Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Documenting and Designing for Louvain-La-Neuve

masterplan of Louvain La Neuve
Workshop group in front of LLN model from the 70s, after a lecture by the head of Planning at LLN University
Karel Wuytack and I recently taught a design/research workshop, to the full final year of Urbanism students studying at Sint Lucas' two campuses of Gent and Brussels.

Railway and Road entrances into and under LLN
The topic of study was the University City of Louvain La Neuve, a piece of Utopic, pedestrianised, Brutalist New Urbanism, from the late 1960s that grew out of the need to resolve (by removal and relocation) old Flemish-French tensions in Leuven University proper. A site in between Leuven and Brussels, in Wallon Brabant, was chosen.
Street in LLN
more after the break...

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Peripetics by Zeitguised

A remarkable animation made by Zeitguised, with sound by Michael Fakesch, and commisioned by Zirkel Gallery.

Peripetics by ZEITGUISED from NotForPaper on Vimeo.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

"Cine-Doche" AAIS Hooke Park Goodbye Film

The final trip (the first without external commitments) of the AAIS group was to Hooke Park, a forest in Dorset owned by the AA, where we inflated our pavilion and spent a couple of days writing, filming, eating and drinking.
This is the outcome, a goodbye to the pavilion (which we designed and worked with for so many months), to the Bauhaus (which we both collaborated with, and studied), and to the AAIS (for which we were the test Bunnies).
Made with Catharine Patha, Kate Mactiernan, Parastoo Anoushehpour, and Takako Hasegawa.

And a big thankyou to the bemused but ever-helpful Jean-Francois.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Animation Of a Multi-Nave

A test animation using rhino's bongo animator, and edited on Adobe Premiere.
Quite happy with it, except for the awful quality of the youtube upload.

The video above is cut to half its width by Blogger, go here for the full version
The music is part of a song called "Painter" from Momus' 1991 album Hippopotamomus, which you can download here, thanks to the man also known as Nick Currie.

Above is an image of the main space that is in the animation.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

"Digital Hinterlands" Exhibition

At Arup's new exhibition space on Charlotte Street in Fitzrovia, Digital Hinterlands, curated by Ruari Glynn as part of London Digital Week, is a collection of recent graduate work that uses digital tools in new and unexpected ways. The exhibition's aesthetic of laser-cut, and then bent, aluminium panels makes it feel a little bit as if a klingon will jump out from behind one of them at any moment, a playful atmosphere which is a pleasant contrast to the bland seriousness of the rest of the ground floor, with its hung ceilings, reception desk, and glass entrance barriers.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Things that Lurk in old Hard Drives: Design for Serpentine Pavilion 2003

What things can be unearthed from the dusty interiors of ancient Hard Drives once presumed broken!

I found this video that I had forgotten I had ever made on an old hard drive that I was about to throw away, since it hadnt worked for about 5years. I plugged it in one last time, to find that it hummed gently, and happily gave up its contents, all of which I had thought forever lost, including this startlingly mechanical and monochrome fly-through of my final design in 2003, (a proposal for a Serpentine Pavilion) for Charles Walker's first year at the AA Intermediate School; a unit that is now spawning a prodigious quantity of pavilions in Bedford Square. I designed an Excel Spreadsheet that would generate all the panels according to a few parameters, and several bell curve formulas (for height gradation and grid distortion, both in plan and section). The next year (2004) the project turned up in a sheet of 'influences' for Jurgen Mayer's Seville 'Metropol Parasol', along with a couple of other projects from other architects.

I do not like the design, but the insanely geeky and thorough process of designing my own parametric 'program' from scratch on Excel was an experience that I do not regret; and besides, doing this design for the Serpentine Pavilion took so long, and was generaly so unnatural to my inclinations, and so out of keeping with a context I loved so much, that there was a whole year of pent-up ideas, and continuously frustrated desires for the site and the programme, that simply burst forth with a vengeance when somehow, through luck, I ended up in Rotterdam, working on the 2006 OMA/Rem Koolhaas Serpentine Pavilion. It was such a joy to be able to work on a real design for the same site, a real design together with a team (notably the eminent Mr Karel Wuytack) and an architect, who were interested in so many of the things I had suffered from a lack of, in Charles' strange tool-based technocracy; namely the pavilion's relationship to the historicity of the place, its quality of allusion and its enmeshment with the events planned to occur within it.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

DomestiCity: Conclusion of Unit1

Unit 1 of the 2009 Summer School concluded with one film, presented while the students sat on a long table in front of the audience, drawing in the light of the projection above them, a final concluding storyboard/mindmap of their experience, which, as the film finished was presented to the jurors sitting directly in front of the table.

the students drawing during the screening of the film, which was projected just over their heads.

Part 1 of the Film:

Part 2 of the Film:

The storyboard

They worked in three separate teams filming and editing footage, while one member of each team represented the rest in daily meetings in which the overall narrative was gradually worked out, which then defined further work in image drawing, animation making, and sound editing for each of the teams.

Heres a little, silly, "outtake film"

Thank you especially to Peter Carl and Catharine Patha for your interest in the work and your insightful comments as the students presented for the last time, and, of course, thank you students:

Nathaniel Bengio
Alicja Chola
Noa Gonzales
Rachel Delargy
Cecilia Hui
Maria Koufalioti
Jan Ledwon
Vanessa Mitrapanou
Lap Fat (Morris) Ngai
Sandy Stuchfield
Chun Ping Yip
Taylor Zhou
Daria Tarawneh

Saturday, 11 July 2009

DomestiCITY: AA Summer School Unit 1 Introduction

This is the Presentation that Marie Isabel de Monseignat and I will be making day after tomorrow to the AA's Summer School's students, hoping that it will be interesting enough for them to choose.
Bring on the Domestic-in-the-City!

