Ian Martin talks to the animals
BAUHAU THE DACHSHUND. Woof! It’s been a breakthrough year for the theory of Metarchitecture. People asked one other ‘what does this mean? and through the medium of my friend and carer, theatrical agent Victoria Spong, I was able to answer ‘it depends what you mean by “mean”, woof!’ It’s this universality, this infinite flexibility, that has allowed Metarchitecture to flourish in salons and pop-up ‘talking shops’ across Britain.
I think one of our great challenges next year will be to bring Metarchitecture out of Post-Modernism’s dark shadow. Let me say this clearly and unequivocally, woof, once again. The two movements are entirely unconnected. Post-Modernism’s ironic bundling of the past has nothing to do with Metarchitecture’s sarcastic fondling of the future. I wish people would stop saying it has; Ms Spong’s mood is capricious at the best of times.
BESS OF HARDWICK THE BORDER COLLIE. In my gruff Cumbrian opinion, people should stop spouting pretentious nonsense about so-called ‘architecture’. Especially them as lives in South. All ‘architecture’ means is ‘how buildings look’ right? Aye. Gruff. So instead of doing buildings that look like shite, we should do ones that just look nice instead.
It’s time to stop fannying about with theories nobody outside a bloody Arts Council dinner party can understand. And back the non-cynical Looks Nice Theory devised by yours truly and my gaffer, the former epic space correspondent Darcy Farquear’say, who now manages a trope farm on the fells near Shap. Let’s have some common sense at last, eh? Gruff.
PUSSY RIOT THE CAT. I was simultaneously proud and humble to be elected this year’s winner of the General Styles Election. As a champion of Redactivism it will be my honour to serve the people of Britain and their pets for the next five years.
As both a cat and a muse for social commentator Emma Shoe I could perhaps be accused of playing a ‘cat-and-muse’ game with architectural politics, but let’s be serious for a meowment. Why have people chosen Redactivism as the prevailing architectural mindset? Because in these dark days it is better to obliterate, to forget, than try to make sense of the world. As we all head further into the tunnel of recession, triple-dipping into blank, stale darkness like an Underground train, we need actively to discredit ALL architectural theories and simply wallow in collective bitterness. Meowy Christmas!
THE RT HON AENEAS UPMOTHER-BROWN’S BEES. It was with enormous, reverberating sadness that we bade farewell earlier this year to the coalition government. When our master left his post as architecture minister the country lost not only an eloquent ‘voice of the beehive’ but also the mind of that beehive. Us. We will miss the buzz of politics.
But we hope that our unique perspective as bees (not interested in non-bees, only bees matter, if you’re not a bee you’re clearly not doing the right thing) may have helped the Conservative party redefine itself for a modern, heartless Britain.
XKAV-8 THE POP-UP MOLE. Yo, dudes and bitches of contemporary architecture! Meet the freshest voice on the design scene! Yeah, I’m the new online mascot of the Royal Institute for the Pop-Uption of British Architects. Although not strictly speaking sentient, I am via the medium of Flash animation both lively and interactive. And being non-human means I can fully represent this most diverse of professions. Yes, I am ‘fun’ – watch my sexy wriggly dance for clients. But I have gravitas too – check out my cute little bowtie and spectacles. Oh, and I do a rap – rhyming ‘wallet’ with ‘mallet’. Peace!
THE EMPRESS OF BLANDNESS. As the Prince of Wales’ prize sow, I often have the good fortune to hear HRH’s musings on the built environment at an early draft stage. There’s certainly always something to chew over.
This year has been busier than ever as I was also appointed the Duchy of Cornwall’s ‘special adviser on corporation tax’. The job is a great deal less onerous than you’d imagine. Once a week an intern brings me all the correspondence from HM Revenue and Customs and I eat it. HRH is an enormously humane person, committed to the idea that we should all – prince or pig – fulfil our potential in life. Personally, I would like more understanding of the world. For instance, I still don’t know what ‘sausages’ are.