The idea of Archipelago emerged from the will to propose an alternative to the current state of Academia (whether architectural or not). The generalized absence of bridges between disciplines, the petty internal politics, the clear categorization of teachers and learners, as well as the ‘punctualization’ of learning formed the base of this will to propose something different.
Disciplines should be blurred, young thinkers should have access to platforms of expression and learning should be a continuous activity throughout life. Archipelago does not have the illusory ambition to replace the university, but more simply to constitute a free place for learning and questioning the politics of the designed environment that surrounds us all. Its medium allows anyone to listen to it in all kinds of situations: while commuting, cooking, resting, working, or any other situation you might think appropriate.
Archipelago’s editorial line follows the one constructed year after year on The Funambulist. This line is based upon the predicate that design (clothing, objects, architecture and urbanism) organizes (politically) bodies in space. Such a predicate creates the need to wonder simultaneously what a body is and how design is produced.
These questions define the list of guests for the conversation it releases. A significant number of these guests are already part of the network composed by The Funambulist. Some of them took part (or are about to) in the series of curated texts collected in the book The Funambulist Papers: Volume 1 published by Punctum Books in 2013 (Volume 2 will be published later in 2014). However, the project also finds its essence in researching the work of other thinkers and creators to diversify and enrich the discourse proposed on both The Funambulist and Archipelago.
An important component in the selection of these guests is their diversity, as well as their relation to the norm from where Archipelago operates. What that means is for the platform to maintain a high awareness of whom it invites, in order to avoid the traditional pattern of domination of a type of academic actor (White Western Heterosexual Male to name only a few of their characteristics). Such practice is the minimum to be done to reduce the violence of normative processes and the ostracisation they create.
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Léopold Lambert is an architect and Editor of The Funambulist.