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Truism, the new nothing-newism

Ian Martin designs a pop-up church

MONDAY Cash in on multiple cultural trends by patenting my new ‘self-bake’ affordable home protoype.

TUESDAY I just don’t understand it. Over the last few days I’ve submitted four proposals and they’ve all been greeted with blank indifference.
A boutique urban picnic area. The conversion of an office block to a ‘city hive’ buzzing with inferred Mad Men chic and stylish space constraints. An artistic intervention in the roofspace of a Victorian railway station. A re-imagined Carlisle where, in my renderings at least, inhabitants enjoy sunshine and wi-fi and eye contact.

Why have these proposals not been welcomed by local politicians and planners with appropriate levels of enthusiasm? Why have I not, as is customary, been praised for my insight into the human condition and for my selfless generosity in showing how this could be ameliorated by the healing balm of epic space?

Not even a ‘thank you’!

WEDNESDAY Wait. My fault. I don’t know how it happened, but I sent out all four proposals without any references to a ‘cloud’ in the design. No wonder I’ve been getting the cold shoulder.

Everyone knows that - this quarter at least - it’s ‘about the cloud, stupid’.

For, without ‘the cloud’ there can be no aspiration, no higher plane. THERE CAN BE NO NEBULISED FUTURE.

I ask the various recipients to destroy the proposals as they stand. To be honest I feel a bit guilty about blaming an unpaid intern for the cock-up but if you can’t do that once in a while I’m struggling to see what the point of an unpaid intern is.

THURSDAY My revised urban picnic area now presents the swirl of humanity as a cloud of hopeful possibility. The residential tower block ‘puts other lifeclouds in the shade’.

My installation piece is now simply called RailCloud 2020. New Carlisle is reformulated along ‘cloudsourcing principles of social stakeholding’.
Within an hour, everyone’s sent me an email telling me how brilliant my proposals are, how these days the cloud is more crucial than ever.
Of course, they’re all idiots.

Nevertheless we all need to be reading from the same weather chart when the cumulo-nimbies coalesce into their own inevitable clouds of poisonous gas.

FRIDAY In the morning, design a pop-up church. Sort of ‘ecumenical rationalism’. I wouldn’t want to offend any atheists, they’re really touchy. Plus, it’s made of laminated cardboard, so you can’t be having too many fiddly bits.

In the afternoon, struggle with the internal layout. A ‘worship space’ is obviously essential, but it’s a non-specific church. I’m not entirely sure what or who will be glorified, or how. Likewise, toilets. Impossible to know how long people are going to be mumbling and bumbling about inside with the remembrance of sin pressing on their bladders.

In the evening, solve most of the architectural problems by creating a pop-up religion. Inclusive, welcoming, a range of deities to suit all members of the congregation and available in pill form for those who require their god within them. I’m calling it Truism. ‘Right enough to be true, true enough to be trite’. It’s a credo I’ve borrowed from architecture, where trite is acceptable in a way that ‘pastiche’ can never be. In fact I think I’ll make Truism an architectural movement AND a religion, it’ll be much easier to determine an appropriate building style.

SATURDAY Lunch with my old friend Darcy the environmental correspondent and his muse Bess of Hardwick, the only border collie in the country to wear prescription Le Corbusier spectacles.

I explain the principles of Truism. Eclectic borrowing from the past without the irony of Post-modernism. Dullness as a virtue. In due course, practitioners could become self-sanctified, etc. Bess seems much more impressed than Darcy. She cocks her head and pants enthusiastically. Darcy just shrugs through another drink and says he’s heard it all before. That’s the WHOLE POINT, I tell him. Bess clearly shares my exasperation and gives him an old-fashioned look over her tortoiseshell frames.

Her cleverness is wasted on Darcy, whose outlook has been clouded by bitterness ever since he was ousted from the Creative on Sunday in favour of his former companion, the architectural dachshund Bauhau.

SUNDAY Eschew the recliner. Take Bess for a long architectural walk while Darcy skulks indoors. She really would make an excellent ‘ambassadog’ for Truism. I wonder…

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