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In architecture, the ground is usually used only as a passive foundation. This book explores the possibilities of buildings that merge with the ground, the earth and the landscape.⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ The evolution of architecture is also an evolution away from nature. The 1960s was the key moment when buildings were at their most clinical. Since then, more and more architects are trying to reconnect with nature. They work with the landscape and the special features of the site. But of course, this is not an invention of the modern age, it is what architecture has been for millennia. And so this book embarks on a journey around the world and through the history of architecture in search of examples of buildings and building methods that are not only in harmony with the landscape, but also make use of its special characteristics. In this way, these buildings are almost an extension of the earth's crust. ⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ One of the many fantastic examples are the churches of Lalibela in Ethiopia (seen in the first picture), which are not built upwards but downwards, literally carved out of the ground. You could call them a kind of negative architecture. ⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ Many of these historical examples were previously undocumented, so this book also serves as a kind of archive with first architectural drawings of these buildings, categorising them and making connections between methods and aesthetics.⁠⁠ ⁠⁠ Buy...

In recent political debates, the concept of expert has undergone a shift in values from exaltation to disdain. In contexts as diverse as Brexit, climate change or vaccination, one encounters a palpable distrust of experts and an increasing tendency to throw their advice to the wind. Are we really witnessing the "death of the expert", or are the complaints about the "assault on science" just a hysterical reaction by elites who see their status threatened?⁠ Buy...

⁠In 1930, duck farmer Martin Maurer from Flanders, Long Island, decided to build a huge shop in the shape of a duck to advertise and sell the Peking ducks he bred. But in this fantastic little book you will also find a fruit shop in the shape of an orange, a dog grooming salon in the shape of a dog, a supermarket in the shape of a shopping basket and a hot dog shop in the shape of a hot dog. Unlike other buildings, they are the literal embodiment of a thing itself, widely displaying their function rather than hiding it behind four austere walls.⁠ ⁠ It is a tribute to Learning from Las Vegas - a book that first highlighted these structures and changed the world of architecture, and a tribute to these buildings themselves that enchant our grey days and make us question these anonymous concrete and glass bricks. What might our built environment look like if we gave free rein to creativity and expression?⁠   Buy...

Do you know the work of Forensic Architecture? If not, then be prepared to get your mind blown! Connecting real cases of human rights and environmental violations with the tools used in architecture and design, this studio creates a Wolpertinger of art and real evidence which is then used in some of the biggest court cases and tribunals of recent years. ⁠ ⁠ Forensic Architecture is often challenged by voices declaring in an exhibition “This is evidence, not art!” or in a trial “This is art, not evidence!”. Truth is, that exhibiting their work in art exhibitions draws international attention to cases that States or big corporations would only too gladly keep unnoticed. It helps victims be heard and get access to a public stage. It also sheds light on injustices, corruption and failures of our political systems. ⁠ ⁠ This is the first installation of Forensic Architecture Reports, a series of books each dedicated to a single Forensic Architecture investigation:⁠ ⁠ On the evening of 4 August 2011, Mark Duggan was shot and killed by the police in the north London neighbourhood of Tottenham after the minicab in which he was traveling was pulled over by a team of undercover officers. The team had begun following Duggan shortly after receiving intelligence that he was in possession of a gun, and the officer who shot him testified that he had seen, for a ‘split second’, Duggan aiming the gun at him after he had exited the minicab. However, the gun was not found next to Duggan’s body on the pavement. According to the police, they discovered it in a patch of grass some seven meters away. The Duggan family’s legal team commissioned Forensic Architecture to conduct an investigation into the critical question at the heart of the case: How did the gun end up in the grass? With no video footage of the shooting itself, Forensic Architecture had to rely primarily on the written and oral testimony of the officers involved to develop a spatial investigation designed to test the plausibility of the police’s narrative and to examine whether the officers themselves could have planted the gun.⁠   Buy...

The Greek natural philosophers, the alchemists, believed that the transformation of substances in nature was possible. They believed that nature strives for perfection and that therefore all earthly metals would one day turn into gold. And so they searched for a "philosopher's stone" that would transform simple base metals into precious gold.⁠ Remarkably, after the discovery of radioactivity in 1925, gold was actually produced from base metals for the first time. Such transmutation is possible in particle accelerators or nuclear reactors, but the production costs currently exceed the market price of gold many times over.⁠ Jana Hartmann's work is a photographic research on the scientific exploration and conquest of nature from the beginnings of alchemy to the present day. In her photographic works, she takes up various themes that have aroused the curiosity of researchers throughout history, such as the concept of matter. With the aesthetic verve of her motifs - including references to alchemical symbolism, scientific experiments, natural history exhibits and self-built studio models - she entices curiosity about the scientific context.⁠ The photo book Mastering the Elements juxtaposes her photographic references with the results of her extensive research of alchemical writings, accounts by contemporary scientists and articles on the ethics of science, initiating a fascinating dialogue between different narrative perspectives - the visual artistic, the allegorical alchemical, the philosophical and the scientific.⁠ For the artist, the message we can take from the alchemists is a holistic view of the world in which man and nature, spirit and matter are closely interwoven.   Buy...

