Workshop: Alice Haugh, “Designing the Business Model behind the Building”

Recently, Alice Haugh from Space & Matter visited us in Venice to host a workshop on business models and the circular economy. Alice first introduced a model for a seven generation neighborhood in Amsterdam Bijlmer, developed in cooperation with Community Land Trust H-Buurt, And The People, New Economy, and Space and Matter.

After the lecture, we collectively developed a series of alternative business models that might facilitate long-term, circular thinking.

Interview: Jose Sanchez in conversation with Connor Cook

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of speaking with Jose Sanchez, a game designer / architect / academic based out of Detroit, Michigan. Jose is the director of the Plethora Project, a research studio behind architecture video games such as Block’hood and Common’hood. His work spans across the disciplines of architecture and game design, and imagines a future in which these two domains are not entirely separate. His recent work, Architecture for the Commons, provided a compelling account of extraction in architecture, one that moves beyond material resources towards a consideration of intellectual property, labor, and beyond.

In this conversation, we discussed his recent book, Architecture for the Commons, and the potential role that games and platform design might play in the transition towards a non-extractive architecture.

For more information about Jose’s work, please check out:

Workshop: Non-Extractive Architecture x Terraforma

Video credit: Santabelva

Last weekend, the residents traveled to Milan to conduct a public workshop related to their ongoing research at V-A-C Zattere. The workshop was hosted in collaboration with Terraforma, an international music festival dedicated to artistic experimentation and sustainability. This commitment to experimentation and sustainability made the organization a natural fit with the aims of the residency program and exhibition platform.

In the workshop, participants were asked to work with the ongoing archive of case studies being developed by the residents in order to propose speculative future architectures that are not reliant on extraction. To visualize their proposals, the participants worked with a library of modular urban components (a method used in the Incomplete City workshops also conducted by Space Caviar.

The archive of case studies provided the starting point for speculation (Image credit: Roxana Vergani)

Through simple methods of photocopying, cutting, and pasting, each participant made their own zine containing a speculative proposal. Some projects looked into the use of milk waste for brick production, while others looked into legal mechanisms for representing non-human organisms that produce carbonate minerals.

Above all, the workshop was a chance to share the research being done in Venice with a broader audience, and to create a space for play and speculation about this very large and challenging topic. The ideas generated in this workshop will be displayed in Zattere this week.

Image credit: Roxana Vergani
Image credit: Roxana Vergani
Image credit: Roxana Vergani

Workshop: Frantoio Sociale by GISTO and Hund Studio

May 24-29 2021

FRANTOIO SOCIALE is a workshop that proposes a model of transformation. It takes inspiration from the agricultural and social world demonstrating how demolition can be a collective activity and an opportunity for growth. It uses a Crunchy Machine to destroy and transform different waste materials. 

Organized by Gisto and Hund Studio the workshop started at V-A-C Zattere on May 24. The residents conducted initially a series of surveys to search and collect several materials that could be found in the Venice area such as Murano glass, marbles, stones, clay, coal, bricks and shells. In the context of the workshop FRANTOIO SOCIALE, Hund Studio has developed an app to map the flow of materials collected in Venice by residents. The digital tool allowed them to photograph, record the color and geolocalize the samples. The materials are collected in an archive designed as a chromatic atlas of the workshop on the Venetian territory.

After the collection of materials, the residents and GISTO and Hund Studio team worked on their demolition and archiving using the Crunchy Machine. The results of the workshop is now exhibited in the Non-Extractive Architecture exhibition.

Photos: Aljoša Marković for GISTO

Lecture: Indy Johar, “Self Sovereign Architecture: Why architecture needs to own itself”

Self Sovereign Architecture; why architecture needs to own itself. An exploration into the future of architecture as a generative organism outside siloed human servitude.

Indy is a founding Director of 00 and Dark Matter Labs. An architect by training, Indy is a Senior Innovation Associate with the Young Foundation and a visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield. He co-founded Impact Hub Birmingham and Open Systems Lab, was a member of the RSA’s Inclusive Growth Commission. He is a thought leader in system change, the future of urban infrastructure finance, outcome-based investment and the future of governance.

