about MAIN | prjkt ||
This blog began as a personal project to help keep track of historical and ongoing issues in architecture and design, and, in part, to understand what Architecture and Design are. But every designer knows projects get out of hand and evolve over time, especially during your post-graduation real world sojourn. So here's a break down of Main Projekt's ongoing investigations and projects, all of which are interested in one thing: understanding what the fuck is going on in our field and using it to produce new design work, whether it be written material or material design products. Grab a bourbon, take a look around, and hopefully you'll find our projekt valuable.
MAIN|prjkt believes that “Design” signifies a field larger than our historical architectural discipline, a field encompassing intellectualism and practice, our written material and our material products, our body of history and our most contemporary investigations. For M|P, “Design” is as much about Diana Agrest as it us ARUP Engineering.
The populist turn in Design production—our recent historical transition that has, in part, propelled Design’s radical multivalence—has produced a richly articulated and unprecedented variation of Design work, but it has also pushed the field to a point of forgetting and redundancy. Koolhaas directs expos on toilets and laments the end of Architecture; Lord Foster forgets the historical battles over legibility and aims to build moral values into our material environment; Zaha absolves architects of moral responsibilities for their projects’ production and premise. In short, even our institutional leaders work with abandon and delusion about the world’s contemporary issues as well as our discipline’s historical crises. So as a generation of young designers sets to work crafting niches and producing fascinating work, the most important challenge is finding a way out of the apparent cycle of forgetting engendered by the manic-productive climate of the last decade.
To that end, MAIN|prjkt is conceived as an enormous bibliographic project for contemporary and historical design—“Design” being used for its fullest scope and inclusivity. The main project of this blog is to develop an ongoing annotated bibliography for contemporary and historical Design intellectualism (theory and criticism), and to catalogue excellent contemporary Design work. (See the texts and shared tabs, as well as The Field @ MAIN|prjkt.) Secondary projects include some original content. (See babel.) So while ARUP and Agrest may be common language for academics or professionals and obscure reference for students and young designers, the fact is their work has not only deeply affected Design consciousness (in very different ways), but it continues to reappear in Design arguments and work as if we were trying to reinvent the wheel. The project of MAIN|prjkt is to develop an accessible guide whereby our intellectual and material body of work may be tracked and mapped in useful ways, so that the gains and losses of our field may be better consulted, metabolized, and applied by current and future generations of designers and design writers.
MAIN | prjkt would love to hear from you! If you're interested in contributing your own reading project, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.