The latest instalment of our new series of AR Reading Lists: seven carefully chosen pieces from our archive, free for registered users
Architects are far from immune from the competitive pressures birthed by endless cycles of production. There is the increasing imperative to be ever more efficient with time, with budget, the pressure to draw a more efficient, tighter plan. It is the capitalist project to wrest productivity from humans. Untangling us from the ecological rhythms where rest is regenerative, and elevating the paradigm of incessant production to the upper-most podium as the ultimate and only goal. It is because of this momentum our planet is unable to recover, to sleep.
This list is an ode to the idle, to gaps and to fallowness, it is an assemblage of arguments bearing the belief that with emptiness can come grace. Perhaps for passing time this week we should consider stillness and pause. Can we find a place for dormancy amidst the relentlessness of perpetual activity?
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- Lying fallow: the value of idleness, Michael Chieffalo and Julia Smachylo, AR September 2019
‘Viewing the planet as a kind of perpetual growth machine is churning the earth in successive waves of creative destruction’
- Outrage: subversive sleep
‘Sleeping as a political act is a purposeful and a collective subversive practice’
- Losing game: harnessing failure
‘Devouring the toxins offered by an opponent defangs their powers’
- Mine craft: Terrils du Martinet in Charleroi, Belgium by Dessin et Construction
‘Belgium’s much more rural and impoverished southern half is confronted with pressing questions of the future of productive rural environments and their natural as well as industrial heritage’
- Interview with Kate Raworth
‘The economy is more like a flock of birds flying in the sky’
- Why we all need a shorter working week
‘We should trade productivity gains for a bit more time off each year rather than just for money’
- ’Work on, work on, but you’ll always work alone’
‘There is a desperate fear of being left behind, of exiting the loop, of becoming irrelevant, and so we take our work with us’
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