Art as the New Industry at the Abandoned
Art as the New Industry _ Jack Self
The accepted narrative in the West is that deindustrialisation means the closure of factories, the outsourcing of production to the East, and the ruination or abandonment of large urban territories(and sometimes whole cities themselves). In response, Western economies increasingly hope to use immaterial production to propel growth. Financial services, management training and consultancy are all vital, however it is more often creative and cultural production that is seen as a key measure of a city’s global success.
This recount describes a huge shift in the location of production, however it rarely considers what might be happening in the so-called East, where rapid technological development and colossal social change are in fact creating similar conditions. In Shenzhen, abandoned factories do not signify the end of local manufacturing, but rather signify its relocation to more efficient, technically sophisticated or modern plants. At the same time, Chinese cultural production is exploding: younger generations that would previously have become labourers are now seeking artistic recognition on the international stage.
The forces of globalisation have resulted in huge numbers of useless buildings—many with truly remarkable qualities. Now those same forces are creating a need for spaces of artistic production and cultural influence, and ex-industrial architecture is getting a second life.
Ecologies of Domesticity: Three Ways of Designing the Landscape
Ecologies of Domesticity: Three Ways of Designing the Landscape _ Nelson Mota
A common facet in the praise on the architecture without architects was its capacity to mingle with the surrounding environment. For J.B. Jackson or for Bernard Rudofsky, the uniformity of the Taos Pueblos in New Mexico or the Pueblos Blancos (The White Towns) of Andalucía created a second nature, as it were. The built environment was one with the natural landscape. On the one hand this symbiosis was accomplished by centuries of sensible adaptation of spatial practices to climate, geology and topography. On the other hand, it was induced by social and cultural factors.
While this second nature seemingly surfaced spontaneously in vernacular building traditions, it has also been relentlessly pursued in “learned” architecture. Sometimes as a derisory imitation of natural features, creating, for example, mountain buildings and so-called organic constructions. At other times, architects consciously attempted to translate natural features into built-form erecting, for example, the pyramids of Teotihuacan in Mexico or Giza in Egypt. However, with the technological developments brought forth by the Industrial Revolution, challenging nature became a more pervasive motivation than resonating with it.
Over the last century, next to the arrogance of some technological fetishism a parallel drive to design along with nature has surfaced. The latter was often characterized by an approach to the natural environment that combined a sympathetic reverence to it while searching a meaningful coexistence with it. Nowadays, notwithstanding the abundant material and technological options available to transcend the constraints imposed by topography, gravity, climate, and so on, the creative energy of designers is still challenged by a will to conflate art with the landscape, a pervasive determination to create new ecologies of domesticity.