public buildings such as the station and the city hall overpassing the threshold of the commercial status of this air-conditioned environment.
As described in the essay of Inge Goudsmit and Adrienne Simons, maybe the most extreme scenario of indoor urbanism is the case of Hong Kong, where for specific contextual constraints such as the tropical climate and the lack of space, not only the city developed vertically but also the public space defined a network of inner connections where common life develops. Assuming as cases, the extremes of Canada and tropical China, it seems that the necessity for a hospitable public environment, despite the climate, is nowadays an unavoidable condition for the contemporary cities. This need for well tempered buildings represents an important factor for the homogenization of architecture worldwide, even stronger than the cultural one.
If it is true that certain internal conditions are able to create new urban spaces (as in the cases described above) the opposite is also true, that some buildings have assumed a character of indoor urbanity. One example is the article by Jonathan A. Scelsa Enfiladed Grids, The Museum as City, which highlights how museums are taking the configuration and the spatial experience of a city through the wise use of the intermezzo or the connective space between exhibition rooms such as in the work of OMA, REX, Jean Nouvel and SANAA.
This condition of blurring between interior and exterior is well described in the interview of Winy Maas, where the metaphor of a 3D Nolli, in relation to the Nolli Map (1784) which first represented the enclosed publicly built surface as part of a continuum with the open spaces of Rome, is used as a tool to interpret a new generation of indoor public spaces like the Market Hall in Rotterdam. Scale and urban density, in the words of Winy Maas, are the activators of this kind of internal condition where the boundary between interior and exterior is totally blurred.
Reversing the traditional figure/ground opposition defined by Nolli Map, the poché which represents the private buildings unfold another, less porous, dimension of interior urbanism. In Some Notes Towards an Interior Archipelago, Brendan Cormier describes as an urban paradigm, the network of places that hosts the daily life of human beings. Far from the radical scenarios described by Archizoom in the No-stop City, our everyday life is not the one of the free man in an open indoor environment but rather it is confronted with the problems of ownership, differentiation and exclusivity, that define the gradient of permeability of this continuous interior. Visible and invisible boundaries restrict the possibility of wandering. In a moment in which, through the social networks, our lives have become public in almost every aspect, the interior has become the eminent space of privacy and thus intimacy and freedom.
In our opinion this different approach, so widely explored in MONU 21 in all its different aspects, represents a useful tool to overpass the dichotomy between the city as a system and the building as an object. If in fact we assume that there is a unifying field that relates to all the objects which compose the city, the urban dimension is no longer a matter of juxtaposition. With MONU 20 about Geographical Urbanism, this issue challenges the scale through which we are used to reading/to interpreting the city: from XS to XXL questions, there is a need to understand urban phenomena defining the new extents for urban life.
Claudia Mainardi and
Giacomo Ardesio. Both of them graduated in Architecture at the Milan Politecnico,
they are both part of the collective Fosbury
Architecture and they are currently working at OMA in Rotterdam.
03-11-14 // NEW CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR MONU #22 - TRANSNATIONAL URBANISM
Sailing beyond the Pillars of Hercules, Image by David Potente, ©David Potente
Around six years ago, our issue #8 entitled "Border Urbanism" focused on urban phenomena that appear in cities that are located close to nation-state borders. We were fascinated by the fact that when cities are located close to borders, they often foster very specific economic features or urban anomalies, which cannot be found in cities located in the very centre of a country. Wherever two jurisdictions come into contact, special opportunities seem to arise. We showed how cities that are located close to borders could be described as isolated islands, where a different type of life is possible, and as places conducive to experiments, utopia and dystopia. With this new issue of MONU we would like to expand on, and complement, the topic of "Border Urbanism" through the topic of "Transnational Urbanism"...continue reading in Submit.
20-10-14 // MONU #21 ON INTERIOR URBANISM RELEASED
While our world is progressively becoming more urban everywhere, a process is on its way that seems to penetrate increasingly every part of our life and does not appear to stop at the thresholds of our buildings, but influences interior spaces, in particular public interior spaces, as much as everything else... continue reading in Issues and get a printed copy in Order .
This issue is supported by University of Leuvens Master of Human Settlements, University of Leuvens Master of Urbanism and Strategic Planning, University of Liechtensteins Master (MSc) of Architecture, Inside - Master Interior Architecture, Erasmus University Rotterdams Institute of Urban Management (IHS), and Incognitas Architecture Trips. Find out more about MONU's supporters in Support.
18-08-14 // MONU #20 WILL BE ON DISPLAY AT THE VANCOUVER ART/ BOOK FAIR
On October 4 and 5, 2014 MONU's issue #20 on Geographical Urbanism will be exhibited on the Vancouver Art/Book Fair.
Free and open to the public, the Vancouver Art/Book Fair is the only international art book fair in Canada and one of only two on the West Coast. In 2014 the event is anticipated to attract over 1,500 visitors from across the Greater Vancouver Area and beyond.
by Project Space, the
Vancouver Art/Book Fair is a two-day festival of artists publishing featuring
nearly one hundred local, national and international publishers, as well as
a diverse line-up of programs, performances and installations. Featured artists
travel to Vancouver from across Canada and the globe, and produce everything
from books, magazines, zines and printed ephemera to digital, performative or
other experimental forms of publication.
30-04-14 // NEW CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR MONU #21 - INTERIOR URBANISM
Interior of João Batista Vilanova Artigas'
School of Architecture and Urbanism at
the University of São Paulo, 1969.
When a few years ago we at MONU made the huge mistake of travelling in August to Tokyo, the warmest month of the year in this part of the humid subtropical climate-zone, we were constantly forced to find shelter in the public air-conditioned interiors of the city. But what we experienced there had, due to the dimensions and quality of the spaces, very little to do with the interconnected public interior spaces of bad repute of the past,...continue reading in Submit.
14-04-14 // MONU #20 ON GEOGRAPHICAL URBANISM RELEASED
Contrary to the simplified linear causality of the environmentalism of the past, which posited that natural geography shapes urban patterns, it is now thought that contemporary urbanization shapes the surface of the earth. Nikos Katsikis explains this tremendous current shift in the meaning of physical geography for cities in his contribution "On the Geographical Organization of World Urbanization", putting the discussion of the 20th issue of MONU on the topic "Geographical Urbanism" in a historical context. For Bernardo Secchi this is not much of a problem as he is no fan of natural geography anyway, a position he reveals in our interview with him entitled "Working with Geography"...continue reading in Issues and get a printed copy in Order .
27-03-14 // MONU IN ALL ABOUT MAGS
MONU Magazine is featured in the publication All ABOUT MAGS that is published by the China-based publishing house SendPoints. SendPoints is distributing design books from their offices in Guangzhou, Beijing and Shanghai.
MAGS aims to introduce excellent and distinctive magazines from around the
world. According to them each of the 61 featured magazines stand out for its
eye-catching design, layout, font system as well as its distinctive publishing
10-01-14 // MONU IN SHANGHAI, ARNHEM, BASEL
Independent Magazines Biennale, Arnhem
From 11 January - 9 March, 2014 MONU #14 on Editing Urbanism will be exhibited in Shanghai (Archizines at the University of Hong Kong), from 28 March - 29 March MONU #19 on Greater Urbanism will be featured in Arnhem (Independent Magazines Biennale), and from 17 June - 22 June MONU #20 on Geographical Urbanism, to be released by the middle of April, will be on display in Basel (Art Fair Basel) .
02-12-13 // GET COPIES OF MONU WITH A DISCOUNT OF UP TO 30%
As of today MONU Magazine offers special discounts of up to 30% on all available issues (the selection shown is only an example).
10% discount if you order 2 copies of any available issue of MONU (+ shipping)
20% discount if you order 4 copies of any available issue of MONU (+ shipping)
30% discount if you order 6 copies of any available issue of MONU (+ shipping)
Please e-mail your order to email@example.com .
