It is estimated that leisure activities currently account for 35 per cent of our personal consumption expenditures, and up to 9 per cent of our GDP. In the upcoming world of flexible work hours, discount flights to all corners of the earth, and the ability to download any sort of movie, television show or song ever recorded, we have become a society of „leisure aficionados“ and pleasure connoisseurs. We can take away any ethnic dish imaginable, we can shop for everything we have ever wanted, we can custom design the vacation of our dreams – we can order fun 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. But while we are out having fun, who is monitoring the reserves?
The Why Factory has released ‘Barba’, a new publication focusing on our research of nanotechnology in architecture.
With this book, The Why Factory dares to wonder. At the beginning of the 21st century, most celebrated examples of architecture are unavoidably spectacular. Unthinkable cantilevers, rotating towers, gigantic cupolas and exuberant shapes are features without which the contemporary building will hardly be registered in the skyline or the media. Unequivocally, the buildings getting attention are the iconic ones. Never before has architecture tried so hard to amaze. But are these icons true celebrations of human achievements?
In a world where forecasting seems futile, where predictions are unreliable, and where even the most absurd scenarios are plausible, many urban planning decisions seem to be governed not by vision – but by fear. Fear of disaster, fear of change, fear of the unknown. Can we learn from ‘fear’? Can we even use it as a guide for spatial planning? City Shock explores ten innocent ‘what ifs’. What kinds of radical trend breaks can we expect, and with what effects?
The architecture practice MVRDV and The Why Factory envision a new model for the development of Asian cities. Their idea is The Vertical Village, a three-dimensional community intended to bring back personal autonomy, diversity, flexibility and neighbourhood life to cities in Asia.
What does it take for a city to become world-class? And who decides? It’s not enough to look at a city’s economic performance. Great cities have always offered a more fundamental, abstract quality – a quality that no single ranking system has yet been able to measure. Hong Kong Fantasies tries to define that quality, and to introduce a universal standard for its evaluation: The World-Class City Framework – WCCF. Using this framework as a guide, The Why Factory fantasizes that Hong Kong, a city struggling to hold on to its reputation, makes a spectacular comeback as an exemplary world-class city.
This book is based on the inaugural speech by Winy Maas at October 15, 2009 to mark the acceptance of the Chair of Architecture and Urban Design at the Faculty of Architecture of the Delft University of Technology, the opening of the Why Factory in Delft by Dutch Minister of Education and Culture Ronald Plasterk and the symposium “My Future City”, where a variety of students, inhabitants, architects, urbanists, thinkers, developers, politicians, technicians offer their future city…
In the summer of 2010 architecture is witnessing a situation best described as complex, confusing and uncertain. In the midst of the quest for survival, meaning and balanced choice, this uncertainty is also source of innovation and creation, a source for curiosity, over the fear, protectionism, conformism and repetition.
As guest-editors MVRDV and The Why Factory exploited exactly this momentum as an opportunity for a densified process of creating, questioning and gathering. This lead to a wide spectrum of themes regarding the production of architecture and urbanism.
Everybody’s talking about Green these days; sustainable architecture and urbanism are getting almost universal attention. And they deserve it. Who could possibly oppose Green?
Visionary Cities is a pamphlet serving as an introduction to The Why Factory as a new research/design institute. Being the first publication of the series, the pamphlet aims at giving the public an overview of the problematic The Why Factory is addressing as well as stating its ambition, the modus operandi for the coming years of its production.