The WAIzine switches rhythm and pace, focus and aim, strategy and method. It goes from pure research, to retroactive manifesto, to speculative provocation. It is ambitious like architecture should be, especially these days of philosophical uncertainty, intellectual laissez faire, economic restraints, and social deterioration.
Rejecting the role of mere spectators of the global spectacle that has been set up by previous generations, the new generation of thinkers should be eager to embrace and confront the world with a passion that burns and assume the risk that comes with being intellectual and being avant-garde; the risks that come with asking “What About It?”
An Introduction to the Second WAIzine
The responsibility of the intellectual is not as much to answer questions but to ask them. The role of the avant-garde is not only to interpret these questions but to challenge the way in which the questions are asked.
WAI is born out of the dialectic between the role of the intellectual and the mission, tools, and strategies of the avant-garde. As a Workshop for Architecture Intelligentsia, WAI questions the state of architecture looking for ways to contribute to its collective intelligence, while to simultaneously explore, dissect, and analyze the avant-garde in order to reveal the validity of its intentions, its limitations, and potential.
If the first issue of the WAIzine ignited a dialogue on architecture that fueled a global series of exhibitions (Archizines World Tour, Magazine Library 10, What About It? Solo Exhibition), Lectures (Central Academy of Fine Arts and Tsinghua University in Beijing, and the Univeristy of Puerto Rico), and publications that presented an evolution of the research and projects of WAI Architecture Think Tank, the second issue not only expands the repertoire of provocative imagery and critical texts, but it juxtaposes essays, manifestoes, projects, photomontages, poetry, chronological timelines, drawings, and photography.
“What About It? Part 2” also integrates as a form of collectivization of architectural intelligence conversations that explore the visual, critical, and intellectual power of architecture, the built and the imagined environment. This conversation series oscillate from Madrid, to Rotterdam, to Beijing, to Michigan to discuss the seductive photographs of post-communist monuments and desolated European landscapes with Simona Rota (The Architecture of Photography); the intellectual ambition of a contemporary Magazine on Urbanism with Bernd Upmeyer, (The Ideology of Publication); the challenges of creating a critical independent practice in a previously state-owned architectural landscape with Zhang Ke (Challenging the Standard); and the value and potential of drawing and architectural representation today with Perry Kulper (Drawing Architecture).
With a quixotic blend of graphic and typographic adventure, ambitious content, and original research, the WAIzine assumes the critical role of the intellectual enterprise and revisits the potential of the tools, and strategies of the avant-garde, all while simultaneously asking “What About It?”
Nathalie Frankowski and Cruz Garcia
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Subject: WAIzine copy