Issue 1 Introduction

© JNL Graphic Design


MAS IS MORE. Issue introduction by Iker Gil, editor in chief of MAS Context


MAS Studio wanted to understand what MORE really meant to us and what MAS Context wants to become. This is not the definitive answer to either of these two questions but begins the exploration.


I have been thinking about the idea of creating a discussion platform centered around design issues for quite some time now. The idea of that platform has always tended towards being a physical publication than a website or any other media type, I suppose in part because of my interest over the last few years in producing books. I have to say that there is something really rewarding about holding a well-thought and carefully designed book: size, layout, paper, cover, thickness, material, binding…, etc. I guess it’s the same thing as buying a vinyl record versus just downloading the songs. The content is the same but the experience is completely different.

For various reasons, I had never taken the definitive steps to put something together in a periodical format. I guess I finally realized that at least, I needed to try to do something to address all those things that I am interested in and have not been able to accomplish so far in my professional experience:

– First, the pace in which books generally are published. It is usually too slow, not only to produce the content of a book but to convince a publisher to believe in your work and distribute it. Publishing is always much slower than the pace of the world of design. Unfortunately, by the time you are able to publish something, you are already on to the next endeavor.

– Second, the amount of information and knowledge that is wasted in the design offices. I have worked in a few architecture offices since I graduated from architecture, from the small ones with a couple of people to the big corporations with several hundred in a single office. The speed of production and the need to fulfill the requirements of the client often leaves little room to stop and think about the quantity and quality of information around you. There is no efficient transfer of knowledge.

– Finally, most (if not all) of the issues that have to be addressed while designing a project require the involvement of a multidisciplinary team. In architecture, experts in structures, lighting, landscape, acoustics, manufacturing and others are often brought to the table, but what about including those other design fields – graphic design,industrial design, artists, etc.? And let’s not forget those that are not directly design related and but have more influence in the development of a city than those listed above: economists, sociologists, politicians, historians, scientists, civic leaders, etc. They have as much to say as those of you who have the ability to draw.

The goal of MAS Context is basically to address these issues in a quarterly journal and find a common area where these new relationships can happen in a timely manner. Of course, a new journal always starts with some limitations but also with a lot of energy and passion to try to do our best. We know it will not be the only and perfect solution to all of these issues but we will try to attack some of the problems.

MAS Context starts with some basic ideas that we want to carry through every issue:

Include as many voices as possible when addressing an issue
Sometimes we will take a position on an issue and sometimes we will lay down the information so that the readers can reach their own conclusion, evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of the positions presented. We want people from different fields to participate.

Combine diverse type of media
Photography, essays, diagrams, interviews, case studies, films or other relevant media are mixed together to provide a comprehensive view of an issue.

Package the information in an appealing way
We want to engage new audiences who are not familiar with the topic or do not necessarily have a design background. We do not want to talk to a specific field but everyone who is interested in the urban context.

“Talk amongst yourselves”
Connect the design community located in different parts of the planet. There is good work everywhere and we want to know about it.

Make it accessible to as many people as possible
We offer a bound copy of the journal, an electronic file that you can download for free, and a website. Basically, we want you to have it.

For the inaugural issue of MAS Context, the topic of MORE was chosen. It establishes the ideas behind MAS Studio and the journal and sets the goals of what we want to achieve. We want to share what we like about MORE, who and what represents MORE for us, and as important for others. This is just the start.

Enjoy, share, discuss and participate in MAS Context.



The first volume of MAS Context has had the invaluable help from Clint Bautz, Simona Chiappa from Prada, Dan Hill from City of Sound, Bjarke Ingels and Frederik Lyng from BIG, Red Mike and Adam Goss from Spirit of Space, Jason Pickleman from JNL Graphic Design, Ana Ramírez, and Mario Vaquerizo from Fangoria.

We also grateful to all the architects, designers, engineers, musicians, graphic designers, photographers, filmmakers, university directors, scientist and students who gave us their definition of MORE.


MAS Studio is a collaborative architecture and urban design firm directed by Iker Gil. MAS studio takes a multidisciplinary approach to its work, with teams including architects, urban designers, researchers, graphic designers, and photographers among others, in order to provide innovative and comprehensive ideas and solutions.

Want More?

© Iker Gil


MAS Studio also wanted MORE and collected a list of 100. This is our incomplete grocery list; we hope for more.


01. MORE action
02. MORE ambiguous
03. MORE appreciation
04. MORE assistance
05. MORE authorshiplessnes
06. MORE beauty
07. MORE books
08. MORE celebration
09. MORE challenges
10. MORE change
11. MORE chaos
12. MORE clarity
13. MORE collaboration
14. MORE collection
15. MORE competition
16. MORE complexity
17. MORE comprehensive
18. MORE conection
19. MORE context
20. MORE controversial
21. MORE conversation
22. MORE co-operatives
23. MORE culture
24. MORE cybernetics
25. MORE debate
26. MORE density
27. MORE design
28. MORE discovery
29. MORE dissemination
30. MORE dynamism
31. MORE ecology
32. MORE elastic
33. MORE empathy
34. MORE entrepreneurs
35. MORE events
36. MORE exhibitions
37. MORE experience
38. MORE exurbia
39. MORE fiction
40. MORE food
41. MORE growth
42. MORE heritage
43. MORE honesty
44. MORE humility
45. MORE ideas
46. MORE inclusive
47. MORE information
48. MORE inovation
49. MORE instruction
50. MORE intensity
51. MORE interaction
52. MORE international
53. MORE invention
54. MORE investigation
55. MORE knowledge
56. MORE layers
57. MORE lectures
58. MORE market
59. MORE meaning
60. MORE media
61. MORE method
62. MORE movement
63. MORE novels
64. MORE observation
65. MORE opinion
66. MORE opportunities
67. MORE optimism
68. MORE partnerships
69. MORE playful
70. MORE positive
71. MORE potential
72. MORE proactive
73. MORE program
74. MORE progres
75. MORE projects
76. MORE provocative
77. MORE punk
78. MORE reaction
79. MORE resistance
80. MORE rejuvenation
81. MORE remediation
82. MORE respect
83. MORE restoration
84. MORE romance
85. MORE science
86. MORE social
87. MORE spectacle
88. MORE system
89. MORE teamwork
90. MORE thinking
91. MORE time
92. MORE tools
93. MORE transparency
94. MORE travel
95. MORE trust
96. MORE understanding
97. MORE values
98. MORE visibility
99. MORE vision
100. MORE wonder


MAS Studio is a collaborative architecture and urban design firm directed by Iker Gil. MAS studio takes a multidisciplinary approach to its work, with teams including architects, urban designers, researchers, graphic designers, and photographers among others, in order to provide innovative and comprehensive ideas and solutions.

