November, 2008

High Tech As Steampunk …

Actually, taking the last couple of posts, plus something that comes out of Owens post here, I think I’m heading towards a idea that ‘high’ High Tech architecture (the Pompidou, and especially Lloyds – with its moments of historicism such as the Lutine Bell and surreally transposed classical Italianate wood-panelled Adam Room – as well […]



On The Retro Infrastructural

In a reversal of Lloyds futurist-gothic-industrialism, we might wonder what if – for some unexplained reason -industry took on the aesthetics of historical architecture. This image of a historicist oil rig explores this particular notion. In a perverse move – given the current carnage in the construction industry – we’re hiring at FAT right now. […]



Simulations of Industry: High Tech Architecture and Thatcherism

History suggests that the construction of the most ambitious architectural projects immediately precedes the deepest economic slumps. The Lloyds building, for example – the grand edifice of the Citys 80s big bang boom – rapidly became the home of crippling financial crisis. And in this swift reversal of fortune we can read a relationship between […]



David Greene: The Big Nothing

Or: An Exit Strategy for Architecture; Or: Another Kind of Archigram This essay was first published in the excellent catalogue titled “L.A.W.U.N Project 19: The Disreputable Projects of David Greene” produced for David Greenes exhibition at the Architectural Association, (April – May 2008). Get it, if you can. Its a lovely thing! The history of […]



From The Factory to the Allotment: Tony Wilson, Urbanist

I’ve been spending an inordinate amount of time in Lancashire allotments on a research trip sponsored by Livesey/Wilson associates – the regeneration consultants set up by the late Tony Wilson and his partner Yvette. Yes, that Tony Wilson: Factory records, the Hacienda, Joy Division et al. This boggy, scrubby, almost abandoned allotment overlooking Accrington seems […]



Koolhaas HouseLife / Gan Eden: The Revenge of Architectural Media

Architectural culture has less to do with buildings, and a whole lot more to do with the reproduction of its own image. It significance is communicated through media – from super-fast blogs, news driven magazines, to books and the journals of academia. Each of these media sites allows a particular view of architecture – but […]



Offshoring Audacity

As Geoff has already posted over at BldgBlog, I’ll be participating in a discussion at the Chicago Humanities Festival on Saturday, November 8th. Geoff and I will be joined by Joseph Grima and Jeffrey Inaba. More info: Look abroad: Whole cities are planned, built, and inhabited in less than a generation. Artificial islands, indoor ski […]



Vernacular Spectaculars: On Pop, the Everyday, and Escapology

6.00pm, Monday November 3rd, Architectural Association, London Vernacular Spectaculars: On Pop, the Everyday, and Escapology Through a series of examples – a close reading of penny chews; a history of half timbering; the chemistry of Starbucks foam – the talk will tour some sites of everyday pop-vernaculars in an attempt to unravel their codes, meanings […]