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Michael Badu's Comments

  • Comment on: Who should be taught in the architectural canon?

    Michael Badu's comment 26-Jul-2013 12:16 pm

    "Historiography is valuable - but it is in danger of becoming a means of recycling our insecurities. The understanding of the ‘relativity of knowledge’ should not mean that we abandon the task of identifying the achievements of the past and passing them on with a sense of conviction." "it is the responsibility of teachers to pass on their accumulated knowledge to the next generation, who, being young, will make sense of that understanding for their new world. Arendt argues that all teaching is fundamentally an act of ‘conservation’, not to conserve the past for nostalgic reasons, but because the conservation of the old provides the basis for renewal and innovation." damn straight! We should be embarrassed as a profession that too many practing architects are not able to talk about the architecture of the past with any real knowledge. Our excuse? It doesn't matter because it's really old and we live in modern times now! The trouble is that you can keep applying this principle of the 'superceded canon' suceessively as time passes, to such a degree that nothing learned is perceived as having any real value anymore, and this is exactly where we are as a profession right now. If anything goes, why do you need architects?

  • Comment on: Frame House, Holland Park by Jonathan Tuckey Design

    Michael Badu's comment 17-May-2013 3:29 pm

    looking forward to JTA's red concrete number being published!

  • Comment on: Frame House, Holland Park by Jonathan Tuckey Design

    Michael Badu's comment 17-May-2013 3:27 pm

    All the schemes are lovely! But wasn't Gort Scotts published already?

  • Comment on: Where are all the critics?

    Michael Badu's comment 23-Mar-2013 9:17 pm

    Mr Games. I look forward to your first mission!

  • Comment on: Olga Felip crowned Emerging Woman Architect of the Year

    Michael Badu's comment 23-Mar-2013 6:41 pm


  • Comment on: It's time to question the classic Corb backstory

    Michael Badu's comment 12-Mar-2013 3:28 pm

    Interesting article, however Corb goes on about the Parthenon so much in 'Vers Une' that it's difficult to accept this revisionist hypothesis. Corb clearly admired the 'Sphinx-like' mosques of 'Stamboul' and his sketches showed his analytical appreciation of them. Fundamentally Corb was the opposite of architect like Hadid and Zumthor (much as I love them) who say they are inspired only by themselves. Corb was more like Siza who said 'to know architecture, is to know the work of other architects. Therein lies his greatness. This could apply to Palladio and Sinan too, who knew each other's work. Sometimes as architects we lack the ability to say 'this is not in line with my philosophy, but it's really good; therefore my philosophy is wrong!'

  • Comment on: Cypriot common ground

    Michael Badu's comment 7-Sep-2012 9:01 am

    Sounds like a good project! Good article

  • Comment on: Starchitects think journalists should toe the line

    Michael Badu's comment 7-Sep-2012 8:57 am

    It's true that Wolf Prix made some valid points and that David Chipperfield doesn't come out of this as well as he might, because he takes the criticism (much of it directed at the modern incarnation of the biennale itself) too personally. It's also seems that Prix has a problem with Chipperfield’s architecture, perhaps deeming it too corporate-friendly and bland and that his opinions in this regard rumble 'not-so-deep' beneath the surface of his press release. What Chipperfield would no doubt have pointed out (had he not allowed himself to feel so personally affronted) was that Prix himself highlighted the essential ridiculousness of his position by mentioning architecture and Pussy Riot in the same sentence. It's anachronistic to imagine that architects have (or ever really had) the power to influence politics through built form. Shouldn't the Jenks Prize winner have realised by now that one of the fundamental lessons of Post Modernism has been the peripheral nature of much of what architects do to society? One suspects that Chipperfield understands this, indeed Patrik Schumacher was quite heavily attacked recently for making a similar point. To imagine that architecture which has it's roots in fulfilling quite boring but fundamental human requirements can have the same effect as punk rock, which (if you go back far enough) has it's roots in the protest songs sung on American slave plantations, is silly. These are points that could have been discussed by our 'responsible-media' had it not been so concerned with saving face. As architects we have to realise that our failure to get the ‘basics’ right has led to our increasing marginalisation, those basics being the design of beautiful, durable, meaningful buildings. Unfortunately nearly 100 years after Le Corbusier et al, we have to admit that we are still struggling with these simple aims and in typically straight-laced fashion Chipperfield’s ‘Common Ground’ seems to address this.

  • Comment on: Chipperfield victorious in Reims arts museum contest

    Michael Badu's comment 28-May-2012 5:24 pm

    This could be incredible!!! Don't be put off by the fact that it looks like a building e've seen before. The marble could be...really great!!! Looking forward to this.

  • Comment on: Grundtvig’s Church, probably the best brick building in the world

    Michael Badu's comment 7-May-2012 2:10 pm

    @Rory. True! Lol! As I said Grundtvig still pretty damn good though! P.S is my mug in the post?

