Old clocks and waste paper

The BBC World Service Auction is underway (with Phase 2 in September), with hundreds and hundreds of lots being taken out of Bush House, which the Corporation left yesterday. A treasure trove of old reel-to-reel recorders and nondescript office furniture, with gems like a hi-fi stack (remember those?) with a Technics SL-1210 up top, as well as art, maps and clocks.

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Home truths: architects tackle the housing crisis. Bottom line, it’s not really about design, it’s about finance and flexibility and shifting demographics. Design is an afterthought / hoisted by their own petards, part 1: Frank Gehry regrets appearing on The Simpsons, where he was seen scrumpling up a piece of paper to create the form of the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Gehry also appeared in Arthur, possibly making him the architect with the most cameos in animated children’s programmes. Although that’s not a large category / see also the memory chair by Tokujin Yoshioka and Gehry again, bowing to the inevitable, filling the auditorium at the WDCH with large-scale crumpled paper as for set for a recent production of Don Giovanni.

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Tom Heatherwick’s studio proposed a literal ‘crumpled building’ in 2002 for BMW, scaled up from a single piece of paper specially laminated with aluminium foil ‘to hold the crinkles’. From the studio’s new monograph: ‘We carried out hundreds of tests… although the act of crushing this paper was a spontaneous gesture, it had to be done carefully because if the paper was fiddled with or over-manipulated, it lost any special quality and began to look bullied. In our search for the form, we covered every surface of our workshop with test pieces of carefully laminated, crumped paper. We came in one morning to find that the studio’s cleaner had thrown away every single carefully crumpled test piece.’ The pavilion was never built.

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