More Marina

Marina City, Chicago
© Clint Bautz


Essay by Andrew Dribin


We chose Marina City, a complex in Chicago designed by Bertrand Goldberg Associates, as an architectural example that embodies positive qualities of MORE. Finished in 1964, more than forty years later it still relates to its context, represents resistance, generates program, offers opportunities, and provokes discussion. And we love that.


Whether you love it or hate it, there are few buildings in Chicago as cool as Marina City. This is to say cool as in Muhammad Ali a.k.a. Cassius Clay cool, and like the boxer, Marina City was a true fighter of a building. It was a new style of city out-fighting. Completed in 1964 in block 1 of Chicago’s relentless grid, Marina City was urban renewal for the middle class, in the city center with swift feet and taunting tactics. Free of the formalism of Chicago’s modernist master Mies van der Rohe, Marina City was an attempt to keep people living and working in the city, “living above the store” [1] as the architect Bertrand Goldberg liked to explain and provided a new definition of city living and (super)urbanism of more context, resistance, program, opportunity, and discussion.

More Context

The abundance of global happenings at the time of construction of Marina City is the story late modernism, national highways, and the sprawl of the city creating an opportunity for the rebirth of downtown Chicago. Post World War II U.S. saw tremendous growth and expansion of their cities and suburbs. From the initiation of the Eisenhower interstate system in 1956 to the new definition of the emerging megalopolis across the urban landscapes by geographer Jean Gottman, the whole world was mega-sizing. In Japan, a young group of new urbanists and architects called the Metabolists were eager to re-vision the new megalopolis using ecological principles to organize the new city. Kiyonori Kikutake’s Marine City was one of the early examples of a metabolist urbanism and shares many formal similarities to Marina City. The difference: Kikutake’s vision was resistant to the whole idea of a city, it started from scratch. Meanwhile, Bertrand Goldberg’s Marina City, a pièce de résistance to the infrastructural megastructures pressuring the city to expand, was a ready-to-build metabolic intervention of Chicago’s riverfront.


Marine City, 1963, by Kiyonori Kikutake
© Dan Hill


By 1960, the City of Chicago had reached its population apex and experienced its first loss of population since the city was organized in 1836. Once a model of an instant city of industry and mechanization, Chicago was now facing a new era of growth of highways, homes and shopping malls. World War II had ended almost two decades of social and economic hardship and it was time for families to settle and find comfort in their lives in this new post-atomic age. From 1945 to 1949, new car sales increased ten fold from 69,500 to 5.1 million in the U.S. [2]. To accommodate these cars, new highways were being built at an unprecedented pace. In Chicago, the 1950s saw the construction of five major highways: the Bishop Ford Freeway; Edens Expressway; Tri-State tollway; Eisenhower Expressway; and Kennedy Expressway (originally named the Northwest Expressway). While these concrete highways were quickly altering the urban landscape of metropolitan Chicago, Marina City showed that concrete could be used to build fit environments for living as well.


Downtown Chicago map
© Iker Gil


More Resistance

“Marina City has been called revolutionary, but I do not believe along with Corbusier that things are revolutionized by making revolutions. The revolution lies in the solution of existing problems,” explained Bertrand Goldberg in in a lecture on Marina City in 1962 [3]. This quote reflects Bertrand Goldberg, the ‘Brutalist’. Brutalism is a way of living with the revolution of modernism – free from the formality of Mies, Corbusier and other first generation modernists, but resistant to nostalgic ways of thinking about the city. By the late 1950s, it was time for an honest modernism stripped of its politics. Although Mies’ Bauhaus was shut down in Germany in 1933, the Bauhaus was already on its way of becoming a way of living and working.

In this regard, it is important to recognize that Brutalism is not about the style, but the resistance to those not yet convinced by modernism (and what becomes post-modernism). Marina City was resistant to a static modernism. Brutalism was, as the late design critic Reyner Banham suggested, honest modernism and in favor of architecture that is reactive and more concerned about the performance of buildings and cities over the formality of the building [4].

Perhaps this could be reframed by returning to Cassius Clay. Like architecture, all boxing has its moments of brutality, but was Clay a brutalist boxer? Clay was quick and one of the most elegant and smartest boxers to have played the sport. He did not win with brute force but with in your face confidence, physical preparation and endurance. At times, it could certainly be annoying but it had poetic moments and he was damn good at what he did. The last of which, Clay was brutally honest about it—and that is what brutalism is about, not force but performance.


Marina City, Bertrand Goldberg (left); Lake Shore Drive apartments, Mies van der Rohe (right)
© Iker Gil


More Program
Marina City is an honest and in your face building. Parking garage, a place to live, a place to work and place to relax, entertain, eat, drink and play. The various activities within the building provide uses not only for the residents but acts as an anchor for the city and neighboring blocks. Think of New Urbanism of today with its emphasis on transit-oriented pedestrian friendly mixed-use communities. Goldberg’s vision of a city within a city was a contemporary refashioning of traditional city values. The programmatic complexity of Marina City is simplified in plan into two towers, an office, plaza, and theater complex. To this end, it achieves more with more and with the material minimalism and structural finesse of a Frank Lloyd Wright building.

“It is necessary to create an architecture of reality,” wrote the husband and wife team Allison and Peter Smithson contemporaries of Goldberg [5]. To achieve this, culture and form were to be subtly subversive where architecture should not be submissive to traditional values. This can be equally descriptive of Cassius Clay, now Muhammad Ali, as well. Marina City advocated for city living and defined a new urbanism with people living and working in the city, “living above the store.” A new (super)urbanism with a density of activity, mobility, and waterfront views.

More Opportunity
Marina City, like Cassius Clay, is a wedding of brute mass and consumer society. The building is an opportunistic response to its urban context. The social and economic circumstances presented an opportunity to take advantage of an underutilized prime site along downtown Chicago’s riverfront. Following the modernist agenda, the vision of Marina City recognized the relation between cities and social equity, and initially tried to take on too much. Partially due to its confidence, it attempted to reverse the growing social and economic divisions that have characterized the contemporary city for at least the past 50 years. Demonstrating that all people can live in the city and in tall buildings, Marina City proved its point that there are valid alternatives to city living, and should continue to inspire serious debate about the future of the city. Now, it seems the global debate is finally ready to listen and Marina City’s pugilistic approach needs to move from the boxing ring to the stage.

Despite its concrete structure, the vision of Marina City still has its opportunities. As a pursuit of a total environment it lacks vital systems for self-sufficiency now prevalent in many architectural conversations. This includes many things from food and renewable energy production to community facilities such as schools and healthcare. For all practical reasons this is a good fault, as one cannot live within Marina City exclusively. It is a product of the larger system of the city, and fortunately, there is need for an exterior world around it. Yet, wouldn’t it be great to see the hotel turned into a high school, half the parking converted to vertical farming, Dick’s Last Resort as a grocery store food cooperative, and the marina home to a mobile solar farm?


