SOMETHING FANTASTIC is about changing the world. But it is also a manifesto by three young architects on worlds, people, cities, and houses (authors: Julian Schubert, Elena Schütz and Leonard Streich, self-printed. Distributed by Ruby Press, Berlin 2010). Somewhere between utopia and activism, they want to approach reality with a perverted unconventional perspective. And somewhere between naivety and pragmatism, it is where they find their sources for their public space actions and dreamt realities: The beauty of our future buildings will be rooted in the poetry of their simplicity.
The book is divided into four sections:
POSITIONS are statements and their wish list for the world to become;
PLANS are actions, dreams and recipes resulting from their manifesto: how to profit from gentrification (see the jet-set houses), how to recycle GDR built relics (see Plattenbau Algorithm), how to enhance green energy public space (see the Dumpling Express)…
CONVERSATIONS is a series of 12 interviews with carefully selected minds, ranging from lightweight construction expert Mike Schlaich to Markus Miessen and his uninvited outsiders theory; Wiel Arets’ virological architecture influencing the environment or firm futurologist Gerd Gerken, among others.
EXCERPTS include those essential quotations that everybody mentions and nobody knows exactly.
They thoroughly deal with ecology, politics, poetics and speculation, but these are to be read between the lines, since these topics melt constantly with each other in the text and in reality alike. The audience of architecture is everyone. And in this same line, they have launched the on-line archive whatwow – an index of re-inventing construction – and an on-going compilation of pedigreed and non-pedigreed collective thinking. It collects unconventional examples of construction techniques, material use, typologies, programs etc. invented today or centuries ago that expand your possibilities beyond the building-as-usual.
The most naïf ideas usually foster the most talented discoveries. This manifesto and its unusual visions inspire both further action and fiction. I do believe that Something Fantastic’s Nighttrain Station with its 6 km long train, moving the equivalent amount of passengers to the whole daily air transit between Berlin and Munich, will someday arrive at the Central Railway Station.
[1 &2> Encyclopedia and The Dumpling Express. Courtesy: Something Fantastic]