Considerations

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Two drawings of the stylistic direction I want to take part of rallying office in, to contrast with the sheer I-don’t-give-a-crap-ness aesthetics of the road. Not that people here care about style (at least they shouldn’t), but I don’t think an architectural movement should manicure its eccentricities in order to reach consensus, which is really just another word for “the least upsetting and/or alienating form.” One should be suspicious towards movements which, for some reason, reject the full vocabulary of architecture, and therefore the full range of architects.

Oscar Niemeyer: “We hated Bauhaus. It was a bad time in architecture. They just didn’t have any talent. All they had were rules. Even for knives and forks they created rules. Picasso would never have accepted rules. The house is like a machine? No! The mechanical is ugly. The rule is the worst thing. You just want to break it.”

I’m considering turning part of my work into film. Animating stuff like I did in 3rd year. Won’t be the whole presentation, just part of it. Will think of what goes in it and how. Meanwhile, I’m torn between these two as soundtrack:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=myZU2DZoD9w
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNhCTqxWBnE

Finally, parts of the presentation text:

Chipperfield: Pay is rubbish and if you have friends or a partner you will never see them until you quit, usually after a year, like everyone else does. Massive staff turnover. No fun in there.

Fosters: Unbelievably pyramidal artificial caste system full of contemptuous, presumptuous and arrogant not-half-useful individuals who shade the enormous potential and talent concentrated in this place with their stupidity and daily struggle to conceal their own worthlessness.

Zaha: Loves communication via Tannoy at the office. Just so everyone knows what mistake you’ve made in that drawing and when you were five minutes late.

Ole Scheeren: There is a complete lack of architectural interest and the projects are “designed” through an army of zombied out interns mindlessly google-ing images and stacking foam boxes.

OMA: When they offered the annual salary I seriously asked if this was meant to be for 1 month and got the hell out of there…

Nouvel: I havent been in the office for the last 3-4 years but I recall of the “dungeons”. At least 2 basements filled up with Chinese interns.

To be a young architect is strange. If you want to work for an office that actually does some interesting shit, most of the time you have to be prepared to be treated like shit, as well. We take pride in being the posterboys of invention and reinvention, but when it comes to our own spaces of work, nothing has changed, and nothing changes. The architectural office is seen at best as an organisational issue, and at worst as a stamp on your CV. But the office is a physical construct, a typology and a program as much as anything else, and therefore an issue of design.

The on-grid office is a intrusion into the workspace of the existing, large, famous, generic, stagnant architecture firm. It is done from the point of view of the newly graduated architecture student, facing the problem of balancing his own ambitions and personality with the style of the firm and the demands of the bosses above him. The goal is to establish a second office within the first. It will intervene in it, transform it, tweak it and peel it – in short: fuck it up, and be fucked up by it.

R is for the Road, “On the Road”, the road that smashes through the office, the road that we depart from, that we continue on, and the road that is nothing but a lifestyle.

C is for conformity, disgusting acceptance, heroic pessimism, and a fatter paycheck.

E is for escape, youthful resistance and the idealism needed to change the world.

S is for schizo, the conflict and the doubt between the two that we all carry within us.

I is for infrastructure, the kit of the city, the generator of cities, the smalltown hope of growth and prosperity, and the first cause of breakdown of society and its communication in the case of disruption, neglect or destruction.

R is for rallying point, the rehabilitation of collective ambition, cross-professional exchange and drunken meetings in the light of the full moon.

Y is for you.

U is for us.

P is for product and project, the two antagonisms that battle between the office and architectural culture. One is a building, the other is an idea. How do we choose?

L is for Lefebvre: “Choice is absurd and monstrous; it results in mutilation and one-sidedness. To choose, to want art as service and not as beauty – that is, if beauty and art still mean anything – is to prefer the part to the whole. It is like defining love as reproduction.”

D is for door mouldings, what one architect at a prestigious Park Avenue firm had worked with for the past ten years. ‘My options of moving elsewhere,’ he said, ‘are limited.’”

N is for niche, as competition among the units of a market economy – whether between clients or between architectural firms – in the long run will result in diversity and fragmentation, as the aim is to capture a symbolic monument for the client or a unique stamp for the firm.

O is for the one-point perspective, the linear process and supreme decision of the grey-hairs which is no longer tenable.

B is for the black hole, screwing up the perspective, distorting it for the sake of hacking the established process of designing architecture.

Z is for zero-gravity, the absence of all norms of hierarchy.

A is for the architect.

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