Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Learning From Dallas

Enduring in the language of urban planning is the myth of the dishonoured, the damaged city. For a practise which has its roots in a commonwealth view of the city - not only in form but also in spirit - in the face of the cities defering privatisms what other means are left to propagate its essential role in and for the city, but an erroneous Marxianism of urban dialectical synthesis? What else than elimination and subsitution masked by the precinct of a hyphenated re. It was not a suprise then to see that the Department of Planing and Housing has commisoned an incentives study for the permanent re-habitation of the "debased" "traditional" city centres of Cyprus. The rhetoric of the Nicosia Masterplan as far as the present state of "traditional" urban cores of the island has entered the middle-class psyche and its imagination of them, the artists, the cultural producers, we, have had our share in framing the spatial potential of such areas; the developers moved in. Add to that the romantisising phantasmagoria of neo-classical architecture vis-a-vis the multiple square feet offered by the houses of an urbane class long lost across the recent socio-political history of the island and one can even say that the shift in the urban planning policy from re-habilitation and re-generation to re-habitation (of stil "debased" "traditional" city centres) has been long overdue.

Currently researching for the 2nd Nicosia Architectural Biennial - Public Works,thus in abundance of dB and arguments for the current state of Cyprus' "traditional" city centres, yet also aware of Luke 4:24, I -for the time being- ebb behind an exemplary if modest article by a certain Franco-American from Texas re the failures of inner-city planning procedures. Posted on the same day the Department of Planning and Housing signed the commisioning cotract with ALA who are undertaking the incentives study, it might as well serve as the prophet, and the prologue, to the study's future.

Oh! And something else: "Tradition is the tending of the fire, not the worship of the ashes." (J.W.von Goethe)

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Drakouna Remembers: Anniversary Publicity

Click to enlarge.
Courtesy of Drakouna.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

A brief recoup

After Venice we, all, came back to a pressing deadline for a grave project in Cyprus - still being completed as I write this - made out of untreated travertino marble, copper and solid iroko blocks. We aslo came back to the doom of 'the crisis', where rejections were aplenty and depression on our doorstep. Writing about boat shoes or Nicosia (yet again and again), obligatory about Obama and partying on the streets while Athens (and later Bejing) was burning kept us alive and alert. And then MCP launched her first jewellery collection, and got one well deserved show after the other -with another one coming in September- an internship at DMD materialised for Maria-the-architect, and APOTHEKE, a long time Nicosia HQ of our other projects, was re-radicalised (and painted) in the face of a new conservatism in Cyprus and its art-world, becoming a mini-institute for and promoter of unashemedly difficult and critical works like Orestis Lambrou challenging photosof the interior of the abandoned Nicosia Airport, a symbolic and exemolary Cypriot modernist building.

And before you can say Nicosia Architectural Biennale, we will be co-curaing its second installment under the title Public Works - an anti-masterplan, anti-romanticising immersion into the walled city of Nicosia, which will include a radical landscaping project. More Soon.