01-11-13 // NEW CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR MONU #20 - GEOGRAPHICAL URBANISM
The Distant Mountain, Superstudio, 1971
Could geography, by which we mean the physical geography and in particular the natural geographical features such as landforms, terrain types, or bodies of water that are largely defined by their surface form and location in the landscape, be the last hope of the planet's ever expanding, continuously transforming, and increasingly identical and indefinable urban territories to remain distinguishable and to gain a particular identity in the future? Do hills, cliffs, valleys, rivers, oceans, seas, lakes, streams, canals, or any other kind of geographical feature have the power, in an ever more globalized world in which progressively cities and their architecture look the same, to provide meaning and significance to places, their inhabitants, and users or will all such elements only contribute to an identity that is merely like a mantra as Rem Koolhaas predicted once in "The Generic City"?...continue reading in Submit.
14-10-13 // MONU #19 ON GREATER URBANISM RELEASED
It appears that cities of today, and especially big cities, all around the world, are all struggling with similar problems, as they all have developed huge territories - their metropolitan or "greater" areas - during the twentieth century that cannot be properly understood by anyone in terms of their form, but that now need to be recognized as something that truly exists, because it is a form that is in perpetual transformation and without limits.This is where Antoine Grumbach sees the main difficulty when it comes to "Greater Urbanism" as he explains in an interview with us entitled "Unlimited Greatness"...continue reading in Issues and get a printed copy in Order .
13-09-13 // MONU MAGAZINE IS EXHIBITED IN LISBON, VILNIUS, CHICAGO, AND VANCOUVER
From 12 - 22 September MONU Magazine is exhibited in the Arts Centre of Foundation Serra Henriques in Lisbon, Portugal as an Associated Project of the 2013 Lisbon Architecture Triennale.
From 13 - 15 September MONU #18 on "Communal Urbanism" (photo) is on display at the Vilnius Book Festival in Lithuania. The Festival is bringing Lithuanian and foreign authors, artists, publishers and intelectuals together. In accordance with traditions of other book festivals worldwide, the Vilnius Book Festival events will go on to continue in cafes, clubs and bookshops in the oldtown.
From 13 September - 2 November, MONU Magazine is presented at the Public Works Gallery in Chicago, USA.
From 5 - 6 October, MONU #18 will be featured at the Art/Book Fair in Vancouver, Cananda. The Vancouver Art/Book Fair is a two-day festival of artists publishing that features nearly one hundred local, national and international publishers of books, magazines, zines, printed ephemera and digital or other experimental forms of publication, as well as on-site programs, performances and installations.
07-08-13 // MONU #18 IS FEATURED IN GERMANYS LARGEST DAILY NEWSPAPER: THE SÜDDEUTSCHE ZEITUNG
MONU #18 has been featured in the weekend edition of the Süddeutsche Zeitung on August 3. MONU appeared in the article entitled Hier ist die ganze Welt Papier (Here the entire world is paper). MONU was featured among other journals as a proof that printed publications are not dead when it comes to independent magazines. The Süddeutsche Zeitung is published in Munich and is the largest German national subscription daily newspaper with an average of 441.955 daily sold copies. The title, often abbreviated SZ, literally translates as South German Newspaper. It is read throughout Germany by 1.1 million readers daily and boasts a relatively high circulation abroad.
19-07-13 // MONU #18 IN PARIS
From July 1st 7th MONU #18 was exhibited at the CENTQUATRE in Paris (5 rue Curial, 75019 Paris). The exhibition entitled Habiter le Grand Paris was focused around the results of the Atelier International du Grand Paris.
26-06-13 // MONU #18 IS EXHIBITED IN BASEL
MONU's issue #18 was exhibited at Basel's "LISTE", one of the most important fairs for contemporary young art in the world, from 11 - 16 June 2013.
For 18 years, the fair has been making relevant contributions to the promotion of young artists and galleries. The intentionally low number of 66 galleries and the high level of sophistication of those galleries are reasons for LISTEs extraordinary success, international reputation and drawing power. (Image: Artwork by Cory Arcangel, Gardar Eide Einarsson, Ryan McGinley, and Dawn Mellor)
10-06-13 // THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY MONUS MOST VALUABLE URBANISM DEBATE
On February 10, 2011 MONU Magazine organized a debate entitled Most Valuable Urbanism Debate that aimed to find out what distinguishes a bad Dutch city from a good Dutch city, and what role architects and urban designers play in the production of valuable urbanism. Excerpts of this debate were published in MONU #14. The debate on one of the previous issues, MONU #13: Most Valuable Urbanism, was moderated by Piet Vollaard. The debate panel included three people with three different ideological backgrounds: Jaap van den Bout, Adriaan Geuze, and Floris Alkemade. After a brief introduction by MONUs editor-in-chief Bernd Upmeyer, and preceding the debate, each of the panel members was asked to make 10 -12 minute statements.
Info about the debate:
Titel: Most Valuable Urbanism
Host: MONU Magazine on Urbanism
Introduction: Bernd Upmeyer
Moderator: Piet Vollaard
Panel members: Floris Alkemade, Jaap van den Bout, Adriaan Geuze
Location: De Machinist, Willem Buytewechstraat 45, 3024 BK Rotterdam
Time: 19:00 22:00
Organisation and Conception:
Beatriz Ramo, Bernd Upmeyer
Transcription: STAR: Philip Vandermey, Francesca Rizzetto
Video and Audio Recording: Selena Savic, Chris Baronavski
Video Editing: Matas iupinskas, Selena Savic
John Lennon Photo: Bob Gruen (The image is courtesy of John Lennons estate)
Thanks to Andre Kempe
for suggesting ideas for this debate.
This debate has been made possible by the Creative Industries Fund NL.
15-05-13 // NEW CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR MONU #19 - GREATER URBANISM
Video stills of the opening title sequence of the American television drama "The Sopranos". ©HBO
"Tony Soprano is emerging from the Lincoln Tunnel, entering the New Jersey Turnpike, one of the Greater New York Roads, and finally pulling into the driveway of his suburban home."
Are cities becoming "greater" these days? When two years ago, in our 14th issue of MONU Magazine entitled "Editing Urbanism", we claimed that in the Western world, the need for new buildings and city districts was decreasing or even ceasing to exist altogether due to demographic changes and financially difficult times, we did not believe in all those new, big-scale, and long-term urban development strategies for the metropolitan areas of certain European cities that were being proposed at the time. The growth numbers that plans such as "Greater Helsinki" envisioned for the year 2050, trying to brand the city as one of the most dynamic metropolises in Europe, predicting a population growth from 1.3 million to 2 million, were too exuberant and too vast...continue reading in Submit.
23-04-13 // MONU #18 ON COMMUNAL URBANISM RELEASED
Music: Supertramp, Give A Little Bit, 1977
How should we live together? is the central question of this 18th issue of MONU on the topic of "Communal Urbanism", focusing on contemporary communal living in cities. According to Martin Abbott's contribution "Learning to Live Together", this is a question often discussed among the housemates of Berlin's 40 year old communal "Hausprojekt Walde". Rainer Langhans, one of the early members of the legendary "Kommune 1", founded in Berlin in 1967, is convinced that in the future we will live increasingly communally. He sees a growing demand for, and interest in, communal life and shared experiences as he explains in our interview with him entitled "Privacy and Ecstasy". But in contrast to his own experiences in Kommune 1, where he experienced an uninterrupted, 24/7, spiritual communal ecstasy of love, the communal life of the future will instead be characterized by temporary communities, where people meet and share spaces, facilities and experiences occasionally, similar to his own current communal life...continue reading in Issues and order a printed copy in Order .