Views to and from Marina City
© Iker Gil


More Discussion
Which explains why Marina City serves as a model of (super)urbanism – with its honesty and dumb insolence – it has and continues to be instrumental in creating a discussion on the urban integrity of Chicago. Which raises one last point of concern, its sheer masculinity. Some of the units even sport pink kitchens, which is a superficial play on domesticity. Fortunately, things have changed since 1960 and from the outside-in, it is time to revise the way the building works as an infrastructure of performance. To counteract that – and this is not the most honest, efficient or pragmatic of suggestions – let’s paint the whole complex pink. It will symbolize the warning of climate change, as Chicago becomes the new Miami.

Jokes aside, one of the great ironies of Chicago architecture is that the supermodern preceded post-modern, the criticality of the 80s occurred after the post-criticality of the late 50s and the near brutalism of Marina City – a new urbanist non-place for people, cars, boats, shopping, bowling, etc. – works. Is Marina City still cool today? Yes (for now), and more than most buildings, it demands alternative ways of thinking, designing and talking about the city. There is little doubt that we need more demanding ideas now than we did 50 years ago.


1. B. Goldberg, “Architectural Aspects of Edmonton Civic Centre Plan” lecture, September 27, 1962 from Bertrand Goldberg Archives

2. M. Ebner, “Suburbs and Cities as Dual Metropolis,” Electronic Encyclopedia of Chicago, Chicago Historical Society. 2005.

3. B. Goldberg, “The City within a City” lecture, International Design Conference on Environment, Aspen, June 28, 1962.

4. R. Banham, “The New Brutalism,” The Architectural Review, December 1955.

5. Smithson and Smithson “Statement” quoted by Nigel Whiteley in Reyner Banham: Historian of the Immediate Future, MIT Press, 2002: 123.


Andrew Dribin is s a designer and a collaborator in MAS Studio. In addition to MAS Studio, Andrew is an active participant of the Dill Pickle Food Co-op, and in the beginning stages of starting an Urban Design Cooperative.

Jason = More

Lovelysoreal © JNL Graphic Design


Iker Gil interviews graphic designer Jason Pickleman


Jason Pickleman is a graphic designer. And an art collector, artist, DJ, poetry writer, and host of a bingo night at the Museum of Contemporary Art. He is MORE. Iker Gil interviewed him at his studio, JNL Graphic Design, to know more about him, collaborating, art, business, education and MORE. The cameras of Spirit of Space were there to document the event.


IG: When reading your biography in any of the articles that talks about you, you are defined as a graphic designer, but you are also a known art collector, artist, DJ, poetry writer-poet, and host of a bingo night at the Museum of Contemporary Art among other things. Do you define yourself as a graphic designer?

JP: That is like saying, “do you define yourself as a breather?” Graphic design to me is just a tool, like a hammer is a tool. I am a graphic designer because the things that I make, whether they are books, or paintings, or sculptures, or poems, they are made with the tools of graphic design. I’m a graphic designer but I think a lot of people are graphic designers. A lot of painters are just graphic designers and call themselves painters because it probably sounds more important on a resumé. I think that is an important distinction, graphic design is not a profession, it is a tool.

IG: It is more of a representation of…

JP: It is a mean of representation. A graphic, what is a graphic? What is a design?

IG: How do all these activities tie together? Is there any common thread?

JP: The common thread, I think more than anything, is that I have been trying to live my life as an adult around interesting people and around projects that I find exciting and captivating. I have got a pretty short attention span, I am not ADD or anything, but one of the nice things about being a professional communicator, most people would call it professional graphic designer, is that you get involved with people that have dreams, entrepreneurial dreams, and we help them out. We make these things, we give them these images, or these books, or these objects, and then they go off and try to make millions. And I am right back at square one again trying to find a new entrepreneur, or a new client, or a new curator, just to do the whole process all over again. But I like to be abused, I like to be helpful to people. I am not really interested in the finished thing, so much as just wanting to be a good person and to get my hands dirty in a number of cultural projects whosewhich sum total, whether they are theater groups, or architects, or curators, the sum total of all those efforts make Chicago a really great place to live as an adult, which is really my big concern. I grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago, and except for four years in college, where I went to Boston University (my Dad said that unless I went at least 800 miles away from Chicago he would not pay for it so I ended up in Boston). But after I got my degree in English literature, I moved right back to Chicago. I like this city. As easy as air travel is, I have no interest in wanting to relocate or be ‘mobile me’. I am really happy to bunker down in Chicago. I do not feel like I am being excluded from any part of the cultural production apparatus. Yes, there is more book publishing in New York, or yes, there is more fashion going on in New York, or there is more media production say in Los Angeles. There is still enough of all of those things happening here in Chicago, and in the Midwest in particular, that I keep getting asked to participate in, and just participating in all that stuff is really where my heart is at.

IG: Is there any other field that you would like to explore yourself?

JP: I know this sounds kind of wishy-washy, and not very insightful, but I can say with all honesty, no. There is nothing else I want to do. And I know that because I never wanted to be a graphic designer either. I never wanted to be a graphic designer, but I am. I never wanted to be a husband, but I am. I never wanted to own property, but I do. I never wanted to have a family, but I have got a thirteen-year-old son. I never wanted to own a car, but I own a car. I have lived my life without any big desires and I am just tromping along writing the things that I write, making the pictures I make, and somehow I have parlayed all this stuff into all of these things: houses, cars, professions. At this point, I have made over a hundred books for my clients. Do I want to make another book? Yeah, I would love to make another book and I am sure at some point, somebody will ask me to make another book.



IG: You have worked with local and national architects, public institutions, and private companies to design on projects ranging in scope from their overall identity down to their logos, brochures, business cards, and signage. Do you approach your projects differently depending on the client, or do you have a process?

JP: No, there is no process that I always fall back on. If I fall back on anything it is on reading. When I have a new client, first thing I do is I just read as much as I can about either the organization, their project, their audience. If it is an architect, I try to find as many monographs as I can, just to feel what it feels like to be these people. And that is a very personal and very selfish pursuit on my behalf. I can’t say I am really doing it to fulfill the needs of the client. I am just doing that for my own personal curiosity. Once that is done, I go on autopilot in terms of design. Because I am very typographically centered with my professional design work, the selection of typeface, the spacing of those letterforms, the composition of the letterforms, combined with whatever the specific message is, to me that is about 50 per cent of the job right there. Every client that walks through our door, already has this immediate pallet of material for me to work with. We did the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College and they needed a new logo or logo type. Just having to say t-h-e-M-u-s-e-u-m-o-f-C-o-n-t-e-m-p-o-r-a-r-y-P-h-o-t-o-g-r-a-p-h-y-a-t-C-o-l-u-m-b-I-a-C-o-l-l-e-g-e-C-h-i-c-a-g-o, jeez… that is all you need! Just having to say that out loud, what the hell do you do? And they just refer to themselves as M-O-C-P, Museum of Contemporary Photography, M-O-C-P. So you are already there, it is M-O-C-P, M-O-C-P, M-O-C-P. Is that part of the process? Is that part of the design agenda? These things just happen. The clients come to me with the answer, the design answer, they almost give me the answers. And I have to almost stop myself in many early meetings of giving them the answer that they have just expressed to me for fear that they will think my job is too easy. In fact, there is this wonderful story that somebody told me once about Massimo Vinelli, who is, you know, one of the great designers of the later 20th century, sitting in a big corporate meeting and him just sketching out a logo for a big multimillion dollar company. This was just at the introductory meeting and I guess his assistant or his partners pulled him aside, and said: “Massimo, you can’t do that!” He said, “But this is what I do! It’s so easy, this is how you do it!” So I try to keep that to heart. And you never really know whether your job is going to be easy or hard. I just finished a direct mail campaign for the Poetry Foundation. Do you know them?

