Speculative Coolness Architecture, Media, the Real, and the Virtual
Cantley’s work offers a unique and critical insight into the emergence of a liminal territory that exists between the real and the virtual that mainstream architecture has yet to exploit. Speculative Coolness surveys and collects a highly experimental architecture/design praxis.
This book presents a selected body of his work, showcasing projects which seek to understand and explore the conditions, contexts, and media logics which govern this new territory, and to speculate on the Architecture[s] which it might occupy, and which might occupy it.
Featuring both resolved projects and work[s] that are under development, this anthology represents constructs that locate themselves somewhere between architecture and its documentative media. The projects are presented alongside a series of critical essays written by pre-eminent architectural practitioners and theorists. These essays explore the disciplinary, social, and cultural context of the work, serving to underscore the importance of these explorations to the expansion of disciplinary knowledge.
Foreword: ‘Architectural Cymbalism and the Caress of Steel
Editorial: ‘Read Me’ Instructions for Proper Use
Peter J. Baldwin
1. Emergent CONditions + Media Logics
ME-di@ Logics + Being in the [k]now
‘Ten Years After’
Dora Epstein Jones
2. Dirty Geometries + Mechanical Imperfections
Social AMPs 01,02 + 03
3. Towards a Taxonometric Architecture
On the Move
Ideal for frequent drawers. Not for any use on skin, including tattoos
4. rE-mergent CONditions
Ozone Metric Anomaly
Ministry of [w]Hore-2:culture
Towards a s[Y/N]thetic Reality
Peter J. Baldwin and Bryan Cantley
5. Speculative Conditions
‘S(y/n)taxo[G]nome + (taxon objects)’
Eye, Hand and Mind: an interview with Bryan Cantley
Afterword: Human Error
"Bryan Cantley’s latest book Speculative Coolness is a tour de force in speculative architectural representation. Through an impressively displayed selection of Cantley’s work, it critically explores the liminal realm that separates—and integrates—the digital and analogue voices of architectural representation. For those readers who have been unable to acquire Cantley’s first book Mechudzu: New Rhetorics for Architecture—now long out of print—Speculative Coolness will be a revelation."
Daniel K. Brown, Architecture New Zealand May/June 2023
"For decades, Bryan Cantley has been coolly speculating about architecture that surfs through the suburbs with expressive technology. His beautifully layered drawings, combining computer generation with the craft of hand delineation, manage to evoke without designating, and are in themselves objects of architecture. This book collects some of his best work in an accessible and seductive manner."
Aaron Betsky, Professor, Virginia Tech.
"Delectable, deliberate and dizzying in equal parts, Speculative Coolness is […] a requiem for the masses where promiscuous marks, coded indexes, innovative formations, linguistic shenanigans, and seemingly mystical calibrations are rendered visible in a mind-warping collection. These extraordinarily tantalizing speculations are protests against the spatial and representational straitjackets that for too long have plagued architecture’s visualized and material agency."
Perry Kulper, Architect and Professor, Taubman College of Architecture & Urban Planning, University of Michigan