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The edge of reason

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Ian Martin is fed up with constant sniping by intellectual pygmies of the gutter press

MONDAY Delighted to be part of the team designing the iPhone 7, which promises to be even more self-affirming than its predecessors. You’ll never guess where you put the sim card.

TUESDAY Oh, WHAT? Just finished my designs for The World In 2099 and now they’ve upped the density. Again.

Instead of nine billion people crammed into urban habitats severely shrunk by global boiling and coastal evaporation, suddenly I’ve got to accommodate ELEVEN BILLION. Honestly, if you think London landlords are taking the piss now, you should see what I’ve sketched out for 22nd Century Peterborough, one of the bleakest but cheapest future London boroughs.

‘Homeshare’. ‘Zip-ups’. ‘Hotbunking’. Yeah, they may not mean anything at the moment but mark my words - they will define city living in a hundred years time, when we’ve exhausted wind and solar energy. Economic and social policy will be determined then as now by the worried middle-aged, who’ll have to harness new forces to drive the world forward, such as air-fracking, deep magma drizzle conversion, dementia and the power of attorney.

WEDNESDAY Another of my schemes dismissed as ‘cosy, trite, dull and shockingly ill thought-through’! I’m fed up with this constant sniping by intellectual pygmies of the gutter press.

This time it’s a snippy review in the style section of Practical Spatialist, rubbishing my design for a new drop-up restaurant. ‘Everything about this cobbled-together tripe screams “safe”. The conventional arrangement of doors and windows. The roof, unmediated by any discernible trope of recent popular culture. The dining space itself, merely a large room filled with tables and chairs (CHAIRS!) as if the last three decades of culinary nihilism hadn’t occurred. Worst, the most grievous of all design errors - poor location.

‘Situated in a quiet corner of sleepy Cheshire, the environs offer none of the urban vitality we rightly demand around a new building, whatever its purpose. Were it not for an amusing, subversive name (The Fat Fuck) this restaurant would have literally nothing to commend it apart from excellent food, speedy service and a great atmosphere.’

I know we auteurs must put upon ourselves an emotional armour against the barbs of envious scribblers. But it’s the principle. If they KEEP saying horrible things about my petrified epic space, well. It will negatively impact my brand.

As my fixer Rock Steady Eddie puts it - ‘clients get wind, your fees head south, you’re up the Swannee without a whistle, all right if you cover this yeah, I left me card on top of the toilet at home.’

THURSDAY Lunch with my old friend Darcy, the only architecture critic left who hasn’t poured withering sarcasm all over my oeuvre. We are joined as usual by his companion Bauhau the architectural dachshund, who today is wearing a pleated burgundy tweed twosie and a miniature retro ‘Madchester’ hat.  It’s not his fault. He doesn’t dress himself. But what a preposterous yapping little twat he is. And how can he know anything?

‘Oh, you’d be surprised’ says Darcy. ‘Watch this. Bauhau, sit!’  There’s a distant, tiny sound of crushed tweed. ‘Now, Bauhau. What category of environment is being lauded this season by our most admired and litigious architects?’ Bauhau just sits there, his disgusting tongue lolling out, a dazed smile on his stupid face.

‘Is it…funky?’ No reaction, just panting. ‘Gritty?’ No flicker, a thin drool. ‘Is it…edgy?’ Boom. Yap-yap-yap, round in circles, his little hat comes off, he trips over his twosie, more yapping. ‘There you go. Edgy. People who can afford it LOVE the idea of hipster neighbourhoods rubbing up against something a bit dodgy and dangerous…’

Inspiration strikes. I order two more cocktails and a Virgin Mary for the edgy dog.

FRIDAY Big plans. Rock Steady Eddie and I are starting a new enterprise, Edge Logistics Environmental Delivery Solutions. Eddie’s extensive contacts in the edgeworld (jobseekers recently out of prison) give us a market advantage. The idea is that we will ‘dress’ a neighbourhood for clients when architecture critics visit a new building.

We have a sliding scale of charges, from ‘working class types hanging about looking suspicious’, through ‘urination in street’ to ‘casual menacing with dog’.

We hope to be thrilling our first cultural commentators very soon.

SATURDAY Five-a-zeitgeist theoretical football. Infantilised Bigism 4, Sophisticated Minifabulism 0.

SUNDAY Spend ‘edgy’ morning by relocating to a Wetherspoons.

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