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 and politics. We’ll also look at the legacy of a variety of Pop-isms, argue about the relevance of architecture’s abandoned post-modern project, the construction of meanings against the abstraction of modernism, and how Pop-esque strategies might allow architecture a more relevant, engaged and critical stance – a means of escape from abstract formalism.

This is the last in a mini-mini-series of talks and conversations at the Architectural Association entitled ‘POP AND POPULISM’, organised by Shumon Basar, Director of AACP, including legendary pop-troubadour and critic MOMUS; co-editor of Frieze magazine JOERG HEISER; and architect/writer/raconteur SAM JACOB.


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