Rewriting Architecture – 10 + 1 Actions

Rewriting Architecture explores and embraces the potential of place and claims that the idea of ‘tabula rasa’, or creating from scratch, is no longer a viable option. It considers the quality of the existing urban and social fabric—the tabula scripta—as an inspiration, motivation and starting point of design. How can this context be read, understood, valued and further developed?

The book is structured around a series of verbs, or actions, that show how we can respond better to what is already there: Eliminate; Continue; Obscure; Reconfigure; Repurpose; Densify; Copy; Overlay; Reimagine; Restart and Abstain. These 10+1 Actions are illustrated by compelling examples from a broad range of places and design practices all over the world, from Asia to Africa, to Europe and the US. The editors relate these challenges to a wide array of makers and thinkers through stimulating contributions by architects and other specialists working in the arts, biology, fashion, ecology, pop culture, nanotechnology and philosophy. They offer a wide variety of new narratives to describe and discuss design practices that work with what exists, with the people who are already there and with respect for the natural resources that are left.

Co-edited by Michiel van Iersel (Program Lead at the NEWROPE Chair of Architecture and Urban Transformation), the book contains contributions and projects by several professors at ETH Zurich, including Freek Persyn (NEWROPE Chair and 51N4E), Anne Lacaton (Lacaton&Vassal) and Momoyo Kaijima (Chair of Architectural Behaviorology andAtelier Bow-Wow).


Editors: Floris Alkemade, Michiel van Iersel, Mark Minkjan, Jarrik Ouburg

Contributors: Iwan Baan, René Boer, Elma van Boxel, Xaveer De Geyter, Lionel Devlieger, Amie Dicke, Mona El Mousfy, Sean Halloran, , Sharmeen Azam Inayat, Sam Jacob, Momoyo Kaijima, Kristian Koreman, Anne Lacaton, Madeleine Maaskant, Arna Mačkić, Keiichi Matsuda, Jim van Os, Freek Persyn, Karin Riley, Tamar Shafrir,Tom Simonite, Hito Steyerl, Jo Taillieu, Marga Weimans


Published by Valiz, Amsterdam with publishing partner Academy of Architecture Amsterdam, Lectorate Tabula Scripta | Design: Haller Brun | paperback | 440 pp. | English | November 2020