Blog archive January 2005
so this is what all the fuss was about... the barclays photo album shows you some of what i was working on october 2002 to july 2004 - the fruits of all my stress. The photos were taken either side of christmas, just before occupation of the building began. I've majored on the atria, because they are spectacular but also because they are 'my' parts of the building, as the guy who developed the concepts of Martha Schwartz Inc into buildable solutions. The delibars are my design. I've worked on most other parts of the interiors too. Obviously there's a lot of other stuff on the office floors, but I'm being a bit careful about what I publish ahead of 'official' publications. Most of what i've shown can be seen from outside.
imho Rollerball  is the last great modernist futureworld. next came star wars and postmodernity - science fiction set 'long long ago', an exercise in genre-hopping and future-retro styling. i suspect it's the presence of the past in the future that marks the change - the modernist visions gain much of their power from the absence or elimination of history and memory. that's what makes them both sinister and utterly unattainable, in a world of permanent historical access.
space 1999 appeared in 1975 too [although judging by the clothes it had been in production for a couple of years]. when i saw it a year or two after that [due to slow take-up by the TV stations in england] it felt very dated - a vision of the future that was out of time.
i'm just half-watching that old chestnut 'westworld' on tv. the opening sequences in the 1970s future-world are great, but it ceases to be interesting when they get into the wild west part. the irony is, the world i'd pay money to be a tourist in is that 1970s future.
south ealing launderette photos
launderettes are the last places in england still in the early 70s. they all seem to have been built at once between 1968 and 1973 and not changed since. maybe they were, or are, some kind of chain or franchise. they all have that fake pine panelling. the washing powder dispenser dispenses unbranded powder - or, rather, some kind of made-up brand that might once have fooled the customer in a less aware age. the advisory notices still show 60s housewives and 60s typography.
incidentally 'laundrette' is a contraction that seems to have crept in with the film. it's not the word i grew up with. 'laundrette' should really mean a small woman who does laundry.
finally got round to seeing 'Punk' at the Hospital club before it ends in a few days. more than half of the exhibition content is original clothing by vivienne westwood as worn by the sex pistols and their circle at the time. i was struck by how beautiful and delicate the garments are. soft materials - silk, muslin, mohair wool - delicately webbed and ripped. one would have to be careful in dressing and undressing. colours are harmonious, faded red, white and blue. metal rings and fastenings have the air of fine jewellery. d-rings, buckles and straps strangely prefigure the utility clothes of recent years, such that i could wear some items to work without drawing comment. nothing in the room has dated.
in light of recent royal scandals it's amusing to find a poster of the queen with swastikas for eyes. ["God save the Queen... it's a fascist regime!"] Perhaps prince harry is more culturally aware than he gets credit for. or perhaps not.
via mobile phone or internet distractions. it goes like this:
if there are two people in the room, half of one person is somewhere else [because they have half their attention on a screen].
if there are three people, one is somewhere else.
if there are four people, one and a half are somewhere else.
if there are five people, two are somewhere else.
and so on. it's like an integration sum - as the number of people present tends towards infinity, the proportion that are somewhere else tends towards one-third.
of course there is an inverse to this, because the people who are somewhere else are with each other.
it's interesting that people look for god in the disaster rather than in the response. we like to think that's us.
This is a new design for a church which has been floating my head for a while, but what made me draw it up was the conversations at and around the Inclusive Church conference in London in December. Some of you may recognise elements of what we did ;)