IG: Yes

JP: I just think they are so great. Here is an organization that has been around for 75 years, it is been living hand to mouth and then, some old lady dies, and in her will left the Poetry Foundation 100 million dollars. This is an organization that has been operating on 10,000 dollars a year, 30,000 dollars, whatever that number is, and all of the sudden they have a check for a 100 million. It’s so funny!

IG: So now they need a logo!

JP: Yes, but they did not hire me to do that. They hired some really great people in New York, a group called Winterhouse. I believe it is been doing all their magazine work. But they are located in Chicago and they needed a more close at hand design resource and they are four blocks away from me, so I kind of fit the bill. But that is neither here nor there. What was I saying? They just wanted a simple direct mail campaign, and they asked me how much it would cost. I threw out a pretty low number, and they said OK. And I think right now we are on our 11th round of design corrections, and we are not even changing the design of a logo or a picture of something. It is just a letter! It is like a correspondence from the director like this! This is all it is! And they are, “Well, can you add a little more space in between the ellipsis? You know, I was thinking, are there different ligatures that we might consider using for some of those kerning pairs?” I admire their level of presniquitiness and their level of attention, and actually, after about the 7th round of corrections, I started really enjoying every little comma change and, “Oh, can me make that small caps?” And I am like “Yes, we can make it small caps”. Often times, that would bug me, or I would be just like, “whatever, this is direct mail, this is like fancy junk mail. This is what we are making, we are making junk mail. It is gonna end up in the trash and you are worried about the spaces around parenthesis”. I really do admire them. I guess that is another aspect to the business of that. Even though I am doing really super mundane things, and often times making very negligible artifacts, a.k.a. junk mail… We are actually printing 400,000 of these letters. I have never done anything with this kind of quantity before. It is hilarious that there is still this attention to detail and hey, you know, I like poetry, I think most poetry is lousy, but when you find a poem that kind of makes you sing a little bit, it is worth reading 100 bad poems. And I think poetry is one of those things that if I can have a small little part in propagating across our country and the world, yes! I’ll add some spaces around your ellipsis.



IG: In the next few weeks, you are teaming with the Chicago restaurant Blackbird to “offer a 5-course dinner with wine pairings, in collaboration and in response to your highly colorful, electric and literal work”. This is an unusual and interesting collaboration.

JP: Yes, Chef-Artist collaboration.

IG: How did this idea get started?

JP: I have been working with a number of Chicago restaurants. I think I have designed about 18 logos and menus for just Chicago based restaurants. Half of them I think are even still in business, but we are talking over 20 years. One of the most productive and fruitful, has been working with the guys who own Blackbird, Avec and the third restaurant The Publican, which I am happy to tell you we just got nominated for a James Beard Award for Outstanding Graphic Design for this restaurant.

IG: Congratulations!

JP: Yes, I am pretty stoked about it. I have been working with these guys for more than 10 years and just in the way they have come in and out of my office over 10 years for meetings and various things. After 10 years, this is funny, after 10 years they just kind of dawned on Chef Paul Kahan, “Hey, you are an artist, you are not just a graphic designer, you are an artist! We should do something together!” This is 10 years of them coming in and out! It was one of those aha moments and I said, “Finally!” That was about two months ago. He said I could pick any date I wanted so I picked Tax Day, April 15, because I figured out that was a number that everybody could remember. I figured with the economy the way it is this year… fuck it! Tax Day is the perfect day to go and have a $100 dinner that none of us can afford, or should not be affording. It is a nice irony. So that is how it started. And the way it is going to work is still evolving but the two chefs of Blackbird came in to my studio here, and actually they were sitting right here, and looking around and they were overwhelmed with the amount of artwork that is all around us, and they kept saying, “What are you going to do, what are you going to do? What are you going to put on the walls?” And I was like, “Well, I will put that on the wall, or I will put that on the wall, or I will put these books on a shelf”. And, he is like, “Yes, but what are you going to do?” And I am like, “What are you going to do in the kitchen?” And they are like, “I don’t know”. We started talking about lowest common denominators in our respective professions and typography, and linguistics, grammar are things that I offered as my plate of things that I am bringing to the table. And I go, “What are you bringing to the table?” They are like you know, “starches, seasoning”…We really broke it down, and I’m like, “What if we kind of combine our lowest common denominators?” And we started brainstorming about…I will give away some of the things. I am writing a poem that they are going to cut into noodles, like little alphabet noodles, like you get in a Campbell’s tomato soup, you know, and so we will present every person with the poem spelled out with noodles and then we will brush the noodles into the soup or the consommé, so you have this language, you have this beautiful poem that you read…

IG: So you start with the poem, and then the poem becomes food.

JP: Exactly, and then you eat it. I kind of like that. So he and I are kind of battling ideas back and forth like that.



IG: Is there any collaboration that would you consider most successful in terms of the process?

JP: You never really know the answer to that, and that goes back to this thing that I was saying before that I do not have any desires to make anything in particular. But the desires I do have, I find out later on in various ways. When I make a book for somebody, like this book, you know, I made this book for this art collector. He and I worked on this very closely for 6 or 7 years. This was a dream project for me because the client had an unlimited budget and an unlimited time frame. We would get it done whenever we get it done. But I remember I was at a museum in New York and I saw this book on the director’s table off to the side and it was prominently displayed. He had no idea that I had made it, and that really filled me with a great deal of, not just pride, but a sense of positive accomplishment. The things that I desire to do are those things that have a life beyond my production and my hands on time with it. Unlike the Poetry Foundation direct mail piece, which I spent 30 or 40 hours on, that is just going to go in the trash. It might have some resounding effect in my rate subscriptions, or it might open someone’s head to the notion of, “Maybe I should subscribe to Poetry Magazine”. That is nice to know that my work can do that, but I’m materially satisfied as well when you see an object with its own life affecting other people. The flip side to that is that I have also seen my books at the used bookstore on the remainder rack for 99 cents, and that is…that is a bitter pill to swallow, let me tell you.

IG: Well, I have seen the book Shanghai Transforming that you designed in several Museums of Contemporary Art, so you have to be proud about that.

