06/17/2008
          Verb Crisis [Architecture Boogazine] Mario Ballesteros
          Review by Chris Warren

        • "Architectural responses to unprecedented conditions. Confronted by shifting densities and uncharted urban transformations, 'Verb Crisis' tackles the conflict between the limits of architectural design and the demands on the practice for updated relevance."

          If you haven't yet picked up the ongoing series of boogazines, we here at DBA highly recommend doing so. In addition to the high level of publishing quality we are used to seeing from Actar, the series offers a fresh accumulation of ideas, writings and projects in rapid-fire, content-full offerings. True to their name, the boogazines retain the finished quality of an architecture book, while coupling it with the timeliness of a magazine.

          In this sixth edition of the series, 'Verb Crisis' steps beyond the reporting of the architectural current and packs the volume with writings underpinned with a real sense of urgency. This is an edition largely devoted to understanding the awesome changes that are affecting the urban realm, and how, at the scale of rapidly expanding (and simultaneously developing) cities, the mire is further muddied by policy and politics as well as social, economic and environmental concerns. Also, as a publication devoted to the progressive nature of architecture, 'Crisis' recognizes the fact that the profession cannot sustain itself in this new world without a sea change in its methodology and outlook. While Verb usually strives to present a positivist attitude, this release builds itself around worthy self-examination and realism. As evinced by the selected authors and their experiences, crisis as a term appropriately marks the state of the practice of architecture and its impending need for an overhaul. It also raises several questions:

          Are architects capable of evolving to meet the needs of new development?

          How do we redefine ourselves?

          Is it possible that we have already become irrelevant?

          Through essays, project investigations and interviews with guest writers such as Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Jacob van Rijs, John May and Teddy Cruz, and through studies of the urban laboratories of Dubai, Madrid, Detroit and Tijuana among others, Verb Crisis will at the very least provoke thoughts on the architect's function and duty in the new world climate. As they see things, crisis breeds the necessity which spurs potential change and redefinition, "..the demands of crisis also represent unexpected possibilities, creating opportunities to work in extraordinary situations, as long as we are willing to immerse ourselves. Verb looks forward to what's next."

          Previous Verb boogazines: Processing
          Matters
          Connection
          Conditioning
          Natures

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