On 4 November 2021, the 8th edition of Ardeth magazine will be launched at Politecnico de Milano. The magazine, guest curated by Het Nieuwe Instituut on the theme, Burn-Out: On Planetary Exhaustion and Alternative Public Infrastructures, will be launched with a conversation with Marina Otero Verzier, Director of Research at Het Nieuwe Instituut.
Exhausted. Bodies feel exhausted, from the scale of the individual to the social body, and to that of the planet. Even in the midst of one of the most severe crises experienced globally in recent history, the demand for productivity, relentlessness and attentiveness is not diminishing. Instead, these pressures intensify, while forms of extraction are pervasive. The contemporary moment should not be taken as an exception. Instead it should be understood as part of a structural condition and a symptom of the ongoing exploitative structures that are exhausting bodies, bringing them to a systemic burn-out. If burn-out is a state in which bodies, procedures and processes stop working, it could perhaps be considered as a generative point of departure to rethink the role of institutions and infrastructures towards non-exploitative structures and relations.
Unlike many journals that revolve around the architectural world, Ardeth is concerned neither with outcomes (architecture) nor authors (architects), but instead with operational work: projects. The shift from subjects (good intentions, as taught in universities and reclaimed by the profession) to objects (the products of design, at work within the social system that contains them) engenders an analytical and falsifiable elaboration of the complex mechanisms that an open practice such as design involves. Through a process of disciplinary redefinition, Ardeth explores the falsifiability of design hypotheses as the object that allows the project to scientifically confront errors and approximations.