MONU #29 ON NARRATIVE URBANISM RELEASED

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/3f/3f092ee9638a015ab626312afffecd95.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em>To create a better general culture of understanding around architecture, urban design and urban development issues, we need to use all of the narrative tools that we have at our disposal, claims Cassim Shepard in the interview we did with him entitled "Understanding Urban Narratives: What Cannot be Measured" for this new issue of MONU, "Narrative Urbanism".</p></em><br /><br /><p>&ldquo;To create a better general culture of understanding around architecture, urban design and urban development issues, we need to use all of the narrative tools that we have at our disposal, claims<b><em>Cassim Shepard</em></b>in the interview we did with him entitled<b>&ldquo;Understanding Urban Narratives: What Cannot be Measured&rdquo;</b>for this new issue of<b>MONU,</b><b>&ldquo;Narrative Urbanism&rdquo;.</b>Being a filmmaker, he points out that moving images in this day and age are particularly effective forms of communication as they have the capacity to make people want to engage. For him, filmmaking is a <!--more--> useful process that taught him how to talk to people, how to listen to people, how to observe spaces critically and with an open mind, in order to understand the unique urban dynamics that make every space special and worthy of care. Without that extra attention many things in our cities can simply be forgotten.
With his contribution“Les Grands Ensembles”– a video still of a film depicting model replicas of two modernist high rise...

MONU #28 on "Client-Shaped Urbanism" released

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/kl/klxbbc4m9yr08sc7.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em><p>"Are architects at risk of losing their relevance to the client?" asks Beatriz Ramo in her contribution "Sympathy for the Devil" for MONU's issue #28 that we devote to the topic of "Client-shaped Urbanism".
(Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief, April 2018)

“Are architects at risk of losing their relevance to the client?” asks Beatriz Ramo in her contribution “Sympathy for the Devil” for MONU’s issue #28 that we devote to the topic of "Client-shaped Urbanism". We consider “clients” to be crucial participants in the shaping and creating of urban spaces. We intend to find out how to improve things, such as the collaboration between client and architect or urban designer, for a more satisfying outcome for everybody involved and above all for the users and inhabitants of cities. For Alejandro Zaera-Polo architects today have not only lost the trust of clients, but also the trust of society to deliver Continue reading "MONU #28 on "Client-Shaped Urbanism" released"

The Power of Smallness by Aina Coll Torrent

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/1o/1otwdt3es85q7cm8.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em><p>MONU magazine's current issue #27 on "Small Urbanism" shows how small things can have a great impact on city life and planning, exploring themes such as micro-occupations as political protest, urban furniture to recover public spaces and fight criminality, acupunctural interventions for refugee settlements or tiny models used for military strategies.</p></em><br /><br /><p>There are architectural spaces that capture you through their smallest details. Almost five years ago, I visited the Crematorium building by Asplund in the Woodland Cemetery, in Stockholm. After crossing the artificial landscape along a seemingly introverted building, I remember entering a forecourt, grabbing a beautiful door handle and entering a waiting room before reaching the chapel. A wooden bench was softly emerging from the wall, like a curved silk fabric, oriented towards a long window to an enclosed courtyard. The warmth of the space, enhanced by the metaphor of a domestic carpet and the rounding and softness of <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/st/std32ic6aqelcoyg.jpg?auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=1200"></div><!--more--> corners, was suddenly disturbed by the image of a very small window which was framing very precisely the artificial hills and trees that were guiding the visitor when entering the site. The feeling of connection to an endless outside world condensed in a window was, somehow, sublime. 

View through the window at the Woodland Crematorium, by Erik Gunnar Asplund....

The Power of Smallness by Aina Coll Torrent

            <img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/1o/1otwdt3es85q7cm8.jpg?fit=crop&auto=compress%2Cformat&w=1200" border="0" /><em><p>MONU magazine's current issue #27 on "Small Urbanism" shows how small things can have a great impact on city life and planning, exploring themes such as micro-occupations as political protest, urban furniture to recover public spaces and fight criminality, acupunctural interventions for refugee settlements or tiny models used for military strategies.</p></em><br /><br /><p>There are architectural spaces that capture you through their smallest details. Almost five years ago, I visited the Crematorium building by Asplund in the Woodland Cemetery, in Stockholm. After crossing the artificial landscape along a seemingly introverted building, I remember entering a forecourt, grabbing a beautiful door handle and entering a waiting room before reaching the chapel. A wooden bench was softly emerging from the wall, like a curved silk fabric, oriented towards a long window to an enclosed courtyard. The warmth of the space, enhanced by the metaphor of a domestic carpet and the rounding and softness of <div class="post-limited-image"><img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/st/std32ic6aqelcoyg.jpg?auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=1200"></div><!--more--> corners, was suddenly disturbed by the image of a very small window which was framing very precisely the artificial hills and trees that were guiding the visitor when entering the site. The feeling of connection to an endless outside world condensed in a window was, somehow, sublime. 

