Wet Concrete Is Provocative
Wet Concrete Is Independent
Wet Concrete Is Counterpoint
Wet Concrete Is There To Stay
Wet Concrete Is Malleable
Wet Concrete Is Unexpected
Wet Concrete Is Conscious
[launching in mid-2017]
Working-Manifesto of Intentions (drafted in 2015 & on-going)
A preliminary idea of what this is all about:
Cities are multi-dimensional, so it follows that responding to the city and its citizenry would flow from various lateral, unorthodox & imaginative sources.
These responses must not only fulfil the limited criteria of a ‘brief’ – the problem, the question, the issue – but must ambitiously pose new questions and enable radicality whilst addressing the complicated tanglement found in our cities. Typically design competitions are answered by designers – one question, one answer – I find this is short-sighted. A drawing by a neuroscientist, a photograph by a historian, a written tract by a sculptor – this will take us further than any precise and linear approach. The expert is one who has unlearned much.
In short: when I see an architectural problem, I find a source of answers in all of you – artists, sociologists, scientists, journalists, graphic designers, historians, and so on – and the resplendent approach that this spectrum of knowledge may enable.
This collaborative / think-tank / band of misfits seems to have not found their strongest voice (or contented hearts) in conventional positions within their field (I can really speak for myself here), how else have we found ourselves in Berlin and already dreaming further affield. So in starting up this initiative we may become the next generation of innovators, away from any structures that impose limitation rather than promise possibility.
I envisage a multidisciplinary team (which shares a vast and common social ground in Berlin, this includes a harmony of politics and social attitude) which will engage in architectural / urbanistic / social competitions – crafting together proposals, using a vast pool of skills and approaches, to execute marvellous reactions and answers.
Again in short: we find work, we make it happen. I want to place emphasis on the social-responsiveness of such a team – to always factor social justice and responsibility in every approach and answer – that can set us apart from the rest.
With the informed background in architecture, urbanism and public art, along with experience in steering multidisciplinary design teams, I would suggest a two-part approach:
+ Design competitions seek responses (whether they be designed structures, urban situations, programs or art works) and our team (again, I can’t think of a suitably encompassing word for this group) would work together, each using and sharing their skillset, to think / craft / create viable responses to these competitions. The possibilities of being successful in these competitions are also monetary – that can be good motivation and fuel for future collaboration.
+ Initiating situations (in the form of art works, social interventions, radical actions, published literature or staged events) that we craft as a response to our environment, the city and its flows – Berlin is still a generative playground, as well as being as any other city flawed by problematic moments in its fabric and structure.