01-02-13 // NEXT URBANISM DISCUSSION ON THE ARCHINED
MONU #17 explored how cities of the "Next Eleven" countries are already different and will be different in the future, from the cities of the "BRICs", but also from the ones of the "MEDCs"- the more economically developed countries, such as the Netherlands - in terms of their politics, their economies, their geographies, their cultures, their social aspects, their technology, their ecology and in the relation to their physical structures, such as their architecture. We and the ArchiNed would like to continue the discussion on the topic of "Next Urbanism" as we believe that there is still more to learn from cities in the Next Eleven countries. Therefore we invited Dutch architects and urbanists that are currently working in cities of one of the Next Eleven countries and architects and urbanists that were born in one of the Next Eleven countries and are currently working in the Netherlands to write about their experiences and to reflect on differences and similarities between both environments. The first in this series are the observations of Paul van der Voort, a Dutch architect living and working in Mexico City.
25-01-13 // BERND UPMEYER LECTURES AT STRELKA
Bernd Upmeyer will lecture about the concept and practice of MONU Magazine on Urbanism at the Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design in Moscow on January 30, 2013. He will furthermore participate in the discussion about architecture, urbanism and media at Strelkas Urban Studies Session on the same day.
07-01-13 // MONU #1 IS REPRINTED
After being sold out for more than seven years MONU's very first issue on the topic of Paid Urbanism has been reprinted and is available again now. Witness the beginnings of MONU Magazine and get a printed copy for €10 at Order.
Editorial from June 2004:
Our experience of urban life today exists as it does because we have a complex system of subsidies interacting with our urban geography. Taxes, once extracted from the market economy cycle back to the masses as paid urbanism. Used wisely or not, spread fairly or unfairly, this money is probably one of the strongest forces animating our urban conditions today. The places we live in today are in many ways shaped by government spending - Subsidized Landscapes. Since the 90s, big enthusiasm about total privatization has subsided. Nowadays, everybody realizes that there is a need to keep certain things in the hand of public administration. Redistribution of enormous revenue is a commonly accepted means of keeping civil democratic societies working. Government intervention, taxing and spending are the terms we use to describe this state. Caught in an enormous network of redistribution that pervades everything and everybody, the power and influence of these processes rarely makes itself visible; we are never fully aware. A Kafkaesque web of bureaucracies constantly recreates and resuscitates our urban landscapes. Drifting through cities with their thousands of invisible dependencies and relationships, no one person can exactly define what keeps everything alive. Everything seems to be vibrant, but somewhere down the line, there are crosscutting streams and flows of decisions and administration behind it. It has been paid for. The multitudinous products of paid urbanism are hard to identify or define, but lie hidden behind every stone of the city. The effects of paid urbanism on urban settings cannot be overemphasized - without paid urbanism, cities as we know them would not exist. This first issue shines a number of spotlights into the thicket of subsidies and paid urbanism. What do networks of subsidies look like in fields like housing and farming in the US and what are their consequences for cities? What are the aesthetic impacts and absurdities of paid urbanism in places as different as Chicago, Coney Island (NYC) and Thuringen (Eastern Germany). We feature projects that rethink the networks of paid urbanism and essays that reflect on the interwoven history of subventions and urbanism.
Imagining the Subsidized Landscape by CUP; After Growth by CASE with Reinier de Graaf; Urban Distortion by Shireen A. Barday and Damon W. Root; Urban Money Beats Global Money by Hans-Henning von Winning; The Paid Urbanism Project by Thomas Soehl and Bernd Upmeyer; SpaMania by Kai Jonas; Is a Bathtub Still a Bathtub on Mars? by William Alatriste; Richard J. Daley’s Chicago Civic Center and the Modernist Urban Landscape by Emily Pugh
19-11-12 // MONU AS CHRISTMAS PRESENT: DISCOUNTS FROM 10 TO 40%
As of today and until December 31, 2012 MONU Magazine offers special discounts of up to 40% on all available issues.
10% discount if you order 2 copies of MONU (+ shipping)
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Please e-mail your order to firstname.lastname@example.org .
15-11-12 // CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS POSTER FOR MONU #18
Support MONU Magazines global dialogue on urbanism and print and post this CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS POSTER for MONU #18 on the topic of COMMUNAL URBANISM in your faculty, institute, or in your communal kitchen.
01-11-12 // NEW CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR MONU #18 - COMMUNAL URBANISM
Meal in a Political Commune (1968)
© Bildarchiv Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Photo credit: Günter Zint
One of the most fascinating things we at MONU recently experienced during a trip to Brasilia had nothing to do with its famous Oscar Niemeyer monuments or the city itself, but with the context surrounding the city. After two tiring days in the city and having read in a guidebook that in certain regions around Brasilia extra-terrestrial contacts are supposed to be more likely, which provoked the emergence of a number of cults and communes, we decided to rent a car to visit those places...continue reading in Submit.
16-10-12 // MONU #17 ON NEXT URBANISM RELEASED
This new issue of MONU is dedicated entirely to the topic of "Next Urbanism" - meaning the urbanism of the cities of the so-called "Next Eleven" or "N-11", which include eleven countries: Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Turkey, South Korea, and Vietnam. These countries have been identified as growing into, along with the BRICs - Brazil, Russia, India, and China - the world's largest economies in the 21st century. Next to interviews with Saskia Sassen and with the Nigerian-born architect Kunlé Adeyemi, and a series of contributions that discuss Next Urbanism in general, we feature eleven articles that focus specifically on the cities of each of the Next Eleven countries...continue reading in Issues and order a printed copy in Order .
30-07-12 // THE IDEOLOGY OF PUBLICATION CONVERSATION WITH BERND UPMEYER
Bernd Upmeyer has been interviewed by the Beijing-based magazine WAI on the topic of ideology. The results of the conversation have been published in their second issue.
WAI: MONU is willing to explore the concept of urbanism from every possible angle, including the social, political, ideological and artistic spheres. However, something that is not being discussed is the contribution of MONU to the visual culture of architectural publications. An important element of the unique attraction of MONU is its layout (varying from article to article), typography and provocative covers that have featured Godzilla, Jesus, Marilyn Monroe, Superman, and John Lennon. Was the aesthetic approach for MONU a derivative of the content or was it a choice assumed from the beginning as a main concept for the magazine?
Bernd Upmeyer: The fact that every article is different in terms of the layout was a clear choice from the beginning and we have been applying that concept ever since although a little less wildly today. From the beginning, this choice was meant to emphasize the multiplicity and diversity of the articles and viewpoints and, on the other hand, the result of the fact that I always had trouble with magazines in which I got lost, not knowing whether one article ends, another one starts or images in between are merely advertisements. Some magazines are doing that excessively. I have always considered that very annoying. Therefore, this principle of the layout is not a derivative of the content however, the emphasis on diversity clearly is. Principally MONUs content always comes first and its layout only serves the content and its readability. MONUs visual culture should not be overrated. When it comes to the covers, we started very naïvely, not knowing how relevant and important a meaningful and attractive cover for a magazine is. We started getting a bit of a clue when the magazine was already three years old and on display and for sale in more and more bookshops. Seeing the magazine on the shelves, especially in the bookshops in Rotterdam, made us think more about its cover, as the cover was the only thing people would see while walking around the store. In addition to that we recognized an increasing interest in the magazine and the moment more people are looking at you, you better get a better haircut, so as not to look like a fool. Thus, you can say that ever since the summer of 2006, starting with issue #5, we are putting more energy in finding interesting and inspiring images that represent the content of each issue. Since the Godzilla on the cover of #5 we are trying to provide more direct access to the still invisible content of each issue. But it is not simply about provocation, but more about the belief that a magazine with uncompromising and daring content also needs uncompromising and daring covers.
