• Evanescent Institutions: On the Politics of Temporary Architecture
    Marina Otero Verzier
    Puente Editores, 2022
    Marina Otero Verzier

Democratic Self-Administration of Rojava & Studio Jonas Staal, Installation view, “New World Embassy: Rojava, Oslo Architecture Triennale 2016," Oslo City Hall, 2016. Photo: István Virág

Cultural institutions have embraced the construction of temporary, transportable environments throughout the past and present centuries. Many of them turned into mobile architectures as a mechanism to inject urban dynamics in culturally isolated areas through facilities that carry information, education, entertainment, as well as the values of diverse political ideologies. Mobilizing the dreams of autonomy of the “pipeless, wireless, trackless” architecture, these itinerant institutions, once carrying a subversive potential, have embraced the dynamic condition of finance capitalism and are affected by the volatility of the markets they serve. Through these institutions, architecture is rendered in standing structures and in temporary constellations of bodies, information, and technologies, with multiscalar implications. Its borders, physical and disciplinary, circulate, defining inclusionary and exclusionary forms. Revisiting projects from the early twentieth century, the decades of the 1960s and 1970s, and contemporary architectures, this book aims to shed light on alternative understandings and practices of architecture and how these align with current societal aspirations for new institutional formations.The book is also a critical reflection on the author’s decade of experience in studying and testing alternative formations—decentralized models for universities, itinerant museums, more-than-human cooperatives.

Marina Otero Verzier is head of the graduate program in Social Design at Design Academy Eindhoven. From 2015 to January 2022 she was director of research at Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam. Previously Otero was director of global network programming at Studio-X, Columbia University in New York. She was a cocurator at the Shanghai Art Biennial 2021 and was in the Artistic Team of Manifesta 13 Marseille. At the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale, Otero curated Work, Body, Leisure for the Dutch national pavilion. As part of the After Belonging Agency, she was chief curator of the 2016 Oslo Architecture Triennale. Otero has taught at RCA London, ETSA Madrid, Columbia Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP), HEAD Geneva, and lectured at universities around the world. She coedited Lithium (ARQ, 2021); More-than- Human (Het Nieuwe Instituut, Office for Political Innovation, the Serpentine Galleries, Manifesta, 2020); Unmanned: Architecture and Security Series (dpr-barcelona, 2016-20); Architecture of Appropriation (Het Nieuwe Instituut, 2019); Work, Body, Leisure (Hatje Cantz, 2018); among others. She studied at TU Delft and ETSA Madrid, and GSAPP. In 2016, Otero received her doctorate, cum laude, at ETSA Madrid.