les presses du réel

My Cities

Utopian cities recycled for dogs, much to their delight.
In these cities, kennels replace suburban homes and dog-baskets become “cells”, to borrow Ledoux's words. The “standardized construction element” of the Bauhaus, the “box adapted to rudimentary functions” as taught by Whutemas, and Le Corbusier's “module”.

I Want to Believe is an architectural project for a new way of inhabiting a place, based on a plan which is originally non-human, the better to sidestep any risk of error. As in a kind of reversed archaeology, crop circles — those marks left in fields by extraterrestrials — act as building plot plans, installed all over the world.

Projects for cities — and housing estates — using as their model the siphonophore, that cousin of the jellyfish which sports the paradox of being both an organism and a colony, neither one nor the other, but both at once. It is to be found in the middle of a continuum whose extremes gradually transform each other.
Complex siphonophores form natural colonies which are by far the closest thing to perfection: differentiation, specialization and subordination of the different parts to the colony as a whole are so important that these part behave more like the organs of a body than like the inhabitants of a colony.
This kind of merger, a blending between individual and group, offers a glimpse of hope for future ideal cities — and housing estates. But when we take a closer look — as through a magnifying glass — we realize that the worm is already in this utopian apple, contaminated by spaceships.

The live-in Capsules toys project.
Gacha Gacha — the noise made by a ball falling out of an automatic distributor — is a method of habitation with random distribution and organization. These capsules are being perpetually redistributed, forming a plan-less city or one with an elusive succession of plans.

Paris made of boxwood embroideries.
Paris is a city whose architecture has been hewn out down the ages with a precision, refinement and patience worthy of the art of topiary. Broderies : ma ville, mon quartier, mon immeuble [Emboideries: my city, my neighbourhood, my building] issues from the appropriation of a city: “Everyone should describe their roads, their crossroads, and their benches. Everyone should draw up the land register of their lost farms and countryside”, wrote Gaston Bachelard in La poétique de l'espace, Presses Universitaires de France, Paris, 1957.
Henceforth, Paris “is my garden” — a Japanese saying meaning: “I know Paris like the back of my hand.”

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