While the value of MONU as a platform for open discussion and experimental speculation
is undeniable, the importance of strategies such as the open call for
contributions should not be overlooked. Recent exhibitions like Archizines
highlight a resurgence of independent publications that very often are created
following this selection tool. When you created MONU, did you see it as an independent
exercise or did you anticipate its paradigmatic potential? By the same token,
do you feel that MONU, apart from its intellectual contributions, has served
as a model for a young generation of independent magazines?
BU: No, we definitely could not foresee its paradigmatic potential, but we were only hoping that it would help us making an interesting magazine. You have to understand that by the time we founded the magazine, we neither knew how to make a magazine, nor did we know any writers or potential contributors. We had no network whatsoever. Not that we believe in networks. Today, we actually avoid making use of our network, as we want to keep the magazine open to new people while avoiding inviting people that we know as most magazines traditionally do. But what is a choice today was a constraint in the past, as we simply had no idea how to get contributors for the magazine. We had a lot of ideas for topics, but no ideas for authors. Therefore, the open call for contributions was for us at that moment the only way to start a magazine. That we receive today so many proposals and submissions of such a high standard is incredible and fantastic and we are very grateful for that. I would be very happy if MONU served as a model for a young generation of independent magazines as I feel that that we truly did some kind of pioneering work here. As I mentioned before, in 2004, when we introduced the device of open calls for contributions in our first issue as a tool of finding contributors, this was not common for architectural and urbanism magazines. Being a role model shows that we have created something meaningful and interesting. That is a big honour for the magazine itself and for its authors. But what is more important is that in recent years MONU has contributed to bringing back a new critical edge to the architectural and urban discourse and if this approach has inspired others to start similar magazines, that can only be judged positively.
How would you describe the evolution of MONU from the first issues to the current
ones and how do you envision the future of MONU?
BU: The evolution of MONU has to be understood as a continuous attempt driven by tireless curiosity to improve the magazine with every single issue with regard to the diversity and quality of the contributions, the relevance of the articles in general and in relation to the particular topic of the issue, the relevance of each topic taken by itself, its appearance and layout, and finally its financial sustainability. In that sense, I believe that our last issue was the most elaborate however, most of the earlier issues contain a lot of very good and relevant contributions too, coupled with the charm of something that is in the process of becoming something very special and unique. I see the future of MONU in the same vein: as a magazine that will continuously improve, yet will continue to take risks and flirt with failure. And as long as people are still motivated to contribute and we are not getting tired of initiating new topics and investing time and energy into something that will probably never have a secure and stable financial base, MONU Magazine on Urbanism will keep looking forward to its next issue.
entire conversation here.
23-07-12 // MONU IN SINGAPORE
MONU Magazine has been invited to be exhibited in Singapore between 1st12th August 2012. MONU will participate in the so-called "THE U CAFÉ exhibition", to be held at the now defunct Tanjong Pagar Railway Station in Singapore.
THE U CAFÉ launched in 2011 as an UNDERSCORE initiative to bring together independent cafés and magazines for good coffee and good reads. During its inaugural launch, THE U CAFÉ collaborated with 8 selected independent cafés to showcase a selection of over 30 international award-winning magazines. Over a duration of 3 months, café-goers were able to browse freely through the magazine library and enjoy specially created signature snacks and drinks. Due to the overwhelming customer response, THE U CAFÉ was extended an additional 3 months.
U CAFÉ 2012 will feature a specialty one-off menu crafted by the
good folks at The Plain. Visitors will be able to lounge in a library of select
local and international magazines of distinct content, while enjoying scenic
views of the historic
Tanjong Pagar Railway Station.
07-05-12 // MONU IN NEW YORK, TOKYO AND BERLIN
MONU Magazine on Urbanism is currently being exhibited in New York (Storefront for Art and Architecture (Image 1), 17 April 9 June 2012), Tokyo (Hillside Terrace Forum (Image 2), 3 May - 13 May 2012), and Berlin (do you read me?! (Image 3), 26 April - 26 May 2012). (The exhibitions in New York and Berlin are part of the Archizines World Tour curated and initiated by Elias Redstone)
30-04-12 // NEW CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR MONU #17 - NEXT URBANISM
(Image: ©BOARD. Original image: Photo still from Lewis Milestone's 1960 "Ocean's 11" film starring Peter Lawford,
Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Joey Bishop. ©Warner Bros)
Over the past ten years a lot has been researched, analyzed, written and said about cities in the largest developing countries and emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China. Let us call it "BRIC Urbanism" as BRIC is the acronym that refers to these countries. Recently, however, things have changed and while time moved on, a new generation of emerging economies is on the march that might feature an urbanism different from anything seen before. This development has triggered our curiosity and we see it as urgent and necessary to understand what is happening in the cities of these newly emerging economies...continue reading in Submit.
17-04-12 // MONU #16 ON NON-URBANISM RELEASED
The rural as a strict counterpart to the urban appears to be a condition of the past. At least, this is what Kees Christiaanse posits in an interview with us entitled "The New Rural: Global Agriculture, Desakotas, and Freak Farms". He points out that, today, non-urban spaces interact so frequently and intensely with urbanity that you can no longer describe something as strictly rural. Therefore, we can no longer separate the city from the countryside as these are not polarized entities and each other's enemies, but rather the result of each other. Evidently, to be an urbanist today means that one must also be a regionalist as Edward W. Soja puts it in his contribution "Remembrances of an Older Urbanism"...continue reading in Issues.
To get a printed copy of this new issue, please e-mail your order to email@example.com.
23-03-12 // MONU #15 AT FACING PAGES FESTIVAL IN ARNHEM
MONU's most recent issue #15 will be exhibited at the Facing Pages Festival in Arnhem, The Netherlands from 20 - 22 April 2012. Facing Pages is a biennial festival about independent magazines. With a three-day event, Facing Pages brings leading independent magazine makers and aficionados to Arnhem. The event shows what part the independent magazine currently plays in the development of our visual culture. Facing Pages is set up by Joost van der Steen and William van Giessen.
06-02-12 // MONU IN MILAN AND NEW YORK
on Urbanism is currently being exhibited in the Spazio
FMG in Milan (27 January 23 February 2012), Italy and will be exhibited
in the Storefront for Art
and Architecture in New York from 17 April 9 June 2012. (Photos:
Mauro Consilvio / SpazioFMG/ The exhibitions are part of the
Archizines World Tour curated and initiated by Elias
24-01-12 // DO WE SIMPLY HAVE TO STOP HAVING SEX...?
In August 2009 the editorial of MONU #11 on the topic of "Clean Urbanism" started with the lines "Do we simply have to stop having sex to produce Clean Urbanism - i.e. an urbanism that is dedicated to minimizing both the required inputs of energy, water, and food for a city as well as its waste output of heat, air pollution as CO2, methan, and water pollution, Samo Pedersen asks in his piece Sci-fi greenery..or just Responsibility?. In fact Randall Teal sees the growing world population frequently ignored in discussions on sustainability, as he points out in his article Coming Clean: Owning Up to the Real Demands of a Sustainable Existence. Fewer people spend less energy, and as the gas and oil supply will come to an end sooner or later, saving energy may be a cheaper and smarter solution for cities than depending on renewable energies, as Gerd Hauser, one of the leading researchers on the implementation of the EU Directive on Energy Performance of Buildings, explains in an interview with us, entitled Domes over Manhatten..."
are now featured on a bag designed and produced by MONU Magazine. The bags were
produced in a limited edition of 50 pieces. To get a single bag for €10,00
+ shipping (NL €1,50; EU €2,55; WORLD €2,85) please e-mail your
order to firstname.lastname@example.org
. You will receive instructions and invoice through Paypal by e-mail. If
you prefer to pay without PayPal, please let us know.
