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You searched for "Inconspicuous architecture". Your search returned 16 results.

Inconspicuous architecture

Are first impressions important? Architect Peter Zumthor thinks so. I enter a building, see a room, and — in a fraction of a second — have this feeling about it. Buildings inevitably impress us in some way. Many buildings stand out immediately. People make snap judgements on their beauty or lack of it, their functionality … Continue reading

Why music reaches the parts that architecture can’t

Physical spaces are charged with meaning and emotion for most of us — some spaces more than others. But it’s rare to enter a building or encounter spectacular scenery and experience the same intensity of emotion many of us feel on hearing a piece of music, particularly music that fits the mood of the moment, … Continue reading

Structuralism in architecture: not a style but a tool for critique

Influential twentieth century architectural historians such as Charles Jencks and Kenneth Frampton have promoted a particular approach to architectural analysis in which architectural theories have adherents — or at least groups who wish to associate with the theories — who then produce certain kinds of buildings as a result of those theories. The danger of architecture’s willingness to subscribe to … Continue reading

The reception of architecture

Meryl Streep’s embarrassing acceptance speech at the Golden Globe awards reception this week didn’t go down all that well, but the pistachio-crusted pistou ravioli was very well received. (She acknowledged everyone except the Iron Lady herself, and only apologised for “trampling over England’s history.”) Reception is a major issue in the arts. Talented artists receive awards, lavish events … Continue reading

Best intentions

“My manners must have been in fault, but not intentionally I assure you. I never meant to deceive you …” (331) declared Mr Darcy in his reconciliation with Elizabeth in Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. By this reading, to have an intention is to act with a goal in mind. Most of us would rather deny … Continue reading

Art challenges life

Artists, designers, curators and critics might have difficulty writing about art were it not for the useful word “challenge.” So fashion designer “Walter Van Beirendonck has continued to challenge conventional fashion trends with his distinctive vision” (link). Here are some other obvious examples. “Banksy challenges British cultural identity with warped, twisted versions of British icons” … Continue reading

What does it all mean?

Art provides a soft target for opinion and prejudice. I recently read a comment at the end of a Huffington Post blog about the 2012 Turner prize winner (Elizabeth Price): “most of the stuff is self-indulgent nonsense that couldn’t possibly mean anything to anyone other than the artist.” Meaning is tricky. Think of meaning as … Continue reading

Heidegger and vertigo

Apparently Mount Everest is so busy during climbing season you have to queue to get to the top. (See Mail Online article.) Some people prefer horizontal pastimes (eg swimming), but there’s something irresistible about verticality. TV producer and scriptwriter Russell T Davies famously employed “the vertical chase” in his Dr Who episodes. Characters are pursued … Continue reading

Architectural unconscious

The unconscious is one of those great architectural metaphors. It suggests a layer beneath the visible edifice, a foundation that supports the parts above ground. The unconscious (sometimes referred to as the subconscious) is also the structure, mostly invisible, residing behind the cladding. The unconscious is the incomprehensible complexity concealed by the smooth veneer of … Continue reading

Blog archive (and About)

What this blog site is about I draw on philosophy and cultural theory to help understand current affairs, architecture and developments in digital technology. These are not opinion pages, though my strongly held view that academic reflection really matters as we try to understand contemporary living may seep through. These posts are scheduled to appear … Continue reading

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