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Architecture [Publication] Fund - Seminar "Subversive Opportunism"

AUG 2014

„Subversive Opportunism“ - seminar on critical spatial practices

2014. 08. 23

August 23rd, Saturday, 15 - 20 val.

CAC Reading room, Vokiečių g. 2, Vilnius


On Saturday afternoon, August 23rd, Architecture [Publication] Fund invites you to the CAC Reading room to explore the notion of dissidence in the context of contemporary design, architecture and other spatial practices. The focus of this seminar is creative, disobedient or liberating tactics, that are being situated in the midst of prevailing ideology of neoliberal economy and media-saturated society. What kind of long-term and essential changes opportunistically behaving contemporary dissident is better capable of envisioning? 

Taking as an inspiration the Architecture Fund lecture series "Dissidence through Architecture", which provided an in-depth overview of attempts by architects in the former Socialist block to create outstanding nonconformistic projects, we will seek to define the context that architects, designers, other cultural practitioners operate today in. 

Five invited speakers-writers from Berlin, London, Barcelona, Stockholm and Istanbul will share the strategies of their practice and present different case studies. Ethel Baraona Pohl, co-curator of this year's "Think Space" festival in Zagreb and co-founder of "dpr-barcelona" publishing house will talk about newly formed architectural initiatives, that react to the situation here and now, and also exploit the endless possibilities provided by social media and other technologies. Manuel Bürger, who is visual designer and communication strategist of transmediale festival in Berlin among many other activities, will present his "Slippery Design" concept - how formats of mass media communication, such as memes or instagram, and their pre-implemented design decisions can be taken to criticize the power structures that create them. Eray Çayli will present three different case studies of architectural projects in Istanbul, where its actors collaborating with authorities or corporate investors rather than defying them, use and shift the notion of public space itself. Architect and founder of  Architecture Association's newspaper "Fulcrum" Jack Self will look into the role of the architect today by analyzing the social contract implicit in current housing mechanism. 

The seminar will be moderated by Tor Lindstrand and Håkan Nilsson, participants of the research project "Space, Ideology and Power"at Södertörn University, Stockholm. They will also speak about the urban development tendencies in Swedish cities, and how the tradition of problem solving within the discourse of architecture – being fundamentally affirmative and servicing – collides with the need of more critical approaches and practices.



Manuel Bürger - Slipping through templates

Ethel Baraona Pohl - Emancipatory architecture

Eray Çayli - Imagining the public together with the state and the corporation

Jack Self - The only task of architecture

Tor Lindstrand, Håkan Nilsson - We are here to make reality something that can be consumed

Seminar starts: 15.00

Language: English


About the project: Architecture [Publication] Fund is a virtual platform that combines artistic and academic research of architecture and urban studies. Its selected themes are inspired by the material of Architecture [Discussion] Fund lecture series. The first two issues of  Architecture [Publication] Fund are already available at, the forthcoming third and fourth issues  –  ‘City. The Breaking Points’ and 'Dissidence through Architecture' – will be published by the end of the year 2014. "Dissidence through Architecture" will present the selected material from the lecture series curated by Ines Weizman, Jurga Daubaraite and Jonas Zukauskas: texts about Bogdan Bogdanovic, Vilen Künnapu and Talinn School, Vladislav and Ljudmila Kirpichevs and critical practices in the Baltic region. The outcomes of the seminar "Subversive Opportunism" will be turned into essays on contemporary challenges for design and architectural practice. 


Organizers: Architektūros fondas and Vilnius university

A[L]F04 „Dissidence through Architecture“ editors: Marija Drėmaitė and Viktorija Šiaulytė

Supported by: Lithuanian Cultural Council,  Lithuanian Research Council, project Nr. MIP-13527

For more information: Viktorija Šiaulytė, +37069873217,

We would be grateful, if you would let us know about your participation in the seminar in advance:


Image: Economy (Tor Lindstrand and Jessica Watson-Galbraith), from series „Proposals for Stockholm“


More about the speakers:

Ethel Baraona Pohl. Writer, critic and curator, but she prefers professional amateur. Her [net]work is a real hub linking several publications and actors on architecture and theory. Co-founder of the independent publishing house dpr-barcelona, and editor at Quaderns d’arquitectura i urbanisme. She's also contributing editor for different blogs and magazines, and has written articles for Domus, Volume, and MAS Context among others; and had been lecturing in Oslo, Athens, Rotterdam, and Jerusalem, among others. Associate Curator for "Adhocracy", first commissioned for the Istanbul Design Biennial in 2012 and exhibited at The New Museum, NYC [May 2013] and Lime Wharf, London [Summer 2013]. Curator, with César Reyes Nájera, of the third Think Space programme with the theme ‚Money'. 