16-01-12 // MONU IN ARCHIZINES CATALOGUE
MONU is featured in the Archizines Catalogue published by Bedford Press and edited by Elias Redstone. This catalogue, accompanying an exhibition curated by Elias Redstone for the Architectural Association, explores the relationship between architecture and publishing. Themes addressed in a series of new essays include the role of publishing in academia and architectural practice, and the representation of architecture in fictional writing, photography, magazines and fanzine culture.
02-01-12 // MONU MAGAZINE AVAILABLE IN INDIA
After already being available in bookshops in Europe, Australia, and North America, MONU Magazine is now available in Asia too. As of today, all available issues of MONU can be purchased at Mumbai's Art & Design Book Store. An almost complete list of bookshops that carry MONU can be found in Order (scroll down).
22-12-11 // INTERVIEW WITH BERND UPMEYER AT ARCHIZINES EXHIBITION
Curator Elias Redstone interviewed MONU's editor-in-chief Bernd Upmeyer for the Archizines Exhibition at London's Architectural Association. The answers were screened at the exhibition.
Elias Redstone: What is the relationship between architecture and publishing?
Bernd Upmeyer: To a certain extent, both architecture and publishing can be understood as processes of information production. Yet, neither architecture nor publishing should be completely reduced to the production of information. However, when I started publishing MONU magazine around seven years ago, after having been trained first and foremost as an architect, the first printed issue of MONU became in a way my first fully realized, or to put it more correctly, my first fully built project under my own name. In this way, and from my point of view, publishing and architecture were very closely related. Nevertheless, in my experience, the production of architecture is a much more active and narcissistic process, whilst the production of a publication is far more passive, more mediating and collaborative.
ER: How do you edit architecture?
Bernd Upmeyer: MONU magazine is first of all a magazine on urbanism that focuses on cities in a broader sense, including their politics, economies, geographies, their social aspects, but also their physical structures, the point where architecture comes into play. In that sense architecture is only one field of many in the magazine - fields which are all brought together under the umbrella term urbanism. When editing the magazine, I of course always try to select those contributions that are most relevant for the chosen topic for the particular issue in order to come to conclusions regarding the problem under discussion. But what I find actually more interesting about the question how I edit architecture is the impact that MONU can have on cities and thus on the built environment - the architecture. Because I believe that by putting certain topics on the agenda, the magazine is actually able to modify and even correct, and therefore edit, architecture by changing and manipulating the views and perspectives of its readers in a positive way, which will eventually also influence the built environments in our cities.
ER: What is the role of printed matter in the digital age?
Bernd Upmeyer: I think that the role of printed matter in the digital age is very much related to the costly, complicated and time-consuming way in which printed publications are produced and distributed. Everybody who has ever produced a printed publication knows what I am talking about. Even if you simply print your magazine on an ink-jet printer in your kitchen and staple it together by yourself, it still remains so much harder to do than publishing something online. And once you have made that kind of effort, you are not going to waste it on low-quality information. That fact alone secures a certain quality among printed publications. Furthermore, I believe that a certain fascination with materiality, with real and physical objects will never entirely disappear. Although MONU magazine is already available digitally as well, I could not imagine producing it only digitally at this moment. The idea that a magazine can be a physical object of art and not only a transmitter of information always appealed to me.
ER: How are architectural publications changing?
Bernd Upmeyer: I would be tempted to say that the increased accessibility and availability of information and the easier connectivity between people that the internet provides today, can only be judged positively. But whether it works for you as an advantage or disadvantage depends on your approach. The whole situation offers both: great opportunities, but also great dangers of misuse. Because what I see is that, especially over the last ten years, the situation has impacted and changed architectural publications in a lot of negative ways. The reality that producing a magazine became so much easier and faster than twenty years ago, resulted in the fact that today the shelves of bookshops, but also a huge number of internet websites, are groaning under the weight of an ever-growing stack of rather uncritical, low-quality and image-oriented architectural publications that will eventually hollow out the entire architectural profession.
19-12-11 // ACROBATIC NARRATIVES
Excerpts from the interview (MONU #15 ) with Wouter Vanstiphout - member of Crimson Architectural Historians in Rotterdam and professor of Design and Politics at the Faculty of Architecture of Delft Technical University.
Beatriz Ramo: We would like to discuss with you some delicate issues around the current understanding of ideology, or better, the flexibility and malleability that ideology has been put through until becoming a brand. From general, large-scale city strategies to much smaller interventions in Rotterdam, examples of success as branding operations but questionable in the transparency and honesty of its message, which is heavily loaded with rhetoric about the public, the social, the participatory, the creative etc. We are confronted by plenty of these ideologies which turn into highly hypocritical and unethical promotional strategies. How does one judge that? Would you be able to justify them?
Wouter Vanstiphout: What I find is that it is difficult to distinguish between authentic social or ecological motivations, and motivations that are used as window dressing or smokescreens for something else. Today, even the most hard-nosed developer, corporate architect or neoliberal politician uses language of community and sustainability to the extent that there is nothing on the surface you can disagree with. ( )
BR: We see more and more
groups and collectives that call themselves activists whose manifestoes
lay in the social, urban participation, social action, etc. Although conceived
with the best of intentions, often the results of their actions are closer to
a celebration of themselves as the protagonists of their activism rather than
a committed action with a serious outcome. What do you think about this urban
activism displayed all around Europe?
WV: There are offices that do it in an authentic way, out of a real feeling of anger or commitment and that is fantastic. And there are many offices that are exactly as you said There is a change in the cliché of the figure of the architect. Twenty years ago the cliché was a bit Spanish-looking: cultured, qualitative, formalist, intellectual And then Rem [Koolhaas] came and the architect became this ruthless robot man, destroying everything we found comfortable; being awful to everyone And everybody copied that model, from Ben van Berkel to every single Swiss architect in the world under 50.
But now we have this third model: Alejandro Aravena, Alfredo Brillembourg, Alexander Vollebregt, my colleague from Delft, switching easily from Haitian slums to Lecture rooms, perfectly comfortable with UN Habitat and Worldbank bureaucrats, dressing with a certain hippie-chic, adored by their students for their empathy, approachability and enthusiasm, and most of all breathlessly admired for their willingness to talk about helping the world, eradicating poverty, emancipating the poor. ( )
BR: What I find distressing is how these architects or their actions are being used by authorities or institutions; like marriages of convenience. This profile: young + fresh + social activist has been fully institutionalized. ( )
WV: ( ) This strange lightness of these groups of architects is not really dangerous for society, its just useless for society it is just dangerous for themselves. That is why I am so fascinated with what many young offices are doing, will they succumb to the comfort zone of the creative industry deal, providing lightweight actions, that are really just designer objects, or will they find their own position, their own discourse, shed their roles of bad boys and girls in designer magazines and developer boardrooms?
Bernd Upmeyer: In this a-critical moment, do these tricky and popular ideologies offer a great chance to designers and urban planners, who in the name of the social or the green can act with more freedom?
WVS: Yes, but look at the roots of the a-critical attitude of present-day architects. Dont you agree that the preachings of Rem Koolhaas of the early 1990s, against a critical attitude towards the mega-urbanization in Asia, was a pioneering moment in this a-critical attitude? Critics of the autocratic regimes in Singapore, China, later the Arab states, were being castigated and silenced for being arrogant and neo-colonial. I always found this an exasperating rhetorical trick; especially because you could not help thinking that it was self-serving, because the direction of this a-criticality always moved in the same direction as the offices portfolio. So you always got the feeling, that not the countrys government was being shielded, but the ethics of the office itself. ( )
BU: With what kind of
urban ideologies do you think we are dealing at the moment? How do they relate
to urban ideologies of the past?
