Urban Tools (OFL Lectures)

> Eleanna Horiti | Urban Tools. Exploring an Alternative Architectural Vocabulary

> First Edition: Summer 2016

> ISBN 9788894139433

> Language: English

> Pages: 32

> Price: € 9.00

> Printed Edition: BUY! / ACQUISTA 


A somewhat meandering train of thought aiming to explore the necessity and utility in creating and developing sets of ‘peripheral’ structures and facilities to be used as urban tools, in order to target issues that have arisen or have become accentuated as a result of political and social processes. Presenting a set of examples of urban tool units either belonging to the vast and varied category of temporary shelter, or adhering to the concept of public space reinvestment, in an attempt to explore and interconnect issues such as precarity, transience and the need for shelter to the concepts of space reappropriation, the creation of contextualised infrastructure and the notion of welfare structures. Raising awareness of the existence of parallel realities within cityscapes and the gaps created in urban continuity and functionality. Raising awareness of the need for architectural proposals to not just create structures, but to initiate discussion and expand concepts in order to enable and facilitate alternative uses of urban spaces or utilities, while aiming to enhance exchange between the different strata within societies, enabling buildings/structures to become answers. A brief navigation through the urban context and the controversies surrounding the efforts to address needs imposed by transformative factors (mass migration, immigration, increase in the numbers of the shelterless) resulting from economic policies applied during the last third of the previous century and the subsequent globalisation. Acknowledging the fact that instead of real political solutions being sought, more often than not, political obligations are being transferred to the design realm. Questioning the possible existence of preemptive architecture, inasmuch as it is intended to prevent social iniquity and understanding that, as a rule, architects arrive ‘after the fact’, called upon to confront [already] established social situations/patterns.

Connections (OFL Lectures)

> Plan:b | Connections. Five Architectural Pills
> First edition: Spring 2016
> ISBN 9788894139426

> Language: English

> Pages: 32

> Price: € 9.00

> Printed Edition: ACQUISTA / BUY!


This lecture offers five short pills of architecture (Hashima Island, Caddisfly Shelters, Opposing Neighborhoods, Exchange of doors and windows, Phenotypic Plasticity) which narrate a phenomenon or explain a concept which has been important in our architectural, academic and professional practice. It’s titled  ‘Connections. Five Architectural Pills’ .
They are all independent, but are connected in our speech; and try to work as an analgesic, stimulant or vitamin for our thoughts around the eco-social phenomenon that makes architecture. The speech moves through different topics, connecting the transformation of the island of Hashima in to a mini-city dedicated to coal extraction, with temporary shelters built by caddisflies during their larval phase using little mineral and organic fragments.
It connects the concept of phenotypic plasticity in biology with the hillside construction of two opposed neighborhoods in the city of Medellin. And it allows the description of reusing architectural fragments of demolished constructions to coexist in the same text as the tempting idea of thinking of architecture like an extended phenotype of the human body, like a big prosthesis that synthesizes specific ecosystems with genetic and behavioral necessities.

Paracity (OFL Lectures)

> Author: Marco Casagrande C-Lab | Paracity. Urban Acupuncture
> First Edition: Winter 2015
> ISBN 9788894139419
> Language: English

> Pages: 32

> Price: € 8.00

> Printed Edition: ACQUISTA / BUY! 


Open form enables the biourban city. An industrial city seemingly independent of its natural environment is replaced by a living organism.

Paracity is a modular urban structure system based on the use of a glue-laminated solid wood grid, a sort of primary framework, within which people can build their homes, create communities and establish cultivations. Organic by nature, Paracity is capable of growing unaided on urban wastelands such as floodlands or slums. This autonomous biourban growth is made possible by modular environmental technology, which provides the necessary ’internal organs’ for the communities created in the process. Paracity is designed to receive, process and convert the waste generated by urban centres into a resource. It serves as an acupuncture needle in the side of a polluting city.

The third-generation city represents the organic ruins of the industrialised city. The existing symbioses between Taipei’s collective gardens, urban cultivations and illegal settlements and the surrounding city are fragments of the third-generation city. These areas serve as the city’s acupuncture points piercing through its industrial skin to reach local knowledge. Drawing upon and committed to this resource, the third-generation city grows to become part of nature.

Paracity is the seed of a third-generation city. A modular biourban organism grows in response to human needs while at the same time ruining the surrounding industrial city. Seeds of Paracity are germinating within Taipei in the collective gardens, illegal settlements, abandoned burial grounds and other undeveloped sites. These seeds will contribute to the biological rehabilitation of the surrounding city through urban acupuncture. From these points, Paracity will spread out along the covered river and irrigation channels. Ultimately, the biourban organism and the static city will reach a biologically sustainable equilibrium that will give birth to the third-generation city.