London Metropolitan University



Sep '04 - Nov '06

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    [105]Advanced Architecture is Child's Play

    By bigness
    Nov 9, '05 10:04 AM EST

    Wow, it's been 2 weeks since my last post...boy, i suck!
    So, the state of the nation at this point in time is...Unit work-wise, we're about 2 weeks behind schedule, the initial shelter project still being thhe center of attention.
    I guess in many ways you would be made to think that they were expecting a bit more from us, and from our part we felt that this wold be a rather smooth intro to the unit's ideas and agenda.
    What i have noticed, and found quite puzzling, is the continous shift in the level of attention paid to our scientific research background. "Blob" Architecture that claims to be responsive should have a solid backing, yet we are constantly reminded that with ignorance comes the ability to think outside the box, and make propositions that go beyond the usual engineered responses to extreme natural phenomena. It's about find a ballance i guess.

    The other thing we are working on at the moment is our digital design elective, which pretty much runs along the same lines of the unit work...advanced cad, parametric design, cad cam etc...but since we're in a working class university, noone has had the courage to dish out the 200 pounds for a 3d print, and we'll have to wait for january when our in-house facilities will finally open.

    Yesterday night I went to see Mark Gulthorpe's lecture at the AA. Very inspiring stuff, and again, what strikes me is the naivity with which situations were approached...a piece would be designed without knowing exactly how it would be manufactured or even transported to it's location. This takes a lot of self belief, a healthy dose of madness and a very straight face in the face of angry clients, workmen and neighbors.

    ("yes mr smith, the 250 kg solid alluminium wall hanging from the ceiling of the flat below you causes your bed, placed directly above it, to shake for 10 minutes every time someone touches it...but you'll learn to like it!")

    But this means that they are always pushing the boundaries of design, production and assembly. Obviously this means these project happen in a very sheltered environment, with a wife paying the bills and a very rich client willing to go along with it, but that is common, and can hardly be an accusation. Funnily enough, some of the work gave the impression that there's a little minimalist lurking at the bottom of dECOi's heart...

    (second very long intersection...Gulthorpe always referes to Parisians in a very moking tone, and you get the impression he doesn't like them very much. While i might agree with his opinion, parisians can be quite unfriendly, as any dweller of a big city can be, you wonder why he decided to set his practice in paris...could that have anything to do with where his bill paying life lives?)

    So yes, some of th stuff is self absorbed, concerned only with itself, but there is a ahuge potential, and this really is someone who is developing some of the tools we will be all relying on in the future. Or at least this is my opinion, just wondering what others might think of it.

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