Ian Martin’s plans for a tunnel beneath the Thames take a turn for the worse
MONDAY. Redesign London’s luxury housing bubble, giving it a tremulous, panoramic aspect.
I’ve created a ‘rainbow effect’ by breaking the white light into discreet bundles of graded luxury colour spectrum molecules. These can be monetised immediately or sold on the international bubble markets, creating stable and theoretically infinite bubble yield, year-on-year, no problem.
TUESDAY. To a pop-up conference – The New Grotesque: Defeating Terrorism With Satirical Architecture.
For years, we designers of those buildings at risk of terrorist attack have been derided by liberal auteurs who are above this sort of thing, as well as by the bitter losers who didn’t get the gigs. Oh yeah, our defensive, hyper-secure architecture was so ‘funny’, wasn’t it, with its boring concrete berms, its tiny reinforced scaredy-cat windows, its dead buffer zones, its Stalinist landscaping.
Yes, everyone’s had a right old laugh, haven’t they? Well, who’s laughing now? It’s clear a terrorist target can be anything – a railway station, magazine offices, a UN school, a coffee house. So apparently the laughter/architecture of liberal apologists/defenders of democracy must now be offensive/defiant. In the midst of all this cultural and intellectual chaos, one thing is clear. Architects are to blame. It is time to:
a) apologise to the world for the tiny percentage of architecture responsible for terrorism and
b) show the terrorists we cannot be cowed, by producing satirical and repellent architecture.
Quite how architecture might non-accidentally take the piss out of anything but itself is a conundrum, which is why this conference has been hastily arranged in an old snooker hall at £240 plus VAT, get your own lunch. Plenary session ideas: when designing a mosque, put ‘subtle jokes’ in; terrorist entrances in museums, lined with deterrent art works; some kind of gun-jamming technology incorporated into all WiFi; live Twitter feeds on exterior walls with hashtagged fenestration; pretend ‘multi-secularism’ is an architectural style; contextualise everything to the point where the building might ‘externalise its self-loathing’.
Summary: oh for fuck’s sake just put the word ‘satirical’ in front of everything, eg Classical, drainpipe, luxury, public space, fee, development, ethics, skyline, Islam, facade.
WEDNESDAY. I’m reworking the concept of the beach hut. A design competition is looking for ‘a wry take on the classic hut which also tells a story about mortality’. I’ve sketched out a series of disconnected huts to be erected several miles inland, each containing its own miniature beach. What does it mean? Who cares?
THURSDAY. Those fickle bastards at the Royal Society for the Protection of Worms (RSPW) have withdrawn their backing for my brilliant yet apparently controversial Soil Tunnel underneath the Thames.
Up until yesterday the RSPW had been broadly supportive of the proposal to create a ‘journey through earth and history’. The Soil Tunnel will allow bored Londoners and genuine people alike to immerse themselves in the mystery beneath our feet, interacting with the loam and clay of our shared geological narrative in an exciting and literally groundbreaking way.
But the bastard worm people have turned. The RSPW moans that ‘the new, worm-positive habitat we had so fervently hoped for will clearly not occur’. As far as I can gather the stupid pillocks expected the tunnel to be filled with soil, users somehow wriggling their way from one end to the other. Perhaps in special ‘worm suits’, who knows? Idiots. Why would I have mentioned ‘pedestrians’ if people COULDN’T USE THEIR FEET? The RSPW had ‘assumed’ the 544m-long tunnel would link existing ‘worm hotspots’ north and south of the river and would incorporate special worm hubs at intervals along the tunnel. Once these sanctimonious worm-lovers realised their preposterous fantasy would simply not be happening, they started putting it about that the Soil Tunnel was a ‘folly’, a shameful waste of resources.
‘Frankly, if we were handed £1.03 billion to help the worms, we could certainly find better ways of spending it. A few million on a courtesy campaign to respect worms in the garden. Maybe some worm hospitals, give us a minute, nobody has ever suggested throwing a billion pounds at worms before, wow’. Stupid worms.
FRIDAY. In such a hurry to kickstart the delivery of something I forget what it is, so have to kickstop myself.
SATURDAY. Five-a-zeitgeist theoretical football. Triangulated Alternative 1, Cannulated Heritage 3, after a late collapse in linear time.
SUNDAY. Tough thinking in the recliner.