Attempts on a Critical Architecture,  American Lithography Archive, Borders Without Loss, A Survey of Existing Ruins From the Eruption of Mt St Helens,  Four Ideas on Architectural Production

Adam Fried 2022
A Manifesto in Two Parts

In Underland, Robert Macfarlane explains how the “dizzy expanses” of deep time can create a dangerous comfort, any human impact seeming irrelevant on a geologic time scale. However, MacFarlane claims that we “should resist such inertial thinking [and] urge its opposite - deep time as a radical perspective, provoking us to action, not apathy”

By studying the surroundings of Washington Square Park, historically known as “Land of the Blacks,” this project looks at how an anthropological paper trace, placed alongside a geological time scale creates a dialectic, hopefully provoking political action. As precedent study, the African Free School, 1794, located next to Washington Square Park, is marked by its paper trace; archived student drawings illustrate a colonial pedagogy clearly aimed to erase an African American cultural history, rather than embrace the emancipated population.

Through the program of a rock-cut theatre placed below a reinstated lithography archive and studio, this project, placed at the site of the American Lithograph Building, 1895, merges the geologic and anthropological continuum, hopefully opening place for political critique.


Three Models of Architectural Production

A Manifesto in Two Parts

Architecture can be understood as one of three possible forms of production: praxis, poeisis, and aisthesis. 

Architecture (being a form of production) can be framed as fungible: a system of facimiles.

Projects below are therefore framed first by their method of production, and secondly placed in relation to a dematerialized idea. 

the projects therefore find themselves as: 

a method 
amongst a multitiude of possibilities
a copy and/or readymade


Three Models of Architectural Production


(poiêsis) has a goal or end(telos) outside or beyond itself...

What are we saying when we take knife to foam? Is it the same as putting pen to paper? Are we exploring? Or iterating in order to find meaning within an infinite amount of options?

With AI tools becoming more accessible how can we look at GAN as a method of iteration? Is it possible that foam models are usually arbitrary iterations, and (perhaps like traditional foam models) a AI system allows for greater revision and relooking?

What's the difference between these AI models and a real foam model if both are post-rationalized? How do we approach an infinite foam babel?

Foam Babel, 2022


 “action ( praxis) has goals or ends internal to itself”

The 18-Wheeler isn't the obvious choice for the typical protester,  however, a growing movement in Canada, and its durational success, deserves our attention. An 18-Wheeler alone can act as a critical mass, but in multiples, the truck becomes a hyper-efficient system for lock jam. Unlike a protestor on foot or on bike, the truck acts as a living space, “protesters” able to protest in their heated truck cabs, unaffected by the Canadian weather. Mix that with the hour-long process to tow an 18 wheeler, and you’ve got a perfect protest machine.

While the protests in Canada have fueled radical right-wing politics, some reporters note a widely varying degree of political association, a large number of Canadians frustrated with the tight pandemic restrictions.

While some trucks have been seized, many remain at the crux of protest.

30,000 LBS of Protest, 2022

(fig 1)


“[aisthêsis] is that which can receive perceptible forms [aisthêtôneidôn] without their matter”

The modern condition is perhaps defined by appropriation; the status of an object as a part of an infinitely reproducible network, fundamentally changing how meaning is related to made things. Architecture in the lens of appropriation creates a unique framework for investigation; when the building is seen as a reproduced object, fundamental elements are “borrowed, reclaimed, and reseen,” a framework perhaps converse to western ideals of innovation and genius.

A lidar scan, aptly titled “Basement of Avery Library” emphasizes the impact of an architecture reread, the copy taking a completely new architectural object. 

Basement of Avery Library