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Call for submissions for MONU #27: Small Urbanism

Netherlands Architecture News - May 01, 2017 - 14:13   11873 views

Call for submissions for MONU #27: Small Urbanism

MONU Magazine has announced new call for its new issue MONU #27 titled "Small Urbanism". Big is beautiful. Jarrik Ouburg made that quite obvious some years ago in his contribution to our MONU #6 issue on "Beautiful Urbanism", in which he described the city of Tokyo with its urbanity, its scale and density, as an inexhaustible source of beauty.

Size seems to matter. We have all known that ever since Rem Koolhaas claimed that "beyond a certain scale, architecture acquires the properties of Bigness", in his legendary manifesto "Bigness, or the problem of Large" from the early 1990s.

However, since the biggest innovations and changes in our society increasingly seem to occur on the small and micro level, we recently became fascinated by the other end of the spectrum: Smallness. When Koolhaas stated that the best reason to embrace Bigness is the one given by climbers of Mount Everest - "because it is there" - we believe that the best reason to concentrate on Smallness is "because it is almost not there", noted Bernd Upmeyer, Editor-in-Chief of MONU.

"Because often, the things in our cities that matter the most and have the largest effects on our urban environment, are the small and almost unrecognizable elements that nevertheless have the ability to create a certain 'urban butterfly' effect."

"A tiny element such as a measuring point in the city of Berlin can still have a tremendous impact on a city, for example, as Jeremy Beaudry revealed in his article "A Typology of Mess Punkt" also published in MONU #6. He imagined those little spikes holding the city tied to the earth, in a makeshift attempt to fix Berlin to the world, in case it might fly away because of a sudden loss of gravitational pull."

In this new issue of MONU aims to investigate how small urban elements relate to other urban elements - whether big or small - creating micro-urban conditions, and how - in general - things in cities work on the small scale. 

"Additionally, we are intrigued to find out how much power not only small physical urban elements, but also small-scale urban interventions and actions can have on the larger urban realm, building innovatively and progressively upon knowledge that has been developed recently on the topic and through dialogues between designers and urban communities, introducing small-scale but socially catalytic interventions into the fabric of cities," said Upmeyer.

To discuss all these issues, with this new open call for submissions for MONU #27 on "Small Urbanism" MONU invites you to submit big ideas, deep thinking, brave texts, small-scale-focused projects, eye-opening photography and fantastic illustrations. 

Abstracts of around 500 words, and images and illustrations in low resolution, should be sent, together with a short biography and a list of publications, as one single pdf-file that is not bigger than 1mb to [email protected] before June 30, 2017. 

MONU's autumn issue #27 will be published in October 2017. MONU recently released its new issue on "Decentralised Urbanism", available in stores.

Top image: Marcel Duchamp's Fountain photographed by Alfred Stieglitz at the Art Gallery 291 after the 1917 Society of Independent Artists exhibit, courtesy of MONU

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