Oppositional Architecture

I stopped by the Camp for Oppositional Architecture Friday night.  It was a “bar+” night; lectures are held in the space every other day, but nonetheless I wanted to see the space on Front Street in DUMBO and talk to some of the renegades behind An Architektur.

I spoke with a German architect/bartender (who was put off by the Times reducing the event to “a slumber party”, especially after I unwittingly referred to it as the same). He’s been sleeping in the space in a back room cordoned off by a sheet of plastic, and told me about the glory days in 2004 when the camp was in Berlin. Back then, everyone actually slept there instead of just poking their heads in for an event or two like me, and it all happened over the course of a weekend instead of the ten days of opposition programming here in New York. I flipped through the English version of An Architektur, the group’s bi-annual publication while sipping a three-dollar suggested-donation glass of wine.

Towards the back of the room, in front of a wall of well-designed and informative posters about renters’ rights and other topics of general interest to urban dwellers from community organizations all over the US, was a drafting table with a map of New York City laid over it. Around the map were blobs of clay, markers, construction paper, scissors, and instructions to render a post capitalist city.

It was pretty fun.  If you have some time, stop by this week. Camp is in session until Saturday, with discussions between artists, economists, activists, geographers, designers and urbanists. For a list of upcoming lectures and bar night programs click here. And don’t miss the closing session lecture and workshop with David Harvey this Saturday.


Rachel Aland is a project associate of Urban Omnibus. She lives in Brooklyn.

The views expressed here are those of the author only and do not reflect the position of Urban Omnibus editorial staff or the Architectural League of New York.

Leave a Reply