Pamphlet Architecture #30

[Coupling ... table of contents as systems with by products.]

We are excited to announce that InfraNet Lab / Lateral Office has been selected to author the forthcoming issue of the Pamphlet Architecture series. It will be issue #30 and is expected for release in 2011. Our proposal is entitled Coupling: Strategies for Infrastructural Opportunism.

The 20th century was witness to both an infrastructure boom and bust. It is the 21st century that will need to project not only how to address crumbling and insufficient infrastructure, but also how to position new infrastructures that confront urgent issues of climate change, sustenance inequality, and our increasingly urbanized world. 21st century infrastructure should create a new public realm, enrich political policy, and embed productive processes. Coupling strategizes new formats for the physical infrastructure required in the wake of these shifting conditions.

[World map of high-speed rail, ice trade, and environment monitoring systems.][Icelink, Bering Strait, Russia / USA.]

Coupling argues, through a body of design/research proposals, that infrastructures behave as artificially maintained natural systems. Future models of infrastructure lie in embracing this condition in a more inclusive manner by bundling processes with spatial experiences. The intention is to counter the tendency to deploy infrastructure as a hard system, instead seeking the performance of soft, multivalent systems.

[Greenways: Framing and Farming Runways.]

Rather than a New Deal approach of massive engineering or iconic infrastructure, Coupling employs adaptable, responsive, small-scale interventions whose impacts are global in scale. Easily upgraded, this vision for infrastructure creates new sites for production, recreation, and civic life. The ambition is to supplement human and natural ecologies at risk rather than overhaul them. Shifting away from mono-functional infrastructure, the proposed visions meld existing landscapes with emergent infrastructures in order to catalyze new ecologies, economies, and, most significantly, a new social infrastructure.

[Flatspace: Nine Networks of Exurbanism.]

The six selected design/research proposals couple seemingly disconnected systems into a mutant assemblage of surfaces, containers, and conduits. In short, Coupling posits strategies for infrastructural opportunism.

It will be available from Princeton Architectural Press in 2011. More information will appear here as the project develops. The Pamphlet flickr stream is here.

Coupling team: Ghazal Jafari, Daniel Rabin, Matthew Spremulli, Fei-ling Tseng, Sandy Wong.

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