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Reading Pratices – Stones Against Diamonds

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In October 2020, the Porto-based collective Stones against diamonds launched Arquitetura e “Pessimismo”, a publication focussing on an analysis of the waning role of the State as an entity for the mediation and planning of the “production of space” and its replacement by the “invisible hand of the market”, which progressively integrates architecture into the political and economic structures of neoliberalism. We retrieved this publication for a digital session of Reading Practices with this group to debate the ways in which the translation and publication of critical texts can contribute towards the opening of a debate about the political nature of the materiality of the physical spaces we inhabit. With a name that draws upon a text by Lina Bo Bardi, more than a group, Stones against diamonds is the manifestation of a form of action that aims to stimulate a debate about the political, artistic and disciplinary condition of architecture: first, questioning the role that contemporary architecture plays in an array of political, social and economic transformations; second, interrogating the function of the architect as an intellectual and technician, and discussing the teaching and learning of architecture in the current university model.

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