Back to the Future
(OFL Streams)


> Author: Andrea Bulleri

> Title: Back to the Future | Architecture and urban planning for an (extra)ordinary metropolis

> First Edition April 2018

> ISBN 9788894139471

> Language: English

> Pages: 148

> Price: € 14.00

> Printed Edition: BUY! / ACQUISTA 

> E-Book: ACQUISTA / BUY! 

Capital of Albania by chance, Tirana has attracted international attention for its difficult transition after the fall of the Communist regime. Anarchy and disorder reigned during that historical transition, as excellently portrayed in Gianni Amelio’s film 'Lamerica' (1994), documenting Albania’s epic mass migration. Meanwhile, Tirana’s urban structure has exploded: the city has been literally overrun, demanding all of Albania’s resources and attention. Its arduous period of contemporary formation has been shaped by an absence of models, as it was caught between rapidly shedding its socialist identity and a superficial assimilation of Western ways. Lacking dominant cultural anchor points, though likewise no preconceptions, particular experimental approaches to urban planning have been taken, possible developments have been explored, and urban renewal strategies tested out. Now that the early days of its youth are bygone, the Albanian capital has reached maturity in its metropolitan consciousness, its population has almost tripled, and its size has burgeoned beyond all bounds.This book aims to understand a process of architectural and urban identity-building in progress, document its contradictions, and suggest a frame encompassing layers of landscape, history, political propaganda, and spatial consequences. These overlapped perspectives create an original, multi-layered, and never-linear reading. Though perhaps informal, such an approach is well suited to translating a city as complex and elusive as Tirana, one that has shown so much resistance over the years to any form of control.Beyond its European aspirations, its globalized camouflage, and its dialectical exercises in planning, Tirana’s path is often circular and keeps on returning to a Tirana that has always been there in its never-ending uncertainty and syncretic brilliance.

Reversible Doctrine
(OFL Streams)


> Author: Michele Sbacchi

> Title: Reversible Doctrine | Essays on the unstable discipline of architectural design

> First Edition September 2016

> ISBN 9788894139440

> Language: English

> Pages: 144

> Price: € 12.00

> Printed Edition: BUY! / ACQUISTA   


The book addresses the issue of reversibility of the discipline of architectural design. It is based on the assumption that architectural thinking is complex and unstable.
The study spans the extreme ends of architectural thought. On one hand, it aims at describing the reversibility of architecture and, on the other hand, it critically reconsiders some “fundamentals” of architectural thought. Indeed, despite the apology of instability, and praise for reversibility the book tries to focus on some archetypical “thinking tools” and the way they have been used within architectural theory. Principles, rules, abstraction as well as type and scheme are traced in their complex itineraries within architectural design especially in their early development in classical theories culminating in the Renaissance Neoplatonism. The impact of Cartesian thinking is taken into account as far as it acted to reverse architecture leading it towards its contemporary pragmatic and instrumental status. Within this frame a special place is given to the key notion of “construction” which ties together the above mentioned thinking tools and has been in certain cases at the core of architectural design. The role of “construction” and, more specifically “logical construction,” within architectural knowledge is analyzed in Giorgio Grassi, with reference to thinkers like Descartes, Kant and Foucault. To achieve this aim some of the realms that both Foucault and Grassi have “inhabited” are considered in detail, namely taxonomies and handbooks.
Other topics like the use of wood, clothing, landscape, secularization help to broaden the problematic field. The book owes much to Heideggerian thought. Yet it is vaguely permeated by an underlying discomfort with the load of that tradition. To some of the conservative and pessimistic views brought about by that line of thought, these writings attempt to substitute a more positive attitude.