Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis and what an architect wants to be (Part 2)

archigram walking city ron herron

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Architecture, considering its various inputs and expressions is ultimately concerned with construction. It is a whole-brain profession, at its best making full use of left and right. The architect must negotiate real-world constraints and opportunities to arrive at a completed work. Construction is driven by the nature of the materials that are being put together, and regardless of the overall form its soul is revealed in the joints between those materials. The consequence is that an architectural paradigm shift requires a genuine revolution in the nature of materials employed and the means of their construction. Continue reading

Francis Ford Coppola’s Megalopolis and what an architect wants to be (Part 1)

michelangelo david replica forest lawn cemetary by dennis hill flickr

My suggestion for a conversation ice-breaker with Francis Coppola is to show him an image of Michelangelo’s David and mention Forest Lawn. It was there that the then UCLA student shot scenes for his comedy Aymonn the Terrible and gave an early glimpse of the qualities that would come to define him as a filmmaker. Through a combination of charm and audacity Coppola got around the cemetery’s strict ban on filming and then bartered to bring the largest film crane in existence to the location. The film was about a narcissistic sculptor. Continue reading

Architects Without Architecture

Tough economic times have a habit of stimulating periods of reflection. Since the start of this Great Recession there has been no shortage of mirror gazing amongst architects – at the systems of professional practice and the education that precedes them. For many the image has been one of crisis, as much economic as of confidence. For architects this comes after years of decline of authority, having given up team-leader status to the management professionals in evolving contracting models. Continue reading

WORKSPACE: Sagmeister & Walsh, New York City

stefan sagmeister jessaica walsh spacesuits

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READING + RADIO: Slate Political Gabfest

slate political gabfest live emily bazelon john dickerson david plotz

It is a long running joke of mine that I stopped watching American sitcoms when I started to tune in to American politics. The perrmanent campaign has come to pass. Political commentary in the USA in print, on the radio, television and internet is pervasive, seductive and all-consuming – a talking head industrial complex.

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WORKSPACE: Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts), London

Laura Siegel Collection fall winter 2012 Dreams Resurrected

Before Central Saint Martins arrived in Kings Cross it was already one of the UK’s most renowned creative education institutions – with illustrious graduates such as Alexander McQueenStella McCartneyMatthew WilliamsonHussein ChalayanLucian Freud, Gilbert and George, Rebecca Horn, Anthony CaroSade, M.I.A and on and on. CSM has not had a similar reputation in architecture but that may be about to change.

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