JP: Yes, just wait until you see it on the close out rack at Fred’s used bookstore in Berwyn.

IG: Now that we talk about economy and budget, with the current crisis, do these trends affect the balance between art and business in your work?

JP: It doesn’t. If you ask my wife this, my wife manages the money, she would say that I am delusional in this respect, but it doesn’t, not at all. Like the work I did on your Shanghai book. I did tens of thousands of dollars worth of work on that book without, you know, any serious compensation financially, just because it is a great project! And if I have to wake up at 2 am freaking out about a project or something, it ought to be something aesthetically interesting and culturally rich, otherwise we are just making cornflake boxes. We live in a consumer culture and we are part and complicity in the production of a lot of unnecessary crap. Everybody. None of us need to eat at Blackbird or eat at L2O, or any other fancy restaurant. We do not have to shop at Whole Foods, we can easily get the same bag of carrots at Dominick’s for half the price. We are complicit but, if there is any savior or any satisfaction in our culture, it might just be with art, and it might exist with people who are putting some sensitivity into the landscape, whether that is an object, whether it is a situation, or if it is just a floating aesthetic that influences a stranger. And if we can be part of that little small piece of the puzzle, that is the best thing I can come up with without, you know, joining the Peace Corps or doing something really meaningful.



IG: You have taught at the School of Architecture at UIC and at institutions like Archeworks, which are architecture programs. It seems that the way we are working today involves more people from different fields and the issues that we are addressing cannot be solved by just one approach. Should every person know a lot of different fields or should they be very good at one field and know how to work with others? Are people trying to cover too much by themselves? Where is the limit?

JP: I think it was Samuel Beckett who said, “You can’t read everything, it would just take too long”. And I have always taken that to heart. I think we are all stretched, and probably stretched for the better. I was asked to the teach at the University of Illinois in the School of Architecture, teaching freshmen studio along with four other licensed architects. But I am not an architect, I know nothing about architectural structures, or tectonics, or engineering. And it really was, I thought, quite insightful for the director at the time, a guy named Daniel Friedman, to say, “You know, really at an early point in an architect’s development, they need to speak to people who are not architects, people who are involved in design issues that are not necessarily related immediately and specifically to the building of buildings”. I segued in to teaching through the back door because of Daniel Friedman’s vision. And that worked really well. I felt comfortable, I never pretended to be anything that I wasn’t, I felt as though I was an informed outsider. And it was very clear about when I didn’t have the answer to something, always fess up, right upfront, do not pull the wool over somebody’s eyes. And the same happened at Archeworks. I taught at Archeworks for three years at Stanley Tigerman’s request. I wouldn’t have done it if Stanley himself personally didn’t ask me to do it. I never thought of myself as a good teacher, or that teaching was something I wanted to do. But teaching really is just like working with a new client, they need something, they need something that they do not have. A student wants information, or knowledge, or an experience that they do not have. At the end of the day, you are really a conspirator, a facilitator, a coordinator and occasionally, maybe by default, a teacher. There were freshmen who didn’t know how to use an architect’s scale ruler, and I always thought it was funny that I would teach that part of the curriculum. “OK, this is quarter inch scale”. I just taught myself how to do it, it is not hard. I remember the first time I looked at that scale ruler, I think I was about 18 at the time, I’m like, what the hell? You couldn’t make heads or tails out of all those things, the lines, the triangle, like, “What is the pyramid?” It is one of the things that I actually know how to do that relates to the practice of architecture so I was always really proud. ”Oh, I will teach that!” I got that one covered! I got that lecture!”

IG: But the funny thing is that there is a graphic design department within the School of Architecture building. I am sure some of the professors were confused and thinking you should be going through the other door.

JP: I think some of the graphic design professors in the school were a bit tiffed that I was not teaching there, but they did not ask!



IG: For this first issue of the journal, we asked people working in different fields to submit their definition of MORE. You submitted MORE or LESS. Can you further explain your statement? What is your point of view about the love / hate relationship between MORE and LESS in the overall history?

JP: Especially in Chicago with our modernist baggage and our Miesian legacy.

IG: And now with the Buckminster Fuller exhibition at the MCA, with his statement More with Less.

JP: I would like to know, you will have to excuse my ignorance, when was it exactly that Mies said Less is More? What was the context of that statement and where was he when he said it?

IG: That is a good question

JP: Somebody must know! It might be talked about completely out of context. It seems like our culture is on track to include our lives with more, and then more, and more, and more… and there are fewer and fewer people who are involved in the less part of our culture. In fact, of all my acquaintances, I only know one person who has thrown up his hands completely and said, “This is crazy, this whole western lifestyle, this capital lifestyle, is nuts!” He sold everything he had and he bought a pick up truck, and he is living in the back of his pick up truck down in Florida. He is completely off the grid, but as best he can. But the rest of us, we have got our iPhones, and now we have got our laptops, and now we have got our iPods, and know we have got…god knows what other pieces of equipment. Everything is… our website, our URL, our email, our social security number, our three digit code to our lock at the gym, and you need your four digit code for… whatever! It is more, more, more, more, more.

IG:So do you think this is the future of MORE? MORE of excess?

JP: This is a perfect example of what we are doing here today. You are creating a video journal or magazine, and who are you? You are nobody Iker! You are just some kid! And here you have access to really state of the art lighting, excellent video capabilities, sound recording, and plus we now have the distribution channels for all this stuff. Now any schmoe with a will can put together and distribute a ton of information. I think we need to circle back to this question of more. The thing about more is that it is never enough. And I think that is what Mies was trying to get at. Our culture by default, being based on capital and spending and buying, and spending and buying, and working, and working, and working to make money to spend, to buy, to spend, to buy, to work, work, work, so you can spend…we will never be satisfied as a culture until we kind of change that paradigm. And I do not think this is going to happen in my generation, I do not think it is going to happen in my son’s generation.

IG: Do you think there is going to be a main stream of MORE but there is also going to be another alternative way? Is there any hope to add another layer of MORE?

JP: I hope that happens, but I do not have a lot of faith that it will happen. The human project seems to be very self-centered. And I am complicit, and I am first in line there. I do not have the answers. I just know that professionally I am involved in an apparatus of making more and more and more for more and more people. But hopefully some of those mores, lead to a little bit of joy, and litter or decorate the culture with a sense of charm and perhaps a sly subtext that might just bring various minds together. That is really what I want, that is what I want to happen to me! I want you to be doing that so I can get some of it!



IG: List three MORE you believe in and three MORE you hate.