View through the window at the Woodland Crematorium, by Erik Gunnar Asplund....

Off-centred Considerations in the Urban Age: Review of MONU #26 by Federico Ortiz

Since 2004, MONU has been working towards the disentanglement and collective understanding of the process of global urbanization. With its latest issue, the magazine seems to demonstrate, and at the same time question, the nature of this process, characterizing it primarily as one of decentralizing urbanization. By Federico Ortiz

In a world undergoing a process of constant urbanization, which appears to cover the entirety of our planet’s surface, we have become familiar with the idea of living in the “Urban Age” and with statistics that predict, for example, that by 2030 60% of the world’s population will live in cities. Since 2004, MONU has been working towards the disentanglement and collective understanding of the process of global urbanization. With its latest issue, the magazine seems to demonstrate, and at the same time question, the nature of this process, characterizing it primarily as one of decentralizing urbanization.

With as many diverse Continue reading "Off-centred Considerations in the Urban Age: Review of MONU #26 by Federico Ortiz"

Independent Urbanism: Nostalgia and Non-places by Amy Tibbels

The 25th issue of MONU “Independent Urbanism” provides a platform to unveil the multitude of decisions that had to be made by countries after becoming independent - and more specifically the cities within these countries. by Amy Tibbels

In 2010 we became familiar with instagram and along with it a new way to represent ourselves. In the same year, the Republic of Macedonia’s capital city Skopje decided to completely cover itself with false neo-classical facades, embodied with hundred year old representation. The 25th issue of MONU “Independent Urbanism” provides a platform to unveil the multitude of decisions that had to be made by countries after becoming independent- and more specifically the cities within these countries. The magazine’s photo essays have an indispensable heaviness within this particular issue of MONU, in it’s twelve years it has never featured as many as three. Of this we can be appreciative in largest part Continue reading "Independent Urbanism: Nostalgia and Non-places by Amy Tibbels"

MONU #25 looks at Independent Urbanism

A city in a country that recently gained independence is likely to undergo processes of radical transformation and massive restructuring and re-imagining that are not only societal, political, and economic in nature, but can also impact the planning system of a city and influence its built-up environment.

A city in a country that recently gained independence is likely to undergo processes of radical transformation and massive restructuring and re-imagining that are not only societal, political, and economic in nature, but can also impact the planning system of a city and influence its built-up environment. Jasna Mariotti makes this quite clear in her contribution to MONU, entitled "What Ever Happened to Skopje?". This new issue of our magazine deals with various phenomena impacting cities of countries that became newly independent which we call "Independent Urbanism". She shows how the centre of Skopje in Macedonia has been remodeled according to Continue reading "MONU #25 looks at Independent Urbanism"

MONU #25 is seeking submissions for "Independent Urbanism"

Although the idea that the nation-state as the exclusive agent of connections and relations between political communities is increasingly considered obsolete, the world has witnessed the emergence of more than 30 new countries over the last 3 decades. (Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief, May 2016)

Although the idea that the nation-state as the exclusive agent of connections and relations between political communities is increasingly considered obsolete, the world has witnessed the emergence of more than 30 new countries over the last 3 decades. Especially the fundamental changes in world politics that unfolded across Europe at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s - most emblematically symbolized by the fall of the Berlin wall in November 1989, that led to the dissolution of the USSR and Yugoslavia - caused the creation of most of the newly independent states. Fifteen countries, such as Armenia, Belarus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ukraine, or Uzbekistan, to name Continue reading "MONU #25 is seeking submissions for "Independent Urbanism""

MONU #24 ON DOMESTIC URBANISM RELEASED

What happens in domestic interiors appears to be very relevant for our societies. Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief, April 2016

What happens in domestic interiors appears to be very relevant for our societies. At least, that is what Andrés Jaque argues in our interview entitled "The Home as Political Arena" for this new issue of MONU. This issue, "Domestic Urbanism", deals with the domestic aspects of cities, and everything that is related to the human home and habitat, the scale of the house, people's own universe, things that are usually hidden and private. According to Jaque, a great number of the processes by which our societies are shaped take place in domestic interiors, the domestic realm, and in relation to very domestic elements such as the table setting, the Christmas tree, or the TV remote control. Justinien Tribillon - in his contribution "The Fridge, the City and the Critique of Continue reading "MONU #24 ON DOMESTIC URBANISM RELEASED"

