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weblog archives
eXTReMe Tracker
Thursday, March 25, 2004
A friend in New Zealand spotted the BBC's Tricorn-mashing story and emails me in glee - he's never liked the building. Meanwhile, over at City of Sound, Dan Hill picks over the potential legacy of the building, its failure to engage the public and how it might be seen as symptomatic of modernism's reception in this country. 'Therefore, perhaps we should pity the Tricorn - because it tried to raise the bar, but was let down by shoddy implementation and the fact that the rest of British culture didn't raise its game in return.' As I type, Radio 4 is broadcasting the sound of locals cheering as the wrecking ball pounds away (the Tricorn's powdery passing has even inspired some poetry: 'At last the Tricorn's gone, but now / I get a sense of dread / The powers that be, in fits of glee, will build far worse instead.')

Could the spirit of modernism - its pioneering spirit, if you want to be heroic about it - conceivably be blended with today's more pragmatic, technology-centric methods of assessing a design's functionality? There's a strand of artistic enquiry that dismisses such over-analysis. Those practitioners who insist that architecture is an art - indeed, the mother of all arts - scoff at the increasing importance of professional consultants, focus groups, consultations, visualisations, etc., etc., that are now a part of constructing anything of significance.

Can emotional content be predicted, even replicated, in visualisation? A recent news story commented on the 'relentless' demand for computer game-style animations of the forthcoming Scottish Parliament, as the clients scrabbled to understand how the project would finally appear (see the ongoing Holyrood Inquiry for more). Is this anecdote symptomatic of a growing distrust of architects? The idea that a walk-through might present an experience equivalent to actually being inside a building is wishful thinking indeed.

I also missed Dan's post on the Barbican. He recalled that his earliest memory of the complex actually came from a fond-remembered computer game. It made me think about memories and place, and how the importance of the physical experience of built space is slowly ebbing away, as design is homogenised into bland uniformity. Real buildings are previewed as glossy visualisations so we can allegedly understand them better, but inevitably the reality fails to match up. At the same time, more and more people get their spatial kicks from virtual spaces that have little or no bearing on the real world. More on this next week.

*

Other things. In the marketing classes of the future, there'll be an audible groan from the class when the now-familiar shape of a Dasani bottle appears on the projector screen. Coca-Cola's PR disaster of a launch kicked off with a thrilling revelation, moved into hardcore media saturation with a high-profile product recall and has now culminated in total market withdrawal. Impressive stuff. Not that the company should worry too much (check their extensive brand list). Some, however, are still hoping to cash in on the disaster.

Elsewhere. friends with you is cute and creepy / illustration work by Kozyndan, aka Dan and Kozy. Page upon page of sketches, and my favourite image, Uprising - Hokusai with rabbits. Their panoramic of Berwick Street is also great, as are the rabbits invading the US.

Christian Rock: A Documentary looks well worth checking out, especially for the great Danielson Famile footage. I wonder what kind of approach the film will take - anthropological? Broadly sympathetic? Mocking? / Heures Creuses, a weblog / down in the sewer with Lightningfield.

Wires, on rebuilding (re-wiring) Iraq (via Milton, amongst others). Related: Somehow, We’re Still Talking, Bridget Walsh Regan notes in her photo-essay for tmn, both confused and amazed by the scrappy tangle of wire that wraps around cities, carrying everything and everyone.

The world's most irritating phrases. Is there a clichéwatch feature in Microsoft Word? That would help me a lot / million reasons for wanting to carry on living / unusual musical stylings at Comfort Stand, which offers free online albums / a new issue of Delve Magazine hits your monitors: the Red Issue.

48 Nowheres, just one of many things (and places) to be found at the World of Awe (via tmn) / London calling, a weblog / Missile silo for sale (via 13 labs).

We're supposed to be posting less, but then tomorrow is a write-off, thanks to weekend one of ATP. Back Monday.