As a child I was never very good at the Ishihara Test for colour blindness and I’m no better at it now. I can’t pick the numbers in any of the below even though it’s usually screamingly obvious to anyone without a degree of male-pattern red-green colour blindness. These are the people who, when I […]
Tag: the forces operating against a useful architecture
For me, this linking of Brutalism with the Solomon R. Guggenheim is the last straw. There’s little point recalling Brutalism’s former role of applying economies of materials and the rationalities of construction to fill a social need. That all belonged to a time three quarters of a century ago when national governments were still concerned […]
Rats! I didn’t win or even get an honorable mention in the2020 Architectural Fairy Tales Competition.I know, I know. I knowI shouldn’t have written an architectural parablein which everyone got what they thought they wantedand lived happily for a while. The Red Igloo Once upon a time, all Inuit people made igloos the same way. […]
The 1970s obsession with “go faster” stripes on cars manifested itself in Australia with the Ford Capri and GM’s Holden Monaro. The stripes didn’t make the cars go any faster but they did indicate the vehicle had a higher-performance specification. In only a few years time, post modernism and signifiers detached from signifieds were to become […]
The Space Merchants is a 1952* science fiction novel by Frederick Poihl and C.M. Kornbluth, depicting a future world in which industry and advertising are completely merged and working to market sham products to a human underclass called “users”. As I write, industry and advertising aren’t yet the same thing but they may as well […]
The first difference I noticed in my recent ArchDaily bingewatch [c.f. Misfits’ Trienniale] was how less intrusive text was. It was now optional with a “Read more” link that, to be accurate, should probably more correctly read “Read?” Clicking it loaded the “story” as images interspersed with text mostly describing those images – the captions, basically. […]
A smart city is a data-mining machine for living in.
Large buildings don’t build themselves. They’re always going to be the product of some well thought-out and scaled-up system of production. The field of project management exists to comprehend and control this system to deliver the required result at the appropriate level of quality, the required budget and the required time. I used to begin […]
An Unfinished Experiment in Living is the title of a 2018 book describing Australian architect-designed houses over the period 1950–1965, and how they not only reflected what was happening in Australian society but created the grounds for wider changes. It was a time when architecture could make a difference – until it wasn’t anymore. Hence the […]
Late last year I visited the site of the Solar Decathlon Middle East 2018, held in Dubai. The overall winner was Virginia Tech with their FutureHAUS. Here’s a vid overview. Early on we see images of robots making automobiles, as if this is how those larger consumer objects known as houses could and should be […]
This book "100 Ideas That Changed Architecture" raised questions about the ideas that define it.
Representing a myth a people like to believe about themselves is a sure-fire path to everlasting fame as an architect. Frank Lloyd Wright did it with Fallingwater which is not so much a poem to bountiful American Nature but to the pioneers claiming and taming it. Tadao Ando did it with his Sumiyoshi House that perpetrated the Japanese ascetic aesthetic myth we […]
When we have an architecture that fulfils no shelter need, it’s no surprise we get vertical farm proposals that satisfy no real food requirement. Vertical farms are not going to look like this. Ever. They’ll most likely look like this if they don’t already – sheds providing conditions suitable for plants to grow. Plants being plants, those […]
The ancient Romans believed genius loci was the protective spirit of a place. Here’s genius in the middle, fresco-bombed by a serpent circa 70BC Pompeii. These days we’re too modern to believe in spirits. Instead, we like to think genius loci refers to a place’s distinctive atmosphere or feel or spirit, rather than any guardian spirit per se. In […]