Manuel Bürger (Berlin) / "The Laboratory of Manuel Bürger" (worldwide) deals with amateur- and virtuosi design forces, moves between nonsense and cultural theory, and works for clients from diverse fields of communication, such as transmediale festival in Berlin. Bürger teaches at Merz Akademie in Stuttgart and leately at UdK in Berlin and has been successfully operating the Naives & Visionaries Publishing House. In addition, he is design supervisor for CVSN, a research magazine by University of Cincinnati, USA, and designer of the annual research publication of Aarhus University, Denmark. His last artdirections were made for magazines, such as DUMMY or Lodown. Bürger's recent publications and essays are working on the topic of the mimetic (memetic) potential of design and house music: "Slippery Design - forever beta" or "Duck House Theory - Robert Venturi's Dark Room Fantasies“.

Eray Çaylı is a doctoral candidate and teaching fellow at University College London (UCL). A collaboration between the fields of anthropology and architectural history, his doctoral research investigates the ways in which historicity is negotiated through architectural memorialization in the forms of site-specific commemorative events, memorial museums and monuments.

Jack Self is a designer and writer based in London. His work concerns social equality, financial models and the built environment. He is Reviews Editor for the Architectural Review, where he has worked in a number of capacities since 2009. He was previously Associate Editor at Strelka Press (2012-13). His writing has appeared in AD, Blueprint, Domus and the AR, as well as elsewhere (see press). Jack founded Fulcrum, the Architectural Association's free weekly. Dedicated to "pursuing architecture and the third millennium," Fulcrum remains the world's most read student publication about architecture. It has been widely exhibited - most notably at the 2012 Venice Biennale and with Archizines. Jack holds a Diploma of Architecture from the Architectural Association (2014) and a Master's in Philosophy from the University of London (2012). His MA dissertation examined the morality of neoliberal economic theory, which is also the subject of his first book Real Estates: Life Without Debt (Bedford Press 2014). As a designer he has worked for several international firms, amongst them Ateliers Jean Nouvel in Paris and London (2008-09).

Tor Lindstrand is an Assistant Professor at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH-A) and a co-owner of the office of Larsson, Lindstrand and Palme. He has been working on projects oscillating between architecture, visual art and performance in numerous cultural contexts, among others TATE Liverpool, Venice Architecture Biennales 2008, 2010 and 2014, Steirischer Herbst, Shenzhen and Hong Kong Bi-city Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture 2009, VOLTA Basel, Performa New York, Royal Dramatic Theatre Copenhagen, NAI Rotterdam, Swedish Architecture Museum and Storefront New York. Together with choreographer Marten Spangberg he initiated International Festival, a practice working on context specific projects spanning from buildings, publications, films, installations, public interventions and situations. In 2010 he founded Economy together with Jessica Watson-Galbraith, a Swedish-Australian platform working with architecture, art and performance. He is currently involved in a collaborative research project on Power, Space and Ideology at KTH-A and Södertörn University.

Håkan Nilsson divides his time between being a professor in art and art history at Konstfack, University College of Arts, Crafts and Design and associate professor in art history at Södertörn University, where he is currently working on a research project Power Space and Ideology. He uses his remaining time to write catalogue texts, essays and also art criticism in morning paper Svenska Dagbladet. Nilsson received his PhD in 2000 on a dissertation about the role modernist Clement Greenberg played in the construction of (American) postmodernism and has since then returned to questions concerning abstraction, painting and modernity. This has resulted, among other things, in the book Måleriets rum (The space of Painting) 2009. He is on the board for the Bærtling foundation. He also works with topics concerning public space and public art, which resulted in the conference Placing Art in the Public Realm (2008), that later on also was published as an anthology with the same name.