Michael Badu's Comments
Comment on: It's time to question the classic Corb backstory
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
Sounds like a good project! Good article
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.
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.
@Rory. True! Lol! As I said Grundtvig still pretty damn good though! P.S is my mug in the post?
I do love this, but is it really better than this sort of thing http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/hs065.snc6/167577_524645844830_146901148_30930528_1229163_n.jpg discuss!
Comment on: A history of mosques in Britain
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
I thought Santiago de compostela WAS 'clad' in stone rather than built from it. Important article though.
Comment on: Everyone's a critic
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 :)
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
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
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)
What a shocking, heartbreaking tragedy. My heart goes out to his family
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
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.
I think that Berman is trying to focus on writing that enhances architectural production rather than that which may open up new avenues of scholastic inquiry. I think all practitioners feel that if we are writing beautifully but building badly, then we've achieved nothing. In the end, it's all about the buildings. I think that's the contention and I find it hard to disagree.
I agree with this last comment. Some writers have this enviable way of employing expressions and conjouring images through words; but at times this is done at the expense of a genuinely edifying piece of writing. Those that can strike a balance are to be envied. Also, writing is a way of expressing things that others can't see, such as buildings that you will probably never visit, therefore that ability to conjure imagery that makes you feel that you are there is very important I feel. Witht he exception of Scott and Banham, I've read all the guys mentioned, and was taught be Blundell-Jones. Frampton is a great scholar with unparalleled insights, but my word is he a heavy read! You've left out my favourite. Ruskin, then there's Wolflinn , but now we're getting into art. I think the same rules apply though.
Another great project from this guy. I love the Persian minature drawing which I think is breaktaking and a breath of fresh air. A genuinely brilliant architect.
Innovation, entreprenuerism, cultural revolution, change....a lot of words which usually mean not very much. This is a well written and informative article giving a view about the potential beneifts of Localism, benefits the author frames in the afore mentioned buzz words. Words / phrases framed in a negative light by the author are led by..'cold financial appraisal'. I think the author (reinforcing a stereotype about architects) has lost touch with reality and is trying to build utopia during a recession. Cold financial apprasial is what we need now more than ever! Also, even if utopia were affordable I strongly disagree with the author's vision of it. The author characterises the further fragmentation and atomisation of the built environment that could potentially result from Localism as a good thing. If there is a role for architects to play in this new era of Localism, it is as expert consutlants who have to educate and make the case for sensible, sustainable, coherent development for the benefit of all to the ordinary folk who have been given this new power, rather than as mercenary opportunists submitting to their every self interested whim (whic is an argument for architects being once again employed directly by local government). This course of action threatens to further marginalise the 'England' that Tony Benn identified as the last colony of the British Empire; an England which is the last Bastiaon of the disnfranchised white working classes who have withdrawn from all engagement feeling that they have been betrayed by the government and are not as practised or adept at lobbying for their 'rights' as their immigrant counterparts who were (seemingly) favoured during the height of multiculturalism (as is so eloquently illustrated by your photographs). More needs to be done to re-engage the white working classes than washing ones hands of it all like Pontius Pilate to save money and calling it 'Localism' And I say all this as a Black British born and educated Muslim convert registered architect, who is married to a woman who wears a hijab (before anyone thinks this is Peter Philips). I'm also surprised that the author, as an architect, has failed to mention the most important buzz word that any architect worth their salt should always be pushing for. Quality. I don't think the word is mentioned even once throughout the piece which says a lot.