JP: The Megamillions today is something like $230 million, it would be nice to have more money. But the only way I am going to have $230 million is if I get struck by lighting and win the Megamillions. It would be nice if somebody called this office, or walked through the door that asked us, or me, or the studio, to make more public art, art that is a design project that will exist outside of this office for an extended period of time in the public eye. We have one project that we completed last year for the Chicago Transit Authority, for the CTA, and it is a big 40 foot wall. And it is going to be there for a 100 years. It is going to be there after I am dead. And I know it is solid, I know some people have gone out of their way to look at it, I know some people have walked right by it and not even realized that it was a piece art. I know because people have told me. The woman at the cash station in the shop has told me on a couple of occasions, how attractive it is to strangers and how strangers are always coming up to her and saying, “What is that thing? What is that thing all about? It is kind of neat. Will you take my picture in front of it?” It would be nice to have more of those opportunities. I would like more time but that is not going to happen.

IG: And three MORE that you do not want to see.

JP: Junk mail. Stone washed denim maybe, I think we could use less of that, but I will probably change my mind in 10 years.

IG: Finally, list a person, group or institution that you believe is MORE.

JP: I guess what I would like to see is more independent spirited businesses pop up. More of this do-it-yourself aesthetic. Just in my lifetime starting with the hippy commune sound of sensibility of, “Hey, we are just living on our own, we are going to grow our own stuff, we do not need you, we are just gonna to glean things we need”. To the punk rock kids who said, “We do not need the music establishment, we do not need the hierarchy of the music business to put out our music and frankly, you have kind of screwed everything up anyway, cleaned everything up, so we are just gonna turn our guitars and reverb up really loud and make all the noise we want”. To the kids who are making fanzines, who are now publishing their own books, who are finding ways to distribute their own books. And really the people who are making new distribution channels outside of mainstream distribution channels. They way you are making this video, the way artists make their projects, almost as though every artist is just a little cottage industry. So I guess I would like to see cottage industry. It is the underdog versus the big corporation mentality. I always, for better or worse, I am always rooting for the underdog. It is my Achilles’ heel.


JASON PICKLEMAN from Spirit of Space on Vimeo.


Jason Pickleman is a graphic designer and partner at JNL Graphic Design based in Chicago. His clients include the Steppenwolf Theatre, Hyde Park Art Center, The Renaissance Society, Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago Transit Authority, and Avec restaurant.

Iker Gil is an architect, urban designer, and director of MAS Studio. In addition, he is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Architecture at UIC. He is the recipient of the 2010 Emerging Visions Award from the Chicago Architectural Club.


© Jason Pickleman


We asked several people working in different fields to give us their definition of the concept of MORE. 35 responses came back.


More is the essence of a good work……more options………more optimism…………more fun.
Will Alsop, Architect



Hay un punto de motivación inherente a la persona humana que busca el progreso. El progreso significa que, cada día, MÁS avances tecnológicos e ideas innovadoras llegan a MÁS gente. Y para ello los conceptos actuales, se analizan una vez MÁS para lograr mejoras. En estos tiempos, nos hemos dado cuenta que en ese análisis de las ideas y tecnologías actuales se debe incorporar el concepto de que una mejora que no es sostenible en el tiempo no es una mejora. Aquellas innovaciones que a corto plazo proporcionan una solución válida mientras que crean un problema mayor para el futuro NO son progreso. Solamente aquellas que se basan en un desarrollo sostenible se pueden considerar una mejora desde un punto de vista global. MÁS sostenibilidad, MÁS innovación, MÁS mejoras, MÁS ideas y conceptos novedosos.

Alberto Ansorena, Engineer


More is never enough.
Pedro Pablo Arroyo, Architect


MÁS es el valor añadido, lo que marca la diferencia , lo que nos hace elegir y mover.
Xavi Ayala, Architecture student


More is the future. There’s always More.
Mateu Baylina, Architect


More AND Less; Less more than naught; More less than most.
Lynn Becker, Architecture critic


MORE is a barometer of progress–it’s a means of relating what we create or discover to what previously existed or what was already known.
Ken Byron, Scientist


More with less!
Less is more?
More is less!
More with less
More with light
More dreamy
More freedom
Alberto Campo Baeza, Architect


MORE is how we got into this mess; it is also the answer to getting out.
Jacob Chartoff, Designer


More rhythm.

The more conscious we are of the rhythms we create, the more we understand our effect on the world. I see rhythm as anything that generates vibration, or a fluctuation in time. We experience rhythms at different frequencies, different intervals, different volumes, and with varying amounts of reverb. They bounce off one another, redirect, and mesh into new rhythms. A study was recently conducted where sounds in a typical household were recorded and analyzed. They found that every sound or vibration we hear is in a major or minor key. How do we tune ourselves and our environments around us? Can we intuitively tune these rhythms or do they tune us? Do all the answers lie within the rhythm of our breath? Buddhist monks spend lifetimes focusing on this one thing. The more we investigate these rhythms, the more we can affect the world.
Ryan Clark, Musician


More is the essence of real estate development – that is why we need planning.
Jon DeVries, University Program Director


Quiero ser: Más real, Más auténtico, Más poético, Más libre, Más amoroso, Más cálido, Más sabroso, Más diverso, Más sobrio, Más polifacético.

Quiero dar: Más mundo, Más energía, Más color, Más espontaneidad, Más sabor a la vida, Más contraste.

Espero que haya: Más conocimiento, Más humanidad, Más tecnología, Más investigación, Más estudio, Más planeamiento, Más ciudad, Más encuentros, Mas reuniones, Mas recreo, Más interacción.
Rodrigo Díaz, Architect


Mo:re is modernism remixed.
More DoCoMoMo, more public culture and more FOOD.
Andrew Dribin, Designer


MORE disciplines involved in design. MORE is the opposite of SILOS. MORE is comprehensive, collaborate teams coming together to solve the complex problems we face in this century.
Philip Enquist, Urban Designer


MORE describes a process whereby plausible thoughts and intuitions are continuously projected, sometimes in contradictory ways relative to previous ones, but always aimed at creating new scenarios and configurations.
Doug Garofalo, Architect


More research, more design, more conversation, and most of it, more fun.
Iker Gil, Architect


“Women are more reasonable…” Jean Luc Godard
Thomas Girard, Art Director


Adam Goss, Filmmaker


More (and more varieties of) public spaces for architectural exhibition.
Sharon Haar, Architect


Yes is More.
Bjarke Ingels, Architect


MORE is an aspiration in action.
Wanting MORE. Creating MORE. Doing MORE. It’s a constructive addition to what you already have. At least it should be.
Jessica Lybeck, Designer


MORE is a four letter word.
Less is not more; just enough is more.
Now more than ever, ‘more’ has come to convey indulgence, quantity, and embellishment beyond necessity…it is unaffordable.
Joe Marianek, Graphic Designer


MORE is loud.
Julie Michiels, Designer


Digital media envelopes our daily lives, becoming more and more readily available and incorporated into architectural space, but has this integration enhanced society’s understanding of architectural space?

Can ABSENT ARCHITECTURE (digital video representation of architecture) bring awareness to both the profession and a broader audience leading to increased perceptions of the value of the designed environment?

