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The sixth edition of inter·mission, lamenting and professing our frustrations with politics and power in 2018.  Download PDF.

Note from the Editors

We find it difficult in this time to live with ourselves under the constant distraction and disillusion of our political climate. Focusing on studies and blocking out the imminent issues surrounding us provides temporary solace, but fosters long term
ignorance and eventual helplessness. Taking a stab at talking about these themes in our work and now in writing, the best thing that can be done at times like these is to educate and ruminate. In this issue we document some reactions to today’s discourse and would like to think of “impeach” as more than political protocol - and attempt to examine our relationship with the process along with its larger implications.

The title impeach instantly brings to mind certain individuals and certain intentions. Perhaps we can push slightly further and use the term to encapsulate our distaste with the system and use it as a vessel to apply those feelings elsewhere. Dissatisfaction with authority has long been a motivator for great societal change, and is how many revolutions, artistic movements, theories, and philosophies were conceived. Regardless of origin, such powerful feelings should be respected and used as engenders of change. And in the end, all any of us want to see is a little change.

Cover illustration by Daniel Noh

The Trump Index
Christoph Eckrich

A selection of statements made publicly by Donald Trump, and the associated factual statements.

Claimed amount of influence over Florida Senate race after intervening with allegations of election fraud: “A Lot”
Percentage by which Rick Scott won the election: 0.1%
Average percentage of factual statements made in rallies in Montana during July and September: 26%
Amount claimed to have been spent on The Wall: $3.2 billion
Amount dedicated by congress to spend on fortifying the southern border: $1.6 billion
Percentage of that money allowed to be spent on the construction of a wall1: 0%
Claimed attendance rate for post-election speeches: 25,000
Recorded attendance for most post-election rallies: under 10,000
Amount claimed to owe in trade deficit to China last year: “…anywhere from 375 billion to 504 billion”
Margin of error on that statement: 25.6%
Trade deficit according to the Census Bureau in 2017: $375 billion
Number of subscribers reported to be leaving The New York Times after Trump won the election: “all”
Ranking of 2016 in terms of on-line subscriber growth for The New York Times: #1
Percentage of GDP in the “biggest tax cut in the history of our country”: .9%
Biggest tax cut under Reagan: 2.89% of GDP
“Unheard of” percentage of second quarter GDP growth under Trump: 4.2%
Second quarter GDP growth under Obama: 5.1%
Jobs claimed to be created since being elected: 4 million
Jobs created including three months before Trump was elected: 3.4 million
Manufacturing jobs promised to be created: 600,000
Manufacturing jobs actually created: 348,000
Amount claimed to have been spent on turning the consulate in Jerusalem into an embassy: $400,000
Amount actually spent: $20.4 million
Number of times Trump cited Clinton’s 223 electoral college votes: 16
Amount of electoral college votes Clinton won in the 2016 election: 232
Number of times Trump claimed to have signed the Veterans Choice Act: 49
Date when the Veterans Choice Act was signed into law: 2014
Claimed value of arms deal with Saudi Arabia: $110 billion
Value of arms deal confirmed by the Pentagon: $14.5 billion
Margin of overstatement: 87%
Claimed percentage increase in economic performance: 38%
Percentage by which the Dow Jones has risen since inauguration: 25%
Percentage by which the S&P 500 has risen: 18%
Stated trade deficit: $800 billion per year
U.S. official trade deficit in 2017: $566 billion
Stated size of the ocean in comparison to the entire atmosphere: “very small”
Factor by which the oceans mass exceeds that of the atmosphere: 300,000
Amount of heat gain in the last decade that has been absorbed by the oceans: 90%

[1] In Orwellian fashion the fence has become the new wall
Citations and statistics were drawn from the Toronto Star, Politifact, and

Impeach Architecture
Nicholas Coppula

This past summer, Trump made news (as he is fond of doing) regarding his criticism of Brutalism and the FBI building. From the Boston Globe on August 1, 2018:

FBI, President Trump reportedly ranted this
week about the agency’s imposing concrete
headquarters in Washington. “Even the building
is terrible,” a source for the news website Axios
quoted him as saying. “It’s one of the Brutalisttype
buildings, you know, Brutalist architecture.
Honestly, I think it’s one of the ugliest buildings
in the city.” Why does Trump harbor such disdain
for this architectural movement? After spending
a decade researching Boston’s Brutalist
architecture, we suspect there are two reasons
— the first political, the second aesthetic.1

As architects, perhaps we have yet another reason to want to impeach him now. However, discussing this at length is simply an unproductive release valve to help us manage the struggle of his absurd presidency. Examining the motivations behind this
statement could perhaps yield something more fruitful. The cold, hard, and unadorned nature of concrete (employed extensively in the Brutalist style) is in stark contrast with the glamorous nature of the TRUMP brand (think “Trump Tower” in gold
on a glass building). These suggest the motivations of Trump being largely selfish and internal. This lack of consideration for anything beyond the surface level—architecturally represented as the facade—appears to be part of Trump’s M.O. Part of the reason for such extensive use of concrete in Brutalist buildings was economic—
something Trump could perhaps appreciate if he bothered to look beyond the appearance. The architecture appears to be accentuating the already tenuous dynamic between Trump and the FBI.

A parallel can be seen emerging when it comes to supporters and detractors of well-known architecture (the FBI building included). Architecture has often been comprised of broad statements and assumptions, characterized by wide movements
and -isms and it seems to often be fighting these same motivational issues. Broad statements and assumptions are never good, but at the Presidential level, they can cause an unprecedented amount of damage and obfuscation. While Trump may
shamelessly embrace this method of operating, I hope that architects are able to, as a minimum, be aware of the effects of such simplifications.

This is why architecture must impeach itself. Striving to eliminate unfair assumptions or broad sweeping statements may make the field more accessible. The destruction of architectural authority could create a new wave of free design. We have to consider that only 1 to 2 percent of houses are built with an architect in the United States but this does not stop swaths of homogeneous nature-erasing suburbia
from being built every year. The relevance of the Architect is ever diminishing, and we must find new ways to work within our current era. Airbnb has stepped into the game with “Backyard” by looking at homes “designed and built for sharing” which
apparently cannot be approached “solely from the point of view of design, architecture, urbanism, civic ordinance, sustainable materiality or manufacturing.
[Those at Backyard] have to grapple with the whole of it, which makes it one of the most vexing, complex, and interconnected conditions we deal with every day.” New models such as this could easily be overlooked if we are paralyzed by authority, and in our contemporary moment we must seek to decentralize and impeach all of our venerated traditions.


Build Limericks, not walls    
Harsh Kedia

Below is a small selection of a series of limericks generated algorithmically from the tweets of President Donald Trump - done to display the general reductivism and simplicity displayed by the supposed leader of the free world. The idea is to subvert - by decontextualizing and changing meaning - and hopefully make poetry out of hatred and ignorance.

There was once a man who wasn’t exactly lucid,
“Oil will be everyone’s problem, our leaders are stupid!”,
He’d often doozer,
“Decimated by the court, he’s a loser!”,
All of his claims were later disputed.

There was once a man who was known to accuse,
“Just another phony story by the fake news!”,
He was often mad,
“Trump campaign is not bad!”,
It just seemed like he was confused.

There was once a man who would often bawl,
“We must build a great wall!”,
Often, he’d overuse,
“Sadly, it is not being reported that way
by the fake news!”,
But to be fair, he wasn’t very tall.

There was once an old schmoozer,
“Me, I’m proud of myself, you’re a loser!”,
He was often mad,
“They are very expensive and bad!”,
He came to be known as quite the