Split Identities – A Review of Binational Urbanism by Matas ŠIupšinskas

The book is devoted to a specific case study of binationalism and its relationship to urbanity: a Turkish community in Germany. However, Bernd’s insights are quite universal. Since the methodology is clearly structured and easily replicable, it can be applied to most countries and to different kinds of communities. The author’s primary interest is the urban aspect of binationalism, but this idea evolves and more layers of the phenomenon are covered. Urbanity is still playing a big role in the book, but a much wider perspective about links between physical and cultural spaces are drawn. The book’s main question is based on the motives behind binational urbanism and how it affects human life. It analyses why people choose to leave the cities of their origin and investigates why they decide to come back again and again. Reasons behind this oscillation are economical, but also deeply personal. So in search of Continue reading "Split Identities – A Review of Binational Urbanism by Matas ŠIupšinskas"

MONU #23 on Participatory Urbanism Released

In order to avoid participation in architecture and urban design becoming merely a politically required token of democratic involvement - a kind of fake participation that does not actually engage the participants in any meaningful way - architects, planners, and designers need to commit themselves and relinquish control, as Jeremy Till claims in an interview with us entitled "Distributing Power". (Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief, October 2015)

In order to avoid participation in architecture and urban design becoming merely a politically required token of democratic involvement - a kind of fake participation that does not actually engage the participants in any meaningful way - architects, planners, and designers need to commit themselves and relinquish control, as Jeremy Till claims in an interview with us entitled "Distributing Power". With this new issue of MONU on the topic of "Participatory Urbanism" we aim to find out and reassess to what extent individual citizens really Continue reading "MONU #23 on Participatory Urbanism Released"

New Call for Submissions for MONU #23 – Participatory Urbanism

We need to talk! We at MONU think that the time has come to talk with you about "participation" in architecture and urbanism and re-evaluate and re-examine developments around this topic in recent years and what the future might hold. (Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief, May 2015)

We need to talk! We at MONU think that the time has come to talk with you about "participation" in architecture and urbanism and re-evaluate and re-examine developments around this topic in recent years and what the future might hold. Our 11th issue on the topic of "Clean Urbanism", around 6 years ago, instigated a similar day of judgement when we asked how "Clean Urbanism" might become more than just a brand label for a city, or how we could smarten up existing cities and transform them into truly clean cities. This time we would like to initiate a critical discussion on what is Continue reading "New Call for Submissions for MONU #23 – Participatory Urbanism"

MONU #22 on Transnational Urbanism released

To prepare our cities for the emergence and growth of transnational lifestyles we need to invent new urban and architectural forms that are adapted to these new ways of life. This is what the French sociologist and assistant Mayor of Paris, Jean-Louis Missika, emphasized in an exclusive interview with MONU entitled “Liberté, Digitalité, Créativité” on the topic of “Transnational Urbanism”. (Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief, April 2015)



To prepare our cities for the emergence and growth of transnational lifestyles we need to invent new urban and architectural forms that are adapted to these new ways of life. This is what the French sociologist and assistant Mayor of Paris, Jean-Louis Missika, emphasized in an exclusive interview with MONU entitled “Liberté, Digitalité, Créativité” on the topic of “Transnational Urbanism”. This new issue of MONU focuses on the impact of transnational processes on cities in general and the consequences of transnational relations between individuals, groups, firms, or institutions for cities in particular. We deemed it necessary to dedicate an entire issue to the phenomenon of transnationalism in relation to the city, to architecture, and its influence on cities in spatial as well as social, political, economical, and cultural terms, as these days, more than ever before, and due to the development of technologies that have made transportation and communication infinitely more accessib...

What is Interior Urbanism? – A Review of MONU #21 by Claudia Mainardi and Giacomo Ardesio

In 1969 Reyner Banham in his book The Architecture of the Well-tempered Environment marked the shift between the concept of interior to that of an artificial environment. Technology and new human needs in fact had become an integral part of architecture, defining a new paradigm to describe indoor space, that it was not any longer a concern of the singular living-cell but rather of its internal atmosphere. The issue 21 of MONU describes the current development and the extreme consequences of what this Interior Urbanism means. As Brendan Cormier emphasizes in his article Some Notes Towards an Interior Archipelago: “90% of our lives are spent inside. Urban life is an interior affair.” This statement manifests the necessity to invert the canonical approach to read and plan cities, unfolding a new possible stream of research which considers how architecture affects our everyday life. Climate, or the need to erase the atmospheric conditions, is one of the trigger factors of the production o...

Call for Submissions: MONU #22 – Transnational Urbanism

With this new issue of MONU we would like to expand on, and complement, the topic of "Border Urbanism" through the topic of "Transnational Urbanism" as cross-border processes are not just limited to cities that are located close to nation-state borders, but impact cities anywhere else as well by trans-border relations. Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief, October 2014



Around six years ago, our issue #8 entitled "Border Urbanism" focused on urban phenomena that appear in cities that are located close to nation-state borders. We were fascinated by the fact that when cities are located close to borders, they often foster very specific economic features or urban anomalies, which cannot be found in cities located in the very centre of a country. Wherever two jurisdictions come into contact, special opportunities seem to arise. We showed how cities that are located close to borders could be described as isolated islands, where a different type of life is possible, and as places conducive to experiments, utopia and dystopia. With this new issue of MONU we would like to expand on, and complement, the topic of "Border Urbanism" through the topic of "Transnational Urbanism" as cross-border processes are not just limited to cities that are located close to nation-state borders, but impact cities anywhere else as well by trans-border relations. That is why we...

