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Matthew Teague

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The first time I got on an aeroplane, I made sure I sat next to the window. We took off from a wet Gatwick. But this did not prevent me seeing a rooftop, onto which someone had painted the word 'Teas'. As if, upon landing, one might seek out the place or even defenestrate in mid-flight for the allure of tea. The point was that somebody had constructed the following (flawed) syllogism; aircraft fly over our roof, therefore you can see the roof from the aircraft, therefore the roof makes a good place for an advertisement.Or what if someone had calculated that the teas would be arriving at that moment on board the aircraft? Imagine my horror when, recently mid-North Sea, I saw a boat with the words 'dodgy meat sandwich' emblazone upon the deck.

All of which brings me to the conclusion that objects in the landscape make good place to advertise. McDonald's wants to project the 'Golden Arches' onto the moon.

This must be the ultimate in corporate philistinism, but smaller lacerations of the soul occur daily. So it comes as some relief that most of the inclusions in this issue of MetalWorks are too bijou to support overt advertising of any sort - except, of course, the best kind, which is the material expression of the client's requirements in the care and detail evident in the finished 'product'.

Smallness brings its own problems.

Compact solutions need a more inventive approach to 'putting things away'. The maxim, 'a place for everything and everything in its place' becomes both more relevant, but somehow also obsolete in a culture where worth is measured by possessions.

Where to store the material validators of our existence becomes not only problematic, but also emblematic. The words 'storage solution' have never seemed more alluring.

Good architecture can provide a useful antidote to the need to surround oneself with consumer durables. There is an idea borrowed from the Japanese in buildings but used for centuries in boats and caravans. It derives from what Vitruvius expressed as 'firmness, commodity and delight' and Frank Pick, somewhat less eloquently, as 'fitness for use'. It is that objects should actually be useful and that utility is beautiful, and that this can be expressed in a small building, because everything is there on its merits. I suppose we could paint 'Architecture' on the roof just to make sure.

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