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Shape up for a hi-tech Christmas


Christmas is almost upon us and keen young architects will be starting to experience that heady rush of creative urges that the season brings - the DIY Christmas tree, the Modernist crib, home-made Christmas cards. The tree could be a hi-tech structure, constructed from tubes covered in kitchen foil to look like RHS lengths, or an organic wire cone splattered with plaster, painted green.

For the crib, a few sheets of crinkly cardboard and scraps of chicken wire would produce a deconstructionist approximation of Gehry's Santa Monica house. PG Tips tea bag boxes, dented in one corner and Sellotaped together might resemble Libeskind's V&A spiral.

And papier mÔchÚ moulded over a football, topped with a few drinking straws, would be a dead ringer for the Dome. You may tell yourself you are doing it for the children or church-going relatives but you will fool no one: it is an excuse for a little escapist modelmaking to take you back to your college days - and amuse your peers.

And what about the practice's Christmas card? Have you thought of running an in-house competition? Staff members could submit 'anonymous' entries which their colleagues would then vote on. Originality and ease of reproduction - using office equipment and standard-sized paper - would be the main criteria for choosing the winner.

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