WV: I continuously go back to 1980s and 1990s. Embracing monster capitalist machines was kind of sexy, attractive. Today cities are looked at as products that have to compete on a global level and they are manipulated by people that operate at that global level, from the outside. I started losing my belief in this metropolitanism. ( )
BU: Once we accept the failure and impossibility of true ideologies, how do you see the tendency of borrowing the esthetics and imagery of brilliant past ideologies and stripping them from their meaning and turning them into current dogmas?
BR: For example, the fascination with the images from Superstudios Monumento Continuo, which were made to fiercely criticize capitalism, globalization, and the last Modern Movement of the sixties, but now these images are taken almost as real architecture proposals because of their striking beauty and monumentality. Isnt it a little awkward the usage of images without regard their initial meaning?
WsV: I agree with this.
But I even think that there is something more desperate about it. What you see
is that ideology has become esthetics itself. It is something that you can buy
You also see this with some of the neo-neorationalist architectural hypes being taught at the AA, Harvard, and the Berlage Institute, this armchair flirting with communism and socialism, without any real political engagement. Within the world of architecture, dead and buried ideologies are being used as designer objects, attributes or talisman, that get you access to tenure tracks, magazines and conferences.
I find it extremely perverse because it creates this jargon problem, this extremely incomprehensible elitist language. The language of architecture theory has becomes so convoluted, so obtuse, so . That even the dumbest person can use it, because it just does not make any sense anyway. ( )
08-12-11 // ARTIST NO MORE
MONU's editor-in-chief Bernd Upmeyer has been interviewed by the Milan-based magazine "STUDIO".
STUDIO: Officially today we live in an urbanized world. More than 50% of humanity live in urban contexts. Is this the age of urbanity or the age of the crises complexity?
Bernd Upmeyer: If you ask me like that I would rather say that it is the age of urbanity, because crises always happened. It is not that we are just now having a lot of crises and we never had them before. But I also don't see exactly the relation between the age of urbanity and the crises we are facing at moment. First of all you have to define what kind of crises you're talking about. Today we are dealing for example with three main crises: the financial crisis, the climate crisis, but also the geo-political crisis.
STUDIO: So this is not an urban topic?
BU: That depends on what crisis you are talking about. The current financial crisis, for example, has of course an impact on cities, but cities did not produce the financial crisis to begin with. If you wish to talk about the relation of the climate crisis to cities, then you can of course also say that the recent enormous population growths of cities did not make the situation easier. However, we can speak of an urban age, mainly because of the vast movements of people from the countryside to the cities, which happened especially in Asia - a tendency that does not happen so much in the Western world, where cities are rather shrinking.
...continue reading the entire interview here.
30-11-11 // MONU AT MELANCHOTOPIA
MONU Magazine is currently part of the Melanchotopia exhibition at Rotterdam's Witte de With Gallery. For the duration of Melanchotopia, Witte de With is home to Pro qm from Berlin. Their owners have curated a special selection of titles to further explore the themes of Melanchotopia and include these together with books of the artists represented in the exhibition.
Melanchotopia is an exhibition that invites more than forty international artists to work with different venues in the city-center of Rotterdam places where people live and work and to activate their potential as spaces for ideas, discourse and invention. From large-scale interventions to very simple gestures, Melanchotopia supports a range of artistic practices that go beyond the classical approach to displaying art in public space. Working with the existing dynamics of the city, Witte de Withs intention is to bring forward the diverse layers of daily life in Rotterdam, creating a rich framework for subjective encounters. It is an exhibition about the reality of Rotterdam. Today, Rotterdam seems to be on hold between its past and its future: filled with nostalgia for the pre-WWII city and in wait for the utopian future, which is perpetually stalled in unfinished developments and reconstructions. Projections about yesterday and tomorrow drive the image of the city, that seems to lack a present. Melanchotopia performs the present of the city through the specific practice of each artist. Over the course of the exhibition (and remaining active until 31 December 2011) Witte de Withs galleries is reconfigured to become the epicenter of Melanchotopia. The projects, which spread throughout Rotterdams center, are brought together via a graphic mapping. Several art works and installations are also on show inside the epicenter and it is the site for numerous events. (description from Witte de With's website)
21-11-11 // MONU #15 ON POST-IDEOLOGICAL URBANISM RELEASED
This new MONU issue on the topic of Post-Ideological Urbanism probably touches on one of the most fascinating and biggest issues of our time and in our culture, or what is left of it: the non-ideological - or better post-ideological - conditions of our society when it comes to cities. Today, ideology appears to have become, and to have been reduced to, something merely aesthetic, something you can buy yourself into as Wouter Vanstiphout explains in an interview with us entitled "Acrobatic Narratives". In that sense cities have become suspicious territories where hypocrisy and fakery prevail when it comes to urban ideologies and one wishes to have some kind of optical device that detects all the lies, similar to a kind of night vision infrared technology that Thomas Ruff used in his "Nacht Series" applying the same technology that was used during the Gulf War...continue reading in Issues.
To get a printed copy of this new issue, please e-mail your order to email@example.com. The digital version can be downloaded on iTunes and Pocket Mags...more information can be found in Order .
07-11-11 // ARCHIZINES EXHIBITION OPENED IN LONDON
The ARCHIZINES exhibition opened successfully on 5 November in the Front Members' Room at the AA School, 36 Bedford Square, London. The exhibition features MONU's issue #14 together with 59 other international magazines and runs until 14 December 2011.
MONU #14 is the most recent issue of the magazine, which illustrates very well where we stand at the moment. It displays its mature status and its achievement in surviving and prospering over the years. This issue is important because it shows how the magazine has developed since its foundation more than seven years ago from a very small, stapled together, black and white publication to one of the most relevant and one of the main independent publications focused exclusively on urbanism. Ever since the summer of 2004, when MONU's first issue on the topic of "Paid Urbanism" appeared, two issues were released regularly every year. This current issue of MONU shows more than ever that even in market-driven and post-critical times, a non-conformist niche publication such as MONU magazine, that collects critical articles, images, concepts, and urban theories from architects, urbanists and theorists from around the world, can exist and find its place of pride without bowing to "market forces". (Bernd Upmeyer's answer to Archizine's question "Why this issue is important and why it was selected for the exhibition?")
(Image 1+2: Valerie Bennett; Image 3: Sue Barr)
01-11-11 // NEW CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR MONU #16 - NON-URBANISM
(Image: "Jeffrey returns to his home town from College to visit his father in hospital. On his way back from the hospital he happens to find a severed ear in the overgrown fields behind his home." Blue Velvet (1986), David Lynch. @De Laurentiis Entertainment Group)
Some six years ago and in one of our first issues - MONU #4 - one of the contributors explained "how suburbs destroy democracy" when people live in high degree of residential and cultural isolation and individualism. By that time he could not have forecasted that...continue reading in Submit.
28-09-11 // MONU #14 AT FUTUR CULTUR FESTIVAL IN TOKYO
During the summer MONU's issue #14 has been exhibited in Tokyo as part of the Futur Cultur Festival. The event was dedicated to those in the Tohoku region who lost their homes in the aftermath of the march 11th earthquake and tsunami. A short video of the event can be found on vimeo and a photo report on Designboom.
14-09-11 // MONU AT THE AA IN LONDON
The Architectural Association in London is hosting an ARCHIZINES exhibition in London from 5 November to 14 December 2011. MONU will be showcased together with 59 other architectural magazines, fanzines and journals from 20 countries around the world and include video interviews with their creators.
Launched by Elias Redstone as an online research project in January 2011, with art direction by Folch Studio, Archizines celebrates and promotes a recent resurgence of alternative and independent architectural publishing. From the photocopied newsletter to beautifully bound magazines, each fanzine is a creative platform for the subject and the author. Together they provide a rich and unique window into how people relate to the spaces we inhabit. Across the world, publications are cultivating architectural commentary, criticism and research. Bucking the current trend for digital media, architects, artists and academics are producing printed matter that adds a dynamic, and often radical, voice to architectural discourse. Each magazine will be on show, while their authors will be represented in video interviews talking about their work.
