by Christopher Johnson, AA Fifth Year, Diploma Unit 1

4 December 2015
Architectural Association, London


there is a city preoccupied with the relationship between the measure of its space and the events of its past.

intent on continuously rebuilding itself


sometimes different cities follow one another on the same site and under the same name, born and dying without knowing one another, without communication among themselves…


aroused residents demanded infrastructure be installed so they could watch


eager men come each day to replace the ads


new schemes constantly appear from behind site hoarding

here, children have painted their vision of the city


locals post messages of zeal in anticipation


others, impatient, start to speculate.

even infrastructure is not immune.


an atmosphere looms

preserved vacancies

are these remainders or beginnings?


the city does not tell its past but contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corners, scratches, indentations.

a catalog of apparitions, outlines, figments, ghosts.

erasures, blemishes, scars

traces of former existences

forgetful leftovers

missing letters and disappeared signatures

biding their time



Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities, Cities & Memory 3,5

John Hejduk, Thoughts of an Architect

Werner Herzog, Lessons of Darkness

Patrick Keiller, London


For more information:

Christopher Johnson on Projects Review 2015

Diploma 1 Unit Brief

Christopher Johnson on AA Conversations