Naughty Gordon...

Monday, 25 May 2009

"Salon" Exhibition

photos by Takako Hasegawa

I had the honour of organising this exhibition of 'works in progress' at the AA for its Inter Professional Studio (a studio set up to bring professionals from outside of architecture into the aa to experiment). It runs through the month of may and the space has been designed to be used for a programme of events which included a wonderful theatre performance (Erin and Florian) by Vier Theatre on the 21st; a series of 3 conversations about collaboration (Catharine Patha) on the 19th, 26th, and the 27th, with guests including Hans Ulrich Obrist, Richard Wentworth and Gavin Turk; a symposium of the AA's Interprofessional studio and the works in progress which are exhibited in the Salon; and a lecture and workshop by Canadian artist Emma Waltraud Howes.

Emma Waltraud-Howes talking about the development of her work over the past three years

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Subjective Cartographies

This is the whole of the film which "Two Men and Their Monuments" is from. It explores (in a fun, collaborative fashion) the notion that a city and its physical fabric can be spatially mapped from a perspective other than the quantitative analysis of its statistised components. A sort of literary cartography, an urban plan in which the legend would correlate and compare densities of footfall and the prices of available rent-controlled accomodation in any area equally with the relative quality of its outlets selling japanese cat-food brands... it is half in french, half in english

Friday, 17 April 2009

Unit 6 of the AA Summer School 2008

Marie Isabel De Monseignat and I taught Unit6 in last year's Summer School. The theme for the year was "London Disasters", and our brief proposed to create a Factory for the Recycling of London's discarded passe architecture (a form of disaster prevention). We wanted a brief that would allow the students to bounce backwards and forwards between zany story-making, fun sessions of impromptu designing, and periods of serious discussion and debate and deliberation about the points where their work was navigating through interesting and relevant topics. Each student spent a week on an individual project, which was then critiqued in an internal jury. That work was then concluded while the whole unit embarked on pulling their individual thoughts and designs into one working factory.

This is most of the Introduction which we played for all the students on the first day of the Summer School, the other bit being an explanation of the schedule and way of working (so i left that out). Students watched all 6 Units present, and then filled in ballot papers to choose the unit they wished to attend... as you can see we were extremely fortunate with the students who chose us:

These are some images of the final model (scale 1:50), and the final drawing, which were the vehicles through which the students combined their disparate ideas into one functioning project... it was very interesting to watch how the group production of these drawings and models ingnited several discussions which kept running (and nourishing) all the way through the course and culminated in a couple of rather long, tiring, but ultimately fascinating debates which tied-up the unit's work in a way that showed how engaged everyone had been, how the students had really been drawn into the work and the collaboration both intellectually and emotionally, which all resulted in a sort of strangely ecstatic mood by the time we made our final presentation, a mood which I took as resulting from the feeling that together the group had produced something that could never have been done separately, a sort of bond of successfully materialised creativity.

The whole model of the factory

The whole final drawing

a zoomed in area of the final drawing

a zoomed in area of the final drawing

image of the factory in the site, with reclamation-copter leaving to go and fetch passe fragments...

reclamation-copter carrying Dimitar's recombined product

Students working on final model

This was the unit just after presenting in the mid-Jury. You can see the collaboration on the model has begun in teams of four to each part, and the individual projects are on the wall to the left...

A film of a small part of the final Jury presentation, which we made into a bit of a performance, costumes and all:

everyone just after the presentation

The wall of our studio
The students' rather forbidden way of saying thank you
me and marie after the last dinner/drinks
We also exhibited the unit's work in a month long exhibition at the AA in October of the same year. Here are the only surviving images:

And a random addition (it was on one of the films, and you can see me all dressed up for the final presentation at the end), me and marie visiting our Diploma 9 Projects Review exhibition, which used as a base the stairs from my Church of Perpetual Experimentation project:

Monday, 13 April 2009

Performative Space I

This is the Image which is going to go with my films of 'People Watching People' and 'Recollections From Within The Crowd', in the AASALON exhibition which will open on May 1st.

This is the text that goes with it:

It expanded, pulsing like a dead body heaving with unescaped noxious gases, breaking out with scars, patches and wounds of colour as if bacterial mould and mildew were painting the bowels of this torrid place with the florid marks of a tropical disease. Seats tipped over and disappeared into the folds between columns that began to bulge like the faces of men having heart attacks, swollen beyond use and marked across, slashed all over with tattoos as desperate in their relentless acreage as the panting breaths of a suffocating dog. The stage was lacerated until it bled red and was then hurled over to a place where it lay, sinking into the Technicolor mess that groaned and swelled around it.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

3 Recollections from within the crowd

This is the film of overlapping narratives from within the audience space of an auditorium. It didnt really work with several "mes", so the lovely Kate Mactiernan (who I am doing the tables with), and the beautiful Catharine Patha (who I developed the thoughts about performative audiences with), stepped in to add a little feminine insight to the work.

This has been made for the Jena Theater Festival and is meant to be a sort of decorative 'white noise', a background to the reception area of the TheaterHaus which contains snippets of discernable spatial narrative, but which in no way demands to be listened to, rather forming a peripheral and repetitive moving image relating to what occurs within the confines of performance spaces in general.

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Triangle Table I

This is the prototype for the tables that will be used in an exhibition in May (the theme is "Salon" and the tables will be used for canapes etc). When the workshop re-opens in a few weeks there will hopefully be time to make around 6 more of them...
The project is a collaboration with Kate Mactiernan.
more after the break...

Saturday, 28 March 2009


The animals I am currently sharing my days with.
Illustrations that came from Character I in LifeBin

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Folly Ring

A bridge spanning a finger, gatekeeper to the hand, and a Castle-with-a-hole decorating the landscape of a living-room's shelf.