08-07-11 // MONU #7 REPRINTED
After being sold out for about three years, MONU #7 on the topic of 2nd Rate Urbanism has been reprinted and is now available. To give a few examples, MONU #7 featured an interview with Floris Alkemade/OMA entitled "Dumped in Almere"; "I ROTterdam" by Charles Bessard and Nanne de Ru/ Powerhouse Company; and the "The Re-Creation of the European City" by Beatriz Ramo/ STAR. Browse the entire reprinted issue #7 on YouTube here.
In an increasingly connected world the economic realities are precarious for most 2nd rate cities. In the competition for jobs and an ever expanding tax base, 2nd rate cities are in a squeeze between the suburbs where land is even cheaper and even more accessible by car on the one side, and the real attractive 1st rate urban areas that draw the highly educated and the creative on the other side. And since planning down to a suburb is not an option that is considered by most cities, the fight for the survival of 2nd rate cities is to attract more urban assets...continue reading here.
07-06-11 // MONU IS AVAILABLE DIGITALLY
As of today,
MONU Magazine on Urbanism is available digitally as an IPAD Application for
Magazines using Apples' iPad, iPhone and MAC products. At the moment the available
issues include MONU #8, #9, #10, #11, #12, and #13. They can be downloaded on
17-05-11 // MONU #13 IS EXHIBITED IN PRAGUE
MONU's issue #13 is currently exhibited at the Czech Design Gallery in Prague. The exhibition is entitled "We are closing in 21 days" and runs from May 9 until May 30, 2011. The event is organized by Oldschool - a group project of three designers from Prague working in the field of visual communication, graphic design and fashion. The aim of the event is, apart from presenting fashion, to introduce foreign independent publishing to a wider czech audience.
02-05-11 // NEW CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR MONU #15 - POST-IDEOLOGICAL URBANISM
Today we find ourselves in a jealous mood, yet at the same time disillusioned, looking back to the times when revolutionary urban ideologies were not only conceived but actually, unlike today, also truly believed in. Just think about the passionate ideas of the Situationist International, ...read the rest of the new call for submissions in Submit (Image: Dexter, ready to kill. ©Showtime)
18-04-11 // MONU #14 - EDITING URBANISM RELEASED
Despite the current urgency to deal with the enormous potential of the already existing urban material as Urban Editors, there seems still to be an enormous lack of interest in topics such as urban and architectural restoration, preservation, renovation, redevelopment, renewal or adaptive reuse of old structures among architects and urban designers. But ignorance in this matter can only be dismissed as socially irresponsible and economically and culturally unacceptable. But what might be the reason for the prevailing ignorance? Who is to blame? Why is Urban Editing considered to be so utterly unattractive?...continue reading here
12-04-11 // MONU AT MILAN DESIGN WEEK
MONU magazine will be exhibited and presented at the Milan Design Week 2011 from April 12 - 17. Bernd Upmeyer will speak about MONU on Friday, April 15 at 6pm at the Chiedi alla Polvere, via Cola Montano 24, Milan. MONU will be part of the Green Island. (Image: Vessel One by Adam Farlie, photo ©Adam Farlie, Milan Design Week 2009)
21-03-11 // MONU IS EXHIBITED IN ARANJUEZ, SPAIN
MONU is exhibited in the Espacio para el Arte y la Cultura (Espacio para el Arte y la Cultura, C/ San Antonio, 49, 28300 Aranjuez, Spain) in Aranjuez, a town located 48km south of Madrid. The exhibition opens on March 22 at 19:00 with a music session by the Sindicalistas / Autoplacer and runs until May 22, 2011.
01-03-11 // MONU WILL BE PRESENTED AT BASEL'S YOUNG ART FAIR
MONU will be presented at Basel's Young Art Fair entitled LISTE from June 14 - 19, 2011. LISTE is the discoverer fair for young galleries and young art. Every year since its opening in 1996, the LISTE has presented new and important galleries and highly contemporary young art. The LISTE's concept of introducing galleries in general no more than 5 years old and artists under 40 has been at the heart of its being one of the most important fairs for young art and still being considered one of the art worlds most important discoverer fair. (Image 1and 3: Daniel Spehr, photographer; Image 2: Courtesy LABOR, Mexico D.F)
14-02-11 // SUCCESSFUL MOST VALUABLE URBANISM DEBATE
MONU's Most Valuable Urbanism Debate was a great success. The main statements of the presentations and the debate of Piet Vollaard, Floris Alkemade, Jaap van den Bout, Adriaan Geuze and MONU's editor in chief Bernd Upmeyer will be published in MONU's coming issue on the topic of "Editing Urbanism" by the beginning of April.
09-02-11 // MONU #11 REPRINTED
sold out for a couple of months, MONU
#11 on Clean Urbanism has been reprinted and is available again. To get
a single printed copy of MONU #11, please e-mail your order to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do we simply have to stop having sex to produce Clean Urbanism - i.e. an urbanism that is dedicated to minimizing both the required inputs of energy, water, and food for a city as well as its waste output of heat, air pollution as CO2, methan, and water pollution, Samo Pedersen asks in his piece Sci-fi greenery..or just Responsibility?...
04-02-11 // MONU MAGAZINE IS DISPLAYED AT ARCHIZINES
ARCHI ZINES is a showcase of new fanzines, journals and magazines from around the world that provide an alternative discourse to the established architectural press. Launched by Elias Redstone, with art direction by Folch Studio, the project celebrates and promotes publishing as an arena for architectural commentary, criticism and research, and as a creative platform for new photography, illustration and design.
Alternative and independent publishing has had a dynamic and important relationship with architecture over the years, with prolific moments in the 1960s, 1970s and 1990s. A recent resurgence has seen new titles emerging in many countries, from Argentina, Belgium and Chile to the UK and USA. ARCHI ZINES brings together this international collection of publications for the first time as an important resource for architects, designers, critics, photographers and anyone interested in discussing the buildings and spaces we inhabit.
is an expanding archive of the best publications from 2000s to the latest releases,
and is growing as new titles and issues are acquired. The publications themselves
vary in style (from photocopied zines to professionally printed and bound magazines)
and content (from architectural research to personal narratives about buildings
and cities). The commonality is a shared interest in documenting and discussing
the spaces we occupy in ways that more mainstream or professional publications
do not. As well as adding to architectural discourse, they are lovingly made
objects to hold and to keep.
24-01-11 // MONU IS EXHIBITED AT THE "ESPACIO PARA EL ARTE" IN ZARAGOZA
After the success of the "De Zines" exhibition at "la casa encendida" in Madrid, Spain, the show opens its doors again in Zaragoza in the "Espacio para el Arte". More than 400 independent international publications (magazines, fanzines, artbooks and others) will be shown. The opening will be on Tuesday, January 25 at 19:00. The exhibition will run until March 13.
03-01-11 // MOST VALUABLE URBANISM DEBATE
MONU - magazine on urbanism is organizing a public debate on the topic of its last issue: MONU #13 - Most Valuable Urbanism on Thursday, February 10, 2011 at 7:00 p.m. in "De Machinist" in Rotterdam.
The debate will be moderated by Piet Vollaard and the panel will include four people with four different ideological backgrounds in order to discuss the topic in a rich and diverse way and to provoke a lively and productive clash of ideas and opinions. The panel members are: Floris Alkemade, Ashok Bhalotra, Jaap van den Bout, and Adriaan Geuze. The entire event will be in English.
