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  • The Kitchen Debate: 1959

A heated argument about the Cold War breaks out in modern kitchen

Communism vs. Capitalism

  • Moscow July 24, 1959: An ideological war of words between Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev and American Vice President Richard Nixon broke out in a state of the art showroom kitchen, installed by the Americans as part of a cultural exchange between the two superpowers. It was a way for the Americans to show off what the typical American had and what the Soviets were missing
  • The two men, both seemingly polite, argued in what has become known as the ‘Kitchen Debate’
  • Richard Nixon was the 37th President of the United States between 1969 to 1974. He is the only U.S. president to resign the office.
  • Architect Andrew Geller was the design supervisor for the exhibition called “Typical American House,” which took place in Moscow.
  • The exhibition featured the latest home appliances, televisions ,a model house priced to sell to an ‘average’ American family, farm equipment, automobiles, boats, sporting equipment and a children’s playground etc. All geared to the working class American consumer.


  • The Americans wanted to demonstrate the advantages of capitalism to the Soviets.


  • The displays at the exhibit were successful in promoting the American way of life, as superior to the Soviet lifestyle under communism.


  • Under the terms of the US/Soviet agreement, no political material would be displayed in either exhibition. While the Soviets were interested in promoting Russia’s Industrial and technological achievements, the Americans saw an opportunity for propaganda, by promoting the idea that Americans enjoyed a higher standard of living.
  • Although both men were polite on the surface, the tension was evident. at one point after Khrushchev had seen numerous washers, dryers, toasters and mixers, he quipped that the only thing missing was an American machine that “puts food into the mouth and pushes it down”.Nixon responded by saying at least the competition was technological, rather than military. Both men agreed that the United States and the Soviet Union should seek areas of agreement.


  • Piss Paintings: 1977

‘Andy Warhol tips his canvases on the floor, pees on them, calls them the Piss Paintings’

  • In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Andy Warhol began to explore abstraction.


  • In December 1977 Warhol began the Oxidations canvases made up of coppery yellows, oranges and greens. Surprisingly, the only paint used by Warhol in this work was the metallic copper background.


  • Warhol invited his friends to urinate onto canvas covered in metallic paint in order to cause oxidation. The uric acid reacted with the copper in the paint, removing components of the pure metal to form mineral salts.


  • Warhol and his collaborators experimented with both pattern and coloration by using a variety of metallic background paints and by varying the maker’s fluid and food intake.


  • His chief collaborators on this project were Ronnie Cutronie and Victor Hugo.


  • Ronnie Cutronie was Warhol’s Factory assistant from 1972 until 1980 and he was an American pop artist famous for his large-scale paintings of some of America’s favorite cartoon characters, such as Felix the Cat, Pink Panther and Woody Woodpecker.


  • According to Warhol, Cutronie took a lot of Vitamin B, which caused the copper pigment to oxidize a particularly green color’.


  • Another collaborator who was asked to ‘assist’, much to Warhol’s delight, was Victor Hugo, a Venezuelan window-designer (showcases) based in New York, and a close friend of and photographic model for Andy Warhol in some of his Art Works.


  • The Oxidation paintings are self-portraits of Victor Hugo and Ronnie Cutronie. Like blood, urine is rich in DNA.


  • Urine marked territories; they trace signs of identity, even if that identity is unknown.











3) Six Memos for the Next Millennium by Italo Calvino: 1985


‘Italo Calvino died before writing the sixth memo for his series of lectures titled Six memos for the Next Millennium’


  • The lectures never delivered as Calvino died before leaving Italy. The memos are lectures on the values of literature which Calvino felt would be important in the coming millennium.


  • At the time of his death Calvino had finished all, but his final lecture which was to be on Consistency.


  • The values which Calvino focused upon are:


  1. Lightness
  2. Quickness
  3. Exactitude
  4. Visibility
  5. Multiplicity





  • According to Calvino, Lightness is best explained as the opposite of heaviness. He explains that he is often concerned with subtracting weight from stories and language.
  • In order bring home his point about the quality of lightness, Calvino uses the myth of Perseus.


  • (Perseus was the Greek mythological hero who killed Medusa. At birth, Medusa is described as being beautiful. However, when Athena discovered Poseidon raping Medusa in Athena’s temple, she transformed Medusa’s hair into serpents and gave her a face so terrible to behold that seeing it turned onlookers to stone. Knowing this, Perseus devised a way to view Medusa’s reflection in his mirrored shield and was able to behead her without looking directly at her.)


  • This story illustrates the quality of lightness because it speaks to perspective. Just as Perseus had to devise a different way to see Medusa without actually looking at her, we must look at things from a different perspective in order to work towards lightness.




  • Calvino introduces his own personal motto about Quickness: Festina Lente.
  • Festina Lente (Hurry Slowly) is the motto that accompanies this emblem. It means that when working one should strive for haste, but not speed. Speed sacrifices quality, haste embodies diligence.


  • Quickness is the ability of a writer to control the pace of the story
  • Quickness in writing develops rapidity and rhythm on the page; the pronunciation can create a tempo.
  • Writing should have rapidity but not so much that the substance suffers.



  • According to Calvino, exactitude means three things:
  • A well defined and well calculated plan for the work in question.
  • A evocation of clear, incisive, memorable visual images.
  • A language as precise as possible in choice of words and in expression of the subtleties of imagination.


