Recent research has included going back to studying Brutalism, especially the Russian and Asian variants, which tend to be grand and a bit mad:
These aren’t the grandest or the maddest, but the most relevant to what I’m doing. The lower one is reminiscent to me of a building Sir Peter Cook showed in a talk at the AA once, which he described as having “landed.”
“Architecture,” he once said, “is what you do with the potential of life.”
Despite having once been interviewed by an architecture magazine, I know nothing about architecture except that I’m interested in it. I suspect that, if you want to be a better writer, you can either learn everything there is to know about just a few things, or be generally interested in as many things as possible. I am, for better or worse, a generalist.
That famous generalist Buckminster Fuller once said, “Specialization tends to shut off the wide-band tuning searches and thus to preclude further discovery.” “Wide-band tuning searches” describes my process to a fairly scary degree.
(Also, there was a time when radio waves had architecture for tuning searches:)
(Radio has been on my mind a lot lately too.)
I think my adult interest in the field began with the discovery of ARCHIGRAM, a speculative architecture collective that Cook was part of.
Per David Greene of Archigram:
“If we consider for a moment Christo’s seminal work – the ‘wrapped cliff’ – we might see it in one of two ways: as a wrapped cliff or; preferably, as the point at which all other cliffs are unwrapped. An Archigram project attempts to achieve this same altered reading of the familiar (in the tradition of Buckminster Fuller’s question, ‘How much does your building weigh?’). It provides a new agenda where nomadism is the dominant social force; where time, exchange and metamorphosis replace stasis; where consumption, lifestyle and transience become the programme; and where the public realm is an electronic surface enclosing the globe.”
“Speculative proposal for ‘city’ suspended on tension system: expanding to cover the earth”
I once wrote a story, ELEKTROGRAD: RUSTED BLOOD, that was informed by my interest in Archigram. (UK) (US) In my head, it was going to be the start of a whole series, with each story containing an Archigram or other experimental-architecture element…