New call for submissions MONU #21 – INTERIOR URBANISM

This new issue of MONU aims to investigate interiors, and especially public interior spaces, on an urban scale and their meaning for cities as social, political, economical, ecological, open and accessible spaces, whether publicly or privately owned. (Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief, April 2014)



< p>When a few years ago we at MONU made the huge mistake of travelling in August to Tokyo, the warmest month of the year in this part of the humid subtropical climate-zone, we were constantly forced to find shelter in the public air-conditioned interiors of the city. But what we experienced there had, due to the dimensions and quality of the spaces, very little to do with the interconnected public interior spaces of bad repute of the past, and neither was their quality entirely based on the incredibly sophisticated public toilets featuring amenities such as bidet washing, seat warming, and deodorization; nor had it to do solely with the functional additions of experiences such as theatres, libraries, and other attractions. Rather, their value was based on a multiplicity and complexity of features, spaces, and aspects that interacted, creating public spaces of a quality that can usually only be found outdoors or in connection with the outdoors. That is why these public interior spaces s...

MONU #20 on Geographical Urbanism Released

Contrary to the simplified linear causality of the environmentalism of the past, which posited that natural geography shapes urban patterns, it is now thought that contemporary urbanization shapes the surface of the earth. Nikos Katsikis explains this tremendous current shift in the meaning of physical geography for cities in his contribution "On the Geographical Organization of World Urbanization". (Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief, April 2014)



< p>Contrary to the simplified linear causality of the environmentalism of the past, which posited that natural geography shapes urban patterns, it is now thought that contemporary urbanization shapes the surface of the earth. Nikos Katsikis explains this tremendous current shift in the meaning of physical geography for cities in his contribution "On the Geographical Organization of World Urbanization", putting the discussion of the 20th issue of MONU on the topic "Geographical Urbanism" in a historical context. For Bernardo Secchi this is not much of a problem as he is no fan of natural geography anyway, a position he reveals in our interview with him entitled "Working with Geography". According to him our task today is to understand, and to learn from, natural geography, but to correct and improve it and design useful projects of artificial geography. What is important to him - and which is the reason why he considers physical geography the starting point of all his ideas on planning ...

New Call for Submissions for MONO #20 – Geographical Urbanism

Could geography, by which we mean the physical geography and in particular the natural geographical features such as landforms, terrain types, or bodies of water that are largely defined by their surface form and location in the landscape, be the last hope of the planet's ever expanding, continuously transforming, and increasingly identical and indefinable urban territories to remain distinguishable and to gain a particular identity in the future?



NEW CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR MONU #20 - GEOGRAPHICAL URBANISM

Could geography, by which we mean the physical geography and in particular the natural geographical features such as landforms, terrain types, or bodies of water that are largely defined by their surface form and location in the landscape, be the last hope of the planet's ever expanding, continuously transforming, and increasingly identical and indefinable urban territories to remain distinguishable and to gain a particular identity in the future? Do hills, cliffs, valleys, rivers, oceans, seas, lakes, streams, canals, or any other kind of geographical feature have the power, in an ever more globalized world in which progressively cities and their architecture look the same, to provide meaning and significance to places, their inhabitants, and users or will all such elements only contribute to an identity that is merely like a mantra as Rem Koolhaas predicted once in "The Generic City"?

For the French architect and ...

MONU #19 on Greater Urbanism released

It appears that cities of today, and especially big cities, all around the world, are all struggling with similar problems, as they all have developed huge territories - their metropolitan or "greater" areas - during the twentieth century that cannot be properly understood by anyone in terms of their form, but that now need to be recognized as something that truly exists, because it is a form that is in perpetual transformation and without limits.



It appears that cities of today, and especially big cities, all around the world, are all struggling with similar problems, as they all have developed huge territories - their metropolitan or "greater" areas - during the twentieth century that cannot be properly understood by anyone in terms of their form, but that now need to be recognized as something that truly exists, because it is a form that is in perpetual transformation and without limits.This is where Antoine Grumbach sees the main difficulty when it comes to "Greater Urbanism" as he explains in an interview with us entitled "Unlimited Greatness". In such unlimited spaces infrastructure plays without doubt a crucial role constructing a connected geography and reconfiguring new urban morphologies, as Fabrizia Berlingieri and Manuela Triggianese argue in their piece "From Utopia to Real World - Construction of a Unique Metropolitan Space of Europe". But a metropolitan strategy that focuses exclusively on mass transport rema...