In conjunction with the exhibition ARCHIZINES (curated by Elias Redstone), Storefront for Art and Architecture hosted a 2-day symposium on publishing practices as part of its Manifesto Series. Throughout its exhibition tour, ARCHIZINES has provided platforms for architectural research and debate, demonstrating the residual love of the printed word and paper page. Made by architects, artists and students, the publications included in the exhibition add an important, and often radical, addition to architectural discourse that will be further explored through the Manifesto Series.
Iker Gil, editor in chief of MAS Context, opened the symposium with a manifesto outlining 10 brief points that establish the methodology and goals of MAS Context. The 10 points of the manifesto are reproduced below:
1. DO IT FOR YOURSELF
Create the magazine that you would like to read. You are the audience of what you do so be passionate and critical. In the end, it is an extension of you as an architect and as a way of understanding the profession. Use it to define and reinvent yourself. Architecture, and design in general, demands expertise, commitment, engagement, and optimism. A magazine should aspire to no less than that.
2. DO IT WITH OTHERS
Collaborate with peers, either as part of your team or as contributors. Create a network of people from different disciplines, contexts and positions. Engage them as much as possible, learn from their disciplines, test each other’s positions to create a comprehensive, informed and forward-thinking outcome.
3. BECOME A PLATFORM
Use the magazine to provide a voice to people who have something meaningful to add to the conversation. The medium is flexible, and should allow for the inclusion of established authors as well as to give a voice to others who, without the platform, would remain mute and removed from the discussion.
4. STAY FRESH
Be alert to new, important and unexpected issues that affect you, the profession and your context. Address it quickly and produce fast but thoughtfully. Capture the energy of the moment, the medium demands it. But also be ready to revisit issues that can be recontextualized and discussed from a new perspective.
5. TELL A STORY
Think critically, enquire and research. There is an excess of information available out there without a story to ground it. A lot of it shallow, simplistic, partial and disconnected. Put forward topics and ideas in a comprehensive and focused way so it can advance the public awareness of the issue.
6. EXPLORE COMMUNICATION
The situations discussed are complex and multilayered. We are now used to either impenetrable and obscure essays that engage a limited audience or a constant bombing of void images without context and story. The combination of different communication techniques (essays, photographs, diagrams, videos just to name a few) and formats will not only allow to communicate efficiently and clearly the complexity of the topic but also engage with a wider audience.
7. REACH FAR
Formats evolve and with them our habits. New mediums and new habits mean challenges but also new opportunities. Test, combine and reinvent old and new mediums in order to evolve and push the boundaries. Think critically about the unique qualities present in each medium to improve the outcome and expand the reach of your network of collaborations and distribution.
8. INSTIGATE THE DEBATE
Each issue of the journal is a chance to address a pressing aspect of our built environment. The combination of formats not only helps to expand the network but also establishes ways in which a fruitful debate can be established. Each issue is a pro-active start of the conversation, not the end of it.
9. LEAVE SEDIMENT
Use multiple formats to create a culture of design in as many locations as possible. Ground your magazine. Establish events, formal or informal, that exploit the potential of a collective gathering and discussion. It will give a new reading to the content of the issue from the online and printed versions and hopefully it will start or continue to define and establish forums of critical thinking.
10. ACT, AND ACT FREQUENTLY
As Mimi Zeiger wrote it in her article for the INFORMATION issue of MAS Context “Forget paper or websites, publishing is a happening, an act, an event to generate content in itself.”
Besides MAS Context, other magazines participating in the symposium included PIDGIN, PLAT, Fresh Meat, Archphoto 2.0, Log, OASE, CLOG, One:Twelve, Architects Newspaper, Another Pamphlet, No Now, P.E.A.R, Praxis, New Geographies, Cornell Journal of Architecture, Foreign Architects Switzerland (FAS), Volume, PLOT, Scapegoat, San Rocco, Candide, Evil People in Modernist Homes in Popular Films, Megawords, Thresholds and PIN-UP.
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.
www.mas-studio.com | @MASContext