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Forget the built environment, let’s shape a Brutalist protest movement

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Ian Martin designs a sparkling crystalline cluster of hope for the new Libya

MONDAY. I am about to go, boldly, where no imagineer of epic space has gone before. Groundbreaking starts today on Shuttleport Vagilactica in New Mexico.

My client Mr Stobart is fulfilling a boyhood dream with this extension of his ‘long-haul logistics operation’ into the notional trade route of Earth’s orbit. Initially, Shuttleport Vagilactica will offer short trips into space for ‘ordinary Britons’: millionaire property developers, Mr Stobart’s relatives, Sting and the Top Gear team.

But the ultimate aim is cargo transfer. By 2030 there will be shuttleports all over the world. Liveried spacecraft, each emblazoned with a woman’s name, will ferry goods across the globe. I just hope the same level of care I’m pouring into the spaceport will be applied to orbital highways management, otherwise everyone will be jammed behind one speed-limited spacecraft using up several orbits to overtake another.

TUESDAY. Sketch out my masterplan for new ‘world-class city at the heart of a world class Libya’.

It will soar into the desert air like a sparkling crystalline cluster of hope. Specifically, it will rise up triumphant and fully en-suite from the horrible rubble of Sirte, whose pathetic buildings were beaten to death last week amid jubilant scenes and vertical gunfire.

Now is the time for opportunity. And by opportunity I mean a totally humane response to the needs of the people of Sirte but with sizeable margins. According to my gig fixer Rock Steady Eddie ‘there are some big, big contracts being discussed over massive lunches and I mean stupid portions, course after course, three puddings plus a choice of currency for the wire transfer’.

Eddie’s got an in, and a plan. I say plan. What he actually said was ‘we might as well have a punt’. He’s been tipped off that the prescribed architectural style is ‘eclectic’, to celebrate the diversity of tribal factions and to unite warlords and stakeholders in commercial victory. 

There’ll be no shortage of investment capital either, as the rebuilding plan will deploy ‘gravitational in-out nipple economics’. Step 1: an accountability vacuum sucks in oil funding which forms a new global eddy of molten cash magma. Step 2: this is then formed into a giant set of iconic teats from which speculators may greedily suck.

My masterplan includes plazas, piazzas, parks and public spaces. Alliteration in my experience provides sophisticated, contemporary feel and also silences critics. Although I’m expecting criticism to be mainly silenced through the universally-respected civic forum of mad boys with guns.

WEDNESDAY. Spend all day ‘syncing paradigms’ before realising I don’t know what the cocking hell I’m doing.

THURSDAY. To a conference, Regenerating The Human Matrix: New Markets in Brand Development. Summary: social engineering didn’t die, it simply went private.

All the speakers have haircuts and talk excitedly about the potential for people to be viral adverts for their clients’ products and services. Nobody seems that arsed about socially engineering the poor any more. As one dickhead with a goatee puts it: ‘Why bother shaping the civic values of people living on council estates? Battery people with no spending power, no social mobility, environmentally kettled for the foreseeable future by hostility or indifference, depending on how close one lives to them, next slide please…’

The human matrix grail is to develop a media-friendly pop-up prototype urban protest encampment. I take notes for this bit. I have some clever ideas of my own about creating mini-camps for smaller towns in market squares, using a register of eloquent, sexy young people.

Designing a temporary built environment is irrelevant as they all use those Glasto tents that explode into being when shaken. No, the architectural challenge is to create a beautiful Human Brutalism from the raw material of ‘britons brut’.

Sustainable humanity with impeccable manners and nice clothes. The sponsorship possibilities are huge.

FRIDAY. My friend Amy Blackwater the nutty eco-activist is on board my Human Brutalism project, and has made a bid for her new operation Now, Forager to set up an associated vegan catering franchise. Operatives in corporate balaclavas selling ‘found food’ – edible lichen, fungi and stuff rescued from supermarket skips – to the sponsored protesters. As a constituency, ‘edgy and gullible’ is huge.

SATURDAY. Protest auditions. Very promising. Many of the young people are architecture students looking for a career swerve.

SUNDAY. Go all Modernist and monolithic in the recliner.

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