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Farshid Moussavi to curate Royal Academy Summer Exhibition

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Architect and professor Farshid Moussavi is set to curate the architecture room at the Royal Academy of Arts’ Summer Exhibition

This summer – for the first time in the exhibition’s 249-year history – the architecture room will focus on construction co-ordination drawings.

Traditionally, the architecture room is centred on detailed models and images, but Moussavi hopes that construction co-ordination drawings will showcase how the work of architects differs to that of artists, sculptors and photographers.

Moussavi told the AJ: ’It will be exciting to focus on what architects specifically do – which is to generate construction co-ordination drawings.

’[Architecture] is an instruction-based art. We produce instructions for others to carry out our art, if you like,’ she added.

’Construction co-ordination drawings are very much a last act, and they are important because they gather our thoughts and design process over a number of years, in the final stage.

’They are also instructions for the real site, which we are responsible for – but not completely in control of, because it is in the hands of others.’

Moussavi said she hoped that the construction drawings, which she said allow people to see an ‘x-ray’ of a building, will demonstrate the complexity of buildings.

’Buildings are not just about how you see, what you see, but also about what you hear, how hot or cold you feel, what you touch,’ she said.

Moussavi founded Farshid Moussavi Architecture (FMA) in 2011 and is a professor of architecture at Harvard University Graduate School of Design.

Key projects at FMA have included Victoria Beckham’s flagship store in London (2014), and a further store designed for the fashion designer in Hong Kong (2016).

She previously headed Foreign Office Architects, alongside her then husband Alejandro Zaera-Polo, designing the Osanbashi Yokohama International Passenger Terminal, Japan (2002) and the John Lewis department store in Leicester (2008).

Moussavi is calling on architects to submit drawings for the opportunity to be included in the exhibition. 

In June, Moussavi spoke at an event organised by the Prince’s Foundation and the Art Workers’ Guild, called ‘Ornament in the Age of Mass Production’, in which she discussed the skill of drawing in architecture. 

Last year, a model of a proposed Cor-ten clad tower by Will Alsop won the £10,000 first prize in the architecture room at the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition. 

Curated by Royal Academicians Louisa Hutton and Ian Ritchie, the theme of 2016’s exhibition at the Piccadilly landmark was Unbuilt.

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