A rude awakening
Ian Martin accidentally designs a sports stadium that looks like a vagina
MONDAY Oh no, I’ve accidentally designed a sports stadium that looks like a vagina.
In my defence, it was an experiment in parametric neuroscience. The facts are these:
- A quarter-page ad appeared in the Qatari version of Exchange and Mart. Anonymous, box number. ‘Looking for kick-ass parametric neuroscientist, into 3-D auteuring/procuring world class soccer hub capable of delivering at the highest architectural level, men only, please send photograph’.
- My fixer Rock Steady Eddie responded with a compelling Wikipedia-sourced pitch explaining that I specialised in ‘curvitecture, which enters the brain via the eyes, stimulating the anterior cingulate cortex and making people all emotional, thereby enhancing the visitor experience and widening the whatever, aesthetic offer’ and attached a photo of Michael Fassbender.
- ‘We’ got the job, avoiding all contact with my client by submitting a forged doctor’s note and a covering letter from Eddie explaining that I had ‘a rare condition which has left him allergic to sunlight so he just lives and works in the dark like the Elephant Man or a French novelist, sorry for any inconvenience this may cause’.
- I designed the stadium using the latest voice-to-space app, telling my laptop that I wanted the building to collate the latest building design trends in movie blockbusters and cough up an amalgam. It must be organic, futuristic, art nouvesque. Wavy. Curvy. Tough. But NB must NOT attract giant alien lifeforms or explode in a spectacular fireball of flame and matter.
- The renderings were released in an upbeat press release and now everyone thinks it looks like a vagina. Curse this voice-to-space app, I should have done it the old fashioned way with manually inputted data and aeronautical modelling software.
TUESDAY My Qatari clients make matters worse by refusing to acknowledge that the stadium looks like a vagina. ‘Rather, the design reflects the smooth lines of a traditional pearl divers’ dhow’.
WEDNESDAY Now ‘pearl diving’ has gone viral as a sexual euphemism and there is a great clamour for me to speak on the issue.
On the advice of my lawyer (Eddie’s brother-in-law Legal Brian) I therefore issue a holding statement making it clear that I have no problem with a sports stadium looking like a vagina, feigning surprise that anyone else might.
THURSDAY The vaginal brouhaha is now at a critical level, so I decide to take it to the global media on my own terms.
I agree to be interviewed by the arts correspondent of Radio 4’s Today. I was expecting an easy ride, as I have occasionally listened to the programme and formed the opinion that its arts correspondent was a simpering tosser.
Imagine my surprise when his first question concerns my non-resemblance to Michael Fassbender. It’s clear that the Qataris are moving behind the scenes to shut me down. For all I know they have bought the BBC.
I have nothing to lose now, so I own the vagination. I say that it is a counter-patriarchal act at the very heart of the football industry (the World Cup or something is happening there at some point). A stadium that looks like a vagina is an act of reparation for all the phallic buildings throughout the world, oppressing our urban landscapes.
Of course, I get carried away with my own rhetoric and claim that vagitecture is going to be massive and there’s nothing anyone can do to stop me designing everything in the shape of a vagina. I ignore the small voice in my anterior cingulate cortex telling me to shut the fuck up, and boast that I’ve now got a long waiting list of clients who want all sorts of buildings that look like fannies.
A vagina-shaped gated lido in Wandsworth. A pop-up vaginal cinema in Hackney. A magistrates’ court, the remodelling of a privatised local authority estate, a Great British Baking School. All shaped like vaginas.
Up yours, patriarchitecture.
FRIDAY It took about seven minutes before the Twitter backlash started. I’m apparently now exploiting the female form and am no better than Hugh Bloody Hefner. Someone has photoshopped my face into a vagina and it’s everywhere.
SATURDAY The twitterstorm has moved on – they’re demanding an apology from Richard Branson for something now – but nobody wants their building to look like a vagina any more.
SUNDAY Spend the day moping in the recliner, like a dick.