HARVARD GSD Open House Lecture: Marc and Matthias Armengaud, “Of monsters and territorial reconfiguration. Stories by Marc Armengaud and Matthias Armengaud / AWP”
AWP is now an office for territorial reconfiguration, with lush projects in magazines (and even in real places). But at first there was a punk band, translating off-grid experiences into click’n’cut jazz with a twist of slowed down Rumba. The Suits dubbed us the Subterranean Paris Orchestra and wanted to sell T-shirts. But they lost us when we dived deeper into the dark, the invisible, the wastescapes, and parallel networks. Imagine, we were the kind that still believed you can read, and sometimes even… write books. Once in the 2000’s we made surface, and the New Suits asked us to tell everyone about the dark sides we had walked, while everyone had become a glooobal glamorouzzz and glitttteric arrrchissstar. Off’ we went for deep again, underneath deck urbanism slabs and through abandoned parking lots turned into rice fields by leaking sewers, with Mozart playing too loud from the closeby mall sound system, overlapping with insane smells of deteriorating organics only a few meters underneath high-end corporate towers. We met weird travelers there, owning college degrees and holes in their hopes. We tried to discuss ways to Re-Public Space for the sake of contradiction, but then the Post Suits dropped in with a contract that said “save late modernity if we can’t”. But what could we do? Instant design strategies? Upside down wooden observatories? 2D/3D micro-stages for playful demonstrations? Collaborative night time invasions? Temporary fake public programs? Crap cleaning water factories? Growing buildings?! Insects’ Museums? And what else?! Stories about monsters and territorial reconfiguration?!!