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The unspeakable in pursuit of the unseeable

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Ian Martin is thinking again about pay-per-view architecture, but discovers he’s not the only one

MONDAY In the morning, design a luxury Medieval World timeshare hypervillage in Dubai with an enclosed rainforest in the middle.

In the afternoon, design a nodal clusterbang of ultraprime apartments modelled on Caligula’s palace, surrounded by a vast rocky Martian desert under a giant enviro-cloche in the Scottish Highlands. 

Don’t blame me, blame the demented world we live in.

TUESDAY Like everyone else I have been inspired by those walls in Germany that splash drunken men’s urine back all over their legs. The key element is a powerful hydrophobic coating that repels all liquids, including thoughtlessly cast piss.

It got me thinking again about pay-per-view architecture. Now the skyline’s been monetised, why should just any random passer-by be able to gaze at something that – let’s face it – cost millions to create? In this age of digitised reality, surely there must be a way to put premium aspects of the built environment behind some sort of paywall?

I email my mate Beansy, the nanofuturologist and inventor. He’s not actually speaking to me at the moment. Apparently I ‘abused his trust’ by remodelling bits of buildings last week using the beta ‘real-life Photoshop’ tool, Perlaastica. As far as I’m concerned it’s all water under the surreal competition-entry bridge that looked like a psychedelic chip-pan fire.

Maybe Beansy will be interested in developing the idea of a videophobic building mantle when he comes out of his sulk.

WEDNESDAY Totally misread the brief for a ‘scared place’. Of COURSE it says ‘sacred’ when you wear reading glasses. Never mind, the Munchian-Gothic edge totally works. Brrr!

THURSDAY I’m trying to get on the shortlist of preferred consultants for budget supermarket chain Carbo Warehouse. They’re opening loads of new stores this year in all configurations: hyper, mega, family, express, fun, micro, nano, click-n-collect-pop-uppable and metaphysical.

The last category’s the one to crack. Whoever designed their current online store, with its dentally perfect cartoon people ‘online browsing’ in ‘virtual aisles’ is presumably still mourning Diana, Princess of Wales, and wondering whether to switch from cassette tapes to CDs. Also, the physical building types will just be ordered in from Carbo Warehouse’s US parent company AmSnipe as standard flatpack kits to be assembled by workfare teenagers.

No, the real architectural flair needs to be deployed on the Carbo Warehouse website. My pitch is for a very plain portal, through which visitors may proceed in a variety of styles. Select Beaux-Arts, for instance, and you enter Grand Central Carbo, where a charming avatar dressed as an old-time New York bellhop guides you to the various product lines, or ‘tracks’ … oh, a call from Beansy!

He’s still not very happy. I’m invited to shut up about gaze-retardant buildings as he’s actually working on a special videophobic cladding for a London project at the moment. A developer client wants to build the ultimate in exclusivity – a gated rookery for megarich weekenders THAT ONLY PROPERTY OWNERS CAN SEE.

The videophobic cladding shields the sublime architecture – top urban stylist Tub Haagendas is on board – from general gazing. But the cladding disappears when engaged by approved gazeholders. Some remote retina-activated bullshit. Ach, let Beansy sulk, two can play at THAT game.

FRIDAY At last. Finished the first draft of the title of the first volume of my memoirs: An Auteur Such As I.

As I say, it’s only a first draft. Indeed, the final title might be shaped in part by the content, which will be written in due course. But first things first. The title HAS to be in some sort of a Modernist font. And italic.

Hm. Maybe just Auteur. Wait, with an exclamation mark. No, scrap that. God, this is exhausting. Pub. With an exclamation mark.

SATURDAY Five-a-zeitgeist trope football. Intubated Miserabilism 0, Cannulated Expediency 0, after extra tropes. Tropes now level on aggregate going into the second trope-off of the trope-winners’ trope.

SUNDAY Media review in the recliner. The destruction of Nimrud shows that Isis are ‘in many ways even worse’ than 1960s town planners, according to the Prince of Wales.

My mate Darcy the epic space correspondent and his quivering dachshund-muse Bauhau explain in the Creative on Sunday why they adore the renderings for Foster’s controversal World Cup stadium in Qatar. ‘Hot men and palm trees – what’s not to like! Woof!’

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