Partytopias in Berlin
Partytopias are one of the most fragile housing typologies, & in their fragility lies their incredible potential. They consist of n madic structures that set up an ephemeral living s-pace during the celebration of a party. They allow the party to happen and they constitute the party in themselves. Ifpartiesrununinterruptedforsixdays, partytopias need to provide a whole set of gadgets, actions, provocations and infrastructure for people to laugh, touch each other’s bodies, smell each others’ bodies, lick each others’s’ bodies, eat, inhale, xhale, sleep, play, participate in orgies, explore sexualities or simply interact in s-pace.

The allure of the analogue caves
If within the same closed environment we mix: the developments in electrification driven by technologies used in multimedia festivals, the transformation of psychedelic spaces by means of surface techniques such as supergraphics, reflective walls or acid-coloured murals, and the experimentation of their users; the resulting cocktail is without a doubt one of psychedelia’s most significant contributions to cultural and contemporary spatial typologies.

MI 5 Interview Sacred Clowns
"The concept of Identity is one of the most important ones we work with, both in our architectural career and with our students. The idea of identity we suggest is broad, complex... understood not only from an analytical perspective but also from a propositional one. In our work we seek to redefine the term. We search for something like a post-identity, something which will translate into the capacity or the freedom to build Identities, and which is always above values of moral, culture, religion or gender. One of the ideas which most interests us at the moment is how architectural tools can contribute to the building of subcultures and social identities. Ultimately, we pose the question of which kind of tools can be used to build identity while working with space."

On space time foam
When Tomás Saraceno first visited the Cubo space at HangarBicocca, he imagined it could hold a huge sphere suspended mid-air entirely by cables. The project evolved rapidly, contemplating two spheres and, little by little, no trace of the original idea was left: the Cubo was ready to house the largest inflatable surface accessible to the public the artist had ever made. The project continued to change, finally acquiring its definitive appearance, that of a transparent membrane hooked to the walls of the Cubo, sustained by air and accessible from three levels.

Planet Festival
“It was a never-ending party; I saw everyone and no one, as every person would get lost in the wandering crowds of countless people; I would talk to everybody without remembering my words or their words, as with each step my attention was grabbed by new events and objects [...]”

Exodus & The Berg [Two works]
She felt tired was all she told her therapist. After having been stared at for eight long decades by Empire State Building I want to stare at something fancy myself, she thought. True there were ups ad downs, and lately, that is after the terrible demise of her taller twin colleagues, she had once again been getting as much admiration as she had had in the early days.

Radical Atmospheres
Atmosphere is an inevitable architectural element. Architectural experience is simply not possible without atmosphere. Should it be negated, a certain atmosphere will also emerge. When experiencing a specific space, it is not only the physical enclosure of the building which envelops us, but also the number of ephemeral and fluctuating effects which emanate from it. Its common acceptation refers to the emanations of an object, specifically a celestial body, the Earth. The sensual emission of heat, light, humidity, etc. is the generic figure of atmosphere, and the one which has remained most productively in the field of architecture. Independently from its literal meteorological acceptation, from the 18th century this term has also been used to refer to spaces with an affective charge, and to talk about what certain people radiate, such as aureoles or auras. Atmospheres are generally attributed a character, a certain way of emotionally affecting us. It is what objects and subjects have in common, or what makes them distinctive in the environment where they cohabit.

States of emergency
People in society follow their goals, manage their resources, approach conflicts in an environment of rules and institutions. This context is built on a series of negotiations, conventions and agreements which accumulate over time. Law, the judiciary context, is the set of norms ordering life in society. It is a hierarchical collection, a structure. It is a structure which reveals, describes, but also a designed, devised and prescriptive structure. This ‘architecture’ organises the times, places and modes of our activity taking into account that of others and the resources available: today yes, tomorrow no; this way like this, that way, no; you yes, them no; who them, who us.
Issue #2
March 2014
132 Pages
+ - 99 mins
18 x 25 cm
12 Eur
ENG/SPA Bilingual Edition BUY


Partytopias in Berlin



The allure of the analogue caves


An interview with MI 5

Sacred Clowns


Andrea Lissoni / Tomás Saraceno

On space time foam


Esteban Salcedo

Planet festival


Jakob Tigges

Exodus & The Berg


Juan Elvira

Radical Atmospheres


María Langarita

States of emergency

Homo ludens ludens. Experience the city from a spontaneous gathering of strangers around some loudspeakers; get carried away by the trance of a nightclub; immerse ourselves in that dark space where constant flashes fragment our body into a piling sequence of snapshots and disconnected postures; observe how the space around us deforms, swelling and sinking with the sound enveloping us; dream of sensorial cities founded on hedonism and excess; take photographs of gigantic mountains, inexistent mountains; jump on a soft amorphous surface transforming us into a weightless particle floating in space.
Play is the essence of life’s manifestations of intelligence, and it is through play that humans reach a special abstract dimension where they become aware of themselves behaving differently.
Many of the most important researchers in the field of psychology (Jean Piaget, Melanie Klein, D. W. Winnicott or Lev Vygotsky) have understood play as an inherent activity to the human species. It is, at the same time, at the genesis of culture itself, being its foundation and primordial element.
The Dutch philosopher and historian Johan Huizinga, in his quest to understand the social condition of human beings, exposes the terms Homo Faber and Homo Sapiens as insufficient, affirming that neither actually delimits the exclusive and defining quality in them. His work Homo Ludens positions play as the differential manifestation of the human condition, and makes a case for the use of the term in evolutionary taxonomy. In Vilém Flusser’s reflections around the understanding of language, human communication, freedom in the context of postindustrial societies and the importance of play for contemporary humans, the philosopher goes even further. For him, we live in a moment where instead of working we produce information, and our interaction is now filtered through games with the ‘devices’ we must use in order to be part of society. Play can thus also be considered as an act of emancipation.
The diversity of spheres we inevitably touch on when we dive into any act of play is what makes it such a complex and interesting manifestation. And it is through play, an activity essentially of freedom, that reality is deformed by designing new rules of space and time; fragile and ephemeral, but necessarily ordered, defined and conscious. Space confronts its users directly, turning them into fully active intermediaries who must chose-design the limits defining their subjective experience of the reality surrounding them. There is also a psychological fracturing of the rigidity of rational constructs through pleasure, thus becoming one of the states leading to most experimentation in the design of our spaces of coexistence, of our cities, or of our spaces of intimacy. And what it more, these apparently thoughtless states deriving from experiential inertia are actually able to reflect our deepest considerations both in regards to social questions as well as political, ecological, aesthetical or ethical ones.
Throughout the history of architecture there has been a constant defence of space as a sensorial catalyst. There are many examples, but it was probably from the 60s onwards when the manifestations of architecture based on hedonism and enjoyment became more radical. In fact, even now we continually revisit utopias and proposals from that time, as they formed an immense and heterodox range of spatial forms trying to condense what society wanted to experience.
Far from attempting to establish a historical continuity or to pose the succession to these movements and evocative images, what we want in this issue is to offer a glimpse into the enormous amount of research, whether as an object of study or as the backbone to creative activities, being carried out today around the themes of play and enjoyment.
Through Partytopias, fragile structures and nomadic constructions built for partying, from utopian cities, phantasmagorias and sensoria, to club architectures and experimentation, DESIERTO publishes nine pieces of work which seem to be looking to redefine that Homo Ludens in relation to its new spaces of activity, broadening it to the complexities and new forms taken on by current architectural production.◊