OSU//The Interviews//Saskia Sassen


For the first of the series OSU//Interviews, I invited Saskia Sassen, Columbia University. Throughout her books and articles, she treats topics related with globalization and the future of cities, use of new technologies and networked territories.

Her work is related in many ways with Architecture and Urbanism, and this interview will try to point out those relationships. Her definition of an Open Source Urbanism is what triggered the beginning of this blog, and is an honour to have her as the inaugurator of the Interviews section of the blog:

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OSU//The Interviews


In its aim of analyzing current problems that the field of Architecture is going through and exploring its possible solutions, Open Source Urbanism Blog opens a new section: OSU//The Interviews.

Through experiences from different people related in one way or another to the field, we will try to create together a picture of impressions on the future of the city from the current generation of professionals.

With the collaboration of Renowned and Young Architects, Academics, Critics, Sociologists, Artists, Planners… The Interviews will address some of the topics treated in the blog so far applied to their expertise: Bottom Up Planning, Collective Architecture, Open Source Strategies, Architecture Critics in Social Media…

An exciting new section that hopefully you will enjoy reading as much as I do writing it.

Stay tuned!

West 104th Street Garden


I recently have moved to a new apartment in the city of New York, right next to Central Park, in 104th St. I didn’t even realize when I was within the insanity involved in apartment hunting in Manhattan (something worth an entire investigation, not only for the prizes, but for the typologies), but right across the street there is a Community Garden.

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HomeGrown Cities Project // URBZ

Homegrown Cities

A couple of days ago, I received an e-mail from the URBZ team, explaining the project “Homegrown cities” that they are developing in the city of Mumbai. Their thinking on the future of the cities is very much related with ideas treated in this blog, starting from the user to create a “user-generated city”.

I find their work really interesting and inspiring, so I asked them for an article to publish in the blog, changing the format of a usual entry at OSU and, hopefully, opening the blog to more extensive collaborations with outside the box urban thinkers:

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First Anniversary!

First Anniversary

It has been already a year since Open Source Urbanism was born. A very rewarding year in a personal level, lots of interesting topics through 30 articles and lots of interesting people that I have met in the way. I hope it has been interesting also for the multiple different readers that spent a bit of their time reading them. Thanks to all of you!

And now is time to start thinking about year two, to explore some new ideas I have in mind for the site, and make it grow in different directions. Stay tuned, more is coming!


Enchanting the Existing

Enchanting the existing

Last March 25th took place at Columbia GSAPP’s Avery Hall a conference by Anne Lacaton, from the French Studio Lacaton & Vassal. With the name “Reinvent: Enchanting the Existing”, Lacaton went through some of the projects of her office since it started back in 1987.

She started treating the concept of Inhabiting in Architecture. The way they conceive it is major issue for their work, focused on building space from the inside, and not from the outside. For them, the idea of virgin territory no longer exists; the point is to exalt the capacities of the existing. An extremely interesting concept that they have been developing for 25 years and appears especially adequate in today’s Architectural scene.

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The rise of the Collective

entry collective

A new way of understand and organize an Architectural Practice is growing amongst young Architects all over the world. A project is not anymore the result of a unique genius mind and a uni-personal point of view, but the result of a collective way of thinking, designing and working.

What are the circumstances that have led to this tendency? Is Architecture, after being lost for some time, finding a new path, a new movement? Let´s analyse the possible causes.

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Blurring boundaries in Architecture


Last February 6th took place at Columbia University the first of a conference series organized by Juan Herreros, named: “Transgress: Blurring Boundaries in Architecture”, proposing for this occasion a conversation with the artist Tomás Saraceno.

The aim of this series of conversations is to explore the current boundaries of the Architecture and propose new ones, from the academic to the practice, with experiences from people no exclusively related but familiar with it.

I found the premise very compelling, and I would like to analyze the meaning of “blurring boundaries” through topics treated at the conference, but getting to a more extended view.

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Are we ready to face the shrinkage of a city?

Shrinking cities

What happens when a city has to deal with depopulation? When its economic model, its growth engine, suffers a recession? As professionals in the field, Architects and Urban planners should consider these consequences, and propose alternatives.

Again, it seems that the problem has arrived and has taken us out of resources.

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Architecture Critic in Twitter times

Architecture Critic in Twitter times

Last November 7th I attend to a lecture of the course “History of Architectural Theory”, by Mark Wigley in Columbia University (a great exercise of how to look at architectural theory books, and how to develop your own way to do it) about the Architecture Critic Reyner Banham.

At some point of the lecture, Wigley asked a question to the audience: “Have you ever thought what a guy like Banham would do with a twitter account?” question that is deeply related with the current situation of Architecture Critic, and its search of an update towards current times.

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