by AA Third Years Sofia Pia Belenky and Tobias Hentzer Dausgaard, editors of the AA publication DUE
DUE is aimed at exploring the impact of urgent contemporary topics upon architecture.
Old French deu, ‘to owe, debts owed’; in reference to points of the compass c.1600, ‘due east’; a catalyst ‘due action, -transit, -choice’.
DUE as a due date, something is DUE to happen, an assignment is due, birthday, just do it.
In an atmosphere, permeating both work and academia, where boundaries between professions continue to diminish, DUE encourages conversations and celebrations to cross these borders entirely.
A weekly publication is a paradoxical medium. On the one hand, it suggests that it is bound to the present with urgent information and material – similar to a newspaper. The reality, however, is one in which the authors are required to write something with a short deadline. This time constraint often means that the weekly publication catches a stream of sketches, of half-finished, never published writings, and manifestos.
Forced out of the traditional role as master builder, the role of the architect today is proliferating towards the interdisciplinary. DUE strives to embrace this chaos, and unpredictability by default.
However, the weekly distribution of the publication allows us to respond in almost real time to events and current issues and gives us flexibility to shift around the order in which we publish issues. For example in the wake of Donald Trump’s election, we quickly released a piece on his campaign which felt necessary to print in hot pink (by Hunter O’brien Doyle).
In a time where most of our news comes through social media and is predominantly image based and tweet sized, DUE sits between highbrow/lowbrow, encouraging short pieces that are not academic.
With DUE we have tried to develop a polemic between both sides of the B5 sheet of paper. We work closely together with our graphic designer, Simone Niquille (techno.flesh) who developed a borderless publication to work with the economy of the page. This density of text requires the use of ‘fingergrip’ tools for its reading and suggests its use. You just grab it ‘
DUE aims to be a part of a process, to present a snapshot, and become a part of the production of events and of new works rather than a stage to present a final product.
We hope that the publication can be used as a tool to provoke debate or be disruptive. Recently at the U.S Embassy in London, DUE was used as a tool in protest. The AA is currently going through a lot of changes and several of the issues have used DUE to initiate some of these conversations.
A recent issue by Alessandro Bava lines up a ‘dream staff list and prospectus’ for the AA within the climate of the search for our new director. In such, we hope this piece will stir conversation around the structure and the future of the school. This type of disinformation or Fnord has the potential to misdirect, realign and also trigger discussion.
‘Post-truth’ has been chosen as the “2016 word-of-the-year” by the Oxford English Dictionaries. As the Independent wrote, “the truth has become so devalued that what was once the gold standard of political debate is a worthless currency.”
Digital distribution of information, news, and knowledge is outpacing the remains of physical distribution; ‘fake news’ is redefining and watering out how we trust words. Perhaps in this post-truth climate the production of fictions, new territories, and questions can become ‘real’ through fast paced print.
For more information:
DUE featured in Metropolis magazine