Lexicon for the Provisional Future(s)

Author archive

Non-aligned Normalisation

November 21st, 2008

ordos_100modelsLook out for Ordos, a new capital city in the Ordos Mongolian desert located in the North of China. – More than 100 architects worked on a design for this new settlement on the edge of a large desert, and now we have the first results and maybe the notion of its first inhabitants. – The architecture itself coming from all corners of the globes invokes the Balkans’ lively patterns of distinct shapes, all in contradiction with each other, all seeking attention through distinction. No house is the same. – While the architects were in the desert to present the schemes to the city’s curator Ai Weiwei and a panel of builders, on Saturday, 28 June 2008, The Guardian magazine published a column written by Jonathan Steele. Not knowing about the Ordos settlement Steele wrote in his column that the world should learn from the Balkans about how to deal with war criminals. They were all sent to live comfortably abroad in the prison of the International Tribunal in the Den Haag – that is all those who were caught. Why wouldn’t, Steele writes, the world provide Robert Mugabe with a similar luxury scenario by retiring him abroad? Here is the quote: “…tell Mugabe to go into retirement, elsewhere…or preferably to a villa in China. ” (http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/jun/28/zimbabwe.serbia) (more…)

Nato Geometry

November 21st, 2008

stealthWill NATO be remembered as a destroyer or a creator of a provisional culture? To imagine this one needs to question – Is it possible to recover a historically inflected reading of the Serbian government buildings destroyed during NATO’s 78-day “bombing for peace”? Part of any effort to do so would have to provide evidence that this nation’s role in modern history is not entirely nefarious, as it may seem today. A large part of that history is strictly architectural. (more…)

Capitalised Balkanisation

November 21st, 2008

Until recently, there were just two capital cities, one in former Yugoslavia and one in Albania. But now there are eight in the Western Balkans. Common to all of these new cities is that not only do they confirm their status as capitals, they are also actively reshaping themselves and, most interesting, growing distinct from each other. In all eight national capitals, but also in the emerging provincial capitals, we are witnessing a process of self-determination wherein each city strives to be distinct while not opposing the others. (more…)

Architectural Balkanisation

November 21st, 2008

map-of-european-nationsA day after the European Union would fell apart to pieces…what would be a capital city? – A Canadian student of mine at a well-known North American university sent me this map of Europe today. He has brought in some interesting maps before, but this one goes beyond them all. It shows how European space looks politically with all the minorities, ethnic groups, and other natives in search of recognition as separate countries. – Most curious are the new capitals. (more…)

Stadium Culture

August 14th, 2007

arnoud-img_6847The damaging decade of nationalism and crisis in Serbia during the 1990s resulted in the total neglect of both official and unofficial institutions for the youth, now yielding dangerous outcomes. STADIUM CULTURE is an ongoing project to renovate and expand an existing open handball stadium located in Novi Sad to become an electronic youth center and event place. The main challenge in this project is to initiate the force of youth culture in a city that had plenty of state support during both the Serbian & Yugoslav Kingdoms before the WWII and the Socialist era after WWII. (more…)

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