How to spin trends and influence people
MONDAY. To a global economic symposium hosted by the International Architects Network. Summary: customer mood shifting from huge buildings they can stare at to small buildings they can live in.
New-generation homes will be more like mobile phones and music players: tech-literate, sleek, compact, flexible, interactive, highly personalised and multi-platform. The architect’s job will be to download any special features or add-ons and make sure the builder puts them in the right way up. It’s steady work as returning clients will be peer-pressured into an upgrade every couple of years.
Welcome to the world of ‘iTecture’. Ha ha, hmm...
TUESDAY. Gala dinner at the RIPBA, honouring those who gave their lives in the First International Style. I casually drop the word ‘iTect’ into conversations with journalists and architects. Even though I’ve just made it up they all pretend to know what I’m talking about. So then I ask them what ‘iTect’ means.
‘Vanity architect?’ ‘Indentured CAD monkey?’ ‘Optician?’ Idiots. Only my friend Darcy, epic space correspondent for the Creative on Sunday, guesses correctly. ‘Cross between a bespoke engineer and a lifestyle consultant?’ He winks, inexpertly.
WEDNESDAY. Start a Facebook group for the discussion of iTecture. Then launch a Twitter feed. Then create a memepool with everything on the internet starting with a lower case ‘i’.
THURSDAY. We brave commentators who toppled the tyrant Bush with our sustained campaign of satire and snobbery were braced for the subsequent Republican sour grapes. Pff. Who cares what they think? Nobody’s stupid enough to be a neo-con now except the president of Georgia and nearly everyone in the House of Commons.
Mr Obama’s victory is an unequivocally good thing, and I will definitely get some work out of it. Already there are two invitations from Washington on my mantelpiece. The first is to join the ‘White’ House Rebadging Task Force. I will be one of several non-American voices internationalising change, shaping policy that’s more ‘hip-hop but not the explicit version’. The honorarium is small, although expenses are brilliant.
The second invitation is addressed jointly to me and my business associate Mr Darcy Farquear’say. We recently set up an online design agency – Wap Biddly Pish – offering our services discreetly, indeed remotely, to a select and interesting client base. Of course, Barack’s human blogobots found us in a matter of days. They sensed in Wap Biddly Pish an acute awareness of the demands of today’s iconic lifestyle, and saw an opportunity to buy that design awareness at competitive rates.
They are also intrigued by our specialism: iTecture. They’d never heard of it but have recently discovered it’s all over the internet, which is great timing as Sandra, our website manager, only posted up our new mission statement yesterday.
FRIDAY. Darcy and I spend the morning staring hard at our notebooks. We promised Michelle’s people we’d email over something called a Draft Style Transition Document by tonight.
Bauhau, the yattering neo-Modernist dachshund, doesn’t help. He looks attention-seeking enough as it is, in his poncey little winter coat. It’s a classic lvaro Siza number, a long and elegant exercise in spatial revelation fashioned from white leather rectangles and frankly spoiled by having Bauhau’s head and arse sticking out of the ends. Dog hair – ugh. I glance at the clock, five minutes past 11, and have a brainwave. To the pub, leaving Bauhau in the nanoflat playing with his favourite chewy toy, a squeaky miniature Serpentine Pavilion.
After several rounds, Darcy and I have put together a pitch for Michelle O’s Extreme White House Makeover. We will CHANGE floor coverings from deep-pile carpet to an enduring surface people can believe in. CHANGE exterior wall tones to an optimistic mixed-paint wash. CHANGE heavy curtains to light, opinion-forming shades. CHANGE McGeorgian fireplaces to smart, sassy hydrogen plasma burners. CHANGE the furniture, from lame-ass reproduction Regency bullshit to a network of urban ‘perch points’.
Darcy and I share a high five, and a jug of Transparent Wallclimber.
SATURDAY. Call from Washington. The pitch has ‘great traction’. Now, can Wap Biddly Pish work up a detailed iTectural profile for each member of the First Family? And the new puppy?
Yes, we can.
SUNDAY. Trawl papers in recliner. Long feature in the CoS in which Darcy discusses iTecture with himself. It’s a draw.