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RECENT POSTS

DATE 5/30/2019

Join us for the launch of Phyllis Galembo's 'Mexico Masks Rituals' at Howl!

DATE 4/25/2019

Queer Poets of Color: Nepantla Anthology Anniversary Poetry Reading & Conversation at MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 4/24/2019

Irrationality, emotion and domesticity in 'Home Futures: Living in Yesterday's Tomorrow'

DATE 4/23/2019

Congratulations Letter16 Press on Naomi Fry's wonderful 'New Yorker' review of 'Shtetl in the Sun'!

DATE 4/23/2019

Check out this book trailer for 'Once Upon a Time in the West: Shooting a Masterpiece!'

DATE 4/22/2019

'Neil Goldberg: Other People’s Prescriptions' launch at MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 4/22/2019

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DATE 4/21/2019

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DATE 4/20/2019

In honor of Passover, 'Modern Mystic: The Art of Hyman Bloom'

DATE 4/19/2019

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DATE 4/18/2019

Conversation & Book Launch: Larry Bell on ‘The Los Angeles Tapes’ at Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles

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DATE 4/15/2019

The landscape itself inhabits Enrique Martínez Celaya as a ghost in 'Landscape Painting Now'

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DATE 4/13/2019

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DATE 4/12/2019

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DATE 4/11/2019

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DATE 4/11/2019

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DATE 4/10/2019

Alex Roth and David Griffith to launch 'Please Make Sure Your Camper is Secure' at MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 4/10/2019

Hello Texas — join us at the Dallas Art Fair 2019!

DATE 4/10/2019

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DATE 4/9/2019

Panel Discussion and Book Signing for 'David Casavant Archive' at MoMA PS1 Book Space

DATE 4/9/2019

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DATE 4/8/2019

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DATE 4/7/2019

Nocturnal permissions in Jean-Vincent Simonet's 'In Bloom'

DATE 4/6/2019

Phyllis Galembo signing 'Mexico Masks Rituals' at AIPAD

DATE 4/5/2019

Karine Laval signing 'Poolscapes' at AIPAD

DATE 4/5/2019

Mona Kuhn signing 'She Disappeared into Complete Silence' at AIPAD

DATE 4/4/2019

Martha Wilson to sign 'The Two Halves of Martha Wilson's Brain' Friday at AIPAD

DATE 4/3/2019

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DATE 4/2/2019

In 'Anthropocene,' Edward Burtynsky meets the enemy and he is us

DATE 4/1/2019

For Easter: Saints & Sinners

DATE 4/1/2019

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DATE 4/1/2019

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DATE 3/29/2019

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DATE 3/29/2019

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DATE 3/28/2019

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DATE 3/28/2019

Landscape Painting Now book launch and panel discussion at the Whitney

DATE 3/27/2019

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DATE 3/27/2019

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DATE 3/26/2019

Gorgeous 'Picasso: Blue and Rose Periods' celebrates the artist's earliest masterpieces

DATE 3/26/2019

Edward Burtynsky to speak and sign 'Anthropocene' at Indigo Bay Bloor, Toronto

DATE 3/26/2019

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DATE 3/25/2019

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DATE 3/25/2019

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DATE 3/24/2019

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DATE 3/23/2019

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DATE 3/22/2019

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DATE 3/21/2019

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BOOKS IN THE MEDIA

MARIE AQUILINO | DATE 4/4/2014

Abiding Architecture III: 10 days, 26 People, 4 Projects, 11 Languages and 1 site in Titanyen, Haiti: Us and Them

This week on the Metropolis Books website (link at bottom of blog), 'Beyond Shelter' author Marie Aquilino reports on the successes and failures of her group's efforts in Titanyen, Haiti.

"Two days after we arrived the American team pulled in and unloaded dozens of duffle bags full of supplies and power tools from two white Avis 4x4s. Our team had become accustomed to the quiet.

We were working with relatively inexpensive ephemeral materials and improbable shapes in a studious process that required some pounding and sawing but was mainly a series of gestures and short instructions measured by lots of focused alone time sewing, tying, knotting, steadying. Cord was our only high-tech tool.


Abiding Architecture III: 10 days, 26 People, 4 Projects, 11 Languages and 1 site in Titanyen, Haiti: Us and Them
Hortense tying knots for merengue. Photograph by Marc-Antoine Galup.


