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Zagreb, 20 September 2013

New Cycle Preview: MONEY by Ethel Baraona Pohl & César Reyes Nájera

Dear Think Spacers, 

we are pleased to announce new Think Space cycle 2013/2014 and the new annual theme: MONEY. 
After two successful annual cycles of the Think Space programme and hosting a number of established architects and curators, we continue with re-thinking space in the 2013/2014 season. We are proud to introduce the new guest curators for 2013/2014, Ethel Baraona Pohl and César Reyes Nájera of dpr-barcelona, architects, bloggers, writers, editors and publishers who devised this cycle's theme MONEY. Jurors of the three new competitions are David A. Garcia, Pedro Gadanho and Keller Easterling!
The cycle theme and the first competition will be presented and discussed during the interdisciplinary Launch Event on Tuesday, 24 September 2013 in Lauba, House for People and Art. Although Zagreb is far, far away to most of you to join us in person, with this preview we are inviting you to contribute the discussion by submitting questions for the curators, guests and team to discuss. Join us on Facebook or Twitter and stay tuned for the First Competition and Call for Papers updates!

 

The Third Cycle - MONEY deals with the ubiquitous topic of money and its aim is to find pioneering works at the intersection of architecture, sociology, economics, programming and marketing that radically challenge the fundamental spatial, social and urban relation based on capitalism. 
Here is the cycle theme as described by guest curators:

MONEY

[The Echo of Nothing]

curated by Ethel Baraona Pohl and César Reyes Nájera dpr-barcelona

 “Money is any object or record that is generally accepted as payment for goods and services and repayment of debts in a given socio-economic context.”

Money is no more than a social construction that has its value on the collective agreement to accept certain forms of measurement. Nevertheless, money is an immanent concept in our daily life. Under the capitalist system that leads the world in the current times, we can’t deny that money rules [almost] everything: the way we live, what we eat, where we go and how we relate with other... As coined by James Carville in 1992, “the economy, stupid.” Thus, if MONEY is only a virtual object and its value depends on the object to exchange, how can we work in a new understanding of the concepts of value, trade and exchange from a different point of view?

MONEY has been one of the main issues [if not the most important] to define the creation of territories and space. Borders created for economical purposes and financial markets in many ways are guiding how cities evolve. The relationship between countries basically depends on debt: creditor/debtor relation; where debt is not an impediment to growth. According to Maurizio Lazzarato, it represents the economic and subjective engine of the modern-day economy.Even this fact, during the past years we are starting to perceive capitalism as a failed system and probably as not the only option anymore.  One of the signs of this failed system can be found on the sovereign debt crises that have placed several Eurozone nations under a situation determined by the European Union’s so-called troika—European Commission, European Central Bank, and International Monetary Fund [IMF]— and not determined by their citizens and inhabitants. For Baudrillard, money is no longer a medium or a means to circulate commodities, it is circulation itself, that is to say, it is the realized form of the system in its twisting abstraction.

But this concept is changing at a rapid rate. Just a year ago, the Occupy movement used bills as a tool for social protest. The Occupy George movement pointed “Money talks, but not loud enough for the 99%. By circulating dollar bills stamped with fact-based infographics, Occupy George informs the public of America's daunting economic disparity one bill at a time.” As Emily Gilbert points, “currency is not just a neutral economic tool, as the economists would have it, but it embodies cultural, political, and economic values.” Experimental currencies as bitcoin [described as decentralized digital currency that enables instant payments to anyone, anywhere in the world] is expected to be the next bubble, but at least it opens new ways of thinking about different economic models. In the middle of these experimental processes, there are new tools that more people is using every day, new forms of economics and trade, such as crowdfunding, social money and micropayments, based on the confidence and support of the network. these tools are here to stay and can be harnessed as catalysts for change. The way we interact as citizens in this new economic scenario is transforming how we use public space, digital tools and create new physical and virtual territories.

How can this flow affect the practice of architecture, and what kind of proposal can come from architecture within this exchange of ideas dealing with the #futureofmoney.

What if our cities were able to evolve without money? How economic flows reflect in the configuration of cities? How it would look like a “right of the city” initiative in a tax haven state? Can we design new territories that operate outside the traditional economic guidelines? Which is the role of the architect within this scenario [if there’s one]?

We’re looking for pioneering works at the intersection of architecture, sociology, economics, programming and marketing that radically challenge the fundamental spatial, social and urban relation based on capitalism.

 “People accept capitalism, not because they agree with it, but because it is the only system they know.” —Manuel Castells, in the documentary from VPRo Time For Change


*photography : Ana Alejo

Ethel Baraona Pohl

is an architect, writer and blogger developing her professional [net]work linked to several architecture publications on projects and theory. She is contributing editor at Domus,Quadernsand MAS Context, among other blogs and printed magazines and also associate Curator Adhocracy | Istanbul Design Biennial. She is co-founder of the independent publishing house dpr-barcelona.

César Reyes Nájera

is an architect, PhD in Bio-climatic Construction Systems and Materials and also co-founder of the independent publishing house dpr-barcelona. His work seeks a thermodynamic approach to architecture focusing on social issues. His research deals with the development and application of low-tech biomaterials for architecture.

dpr-barcelona

dpr-barcelona is an innovative publishing company based in Barcelona, specialized in high quality architecture and design books. With an international scope and founded by two architects, our catalogue vary from monographs and documentation of buildings to historical studies, collections of essays and dissertations. All of dpr-barcelona books are product of a creative exchange between publisher, author or designer and the collaboration of academic experts that make most complete the overview about each project. Showing a clear innovative way to bring the contents to the public, our projects transcend the boundaries between time and space from conventional publications, approaching to those which are probably the titles of architecture in the future.

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