Call for Submissions: Almanac 2, Bracket [goes soft]

Posted by InfraNet Lab on November 10, 2010 | PERMALINK


[bracket goes soft!]

We are excited to be launching the second almanac of bracket with our fantastic team of Actar,Archinect and graphic designers, Thumb.  We are also thankful of the generous support from theGraham Foundation.

Bracket 2 invites the submission of critical articles and unpublished design projects that investigate physical and virtual soft systems, as they pertain to infrastructure, ecologies, landscapes, environments, and networks. In an era of declared crises—economic, ecological and climatic amongst others– the notion of soft systems has gained increasing traction as a counterpoint to permanent, static and hard systems.

[soft and mobile skins]
The notion of ‘soft’ systems had considerable impact on the design disciplines in the 1960s and 70s. In management, ‘Soft Systems Methodology’ was developed to address complex situations with divergent readings and stakeholders. The ability to deal with imprecision and uncertainty, with the aim of achieving more malleable, robust solutions is at the core of ‘Soft Computing’. Bridging disciplines,Nicholas Negroponte, in Soft Architecture Machines (1970), proposed a responsive built environment, wherein the computer acts as a tool for creativity and design, repositioning the role of the architect.  While designers such as Cedric Price, Yona Friedman, Archigram, and Buckminster Fuller embraced the early soft project, envisioning alternate models of urbanization, mobility, and infrastructural networks, this project has remained dormant for the past decades, only to reemerge with increased urgency today. Acknowledging fluid and indeterminate situations with complex feedback loops that allow for reaction and adaption, the possibility of soft systems has re-entered the domain of design, necessitating a repositioned role of the designer.  The present era, characterized by crisis, provides a new platform to revisit the soft project in the 21st century.

[temporary/ relief/ soft shelters]

Bracket 2 seeks to critically position and define soft systems, in order to expand the scope and potential for new spatial networks, and new formats of architecture, urbanization and nature. From soft politics, soft power and soft spaces to fluid territories, software and soft programming, Bracket 2 questions the use and role of responsive, indeterminate, flexible, and immaterial systems in design. Bracket 2 invites designers, architects, theorists, ecologists, scientists, and landscape architects to position and leverage the role of soft systems and recuperate the development of the soft project.

[soft systems on the tarmac]

The editorial board and jury for Bracket 2 includes Benjamin Bratton, Julia Czerniak, Jeffrey Inaba,Geoff Manaugh, Philippe Rahm, Charles Renfro, as well as co-editors Lola Sheppard and Neeraj Bhatia.

[the mobile hospital]

Deadline for Submissions: December 10, 2010

Please visit for more info.