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The Epic Space Awards

Ian Martin
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Ian Martin misses out at the ‘Spaceys’

MONDAY Design a drone harbour for Skegness. Drones are the future, and future ‘dronesportation’ will need well-designed ‘dronefrastructure’ if droning no sorry I’m even boring myself now.

TUESDAY New London housing solution – the ‘inhabited pavement’.

WEDNESDAY On the advice of my fixer Rock Steady Eddie I’m teaching myself to overcome any humiliation at having to take work that is beneath me by changing the word ‘design’ to ‘hack’.

For instance, I am NOT doing posh window dressing for a Bond Street ‘shoetique’. No, like some exciting urbanist guerilla I am ‘hacking a shop front’ yeah?  

THURSDAY Hack some exciting minimum-space student accommodation on the site of a former snooker hall. Even specify ‘street’ signage, like a DON.

FRIDAY Morning: hack a rural landscape by putting a bloody great house in the middle of it with a distinctive stylish roof they’ll have to order from Korea.

Afternoon: hack the skyline with a piss-taking tower shaped like a spiralised courgette stuck roughly back together for a laugh.

Evening: dinner party in Hackney.

SATURDAY Five-a-zeitgeist theoretical football. Modern Hackitecture 1, Contemporary Archihacture 0.

SUNDAY Oh God, that time of year again. The autumn awards season. Always an emotional rollercoaster.

It’s exciting. It’s boring. You’re in with a chance. You’re not. You are. Or are you? Look who you’re up against. Still, you never know. The winner is…who? THEY’VE won? FUCK. I mean worthy winner, well done. Wait, the first two bottles were free and then HOW much?

I’m trapped at the Creative on Sunday table for the 37th Epic Space Awards. I can remember when the ‘Spaceys’ were sponsored by brick manufacturers and the cement people. Now the imprint of an investment bank is everywhere, its logo a graphic interface of ‘sci-fi’ and ‘neo-Nazi’.

With me are epic space correspondent Darcy Farquear’say – who tonight is wearing a paisley dinner jacket over an ironic knock-off  T-shirt bearing the legend This Is What A Sodernist Looks Like, with 1970s novelty sunglasses and an electric blue fez – and his muse, the architectural dachshund Bauhau, who’s in double black mini-lederhosen and a little rose gold Alpine hat.

Also at our table is the Creative on Sunday’s Arts & Entertainment & Culture & Style & Living & Trending & Ting editor Percival Clougha-Fell (wearing a djellaba woven from recycled cardboad fibre and braids of farmed light) and his buffy-tufted marmoset PJ (body swathed in a Marc Jacobs bodycloche, head partially encased in a nebulus of crimson taffeta curlicues).

Percy has been nominated for Arts & Entertainment & Culture & Style & Living & Trending Feature of the Year for a six-page piece he edited on how architecture and food are completely different but sort of the same. 

I have the honour to be nominated for Best Physical Comedy In A Reality Context – the slapstick lecture I wrote for a performance at the Institute of Plasmic Arts. I hired a Russian clown for cash and had him impersonate ‘Public Taste’ by getting out of a clown car marked ‘Critical Overview’ and then running around the stage holding a rolled-up copy of the Daily Mail, crashing into things.

Darcy and Bauhau are up for Best Human-Animal Feature Writing for Cycling The Future, their journey through post-war new towns on respectively an antique bicycle and its front-mounted basket.

The tension increases to an unbearable level. And then bursts. Percy’s beaten by the execrable Hilaire Totes-Adorbs, editor of Pop-Out magazine, who takes the Arts & Entertainment & Culture & Style & Living & Trending Spacey (third consecutive year) for her feature on how architecture and sex are completely different but people will read about sex.

As so often, it’s a shame anyone had to be the winner, particularly in my category. In what looks like a shameful act of nepotism, the Department of Entertainment’s Right Hon. Anaeas Upmother-Brown hands the award for Best Physical Comedy to HIS OWN PET SWARM OF BEES, for their depiction of the partial demolition of Glasgow’s Red Road Flats.

There’s some consolation, however. Darcy and Bauhau are beaten by Sloane Bagshawe, architecture correspondent for Builty Pleasures, and her assistance pony Dennis, for their Clippy Cloppy Ramblings.

Sloane’s my favourite. Sensibly, instead of dressing Dennis in a silly frock, she’s converted him into a mobile 4G hot spot.

Au revoir, Spaceys. Better luck next year.



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