Alongside its role as a practice monograph, the 544 page book is also a record of the recent crisis within the architecture industry, starting from the day financial services firm Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy.
The book features personal narratives, interviews and conversations alongside photographs and diagrams of the studio's work.
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Here's more info from JDS:
AGENDA is an architecture book that occupies the territory between a monograph, a diary, and a collection of essays, interviews, and conversations. At its most harmless AGENDA is a catalog of 365 days, like a diary or journal: a collective narrative, personal and subjective. It documents the work and thinking of JDS Architects over a specific year marked by crisis, beginning on September 15th, 2008, the day that Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy. The form of the book exploits the double meaning of its title, presenting the absurdities of day-to-day architectural practice while also staking our intent.
Rather than a definitive direction, our agenda is a definitive attitude - of eagerness, enthusiasm, and optimism, of criticality and concern, of fun and inquiry. It is a directive, a motivation to act, at times without clear knowledge of where our agenda will lead. “Change,” the buzzword of the last U.S. presidential campaign, is the order of the day, and the task of AGENDA is to explore what kind of change will be needed if architects are to assume a political and social agency in this new landscape.
Bringing together diverse forms of content, AGENDA is a product of vigilant observation, introspection, and engagement with outside thinkers and collaborators - artists, curators, politicians, authors, economists, journalists, developers, educators, and architects.
- AGENDA is a record of search and research, providing more questions than answers.
- AGENDA is unapologetically naive.
- AGENDA is an unorthodox architecture novel.
- AGENDA demystifies the practice of architecture, revealing process, research, fun, and failure.
- AGENDA looks to both the past and the future.
Some highlights from AGENDA:
“We see our production as one continuous body of work across a multiplicity of scales, from a bowl or a shelf to a city, and even things that don’t have a specific size but discuss the issue of space itself”
-Julien De Smedt
“I’m a great believer in crisis.”
- Bruce Sterling
“If I were an architect, I think I would like to just work with one kind of brick, and see what I could make with it.”
- Lars von Trier
“…If you can’t afford a stone mason, you simply build a garden to attract crows. Exotic forms - falcons and rare butterflies - appear on every side, pigeons crowding round the rim of your building like a halo, looking down at amused residents. It was genius. Other species are our architectural ornaments; this is the modernist legacy.”
- Geoff Manaugh
“Gravity is like our jail, but it is also our identity, our possibility, our loyalty.”
“For too long architects and urban planners have been neglected in governing a city. The cities who have had an ambition for the city involving architects and planners, like Manchester and Barcelona, are the cities that progress.”
- Pascal Smet
“Perhaps this is the origin of crisis’s new life as a verb.”
“The expansion of the European Union forced the authorities in the city to confront the obvious reality: there was no architectural structure in Brussels that unites the European multinational workforce, no architecture that represents the political values of the European Union. It was time to do something.”
“The ‘Third Industrial Revolution’ is a decentralized energy system based on a distributed production of energy. I think that it will probably create a new freedom for architecture.”
“The focus on the social dimension of architecture is also a remarkable characteristic of the work of De Smedt.”
-Rotterdam-Maaskant prize 2009 Jury: Tom Avermaete, Hans Ibelings, and Robert Winkel
Edited by: Jesse Seegers, Benedict Clouette, Ryan Neiheiser, and Julien De Smedt
Designed by: Kasia Korczak and Boy Vereecken
Published and Distributed by: Actar
Contributions from: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Lars von Trier, Bruce Sterling, Ernesto Neto, Pascal Smet, Michael Speaks, Geoff Manaugh, Brendan McGetrick, Barbara Vanderlinden, Sozyone Gonzalez, Angelo Consoli, Bruno Brunet, Hans Ibelings, Tom Avermaete, Robert Winkel, Eric Corijn, Roland Legrand, Hugh Maaskant, Cleon Peterson, Albert Ravestein, Seleção Brusseleira
Paperback: 544 full color pages
Publisher: Actar (November 2009)
Dimensions: 210mm x 270mm x 26mm
Congratulations to our winners! Grégory Dapra in the Netherlands, Cian Scanlon in Ireland, Boyan Belchev in Bulgaria, Patrick Delorey in the USA and Veronica Scharf in Spain.
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