  • Comment on: Grundtvig’s Church, probably the best brick building in the world

    Michael Badu's comment 4-May-2012 10:33 am

    I do love this, but is it really better than this sort of thing discuss!

  • Comment on: A history of mosques in Britain

    Michael Badu's comment 20-Apr-2012 10:57 am

    Interesting article. The fact that the only modernist mosque that was built was soon torn down say a lot about the inadequacies of modernism. The comment on the last mosque is interesting, treating the importing of foriegn architects and architectural culture in a positive light as a furtherenhancement of 'successful' multculturalism. As a Muslim convert myself, I know that Islam is not an Arab or Pakistani religion but claims and puports to be a universal religion. This universality was expressed much better in the early years of Islam when the faith was exported to places like China which adopted it whilst retaining their own culture. For us in the UK the question remains, what does British Islam look like? This article could have addressed that question, but the author seems happy with the current state of affairs whereby Islam remains a pastiche 'curiosity' however full and logical. HAving said that, it is possible to go too far in the other direction. The fate of the modern cardiff mosque shows that in developing a language for a new culture, you have to take people with you. The proposed Mangera Yvars Mosque was a step too far along the path of 'modernity' in my view.

  • Comment on: Alvaro Siza in Machu Picchu

    Michael Badu's comment 24-Feb-2012 11:00 am

    I thought Santiago de compostela WAS 'clad' in stone rather than built from it. Important article though.

  • Comment on: Everyone's a critic

    Michael Badu's comment 27-Oct-2011 4:59 pm

    I disagree entirely. The opinion / response that matters to architects is that of their clients and public. Aside from being our eyes and ears in the buildings we are never likely to visit, professional critics, I would argue- to be contorversial for a moment, are of no benfit to architects. Architectural criticsm is a parrallel discipline, one that is not altruistic at all (its £4.95 an issue), has it's own artistic parameters and professional standards and may even have aims which ultimatley differ from those of the architect. so there :)

  • Comment on: Dogma, design or technical details: How should architecture be taught?

    Michael Badu's comment 23-Sep-2011 4:50 pm

    If the construction industry in the UK has progessively reorganised itself to cope without architects, does it not follow that UK architectural education, in general, has failed?

  • Comment on: UK riots: tell us your stories

    Michael Badu's comment 12-Aug-2011 9:41 am

    I was born, raised and live in Croydon

  • Comment on: Riots updated: Sennett, Rykwert, Till, de Botton, Tavernor and more on why Britain is burning

    Michael Badu's comment 12-Aug-2011 5:25 am

    There is an underlying malaise to which W J R Curtis alludes and which Charles Holland talks about in depth on a recent blog (his point about the violence done to society by the financial system rendering the recent violence on the streets as insignificant is particularly pertinent). As distasteful as it is to hear 'yoofs' talk about how 'no -one will give them anything, so they have decided to take it', one has to wonder when Higher Education now seems only for the rich, and when the industrial base of the country has been completely eroded (so that those who don't go to uni can only really look forward to a career in Salisbury's or McDonald's), what do the young really have to look forward to? In terms of architecture, buildings have been commandeered by those with no-voice, becoming burning reminders the problems in society that both the Starbucks frequenting left and the Fox hunting right choose to ignore in their own way. The burning of the Reeves Furniture store in Croydon (a building I've known all my life) was disgraceful but the shock it has caused has generated this current wave of soul searching (a wave that the government and opposition tried very hard to smother before it got going). One wonders how much politicians and us as citizens are complicit in the burning of that historic iconic building? In the 7th century, the 2nd Calif of Islam, Umar had a thief brought before him, he was reminded that the punishment for theft in Islam is the severing of a hand. Umar asked the thief why he had stolen, to which he received the reply 'I and my family are starving'. Umar then declared, 'then let the hand of the Calif be cut off for failing to do his duty and provide for his people'.

  • Comment on: Obituary: Sam Potts (1978 to 2011)

    Michael Badu's comment 29-Jun-2011 9:31 am

    What a shocking, heartbreaking tragedy. My heart goes out to his family

  • Comment on: Lynch Architects seeks planning for mixed-use block in London’s Victoria

    Michael Badu's comment 24-Jun-2011 10:44 am

    I think the concept of an 'modern urban palazzo is a good one, recalling a similar concept executed by a famous Spanish Architect which has been very influential lately. I think there's a bit too much going on though for my liking, but I'd love to be proved wrong! Anyway, it's great to see an architect like Lynch getting a chance like this. I really hope it all comes together. Good luck to Lynch Architects

  • Comment on: AJ Writing Prize: Alan Berman on what makes good architectural writing

    Michael Badu's comment 17-Jun-2011 3:10 pm

    Can't believe I forgot W J R Curtis. Probably my favourite living writer. 'Modern Architecture Since 1900' a classic, and his writing on the contemporary situation is always illuminating.