About ten years ago, Mathias de Lattre's interest in psychedelics led him to start researching psilocybin, a naturally occurring hallucinogenic substance produced by about 180 species of mushrooms. He had an intuition that these fungi could provide an alternative to the psychiatric treatment of his mother, who had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. His search took him from prehistoric cave paintings in France to traditional medicinal practices in the Peruvian jungle to psilocybin researchers in London and Zurich. Through text and images, Mother's Therapy brings together science and humanity.⁠   Buy...

We love bread! But times are changing and the staple food has been torn between supermarkets with cheap ready-made baked goods full of additives and beautifully designed new bakeries that make bread an expensive commodity for sometimes, but definitely not for everyday consumption. And then there are the intolerances and the demonisation of carbohydrates. Gone are the days when bread was bought from a baker with tradition and knowledge at a low price and eaten daily. Bread has become a social question. ⁠ ⁠ Brot is dedicated to what is probably the most important food, the bread - at least for Germans.   Buy...

60 years ago, world leaders agreed to leave Antarctica free of war, weapons and nuclear waste. They declared that the uninhabited continent with no indigenous population, twice the size of Australia and 98% ice, should not belong to any country and instead be dedicated to community science. Additional rules to prevent companies from mining minerals and drilling for oil made Antarctica the largest protected area in the world. Now climate change is eroding that success story. ⁠ But higher temperatures aren't the only threat to the pristine natural environment; in recent years, the continent has become a contested territory, concealing resources that could prove irresistible in a world with an ever-growing population.⁠ ⁠ On the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica, Antarctic Resolution offers a high-resolution image of this hyper-surveilled yet neglected continent. In contrast to the fragmented view offered by Big Data companies, the book is a holistic study of the continent’s unique geography, unparalleled scientific potential, contemporary geopolitical significance, experimental governance system, and extreme inhabitation model. A transnational network of multidisciplinary polar experts – represented in the form of authored texts, photographic essays, and data-based visual portfolios – reveals the intricate web of growing economic and strategic interests, tensions, and international rivalries, which are normally enveloped in darkness, as is the continent for six months of the year.   Buy...

Do you know the work of Forensic Architecture? If not, then be prepared to get your mind blown! Connecting real cases of human rights and environmental violations with the tools used in architecture and design, this studio creates a Wolpertinger of art and real evidence which is then used in some of the biggest court cases and tribunals of recent years. ⁠ ⁠ From makeshift satellites constructed with a simple kite, a plastic bottle, some rubber band and a camera, documenting evidence of Bedouin inhabitation in the Negev desert where Bedouin ownership is contested; to reading the "fingerprints" of smoke clouds left behind by missile strikes; to training AI to identify teargas canisters in Hong Kong; to rebuilding whole rooms in 3D to verify the testimony of witnesses - Forensic Architecture is often challenged by voices declaring in an exhibition "This is evidence, not art!" or in a trial "This is art, not evidence!". Truth is, that exhibiting their work in art exhibitions draws international attention to cases that States or big corporations would only too gladly keep unnoticed. It helps victims be heard and get access to a public stage. It also sheds light on injustices, corruption and failures of our political systems. Which is the basis for change. But the fragments of truth are so meticulously and creatively collected, investigated and displayed that they all too often are also the missing proof in a trial. So what is it now? Art or Evidence? One of our all-time-favorite magazines mono.kultur set out to shed light on the manyfold works through an in depth interview with founder Eyal Weizman. And while you should absolutely read this heart stopping issue of mono.kultur we can already say that Forensic Architecture is the answer to the question what happens when art has real-world consequences.⁠   Buy...

Cambio is a small layer between the bark and the wood of a tree, which helps the tree to adapt to shifts within its biotope. But Cambio also means change in Italian. The visionary design practice Formafantasma created a critical exhibition of the same name for Serpentine Galleries, which deals with trees, forestry practices and wood production. Wood is such an old and renewable material that it is not the first we think of when we talk about the exploitation of the planet. We want to see it as a sustainable material without questioning whether our use of it is sustainable. We forget that trees are living beings we should seek a thoughtful coexistence with. The exhibition questions the role that the discipline of design can play in translating emerging environmental awareness into informed, collaborative responses.⁠ ⁠ Unfortunately, the exhibition is closed, as are so many places at the moment. But fortunately we have the accompanying book that will allow you to dive deep into the research and design process of Formafantasma. Essays and interviews by experts in the fields of science, conservation, technology, policy-making and philosophy are designed to give the reader different points of view, while a series of interviews with Formafantasma themselves, over the course of the research period, illustrate the enriching interplay that resulted from these conversations.⁠ ⁠ And if you want to see the whole video, you can find it on the Instagram account of Serpentine Galleries alongside Antenna Fantasma - a weekly series of discussions around ecology and design by Formafantasma.⁠ Buy...