Friday, May 08, 2015

The Subject of Style at The Design Museum and bye bye to Simon Hughes

The tension was palpable 
Yesterday evening I went to hear a conversation around an architectural  book on the Function of style by Farshid Moussavi the speaker was introduced  by  the Design Museum's Deyan Sudjic and a rebuttal was made by the American architectural historian Charles Jencks.

To kick the evening off Deyan reminded us to vote - little did I know that the MP for the area (Simon Hughes) who had been the MP there for the last 32 years was to be unseated.
Bye-bye Simon

Anyway back to the talk - Farshid spoke well about the end (perhaps) of the various '-isms' my interpretation of the  idea of her book was was that the Architect as an author was history and they are now more like a ring leader and the 'Starchitect'  figure is dead, we've moved from solo to group practice.

Farshid  believes that technology has made a fundamental change to the way architects work both as a  result of using computers and also by the sharing that takes place over the internet.

There's also an idea that globalisation has changed the way nationhood applies, an example was made of the way that the bicycle does not seem to belong to one country and continues to evolve.

Farshid spoke about projects she'd been involved with including Libraries, Schools, Offices and particularly the Cleveland  Museum of Contemporary Art.

There was also talk about how buildings signify and can be subverted and the feeling of 'people' that all airports (for example) look and feel the same

What made the evening slightly tense was a rebuttal of much of what Farshiod had proposed by Historian of Architecture  Charles Jencks -there seemed to  a real tension between their two conceptions of Style and when Jencks chose to describe Iranian born Moussavi as an Iranian Architect, she felt that she had to reject this label and a concept of nationality that presented her in this way

Perhaps surpringly for someone who is not knowledgeable about the particulars of the debate  I did feel involved and   I was very pleased to hear E H Gombrich  being referenced.

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