December 5, 2018 - Yale School of Architecture - Perspecta 51: Medium
e-flux Architecture
December 5, 2018
December 5, 2018

Yale School of Architecture

Cover of Perspecta 51: Medium.

Perspecta 51: Medium
The Yale Architectural Journal

Yale School of Architecture
180 York Street
New Haven, CT 06511
USA

mitpress.mit.edu
www.architecture.yale.edu
Instagram

Perspecta 51: Medium
The Yale Architectural Journal

Yale School of Architecture
180 York Street
New Haven, CT 06511
USA

mitpress.mit.edu
www.architecture.yale.edu
Instagram

We wish we could say that the title and content of Perspecta 51 are the products of clairvoyance, as the editorial process began well before the 2016 election, discussions of fake news, and the heightened sense that media are inextricable from contemporary life and politics. Yet, to contemplate the spatial nature of media, to ask what a medium is and how it can be understood in architectural terms, seems impossibly broad. As students of architecture, we began with the hunch that form and content are inextricable from their media, that the means of conveyance is part and parcel of all architectural and spatial phenomena. The way we draw and communicate architectural ideas is bound up in something larger, more complex—perhaps more invisible—than we have the means to readily express. Nevertheless, to ask the basic question—what is a medium?—is to reveal the contested nature of the term.

Today, notions of medium are complicated and elemental. On the one hand, much of the world has edged closer to a cyborg culture. Billions stare into the glowing glass of their smartphones, comforted by the seductive stream of information accessed by these portable computers. Indeed, we are addicted to the media that flow from our nomadic devices. This phenomenon affects our politics, our relationships, our humanity, our architecture, and our environment. Though today architecture and space are bound up in the invisible environment created by media technology, the effects of global warming and a changing climate are palpable. Humans are a crucial part of this system, and architects are uniquely positioned to analyze, visualize, and make tangible these complex sets of relationships. Thus, Perspecta 51 does not focus exclusively on the new media of today. Instead, it presents a conversation among varied theories on medium set against a series of architectural case studies. These include articles about the forensics of the digital image as medium, heating systems and thermostats as progenitors of architecture becoming a medium, and the digital commons as an exemplary medium for the creation of public space. There are stories about sea-level rise and flood-monitoring apps, search lights and public space, media walls and megastructures, social media capitals and suburban sprawl, and surveillance and library architecture grounded in theories of medium design, mediascapes, and media politics. The range of these articles illustrates the degree to which the study of medium is an ever-expanding endeavor, exemplary of the breadth of our current media environment. Everything yet nothing is possible. Nevertheless, Perspecta 51 provides new histories and fresh responses to the notion of medium that might illuminate possibilities for its productive use (and misuse) by architects.

Contributors
Shamsher Ali, Nick Axel, åyr, Aleksandr Bierig, Francesco Casetti, Beatriz Colomina, Keller Easterling, Georgios Eftaxiopoulos, Moritz Gleich, Evangelos Kotsioris, Reinhold Martin, Shannon Mattern, Marshall McLuhan, Scott McQuire, Ginger Nolan, Shveta Sarda, Jeffrey Schnapp, Dubravka Sekulic, Prasad Shetty, Molly Steenson, Neyran Turan, Christina Varvia, Richard Vijgen, DIS

Edited by Shayari de Silva, Dante Furioso, and Samantha Jaff.
Designed by Carr Chadwick and Seokhoon Choi.

Perspecta, founded in 1952 at the Yale School of Architecture, is the first student-edited architecture journal in America. Perspecta is published by the Yale School of Architecture and distributed by the MIT Press.

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