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Looks alone

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How about this for a lecture title: 'Concrete and the Aesthetics of Construction: A Repellent Material?' I am looking forward already to Professor Adrian Forty's thoughts on this subject, which will be aired in April as part of the Docomomo spring series on modern materials. As the blurb notes: 'Concrete confounds all aesthetic conventions and it is this, its indeterminacy, that is the cause of the unease and distaste people have for it.' Just so. The lecture will compare how different approaches have been taken to establishing aesthetic standards, notably by the French and Italians. Other speakers in the series include David Bennett, John Allan, James Dunnett, John Winter, Dennis Sharp and Wessel de Jonge. The latter, who was international secretary of Docomomo for many years, will be talking about the Zonnestraal Sanatorium and the Van Nelle Factory, both of which he has worked on as a conservation architect. Details from Philip Boyle, tel 020 7253 6624.

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