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CRITIC'S CHOICE

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REVIEW

AJ readers know Richard Weston especially for his books on Utzon and Aalto, and his many contributions to architectural magazines. One theme in those books is the way that architecture can spring from, or allude to, natural forms, and this interest in nature's generative power has recently taken him in a new direction - as Formations, an exhibition at the Riverhouse Gallery, Walton on Thames, reveals.

Weston has been making digital scans from plants and minerals with surprising and beautiful results (see picture).

Just as microphotography disclosed a world of hidden forms in materials that were taken for granted, so these scanned fragments become alluring, ambiguous landscapes - ambiguous, because it's often unclear if we are seeing something in extreme close-up or from a distant satellite.

They let your imagination run loose.

The prints on show are high definition and many would enlarge to a considerable size. Their potential as decoration, whether in a home or an office foyer, is obvious.

But Weston is already exploring other applications: on textiles, rugs, even ties. He talks about Nature and Architecture at the gallery on Thursday 27 October at 8pm, while his exhibition continues until 6 November (www. riverhousebarn. co. uk).

One fundamental connection between nature and architecture comes, of course, in the stylised flowers and foliage that figured as decorative motifs when ornament wasn't outlawed. With increasing evidence that ornament is valued once again (AJ 06.10.05), there is a discussion on Architecture and Ornament at the V&A, London SW7, on Wednesday 2 November at 7pm. Speakers include Adam Caruso and Farshid Moussavi (www. vam. ac. uk).

This discussion is part of the RIBA's joint programme with the V&A. Back in its Portland Place headquarters, the RIBA has a 'Norwegian Season', which includes an exhibition from 26 October, Breaking Boundaries:

Norwegian Architecture Showcase, a talk on 26 October by Snøhetta, and another talk on 27 October by three younger practices. Will their work still be rooted in nature like the Scandinavian architecture Richard Weston finds so potent?

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