Richard Holbrooke, Architect


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Richard Holbrooke is an architect. While he is frequently called the ‘architect’ of the Dayton Peace Agreement, the title is not simply a metaphor. To negotiate an end to the Bosnian War, Holbrooke acted as an architect, drawing on an understanding of spatial organization, largescale planning, and architectural techniques to design a nation. He employed urbanistic strategies, drafting the future political boundaries to incorporate multiple, often conflicting demands concerning access to transportation routes, the distribution of infrastructures, the locations of resources and populations, and the physical management of urban centers. Just as importantly, Holbrooke orchestrated the space of the talks, using his spatial knowledge to design the relations of power of the negotiation. He led the warring parties from the site analysis of the existing Balkan territories, to the schematic design of the preconditions for negotiation, to the design development at the site of the talks in Dayton, to the construction drawings that mapped the future boundaries, and through the construction administration carried out by NATO to ensure that his design was executed. He worked through multiple scales of intervention, from the master plan of the geopolitical divisions in Bosnia, to the composition of the buildings at Dayton, to interior details like the table at which the treaty was signed, asserting his position through spatial relationships and symbolic power.

Holbrooke’s activities in the field of architecture demonstrate potentials that other architects might choose to explore. Peacemakers must become architects in the process of negotiation, but architects already possess the knowledge necessary to approach the most complex and intractable conflicts. The world needs architects more than ever.

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25 March 2008
C-Lab's Jeffrey Inaba and Jesse Seegers recently interviewed robotics engineer, artist, and Berkeley professor Ken Goldberg for an upcoming issue of Volume on the theme of "Content Management." C-Lab is currently researching philanthropy, so we were very interested to hear about Goldberg's "Donation Dashboard" project, a online filtering program that recommends philanthropic causes suited to your preferences.
[Donation Dashboard]

21 February 2008
Jeffrey Inaba's Spring 2008 GSAPP Master of Architecture studio is preparing a master plan proposal for the 20km x 20km Saemangeum site in South Korea to explore the potential of large-scale infrastructure projects to serve as a catalyst for the national economy. The study involves studios from 7 invited schools, Columbia University, Yonsei University, Berlage Institute, MIT, London Metropolitan University, European University Madrid, and Tokyo Institute of Technology and is sponsored by the Urban Design Institute of Korea. The study was feautred on the front page of the Jeolla Ilbo newspaper on 1 February, 2008.
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21 February 2008
The Chronicle of Philanthropy reviewed INABA/C-Lab's Donor Hall in their January 10, 2008 issue.
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15 February 2008
View pictures from the Volume 13 and Donor Hall launch discussion, hosted by the New Museum.
[pictures]

8 February 2008
Thanks to the New Museum for hosting a discussion and launch party last night for Volume 13 and INABA/C-Lab's Donor Hall project. Pictures from the event will be posted soon.

6 February 2008
C-Lab has completed an installation, titled Trash, for the exhibition 'World's Away: New Suburban Landscapes' at the Walker Art Center, opening February 16, 2008.
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1 December 2007
C-Lab has collaborated with INABA on a graphic environment for the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, which opens December 1, 2007.
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20 November 2007
C-Lab is now accepting applications for internships at its New York office for fall 2007. Interns will be working on Volume Magazine and other C-Lab projects.
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19 October 2007
C-Lab has finished editing Volume 13, on Ambition. The issue features interviews with Momoyo Kaijima, Bjarke Ingels, Charles Jencks, Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Elizabeth Diller, Vincent Gallo, Thom Mayne, Kevin Roche, Philip Johnson, Shohei Shigematsu and Mohsen Mostafavi. There are photos by Todd Eberle, Danielle Levitt, and Doug Aitken and writings by Francesco Bonami, Mark Wigley, Sylvia Lavin, Keller Easterling, and Yehuda Safran, as well as a special 'Alibi' travel guide to Kazakhstan. Watch for the issue on sale in November.
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12 October 2007
C-Lab and Jeffrey Inaba have authored a piece for Urban China on Flushing, Queens and Chinese suburbanism in America. Watch for it soon.

19 September 2007
C-Lab and Volume Magazine sponsored a guest lecture by Michael Hardt (author of Empire and Multitude) at Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Images from the lecture will be posted soon.

21 May 2007
C-Lab will be editing Volume 13, on Ambition. 'Instead of dreaming of this kind of stardom as a career goal, architects can seize the current moment when the discipline enjoys heightened interest to embrace other, greater ambitions.'
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2 April 2007
Jeffrey Inaba will give a talk, entitled "Learning From Astana," about urban planning in Kazakhstan at the Canadian Centre for Architecture Thursday 19 April. Strong leadership, the discovery of oil fields, "rush to market" high-end construction, low population, large land area, and weather combine to make Kazakhstan's new capital a lesson in 21st century nation building. Columbia GSAPP's Kazstravaganza Advanced Design Studio will produce a feature on Kazakh urbanism for issue 13 of Volume.

23 March 2007
C-Lab sponsored a lecture by artist/inventor Natalie Jeremijenko at Columbia's Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation. Watch for work from her to be featured in the upcoming Volume 13.

14 February 2007
C-Lab is in the process of editing the video interviews from Volume 10. For now, check out Francois Roche and Peter Cook in the 'broadcasts' section.

10 January 2007
C-Lab recently finished editing Volume 10: Agitation!
The issue features C-Lab's interviews with Peter Cook, François Roche, Hernan Diaz-Alonso, Rene Daalder, Philippe Parreno, and Cesar Millan, as well as essays by Mark Wigley, Reinhold Martin, David Turnbull, Arakawa + Gins, and much more.
Watch for the issue in late January.

16 October 2006
Jeffrey Inaba presented the project of Volume and C-Lab at 'Discrimination: A discussion on architectural judgment', a debate at GSAPP convened by Cynthia Davidson (Log) about the current state of architectural periodicals. The other participants included Michael Kubo (Verb), Reinhold Martin (Grey Room), and Ashley Schafer (Praxis).