The Social Network Bank: Looking for an Alternative

Core Architecture Studio 2

Spring 2013

William Alfonso Arbizu, critic

The twentieth century saw the rise of consumerism and marginalization of anything hinting at a collective socio-political body. It also saw a shift in the perception of banks from stability to instability—bank retail outlets now appear and disappear as frequently as any endeavor subject to market pressures. Using images of “happy lifestyles,” banks sugarcoat harsh mechanisms of self-interest that have brought them to the brink of insolvency.

This studio proposed using alternate models of banking—formed in response to the crisis—as a way to explore architecture’s role in the creation of space for disparate communities to coalesce around the services a newly civic-minded or radical bank might provide. Our studio process conceived architecture as a way of imagining possible futures, a “bringing forth” as Heidegger would put it. For us, architecture is a verb, it does not symbolize, it creates, it “brings forth.” As a critique of the current state of affairs, we imagined spatial, programmatic and social realities that have yet to exist.

Abe Bendheim A/B/C
Ekkaphon Puekpaiboon D/E