New Geographies journal aims to examine the emergence of the geographic, a new but for the most part latent paradigm in design today—to articulate it and bring it to bear effectively on the agency of design. For more than a decade, architecture and urbanism have been seen as the spatial manifestation of the widespread effects of globalization. Within the design disciplines, key words such as rapid urbanization, mapping, networks, and flows affected the analyses and interpretation of emergent mutations on the spatial and urban dimension. On the one hand, design attitudes toward this expanding scale resulted with a project of research/mapping on the emergent urban conditions and processes, resulting with various retroactive manifestos with valid evidences. On the other hand, the production and popularity of design in contemporary culture has increased immensely resulting with the emergence of the iconic landmark. In parallel to these developments, however, the idea of agency has not been critically speculated. Although in the past decade different versions of landscape and infrastructural urbanism have emerged in response to similar challenges, this new condition we call “the geographic" points to more than a shift in scale. As the synthesizing role that geography aspired to play among the physical, the economic, and the sociopolitical is now being increasingly shared by design, New Geographies is interested in new associations or linkages between the social and the physical, the form and the context, the very large and the very small. Rather than being merely fascinated by larger contexts and their exaggerated depictions, the ambition of the journal is to question possible frameworks that are less about mere extravagance and seduction with facts and more about attitudes and projects. Positing the urgency to discuss new relationships between critical stance and speculative work, the journal aims to open up discussions on the expanded agency of the designer, agency both as a form of capacity in relation to new techniques and strategies, and as a faculty of acting, power, and disciplinary repositioning.
Contributors to New Geographies #0 include Stan Allen, Neil Brenner, Stefano Boeri, Vicente Guallart, Alexander D'Hooghe, Bruno Latour, Mohsen Mostafavi, Antoine Picon, Hashim Sarkis, Peter Sloterdijk, Ecosistema Urbano, Charles Waldheim, and Alex Wall.
Photo credits: Image 1: Photo by NEMESTUDIO.