For more information, check out:

Lecture: Holly Jean Buck, “Architecture and design in the transition away from hydrocarbons”

What if the people seized the means of climate production? Holly Jean Buck charts a possible course to a liveable future. Climate restoration will require not just innovative technologies to remove carbon from the atmosphere, but social and economic transformation.

Holly Jean Buck is an assistant professor in the Dept. of Environment & Sustainability at the University at Buffalo in Buffalo, New York. She recently wrote a book about best and worst-case scenarios for deliberately intervening in the climate — and why we should re-imagine carbon removal technologies. It’s called After Geoengineering.

For more information, check out:

Lecture: Studio GISTO / hund studio, “Frantoio Sociale”

We must rethink our development models and at the same time imagine new transition systems. The goal of this project is to demonstrate how demolition can be accessible to everyone, making it a social and collaborative practice, an opportunity for exchange and collective growth.

GISTO is a studio/workshop based between Milano and Treviso (Italy), operating at the intersection of architecture, design and craftsmanship. hund is a graphic and digital design team, working in the wider field of design research and identity shaping through experimentation and dialogue between physical and digital devices.

For more information, check out: &

Lecture: Julia Watson, “The Power of Lo-TEK”

In an era of high-tech and climate extremes, we are drowning in information while starving for wisdom. Enter Lo—TEK, a design movement building on indigenous philosophy and vernacular infrastructure to generate sustainable, resilient, nature-based technology.

“Julia Watson is a designer, activist, academic, and author of Lo—TEK, Design by Radical Indigenism. A leading expert of Lo—TEK nature-based technologies for climate-resilience. Her eponymously named studio brings creative and conceptual, interdisciplinary thinking to urban projects and corporate clients interested in systemic and sustainable change. Julia regularly teaches urban design at Harvard and Columbia University.”

For more information, check out:

Lecture: Mitchell Joachim, “Design Against Extinction”

In this lecture, Mitchell Joachim makes an argument for the role that design and architecture can play in preventing widespread extinction and ecological collapse. Through the innovative use of bio-technology, additive manufacturing, and other emerging technologies, Joachim, through his practice Terreform ONE, imagines futures in which cities become hotbeds for biodiversity.

Mitchell Joachim is an architect and urban designer based in New York City. In addition to his role as Associate Professor of Practice at NYU, Joachim is a co-founder of Terraform ONE, a non-profit group that promotes socio-ecological design in cities.

For more information, check out:

Lecture: Dan Hill, “The Infrastructure of Everyday Life”

Dan Hill is Director of Strategic Design at Vinnova, the Swedish government’s innovation agency. A designer and urbanist, Dan’s previous design leadership roles include Arup, Future Cities Catapult, Fabrica, SITRA and the BBC. He’s lived and worked in UK, Australia, Finland, Italy and Sweden. Dan is Visiting Professor at UCL Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose and at Design Academy Eindhoven, Adjunct Professor at RMIT University, Design Advocate for the Mayor of London, and a Trustee of Participatory City Foundation.

In this lecture, by demonstrating some of his strategic design work at Vinnova, the Swedish government’s innovation agency, as well as elsewhere, Dan will describe what it might mean to reorient around social progress, climate resilience and public health, rather than unequal economic growth, poor health, social injustices and environmental degradation. The concept of ‘the Slowdown’ will be discussed, describing emerging thinking and practice about places, cultures and economies beyond the constant growth assumptions of the Great Acceleration of the last century. This suggests something of a battle for the infrastructures of everyday life, a genuine engagement with the technologies around us, and new ways of thinking about public and civic sensibilities and structures, participation and practices. Unpacking the concept of ‘dark matter’ in this context, and drawing from multiple projects, Dan will show how traditional lenses of design — from architecture to interaction design — might be trained on these big picture challenges.

For more information, check out: