As two familiar with modern Sheffield, 'Secrets of Georgian City Planning' (aj 22.10.98) proved to be an interesting urban curiosity. A curiosity which Cruickshank implies has inspired Sheffield University architecture students to produce a model of the city at its arguable prime.
This precis neglects to describe how the nostalgic hysteria, under the leadership of Professor Blundell Jones, has escalated to employ, for five weeks under his command, the entire diploma school in the construction of this simplified 1900s snapshot, taken through a rosy filter. The student petition against this regime was met with a response of failure for non- compliance.
In our view, this attempt to regain a historical consciousness presupposes an approach toward restoration of the lost urban framework. Is this not in fact the antihistorical sequence of Rem's mindless pendulum motion, fuelling the discourse of architecture as an incomprehensible chain of unconnected sentences?
Rather than aiding the inert momentum of the pendulum, surely responsible architectural education should utilise students' creative design energy to investigate the architecture of (re)evolution, and thereby visualise a future prime city.
DAVID GUY AND SIMON BRANSON (SHEFFIELD STUDENTS IN EXILE)