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FAT: Back from the dead to edit The Architects’ Journal

FAT - Death of Architecture

Legendary architecture studio FAT is back for one final project: a summer special edition of The Architects’ Journal complete with a free gift

The hugely influential trio – Sean Griffiths, Charles Holland and Sam Jacob – who disbanded FAT in December 2013 – will edit, for one week only, The Architects’ Journal.

In keeping with its skewed take on all things architectural, FAT’s summer special edition of the AJ will be mostly concerned with death.

‘We’ll be writing about why professional death might just be the healthiest architectural option,’ said Jacob.

‘We’ll explore how resurrection, zombification, and other kinds of after lives have always been essential to new ideas in architecture. We’ll teach you why designing your own demise is an essential part of any good career.

‘We’ll give you all the news that’s ever happened and muse on death as a design project. Just the thing for a summer special as you head off to the beach.’

‘We’ve called it Death and Life of the Architect, as nod to Jane Jacob’s Death and Life of the Great American Cities - a celebration of architecture without architects,’ commented Griffiths.

‘We want to celebrate architects without architecture and to suggest new paths for those of us, who having benefitted from a wonderful education, want to escape the world of procurement, crap money and door schedules.’

‘The Death and Life of the Architect marks various ends - fictional, architectural, professional - but it also suggests new beginnings, ways to make architecture meaningful and important again,’ added Holland. 

‘It mediates on alternative lives, parallel histories and second acts. Hope springs eternal.’

In the tradition of summer specials, FAT’s AJ will also include a make-your-own-model cut-out of its last building, A House for Essex, co-created with Turner Prize-winning artist Grayson Perry.

‘FAT may be dead, but that’s a minor detail,’ said AJ editor Rory Olcayto. ‘What FAT says - even from beyond the grave - still matters. 

‘They can do what they like with AJ. For one week only anyway. And maybe, if we’re lucky, it will inspire FAT’s successors. They’ve got to be out there somewhere.’ 

The FAT-edited edition of AJ will be published on the 21 August.

FAT, which stands for Fashion Architecture Taste, began life in 1990. It is best known for its work in Holland, for Kessels Kramers in Amsterdam and The Hoogvliet Villa in Heerlijkheid park, the BBC Drama Production Village in Cardiff and Thornton Heath Library in London and the House for Essex in… Essex.


Readers' comments (4)

  • Only architects could make a virtue of decline and celebrate it....I'm a big fan of FAT - but c'mon guys.....

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  • Lucy Bullivant

    The architect as a professional figure is, after all, able to cherish intimations of immortality - I look forward to the comeback album! Great topic!

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  • spending a year dead for tax reasons...

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  • Patrik Schumacher

    We are indeed living in the era of the living dead ... in the era of retro-styles: minimalism(=neo-modernism), neo-postmodernism, and the most recent retro-infatuation: neo-rationalism ... too many have lost the sense of forward looking exploration required to make real progress. If retro-rationalism succeeds to become/remain the dominant style, then architecture ends up where is was left behind 40 (or indeed 80 years ago, as Rossi was already a revival of Libera) without any contribution or impact whatsoever. This means architecture as discipline looses its raison d'être.

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