Whether at the scale of the home, neighborhood, city, or region, Sites of Decline continue to permeate architectural conversation. We have seen a plethora of images - portraying issues of power, desolation, abandonment, or optimism - collectively directing attention [and often times obsession] to any context which no longer resemble a previous image of itself. This range of imagery, from schadenfreude ruin porn to urban agricultural utopias, have, to some degree, been pertinent to design’s role in addressing larger social, cultural, and spatial issues.
However, as a parallel to the massive amounts of creative energy and thought that have been pointed at the investigation of these sites, it begs the questions. So what? Now what? After years of projects, experiments, interventions, and installations, has the intensive fixation on Sites of Decline been proportionally productive? Conversely, what theories, operations, or methodologies move beyond contemporary images of abandonment and revitalization to generate a new discourse on the fuature of these contexts?
Ampersand Volume 6 seeks submissions of varying trajectories which stimulate a fresh perspective on “Sites of Decline,” which we classify as any space or context that has undergone degradation, abandonment, violence, or any other process that has eroded a previous richness of the context. Engaging this proposition can occur through embracing, challenging, manipulating, or augmenting current discourses, thus facilitating a fresh and productive conversation on architecture’s importance/impotence.
- Ampersand Michigan is an independent Architecture publication orchestrated by students at University of Michigan: Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning. Existing in the realm between a critical magazine and casual journal, Ampersand’s primary focus lies with architectural productions, research, and discourse which express the state of the discipline from the recent past to the near future. Rather than respond to topics and methods that have trickled down through academic institutions, seasoned professionals and established ideologies, Ampersand has a bias towards ideas in their infancy, projects which don’t know what they are or what they mean, and conversations that have no clear precedent. Ampersand Volume Six is set to release April 2013.