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CONSTRUCTING BUILDINGS OR PLACES?
publication June 2018
language English, French
size 160 x 230mm
pages 356 p.
Co-published with the Institut français for the exhibition “Lieux infinis” in the french pavilion of the 16th Venice Biennale of Architecture.
Faced with ever more complex ecological, economic, and social problems, today we see a move toward seeking out alternative places, exploring and paving the way to new uses, extending the premise of third places. Far from giving a single definition to the places described here as infinite places—“infinite” because they are open to possibilities, possess potential, and are unfinished—this book sheds light not only on the processes, the different ways they are administered and run, and the commitment of the participants, but also on the underlying philosophical and political issues relating to their emergence. Whether taking over preexisting sites (the “already there”) or setting up their own self-built centers, the people and places involved reintroduce and update ideas about commons, values, and conviviality. They open up protean, subversive, and indefinite perspectives relating to the social role of architecture and the architect, suggesting and supporting other ways of living, using, and sharing space.
L’Hôtel Pasteur, Le Centquatre, Le Tri Postal, Les Grands Voisins, Le 6B, La Convention, La Friche la Belle de Mai, Les Ateliers Médicis, La Ferme du Bonheur, La Grande Halle—Encore Heureux presents ten different initiatives. They do not fall under a single heading because they cannot be reduced to a single function. They are remarkable because they are experimental and therefore difficult to replicate. Infinite places cultivate and believe in the mixing of genres, activities, and audiences. They construct through a readiness to accept the unexpected and in so doing create new possibilities for the future.