The topic "Most Valuable Urbanism" will be used as the starting point for the debate, but with a focus on the Dutch context and Dutch cities. The aim of the debate is to discuss the topic "Most Valuable Urbanism" among the Dutch public and to critically reflect on traditional Dutch city values. The main questions of the debate will be: What is a good and what is a bad city? How should we evaluate cities in this day and age? Which city might be the most valuable, producing the most valuable urbanism and what kind of criteria should be applied to define valuable urbanism? What role do architects and urban designers play in the production of valuable urbanism?
Willem Buytewechstraat 45
3024 BK Rotterdam
10.02.2011, 7:00 p.m.
The debate is sold out
13-12-10 // MONU IS SHOWCASED IN A NEWLY LAUNCHED DIGITAL LIBRARY FOR INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS
MONU has been invited to be part of the collection of the newly launched digital library No Layout . No Layout is an online library for independent publishers, focusing on art books and fashion magazines. It is meant as a support for printed publications, allowing users to flip through full content on any screen without downloads or apps. A promotional and archive tool.
Three issues of MONU are currently showcased: MONU #5 - Brutal Urbanism; MONU #10 - Holy Urbanism; and MONU #12 - Real Urbanism. The following articles are fully readable on any screen for free:
The Return of the Repressed by Loïc Wacquant; The Evil
Architects Do by Eyal Weizman; Preventing Brutal Urbanism - Interview
with the Director of the Security Task Force for the 2006 World Cup by
Bernd Upmeyer; Terrorists Love Density by STAR
#10: The Sacred and the Holy: Transient Urban Spaces by Colin Davies; Peace Through Superior Horsepower by Speedism; The Mormon Church's Infrastructure of Salvation by Jesse LeCavalier
#12: Real Creativity: A Case for Ethical Freedom in Architecture by Randall Teal; Life without Architects - Interview with Magriet Smit by Bernd Upmeyer; Market Value(s) by STAR; Rotterdam is a Whore - Interview with Andre Kempe by Beatriz Ramo and Bernd Upmeyer
06-12-10 // MONU'S CHRISTMAS OFFER 2010
From December 6 until December 31 MONU offers:
1. A 1 year subscription (2 issues) for only €20 instead of €22,50 (saving 20% on cover price instead of 10%) + shipping.
2. A 2 year subscription (4 issues) for only €35 instead of €40 (saving 30% on cover price instead of 20%) + shipping.
3. A 50% discount on one copy if 2 issues of any # are purchased at once.
4. A 25% discount on each copy if 3 issues of any # are purchased at once.
If you are
e-mail your order to email@example.com.
01-11-10 // NEW CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR MONU #14: EDITING URBANISM
These days, the need for new buildings or entire city quarters is decreasing or even ceasing to exist altogether - at least in the Western world - due to the demographic changes and financially difficult times. Ever since, architects and urban designers, who were trained by schools that focused their education first of all on the past and mainly taught urban and architectural restoration, preservation, renovation, redevelopment, or adaptive reuse of old structures might be best prepared for a future, in which cities will be edited rather than extended or even newly designed.
In such a future, which has become reality in most Western cities of this day and age, architects and urban planners will become urban editors...read the rest of the new call for submissions in Submit
29-10-10 // MONU IS COOL AND STRANGE
MONU magazine has been featured as "cool & strange" in the issue #6 2010 of the Korean edition of ELLEgirl.
05-10-10 // MONU #13 ON "MOST VALUABLE URBANISM" RELEASED
When John Lennon was photographed by the legendary rock 'n' roll photographer Bob Gruen, wearing a New York City T-shirt in the year 1974, he proudly expressed his love for the city of New York. For Lennon, although born in Liverpool, New York City was without doubt the most valuable city...continue reading here.
18-08-10 // MONU MAGAZINE IS DISPLAYED AT THE BALTIMORE BOOK FESTIVAL
MONU magazine on urbanism has been invited to be on display at the Baltimore Book Festival in Maryland, USA from September 24-26, 2010. The festival took place in the historic and picturesque Mount Vernon Place. MONU was part of an exhibition called Creative Control, a collection of zines, self-published and independent art books and magazines.
29-06-10 // MONU #12 EXHIBITED AT "LA CASA ENCENDIDA" IN MADRID
MONU magazine on urbanism #12 on "Real Urbanism" is being exhibited at "la casa encendida" in Madrid, Spain. The exhibition entitled "de zines", curated by Roberto Vidal and Oscar Martín, features independent publications (magazines, fanzines, artbooks and others). Around 400 international works are shown from June 29th, 2010 throughout all the summer.
31-03-10// MONU AT NEXT ART FAIR IN CHICAGO
MONU magazine on urbanism is being exhibited as part of a "research library" and magazine show during the NEXT art fair in Chicago from April 30 to May 3, 2010.
11-03-10 // MONU #12 ON REAL URBANISM RELEASED
the "Ideal Woman" on the cover of this issue on Real Urbanism
- a sculpture by the Brooklyn based artist Tony Matelli - most of our
cities are shaped by a particular set of values... read
25-02-10// MONU AT THE "BOOKMARK NAGOYA"
will be exhibited during the "Bookmark
Nagoya" event in the city of Nagoya, Japan. The exhibition will
take place from March 20th to April 20th 2010. More than 50 organizations
will exhibit rare publications, vintage books, magazines, picture books from
around the world. Various conferences with editors and writers take place, as
well as temporary book making workshops among others are offered for all generations.
20-11-09// MONU'S CHRISTMAS OFFER
From November 20 until December 31 MONU offers a 50% discount on the issues MONU #5 - BRUTAL URBANISM and MONU #6 - BEAUTIFUL URBANISM. To get a single copy of #5 or #6 (Soft cover; Black/White; 84 pages; 27 x 20 cm) for €5 (+ NL €1,76 EU €2,96 Non-EU €5,70 shipping + ~4% PayPal fees), please e-mail your order to firstname.lastname@example.org.
19-10-09// MONU AT TOKYO DESIGN WEEK
MONU magazine on urbanism will be exhibited during the TOKYO DESIGN WEEK from October 30th to November 3rd 2009 inside the main venue of the 100% DESIGN TOKYO hall. The Magazine Library space
will be in the center of the main venue.
17-07-09 // MONU MAGAZINE ON URBANISM WILL BE EXHIBITED
AT THE "A FEW ZINES" EXHIBITION IN LOS ANGELES FROM AUGUST 14 TO 16
The A Few Zines show has been in New York and Boston, and is now coming to Los Angeles. The LA Forum hosts the insta-show for three days on Hollywood Blvd. The festivities kick off Friday, August 14 with a panel discussion and opening party. (photos taken by Bryan Jackson and John Southern)
08-05-09 // MONU MAGAZINE ON URBANISM WILL BE EXHIBITED AT THE SPACE ROCKET IN HARAJUKU, TOKYO
The exhibition will take place from May 22 to June 2 with daily opening times from 12:00-19:30.
20-04-09 // MONU MAGAZINE ON URBANISM WILL BE PRESENTED ON THE YOUNG ART FAIR IN BASEL
- LISTE 09 FROM JUNE 9 - 14
since its opening in 1996, the LISTE - the Young Art Fair in Basel has presented
new and important galleries and highly contemporary young art. The LISTE, by
introducing galleries in general that are no more than 5 years old and artists
under 40, is considered as one of the most important fairs for young art and
one of the art worlds most important discoverer fair.
29-01-09 // MONU HAS BEEN SELECTED TO BE PART OF THE MOOH EVENT IN TOKYO
MONU - magazine
on urbanism has been selected from magazines around the world to be exhibited
from March 5 to March 14 2009 in a temporary magazine library in the Omotesando
Hills building complex in Tokyo,
Japan. MONU will be part of the MOOH event: "The Magazine of Omotesando Hills Library".