A Comment

Thursday 15th March § Leave a comment

“Im a philosophical hobbyist, do this just for kicks and giggles but seriously nice work on the anti kitsch, I love when people identify things its good beans … To go calmly into the dark is to forget the power of the candle said confused gus

what is school teaching about true good endure these days? yeah thats my question smarty pants 🙂 really im curious though, is sophism more identifiable than rightousness in self reflection? for that matter am I only trying to shine a light on something I have no idea or concept of or do we all already understand the universe but forget certain parts? TRUTH GOODNESS and ENDURANCE thats how the artistry survives, keep it up and soon I will invent a medal for people like you who nail coffins of predispositional mummys, the tomb of proof is beauty in art, the questions all outweigh the real truths, over englishification of something so very very simple equals people going crazy to figure things out when they only need to step down their two feet at once thats all they need now draw it and email me it and I will have a resounding feeling of hope that I am accurate and goodness will prevail ! truth comes cheap always in exchange for favor for favor, they say social credit is the last thing keeping us away from them too dont forget to put that into your picture there”

This is a comment left by a person called Cory at 5:30 on the 12th of March. Originally posted on the About Me page.

I’m not sure what to make of it. It’s complimentary, I think. (In all honesty, I can’t make sense of quite a lot of it). I hadn’t considered the possibility that people might actually read this stuff, or that they might read it in semi-seriousness. So I want to add this disclaimer: Please, don’t believe anything you read here. It’s just random musings on what I’m thinking at one point in time, mainly composed in a sleep deprived, hyperactive, or UHU fume stupor and has the type of intellectual rigour that would make a tabeloid journalist proud.

In response to Cory’s question about truth goodness and endurance (if I understand it correctly): We’ve yet to be taught any theory beyond the very basics at the Uni: colour theory, primary objects and systems of proportion. Metaphysics within architecture is so far beyond the horizon that we could quite possibly never have to think about it. At the moment the drive is to prod us towards creating Architecture (pronounced with a capital A).

Personally, I’m cynical about the idea of ‘true’ architecture (or an art), because that suggests that there should be one unified style of architecture, devoid of originality. Not that originality in itself is worth a hat.

Project Wrap Up

Saturday 17th February § Leave a comment

Garden Of Light project. 1:50 model of the pavilion. Carved out of a single block of plaster. Friendly feedback.

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50% of the design unit’s mark, or 1/8th of a years work.

A Windy Day

Friday 19th January § 2 Comments

After having done almost nothing for the last two weeks, I’ve
tried to compensate by two weeks worth of activities in the space of two days.

Yesterday was really spent on borrowed time, after having not slept that evening. About 5:30 in the morning I decided that I was going to write(code) a fullscreen image viewer, which is really useful for previewing images.

There was a fantastic open-lecture by the sudo-client (who’s name I promptly forgot) for the Performing Arts centre designed by Raphael Vinioli. It’s a really interesting project: two theatres, setup in such a way that either can make use of an extended central stage, or even to open up the whole space to include both spaces, the idea was that the workings of the stages would be revealed to the public. What was really interesting was hearing from a clients eye view on such a huge project. This guy was so pashionate about the project and the possibilities, this is Stage 1 of an idea he’s been pushing for 8 years now. Really crappy on the eco front, and 3 times over it’s initial budget, it’s still quite brilliant architecture. (Apparently, being environmentally friendly costs approximately 5% extra)

Today was a bit slow to start. Missed the last of the moisture ingress laboratories because I slept in. Spent 2 hours messing about in Sketchup. For our first model we’ll be copying Mies Van De Rohe’s iconic Barcelona Pavilion, originally designed in 1929 (The current pavilion is a 1970’s replica, because the original got carefully dismantled, but then they lost. They lost a whole building in the post!). The roof of the CAD-lab was groaning ominously in the storm-force winds. The courtyard of our building was roped off because but’s of the Fletcher building where falling off.

Then Rose, Chris and I went house shopping ‘round lunchtime but discounted that property because it didn’t have a double bed. But later saw a house at 5 and came out and within half an hour we’d each withdrawn a £250 deposit so hopefully that will go through in the morning – in my absence. It couldn’t be closer to the campus.

In between the house hunting I sketched a small doodle that I instantly saw in 3D. No inspirations, no process. Miraculous conception.

It’s more like walk through sculpture than true ‘architecture’. Blurry lines I know. General themes that I was pondering at the time: wind 🙂 waves, texture and puzzling about what makes an idea worthy of scaling up into an all out concept. How do you chose what to develop? Why? How should that choice be made? But in the end this idea turned up out of nowhere, complete, and perfectly formed and so I’m just going to go along with it. It’s not as if I can forget this idea, so I’m stuck with it, no matter how hard its going to be to draw/model/construct. Anyway, next Wednesday shoud see inductions into the Metal Working workshops which will be brill.

Then there was climbing (glowing tinglyness throughout), followed by a brief spell in another pub, but I left before the pub quiz got started because my head aches.

Apparently the ‘place to be’ for live music in Leicester is a tiny pub called The Twisted Toucan, with open mic sessions with talented people and live Reggae and cool stuff like that.

Right now I’m enjoying flipping between ‘The Trial Of Tony Blair’ and the realities of Newsnight. Fiction and reality merging. There are moments when it’s . Switch from a fake Gordon Brown patronising likqwl kiddies in a classroom to the real Gordon, being even more patronising to a group of kids on the starting block of a school race, cut to him chewing the cud (in reality). Meaningful TV.

