Adam Donen with Omar Ghazal, Kevin Green, Hugh McEwen, Catrina Stewart and Freddy Tuppen of Ada.
An dramatic musical and architectural performance about the European Union as part of the Bloomsbury Fete in Bedford Square yesterday. These photos don’t do justice to the scale, ambition and energy of this immersive performance. We can only hope for an encore.
Some of the drawings published earlier on in the year in the PEAR Archizine as part of ‘The Great Stink’ project.
"Londoners put up with anything; it is well known that they are able to overlook the city’s annoyances, turning everyday inconveniences into something just about bearable. They become anxious, worried and agitated, but still they shake their heads, and walk on. Almost as though they have become immune to these daily disturbances; the jostling queue on any public transport, financial and political mis-selling in every daily newspaper, even battling through the city’s standstill in drifts of snow.Urban residents are subject to mechanical, social and meteorological stressors by the city, but, in what appears to be a coping mechanism, they come to revel in these daily annoyances. Could the ability of city dwellers to blinker themselves make even extreme events bearable? Does it have any positive aftermath? Or will all this crap we have to put up with soon spill over.”
The impetus for this ‘fast twitch’ project is an interest in working quickly with a limited framework of ideas and intentions. Partially a form of self-reflection, the approach is meant to augment other methods and techniques for the spatial production, specifically the ‘content to form’ approach evident in some of my earlier work. Linked to pedagogical and practiced interests in broadening the architect’s versatility (both the methods and results), this work is meant to open analogic and intuitive means for producing architecture in short periods of time.
The architecture, garden and landscape proposal lie somewhere between a camp-site, a survival kit and a ‘house’. My interests developed and found bearing through speculations on ground, horizon and sky relations. As a result of beginning simply, a number of things occurred. Interests in ground, sky and horizon blossomed into a range of considerations through the making of the drawings, yielding a range of ideas not originally foreseen or predicted. These interests include the potential for hybrid archetypes, diverse subtleties in perceptual awareness in a desert landscape, a tensional play between exile and place, ‘stranded’ temporalities, incompleteness and a movement between rhetorical structuring and embodied experience.
A series of conceptually and materially ‘milled’ garden-like surfaces, objects and architectural elements attempt to structure these potentials. Initially, the garden surfaces and some cactus are milled by landscape scale milling machines. Then, chromed shadows with materialized building reflections (of three future buildings) are constructed followed by the arrival of a cast bronze bi-plane (10’ wingspan), a 6’ diameter billiard ball, a wench and ‘real’ cactus. Finally, the three buildings are built. The buildings are physically coordinated with the previously constructed chromed shadows, but are ‘mis-coordinated’ with the building reflections that were materialized in those chromed shadows. More recently the project is evolving through forms of material erasure (in the three buildings) towards increasing the sense of ‘stranded’ temporalities, amplifying the sense of domestic vulnerability and furthering qualities of indeterminacy in the desert.
Analogic references (important and advantageous in the ‘fast’ parts of the work) and architectural/ landscape elements include paired cocoons, storage sacks and ‘petticoats’, an empty game board, wind ‘throats’, an oscillating/ vibrating ‘occupant’, a permanent rhetorical shadow, continuously re-milled garden surfaces and three domestic ‘housings’ (sleeping/ dreaming, food preparation/ storage/ consumption and wondering about/ at a ‘distance’… a space of/ for exile compliments this triad of functional dwelling elements).