Archive for September, 2006


Wednesday, September 27th, 2006

Note to self: remember to check for online version before typing out yourself – Guardian Unlimited: Into the deep.


Tuesday, September 26th, 2006

A couple of quotes from an interview with Anish Kapoor in Saturday’s Grauniad; posted here partly as a further addition to past Kapoor entries and partly because interviews with artists who laugh a lot are so bloody rare.

On new, inverted, dark space:

Well, says the interviewer Simon Hattenstone, everything you paint or make seems like a fanny in one way or another.

Hahahahaha! Hahahahaha! My art is upside down and inside out. Absolutely. I’ve always said that. You might be quoting me there, hahahaha! I would say that to make new art, you need to make new space. The modernist space, all the great modern art, has been like the rocket, phallic, onwards and upwards. The new space is the opposite of that. It’s in the gutter, it’s deep, dark inverted, it’s inside out. If you think what the space of the internet is, it’s a curious non-space – it’s like it’s turning itself inside out because you can create so much more space by going in and deep. So this is, in a curious way, the future, and it links psychologically to the past and, as you say, it’s sexual.

On the kinds of form:

There are only two kinds of form. The one that sticks out and the form that sticks in. Everything else is flat, that’s a fact.

Euroclad commendation

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

Here’s a fitting to end to my last collaboration with Tony:

Dear Rob and Tony

I’m very pleased to inform you that you have been awarded a commendation in the 2006 Euroclad Drawing Competition, organised in conjunction with Architecture Today and judged by Piers Gough and Sadie Morgan. There will be a prizewinners’ lunch in central London on October 19th, which I hope you will be able to attend. Further details on this will follow shortly from CIB Communications. We shall be publishing the winning and commended entries in the October issue of Architecture Today.

Congratulations and best wishes


Ian Latham
Publishing Editor
Architecture Today

London bloggers – you know who you are – celebratory drinks on October 19th? Keep your diaries free.


Friday, September 22nd, 2006

Help! A few weeks ago I saw a link on somebody’s data shadow/stream/fog about a study on the way wealth is situated in urban environments. It refuted the well understood ‘wedge’ model and demonstrated a ‘doughnut’ form around cities in the US.

Was it you who linked it up? I can’t remember. Help me out and send over the url if you’ve seen it.


Friday, September 22nd, 2006

Another couple of quotes I want to etch onto this entry for future reference…

Firstly, another paragraph from the same entry by PartIV:

Alain de Botton is given short thrift by the architecture establishment, seemingly because he has the audacity to meddle in their affairs, of which, they assume, he can know nothing. He is suffering from the Prince Charles effect – the willingness to speak up on behalf of the common man about a subject he has currently wondered [sic] into whether by accident or purpose. Having read his latest book, “The Architecture of Happiness” I did find it a little wanting and naïve from an architect’s perspective. I’ll leave the reviews to the qualified. And indeed that’s how he came across in this debate. You could almost hear the “tut-tuts” and eye-rolls from the audience. But at least he’s willing to bring up these issues and take them to the public, which is more than most of the assembled architects are willing to do, preferring instead to incestuously breed ideas.
When at the end, he said that he was “looking forward to being able to appreciate the ugly”, I don’t think he was being ironic at all.

and a section from Ze Franks video blog The Show:

For a very long time, taste and artistic training have been things that only a small number of people have been able to develop. Only a few people could afford to participate in the production of many types of media. Raw materials like pigments were expensive; same with tools like printing presses; even as late as 1963 it cost Charles Peignot over $600,000 to create and cut a single font family.

The small number of people who had access to these tools and resources created rules about what was good taste or bad taste.

Over the last 20 years, however, the cost of tools related to the authorship of media has plummeted. Suddenly consumers are learning the language of these authorship tools. The fact that tons of people know names of fonts like Helvetica is weird! […]

As people start learning and experimenting with these languages authorship, they don’t necessarily follow the rules of good taste. This scares the shit out of designers.

In Myspace, millions of people have opted out of pre-made templates that ‘work’ in exchange for ugly. Ugly when compared to pre-existing notions of taste is a bummer. But ugly as a representation of mass experimentation and learning is pretty damn cool.

(found via Matt’s Iterative Architecture presentation)

developing links

Friday, September 22nd, 2006

Another good write-up on the biennale over at Developing News: David at the Venice Biennale.

Muppets only

Wednesday, September 20th, 2006

The above link was wonky. Now fixed thanks to comments from Norman, who also points out that the AJ appear to have experimented with the possibility of a blogspot account but have yet to post any entries to it:

A de B and OMA

Monday, September 18th, 2006

Part IV returns from Venice with some well written reviews of the biennale:

King Rem laid into Alain a little. I felt as though I were witnessing the start of a fox hunt. I think Rem’s deluded when he states that “all architects have good intentions”, but his real frustration with dilettantes such as Alain is that he is too gentle and not constructive enough. Rem cried out “We need help!” due to the absence of criticism – a point made (although admittedly not well made) by this blogster previously. Critics nowadays are kissing starchitects’ arses because they want to publish their coffee table books. King Rem feels this lack of intelligent criticism between the authors of the built environment and their critics is leading to a real paucity of architectural quality. We are really lacking a Mumford, Huxtable, or Jacobs today. At least, that’s what I took from it.

From My Kind of Town.

Members only

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

The AJ launches a blog.

Astragal starts blogging

For the first time in the 111-year history of the AJ, the magazine’s most famous contributor has gone virtual. Indeed, in a move that will astonish some of his longest serving readers, Astragal has started his very own blog.

Some of the highlights of his first effort at e-scribbling include tales of welding dwarves, a collection of Mackintosh look-alikes, why architects are big in the movies and Seb Coe attempting a pun.

Enjoy Astragal at

But decides to keep it behind their subscription site. Doh!

If anybody can tell me why this shouldn’t be out front and accessible to everyone as a way of generating interest in the magazine and taking part in the blogging scene, please get in touch and illuminate me.