Oh, and tomorrow I’m going to gawp at the glossy glass losenge starchitecture of Manchester as part of the Uni. 10 buildings within the course of the day.

And for those in the loop, I think I’ve lost my mobile phone.

One huge plus-side, in my rather manic search for my mobile, I happened to look behind my bedside cupboard where I discovered my tiny Fuji digital camera that I thought I’d lost about 2 months ago. In the mean time, believing that the Fuji was well and truly vanished I treated myself to a fantastic Pentax digital SLR. Techno-gluton that I am, I’m tempted to keep them both. Photos will be forthcoming.
If I mention that Irn-Bru is a godly drink which would be ideal accompanied by a shot(glass) of lemon(juice) then I’ve manged to tick off all of those pesky category thingies down the side in the one post.

Love to all & noswaith da.

The Second Review

Friday 8th December § Leave a comment

The Openings & Boundaries project has been interesting. I don’t feel as if I pushed myself enough somehow. ‘They’ seemed to like it, so I suppose it’s OK. I think this is one of these things where I’ll look back at it in a month and be able to ignore all the smudges + rough edges, and hopefully feel good about it.

This isn’t b******* honestly, it just sounds so fraudulent.

I was exploring the ways of combining two different design ‘languages’ within the same space, as well as the interface between inside and outside.

Yup, I can really talk the talk.

‘Opening & Boundary’ Cross Section

The really tedious bit is still too come: accurately drawing my curvey/angled model as an axonometric . There isn’t a right angle in the whole model. Will I ever find time to do some Christmas shopping?

Oh, and I’m still alive.

Towards A Humane Architecture by Bruce Allsopp

Wednesday 29th November § 2 Comments

The cover of this book reveals it’s heretical intentions. A relic of 60’s social housing stands forlorn with one corner sheared away while rescue workers fluster in the wreckage. The title also contains an implied criticism of Le Corbusiers most famous works, ‘Verse Un Architecture’ (which translates too ‘Towards A New Architecture’) and the social eliteism that he encouraged.

Under the guise of an academic, Bruce Allsopp has produced a wildly passionate inditement of all that he sees as being wrong with the current state of architecture as well as berating society’s wider disinterest in design, with a particular vehemence reserved for the beurocracies of the urban planner. When I say ‘current’ it’s important to understand that this book was first published in 1974, but it’s frightening how apt his criticisms are considering the time period. Though he doesn’t use the term starchitecture he derides the architecture that they produce: the extravagant iconic building that is 95% image (the Bilbao’s of this world) which still consume our best architects. If nothing else, the issues of land ownership vs. public good are even more entrenched now. Has nothing changed?

Unfortunately there is a terrible flaw in this book, when Allsopp reveals his academic side in the chapter ‘Aedicule and Trilithon’. His theories about architectural history may well be true, but it reads so out of place with the rest of the book. Luckily this excursion into historical archetypes is only 9 pages long.

I would urge anyone student of architecture to read this book at the earliest opportunity (particularly with reference to the chapter “The Architect and his Ego”). This is without hesitation the best book that I’ve read concerned with the failings of architecture.

Towards A Humane Architecture

Tony Hunt’s Structures Notebook (Second Edition)

Tuesday 21st November § Leave a comment

Published by the Architectural Press.

I took out this book at the beginning of term, and it’s interesting to see how my perspective has changed on it. What this book contains is mainly things that anyone interested in architecture should be noticing all the time combined with the structural basics that we were taught in the first five weeks of term.

Looking back I’m not sure who this is targeted at. It’s so simple to absorb that I can imagine having it on the shelf of an architecture practice for visitors to flick through. It would make a good gift for someone considering studying architecture, as an accompaniment to work experience (15 to 16 year olds) maybe.

What the book doesn’t contain is a lot of writing. Instead, there are neat pen drawings which are great because they strip everything down to the bare skeleton. Everything reduced to black & white lines. It makes things look so simple. Maybe that’s the point… to inspire people to push the boundaries. If ever I get stuck with a structural problem, this would be a first place to turn too for a glimpse of the possibilities.

3/5 Stars

Music of the moment: ‘Simple’ by Martha Tilston, who happens
to have a new album out called ‘of milkmaids & architects’

‘Psychology For Architects’ by David Canter

Tuesday 21st November § Leave a comment

It’s been a while since the last book review. Time for some psychology. I don’t know how widely published this volume is. I imagine it might be the kind of book only to be found in very specialist libraries. It’s part of the ‘Architectural Science Series’ if that’s any help.

Instead of the (in my limited experience) approach of other books covering this subject which tend to draw out specific examples of design, which are then labeled ‘good’ or ‘bad’, this book tries to teach you approaches to tackle psychological problems, which is good in theory, but involves some heavy thinking.

I found this was a really hard read. I had to take multiple goes at the middle section to get past ‘Underlying Dimensions’. there’s the wretched feeling that I’m almost not quite getting the big picture. Made me feel stupid, but I’m sure that in this case the book didn’t help.

One of the nice things that I liked about it was the way D. Canter kept referencing back to real-world studies, which I found refreshing. It makes such a difference to feel that there is some real science behind the jargon.

A hard read, and I’m not sure if I’ve learnt anything practical to draw into the studio. I feel that this is a book that might be best re-reading, by which point I might be getting somewhere, but don’t think I can face the tedium.

1.5/5 Stars

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