Architecture IN MOTION is MORE.
Red Mike, Filmmaker


MORE is neither positive nor negative; rather it is a neutral adjective that addresses relative quantity. Its enhanced meaning and value as a concept, beyond the quantitative, derives from that with which it is associated (such as: more of something positive or more of something negative).
Steve Montgomery, Architect


MORE is the time I keep using, every day, using it up more and more and at the end of a day I sleep (for a time) and wake and do it again, working, thinking, drinking, loving, aging, every day becoming older, becoming wiser, er, er, er, and it’s this wisdom that hints to me there’s more of this to come, more time, but it’s indefinite, this wisdom, this amount of time and when I awake tomorrow, I’d like it to be a more specific.
Paul Mougey, Writer


more, more, more…
no more!
We have enough.
We need to learn to use what we have more effectively.
John Nelson, Architect


“Less is More” Mies van der Rohe.
María Ochoa, Architect


Jason Pickleman, Graphic Designer


MORE is innovation.
Ana Ramírez, Translator


MORE is what we want.
I want MORE.
Lara Rivero, Architect


MORE (sometimes) is less.
Jesús Rodríguez, Engineer


No + sectorismo creativo. No + separación entre arte y vida. No + fracturas.

+ emociones + satisfacción + fuentes de energía creativa + experiencias interdisciplinarias + búsqueda + transmisión del aprendizaje adquirido + provocación + trabajo + experimentación + pensadores en movimiento + filosofía en tránsito + significado + revolución + pasión por las ideas + espacio para pensar.
Beatriz Roncero, Creative Partner


Karla Sierralta & Brian Strawn, Architects


MORE time!
Brian Weatherford, Architect

More Identities



Prada Transformer by BY OMA / Rem Koolhaas


The collaboration between OMA and Prada that started a decade ago has produced not only some of its most recognizable flagship stores, but also it has helped to redefine the Italian brand. In March of this year they announced their latest collaboration, a new pavilion that reorients itself to host multiple cultural events. We won’t lie to you, we like OMA.


We selected this project for this issue of the journal because we are really intrigued about its possibilities, the idea of reorienting and reconfiguring a building to host different cultural events. The design itself is something that we also have been talking about, but frankly, it is not the reason to have it in the journal. We like architecture that changes, adapts to the uses and the context, needs to be discovered and surprises the visitor, and shows something new every time we visit it. Some buildings achieve all this in a figural way. We expect this proposal to do it in a literal way. Here is the press release for the specific details of the project:

Launching in Seoul at the end of April 2009, the highly anticipated Prada Transformer designed by OMA/Rem Koolhaas will showcase a groundbreaking series of cross-cultural exhibitions, screenings and live events. For five months this shape-shifting venue will host multiple interdisciplinary projects, bringing a unique mix of visual arts to Korea.

The Transformer combines the four sides of a tetrahedron: hexagon, cross, rectangle and circle into one pavilion. The building, entirely covered with a smooth elastic membrane, will be flipped using cranes, completely reconfiguring the visitor’s experience with each new programme. Each side plan is precisely designed to organize a different event installation creating a building with four identities. Whenever one shape becomes the ground plan, the other three shapes become the walls and the ceiling defining the space, as well as referencing historic or anticipating future event configurations.

“Waist Down – Skirts by Miuccia Prada”, an ongoing project by Miuccia Prada in collaboration with AMO, makes its Korean debut on April 25, showcasing a collection of skirts “in motion” ranging from the first ever Prada show to the present day. Skirts by emerging Korean fashion students will be included to show the interaction between two fashion worlds and to amplify the meaning of fashion from different cultural perspectives.


“Waist Down” exhibition (left); Art exhibition(right)

“Waist Down” exhibition


The exhibition space will then be transformed into a cinema showing a programme of films selected by Alejandro González Iñarritu, the director of Oscar-winning Babel. “Flesh, Mind and Soul” is the concept for the unique programme – to be launched on June 26 – co-curated by film critic Elvis Mitchell, spanning multiple genres, countries and decades of filmmaking including a rich and substantial amount of physical, intellectual and spiritual films that will create a whole cinematic experience.

Subsequently, the Prada Foundation will present an exhibition, “Beyond Control”, curated by Germano Celant, which will ‘transform’ the interior of the architectural object by OMA into an inspiring magma of works by some of the most significant contemporary artists.


Cinema (left); Special event(right)


Further cultural activities will be announced in the lead-up to the launch of the project. Prada and the Prada Foundation have combined their resources with their local partners’ to develop an extraordinary programme for the Prada Transformer’s innovative, changing stages. As the fields of fashion, art, film, design and performance now inform and influence each other with increasing diversity and complexity, this programme aims to stimulate and embrace multi-disciplinarian discourse.

Situated next to the 16th-century Gyeonghui Palace, the Prada Transformer – realized with the support of LG Electronics, Hyundai Motor Company and Red Resource Inc. – dramatically juxtaposes Korean history, tradition and folklore with this 21st-century multi-dimensional event space. Due to Seoul Metropolitan Government’s passion and dedication to cultural projects, the Prada Transformer was well received and fully supported by the City. Visibly attuned to Seoul’s modern positioning as a forward-looking and technologically advanced metropolis, the Prada Transformer is part of Prada’s global commitment to the production of new realities in fashion, art, architecture and creative culture.

The architectural project is led by Rem Koolhaas together with associates Kunle Adeyemi and Chris van Duijn, and design architect Alexander Reichert.


Miuccia Prada – “Waist Down – Skirts by Miuccia Prada” Exhibition
After creating sensations in Tokyo, Shanghai, New York and Los Angeles, this amusingly displayed exhibition of Prada skirts ‘in motion’ comes to Seoul. The skirt is often overlooked as a medium of invention, at once flirtatious, imaginative, enigmatic and structural. Here Miuccia Prada and OMA/AMO playfully re-examine the ability of the skirt to prompt further cultural and emotional explorations of desire, sex and identity.

Alejandro González Iñárritu – Cinema Programme: “Flesh, Mind and Soul”
The director of Oscar-multinominated Babel, 21 Grams and Amores Perros is one of the key protagonists of the Mexican new wave of directors who have made a huge impact on cinema in recent years. The film programme is based on physical, intellectual and spiritual films that attend, shake and speak to the different parts with which we feel and perceive cinema. Co-curated by renowned film critic Elvis Mitchell, the unique grouping of films should leave viewers “both sated and hungry for more”. Elvis Mitchell is a former film critic of the New York Times and has most recently turned his talents to television, hosting KCRW’s The Treatment and his own show Under the Influence for TCM. Iñárritu’s hard hitting and powerful style of filmmaking is grounded in a strong sense of neo-realism, often featuring character-driven, method actors like Benicio Del Toro, Sean Penn, Cate Blanchett and Naomi Watts. His stories always have a political and social commentary underlying their plots, which at their core tend to focus on the fragility of family relationships.

