Posts Tagged ‘social design’


Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

The current issue of Arbitare describes a series of projects in which architecture can be a form of political action. Perhaps we’ve fried our brains but it’s hard to read about these projects and not immediately plot their positions on the Dashboard.

Here’s just one example:

Arbitare writes about how the Edi Rama, Major of Tirana, Albania, “coloured the fronts of houses, palaces, entire blocks. In the beginning, Rama himself chose the colours – bright, sharp, clashing colours which broke with the grey paint of the ex-communist city. This urban performance took just a few weeks to achieve a form of success. People suddenly began to discuss publicly – in the street – about which types of colours to use. They were debating the public image of the city, about how buildings should present themselves and about urban life in general. And in this way the kaleidoscope wave invented by the mayor spread out – taking in new buildings and involving new “performers” – such as artists and international architects. In just a few months, the colour project transformed the apathy of Tirana’s citizens towards collective spaces – overturning the inertia of 50 years of communist government during which the public sphere was the expression of the power of an elite, censorship and violence. Tirana’s colours were not just a decalcomania to stick on some buildings, but a new form of social communication.”

This is a great story but also a super example of how selecting different Forms can generate creative results. They transformed an Environment by holding down the Communication button too. Of course, now it’s hard not to think about how Tirana might be transformed but selecting other functions on the Dashboard…