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The demise of a publishing giant, the resurrection of a mahoganised pillock

Ian Martin meets Andy Poulson, former architecture news editor of the Sunday Minimalist, and his ironic Staffordshire terrier, Snoopy

MONDAY. Redesigning an ’80s discotheque. The retro strobe lights have caused a retrofit. 

TUESDAY. Sketch out a conceptual design for a Royal Mail depot in Tamworth. The client wants me to keep to the corporate style, so I’m making it collapsible. 

WEDNESDAY. The world of epic space is still in shock following the sudden and savage closure of the Sunday Minimalist in mysterious circumstances.

Good riddance. For too long this poisonous rag besmirched architectural journalism with its so-called Crusade Against Vulgarity. Screeching editorials about ‘paedo clutter’: abandoned toys, discarded garments, disgusting bits of masticated potato. How this scum must be monitored and PROHIBITED.

It was the home-hacking scandal that finished the Minimalist. Week after week, the paper gained access to the world’s most exclusive homes, ostensibly to interview the affluent owner about how they manage to look so fit and beautiful with such a hectic schedule, what’s the secret of a happy marriage/lovely garden, blah blah. The answer’s always Hard Work.

Having hacked into the home, reporters would look for any dirt they could find. Scuttling around with their discreet miniature cameras, then doing snide little ‘before and after’ picture spreads to show how even the rich can screw up in their so-called minimalist paradise. 

‘BEFORE: An open plan kitchen/dining room, pale limestone, unpainted white plaster, glass trough sink and worktop, polished white concrete, spotless steel light fittings, floor-to-ceiling birch ply cupboards containing all evidence of human habitation, one large yet diffident glass table and two severe Eames chairs…

‘AFTER: The same, but some DUST on the wooden starfruit, a box of RITZ CRACKERS just left out and a CARDIGAN sprawled like some loose DIRTY TROLLOP all over a chair! I made my excuses and left…’

Architecture critic Darcy Farquear’say is in a jittery mood at the pub. With more than 200 ex-Sunday Minimalist cultural commentators looking for new gigs there’s every reason to feel threatened. Let’s face it. How many ‘game-changing’ buildings do we read about every week – a dozen, say? That’s never enough to go round. True, Darcy’s dainty, haughty writing style has endeared him for years to readers of the Creative on Sunday.

But these are tough times, with shorter paragraphs.

Even Bauhau, Darcy’s ridiculous dachshund, senses turbulence in the architectural media field. ‘Arch! Arch!’ he coughs from inside his miniature waistcoat and doggy jhodpurs. ‘Arch! Crit!’ He’s spotted Andy Poulson, former architecture news editor of the Sunday Minimalist, with his ironic Staffordshire terrier, Snoopy. Darcy suddenly remembers he’s late for an appointment. Bauhau’s already out of the door.

THURSDAY. Devise a contemporary Fountain of Life. It’s not a monument, it’s a modest expression of frugality and fitness. A ‘diet-tectonic water feature’.

FRIDAY. Remain in a darkened room all day, still very sore after swallowing that indigestible ‘diet-tectonic water feature’.

SATURDAY. Five-a-zeitgeist theoretical football. Cold War Chic Lit 3 Googie+ 2, after several decades of extra time.

SUNDAY. The lying shit Blair really has got a bloody nerve. His sanctimonious sun-dried face is all over the media today, beeping and mewling.

‘Retired’ my arse. He’s simply spending more time with his publisher, rewriting history. For the taut, waxy hypocrite to claim that jazz architecture ‘lost its driving rhythm’ after he stood down as prime minister in 2007, well. It takes one’s hubbeda hubbeda pish-pish ga-babbeda breath away.

Blair told Andrew Marr in a mellow interview on The Sunday Joint that when Gordon ‘Jellyroll’ Brown took over, neo-Labour archicats ‘misplaced their mojo’. All those tieless geniuses of form blasting out jazz architecture standards with cool wavy glass roofs and repetitive aspirational time signifiers just ‘dropped the beat’? Pff, he’s talking bap-glap boggeda boggeda bollocks.

It was the jazz economy, stupid. Global meltdown stopped the flow of jazz masterplans, off-beat regeneration schemes and big-number designer jams with spikey backbeats and long-winded signature solos. NOT Jellyroll Brown’s heavy, clunking left hand on the boogie-woogie post-socialist piano.

Blair should remember his own jazzname, ‘Tone Def’. Let’s draw a tss-tss glap bap ba-diddly diddly line under all this. Maybe Ed Miliband and his Dixieland Wonks can blow ‘the blues’ away – start squeaking the horn for classic, public jazz architecture once more – though this would require ‘rapprappaparochement’ with the unions.

Afternoon: digging some cool hubbeda hubbeda sounds in the recliner, dreaming of a future jazz architecture world without buggeda buggeda fuggeda fuggeda PFI, man.

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