Recherches Concrètes

The last two Fridays have been spent in the company of Mavis, Ben, Shahina, Rhett and Teal Triggs, from LCC's MRes Information Environments. Fed by Chris Roberts' fantastic stories of the hazily defined site of St. Giles, London. WC2-ish.

Each of the four has conducted an idiosyncratic research of the site, with results characterful of their own interests. Reminds me of Umberto Eco's empirical reader. Stranger-than-fiction-facts and lateral formal connections between high and low design are colouring up this most in-between of spaces.

These assemblies are my weekend in the wake of this information. Residual memory of the group's motifs, sentences, associations made visible, in order to provoke more handwork this Friday, when we meet.

So, these two, for example refer to sleeping homeless in the aisles of St. Giles. Others are less literal. The materials are my fumbling in and around architectural models without ever having made one. Trying to find a vocabulary more unsentenceable than that. A system just to express the gut-head response one has to buildings and spaces and ideas of both.

The off-key orangegreenyellow refers to the new ubiquity of Renzo Piano's Central Saint Giles building, studied by Shahina in particular. Since discovered what we believed to be powder-coated steel offering the colour is in fact glazed ceramic cladding.

So she and we discussed the keying in of these colours to vernacular desktop publishing graphic signage, an accidental but quite lyrical association.

And in general the imprint of a chromatic signature building on its environment.

The project, beyond this and our time, moves to Second Life, in conjunction with another study by University of Texas, Austin.

So it's important for some make-sense-of-it-making to take place.

And to be inspired by serious study of frivolous, ephemeral architecture. This beautiful colour-connected imprint of Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Browns' Learning from Las Vegas designed by John Morgan Studio (2007).


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