Abiding Architecture III: 10 days, 26 People, 4 Projects, 11 Languages and 1 site in Titanyen, Haiti: Us and Them
Putting a little muscle into the work at the Montesinos Foundation. Photograph by Marc-Antoine Galup.

The Americans had a cement mixer, their own generator, and tools that could slice through and weld steel. They worked on the detailed fittings for a luxurious trellis system that would flare out from in front of the girl’s dormitories, capturing rainwater and providing permanent shade, (but only after they cut out the existing structure, which, if admittedly a poor cousin to their design, had been installed only two weeks earlier).

Abiding Architecture III: 10 days, 26 People, 4 Projects, 11 Languages and 1 site in Titanyen, Haiti: Us and Them
Welding. Photograph courtesy of The Center For Public Interest Design.

It would be easy to applaud the artisans and criticize the industrialists. But their bit of building is, in fact, smart and well-thought out. Yes, the kids adored our quirky shapes. But: bamboo is still an expensive, finicky material in Haiti; and although our structures can be repaired or duplicated--we left lots of extra materials behind--would anyone bother to patch the seams, retie the knots, replace the bamboo, or experiment with material options for the fun of it? Or would they simply become damaged and avoided like so many carcasses in Titanyen. We have our answer. The sea shells collapsed in 24 hours. No matter where we tried to place them, the wind was a threat. The bamboo poles quickly lost their covers to the gusts so the sun turned them into brittle and dangerous long sticks that succumbed to gymnastics. And the Nid has cracked and split in places. In spite of the children’s love for our aliens, three months later no one has taken on the repairs or investigated alternatives.

Abiding Architecture III: 10 days, 26 People, 4 Projects, 11 Languages and 1 site in Titanyen, Haiti: Us and Them
Finished roof for the veranda of the girls’ dormitory. Photograph courtesy of The Center For Public Interest Design

Sure, it would seem that by comparison the American team relied on heavy equipment, used lots of energy, built in more expensive materials and with a complicated design. But theirs will last. There is no risk that the wind will rip out the welds or skew the form. The verandas in front of the girls’ dormitories will provide predictable, lasting, dependable shade that will also add a slight advantage to the water budget. We could wish that the Americans had worked with one of the Haitian families that controls the steel or cement business, redoing their molds or simply providing local business; but this is not a seamless process and success is often determined by certain exclusions.

Perhaps the question of artisans vs. industrialists is not the one that matters most deeply. The comparison leads us away from what is truly at stake. Perhaps the question is better stated as: what in the world is the role of architecture schools in long-term recovery? After three years of working in Titanyen, which has been a rare and extraordinary privilege that has led to friendships, being blessed and sung to, and to having our hair braided, what can we say of value about our role in a project that has shifted radically over the six semesters..."

Abiding Architecture III: 10 days, 26 People, 4 Projects, 11 Languages and 1 site in Titanyen, Haiti: Us and Them
To read the rest of Aquilino's post, continue to the Metropolis Books website.
Abiding Architecture III: 10 days, 26 People, 4 Projects, 11 Languages and 1 site in Titanyen, Haiti: Us and Them
Abiding Architecture III: 10 days, 26 People, 4 Projects, 11 Languages and 1 site in Titanyen, Haiti: Us and Them
Abiding Architecture III: 10 days, 26 People, 4 Projects, 11 Languages and 1 site in Titanyen, Haiti: Us and Them

Beyond Shelter

Beyond Shelter

METROPOLIS BOOKS
Pbk, 8 x 8 in. / 304 pgs / 300 color.




Metropolis Books

Metropolis Books


Metropolis Books was founded by Sharon Helgason Gallagher, the director of ARTBOOK | D.A.P., and Horace Havemayer III, the noted publisher of Metropolis Magazine. Recognized for publishing thought-provoking, useful, and beautiful books on contemporary issues in architecture, urbanism, preservation, interior design, product design, and landscape architecture, particularly as these relate to the sustainable, natural environment and evolving technologies, the imprint ran under the editorial leadership of Diana Murphy through 2016. Notable titles have included Design Like You Give a Damn, Never Built New York, Thanks for the View, Mr. Mies, Cape Cod Modernism, Fire Island Modernist: Horace Gifford and the Architecture of Seduction, and Vishaan Chakrabarti’s A Country of Cities. The imprint is not accepting new submissions, though many of its classic titles remain in print.



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