Fondazione Prada – Art Installation: “Beyond Control”
Founded 15 years ago, the Fondazione Prada, conceived by Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli and directed by Germano Celant, has strived to create a ‘force field’ in which all artistic languages might converge and radiate energies. This perspective has enabled the Fondazione to centre its commitments on the creation of unique projects, installations, exhibitions, conventions and festivals in which ‘impossible’ ideas might be brought to fruition.



OMA is a leading international partnership practicing architecture, urbanism, and cultural analysis. Our buildings and masterplans around the world insist on intelligent forms while inventing new possibilities for content and everyday use.

Yes is More

© BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group


Essay by Bjarke Ingels, principal of BIG


BIG, the Copenhagen based architecture studio lead by Bjarke Ingels, is one of the most important emerging offices in the world. The Danish Architecture Centre describes them as “playful’, ‘controversial’, ‘cheeky’, ‘innovative’ and ‘provocative’. This is their first solo exhibition at the DAC.


The traditional image of the radical architect is the angry young man rebelling against the establishment. The avantgarde is defined from what it is against rather than what it is for.

This leads to an oedipal succession of contradictions where each generation says the opposite of the previous. And if your agenda is dependent on being the opposite of someone else’s – you are simply a follower in reverse.

Rather than being radical by saying fuck the context, – the establishment, – the neighbours, – the budget, or – gravity, we want to try to turn pleasing in to a radical agenda. The Danish welfare state is the culture of consensus. The socially most egalitarian country in the world, it is ruled by the good principles that everybody has the same rights, every point of view the same value.


Yes is More exhibition
© DAC/Jakob Galtt


Besides the obvious societal virtues, these principles have had a significant side effect in the realm of architecture: a gray goo of sameness accounting for the vast majority of the urban tissue, where most attempts to stick out have been beaten down to the same non-offensive generic box, and all libido invested in polishing and perfecting the ever finer details. The sum of all the little concerns seems to have blocked the view of the big picture.

What if trying to make everybody happy did not have to lead to compromise or the lowest common denominator? It could be a way to find the ever elusive summersault that twists and turns in order to fulfil every desire and avoid stepping on anyone’s toes.

Rather than revolution we are interested in evolution. Like Darwin describes creation as a process of excess and selection, we propose to let the forces of society, the multiple interests of everyone, decide which of our ideas can live, and which must die. Surviving ideas evolve through mutation and crossbreeding in to an entirely new species of architecture. Human life evolved through adaptation to changes in the natural environment. With the invention of architecture and technology we have seized the power to adapt our surroundings to the way we want to live, rather than the other way around. This is what makes it interesting to be an architect: as life evolves, our cities and our architecture need to evolve with it. Our cities are not polluted orcongested because they have to be. They are what they are because that’s how we made them. So when something doesn’t fit anymore, we architects have the ability – and responsibility – to make sure that our cities don’t force us to adapt to outdated leftovers from the past, but actually fit to the way we want to live.


Yes is More exhibition
© DAC/Jakob Galtt


Viewed in this way we architects don’t have to remain misunderstood geniuses, frustrated by the lack of understanding, appreciation or funding. We won’t even be the creators of architecture but rather the midwives of the continuous birth of architectural species shaped by the countless criteria of multiple interests. The whole world insists on conflict. The media craves conflict, and the politicians craving media presence need to engage in conflict to get there. Currently the biggest conflict in Danish politics is that the social democrats and the liberals (left and right) promote identical political programs which in any other context would be the very definition of harmony! In politics: it’s the opposite.

What if design could be the opposite of politics? Not by ignoring conflict, but by feeding from it. A way to incorporate and integrate differences, not through compromise or by choosing sides, but by tying conflicting interests into a Gordian knot of new ideas. An inclusive rather than exclusive architecture. An architecture unburdened by the conceptual monogamy of commitment to a single interest or idea. An architecture where you don’t have to choose between public or private, dense or open, urban or suburban, atheist or Muslim, affordable flats or football fields. An architecture that allows you to say yes to all aspects of human life, no matter how contradicting! An architectural form of bigamy, where you don’t need to chose one over the other, but you get to have both.

A pragmatic utopian architecture that takes on the creation of socially, economically and environmentally perfect places as a practical objective.

Yes is More, Viva la Evolución!


Yes is More exhibition
© DAC/Jakob Galtt


Bjarke Ingels is principal of the architecture firm BIG/Bjarke Ingels Group. In addition, he has been a visiting Professor at Rice University and the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University. He has received numerous awards, including the 2004 Golden Lion at the Venice Bienale and the 2005 Forum AID Award. | @BjarkeIngels

Mas es Mas

© Fangoria


Lyrics by Fangoria from “Más es Más”, the first single from their album “ABSOLUTAMENTE” (2009)


Fangoria is back. The band has just released their ninth album, Absolutamente, and its first single is called Más es Más. We were happy to discover this coincidence. And we were even happier that they are back.


Guardando todo por duplicado
Sin cansarme jamás
Afán sin control
Por acumular

Lo que no es necesario
Suele ser extraordinario
Cúbreme de lamé y tergal
Polyester, charol, vamos a bailar

Quiero flamencos rosas
Y otras cosas que no sirven para nada
Me quiero retocar, remodelar
Hay mucho aún por mejorar

La evidencia es como te la cuento
Porque dudas de que más es más
Orgullosos de cualquier exceso
En el baile de la vanidad

Y si cuentas, cuenta por millones
Nadie duda de que más es más
Bacanal de falsificaciones
En el reino de lo artificial

Vamos a brindar con copas de champán
Para celebrar que más es más
Solo tienes que pensar que lo estrafalario
Brilla más que lo normal

Como en un cabaret, donde soy la vedette
Borracha de frivolidad
Hedonismo sicalíptico
La vorágine del capital

Y déjame enloquecer, fumar y beber
En un todo a cien de varietés
Y quiero una explosión, superproducción
Confeti, traca y megatrón

La evidencia es como te la cuento
Porque dudas de que más es más
Orgullosos de cualquier exceso
En el baile de la vanidad

Y si cuentas, cuenta por millones
Nadie duda de que más es más
Bacanal de falsificaciones
En el reino de lo artificial

No te engaño con lo que te cuento
Porque dudas de que más es más
Es radiante el lujo del exceso
Que ser glitter de las superstars

Me abandono a las tentaciones
En la hoguera de la vanidad
Obligadas falsificaciones
Viva todo lo superficial


Fangoria is a Spanish band formed in 1989 by Alaska and Nacho Canut. They have been together in different influential bands since 1977 and as Fangoria, they have released nine albums. In 2009, they released their album Absolutamente.

More by Spirit of Space

© Spirit of Space


Spirit of Space share with us their take on MORE and MAS Context.


MAS=MORE Spring 2009 from michael.marianek on Vimeo.


Spirit of Space is an organization that uses digital media to promote greater awareness of designed environments formed by Adam Goss, Red Mike, Ryan Clark, and Dean Storm.

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