  • Calvino says that in our current society we are constantly inundated with images. So in a world where visuals and images dominate, our words need to be vivid to gain attention.


  • Calvino uses a personal anecdote to explain Visibility. He says that when he was a child he mostly wrote stories based on visual imagery. For example: a boy climbs a tree and then makes his way from tree to tree without ever coming down to earth. Another example involves an empty suit of armor that moves and speaks as if someone were inside.


  • When he became a more experienced writer he altered his viewpoint on the written word, believing that words are more important than visuals.





  • Calvino’s Multiplicity is the most abstract of all his concepts. Multiplicity is based on a world of systems. Each system exists within a system, each system conditions the others and is conditioned by them.
  • In this world of systems there is no ending, because each system leads into another.
  • Calvino appreciates overambitious works that set goals beyond the author’s reach.
  • These works are ones that usually try to define the universe but never find an end because of all the possible connections that are able to be made between different systems.



4) FAT (Fashion Architecture Taste): 2013 

‘Fat engineered its own death as a means for reinvention’


  • The studio was directed by Sean Griffiths, Charles Holland and Sam Jacob



  • In 2013 they felt like they had explored the potential of their work as much as possible. And they planed to end their 23-year-old practice with the completion of two major projects.



  • The curation of the British Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale 2014.


  • In 2014 they edited an issue of the ‘’Architect’s Journal’’ (magazine), titled ’’The Life and death of the Architect.’’


  • They wrote about. Why ‘’death’’ might be the healthiest architectural option.


  • They discussed how resurrection, zombification, and other kinds of after lives have always been essential to new ideas in architecture.


  • They muse on death as a design project.


  • They wanted to celebrate the architects without the architecture. They suggested a new path for those of us, who had benefitted from a good education, but want to escape the world of procurement, crap money and door schedules.’


  • ’’The Life and death of the Architect.’’suggests new beginnings, ways to make architecture meaningful and important again.


  • They came to the conclusion that the architectural profession in its current form will not survive and that the successful architects of the future will not be architects at all. They will be engaged in a much wider range of activities, they will be more entrepreneurial and will operate outside of the profession.


  • They discuss the battle between the definitions of architecture as discipline and as a These two ideas are often at odds, partly because the discipline is the idea of architecture that echoes down throughout the centuries while the profession is relatively a recent invention that has essentially hijacked the term to make it mean something else.


  • By making architecture a function of business and bureaucracy, it has offered up an idea of what an architect is. He/she can easily be picked off by those better prepared for business and bureaucracy. On the other hand , it is ascending its disciplinary ground to other forms of creative practice.



5) Network applies at the AA: 2029

‘In 2029, a network applies to the Diploma school. The interview panel rejects it and suggests third year. Network appeals the decision.’

Ray Kurzweil. Google’s director of engineering inventor has predicted that Machines will achieve human-level artificial intelligence by 2029.


  • Kurzweil, who is considered by many to be the world’s leading artificial intelligence visionary. He is famous for popularizing the idea of “the singularity” – a moment in the future when humans and machines will converge.


  • Kurzweil believes machines and humans will eventually merge through implants in the body designed to boost intelligence and health.


  • Kurzweil: “We’re already a human machine civilization; we use technology to expand our physical and mental horizons and this will be a further extension of that.”


  • Kurzweil: “Intelligent nanobots will be imbedded into our brains through the capillaries and interact directly with our biological neurons,”


  • The entrepreneur and futurologist predicted that in 15 years computers will be more intelligent than humans and they will be able to understand what we say, learn from their experience, make jokes, tell stories and even flirt. Bladerunner anyone?







6) Gigantic 3D Printer 

‘In 2044 building sized 3d printers will make copies of what cities were supposed to look like as described in old fashioned science fiction novels.’

  • This giant technology (gigantic 3D printers) will be able to create entire structures out of concrete.


  • The 3D printing technology is called “contour crafting,”


  • Contour crafting could also reduce the cost of owning a home, and make it easier to repair homes that are damaged by natural catastrophes.


  • Contour crafting would also embed all of the necessary requirements to run a home, such as electricity, plumbing and air conditioning.


  • Using this process, a single house or a colony of houses, each with a different design, may be automatically constructed in a single run.



D shape 3D printer

  • D-Shape is a new robotic building system that uses new materials to create superior stone-like structures. The inventor is Italian robotics engineer, Enrico Dini.


  • In 2009 Dini worked with architect Andrea Morgante to print a three-meter-high pavilion resembling a giant egg with large holes on its surface.


  • Dini worked with designer Marco Ferreri in 2010 to create the first dwelling to be printed in one piece. The resulting “house” – a one-room structure resembling a mountain hut.


  • “It’s a very historical piece,” says Dini. “It was the first attempt to print a building.”


  • Unfortunately it broke while being transported.








10 houses in a day


  • A Company namedWinSun claimed to have printed 10 houses in 24 hours, using a 3D printer that uses a mixture of ground construction and industrial waste, such as glass and tailings, around a base of quick-drying cement mixed with a special hardening agent.


  • Also The world’s tallest 3D printed building –a five-story apartment


Whole building in one go


  • Janjaap Ruijssenaars: In 2009 entered a competition for a location in Belwell, on the western coast of Ireland. The location was so beautiful that he thought, that bringing traditional architecture would cut into the landscape. So the question was: “can you make a building like landscape?”


  • The idea was to create a continuous structure that doesn’t have a beginning and doesn’t have an end.







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