14 July 2014
33 Bedford Square, Architectural Association
Let’s talk about buildings. Which building, would you say, has made a historically substantial contribution either in terms of design or in concept? Think about one and think of the arguments to sustain that. Then another question: is it from the last 25 years? Yes? Good. It’s difficult, yes, but it is possible to find significant buildings that are that recent. But now, on top of thinking of contributions inside the discipline, could you find one that has also been significant to fields outside of architecture? It’s tricky, I know.
Ok, so you do want to talk about buildings. Great! We want that too – we like talking about buildings, visiting buildings, thinking about them and, why not, designing them. So we decided to get together and gather a group of interesting people with things to say regarding the questions above. The rules are the following: ten people from there and ten from here. Each chooses a building. From those ten, five should be students and five teachers. And then we sit all together around a big table and talk about buildings. No one should talk too much (it makes for a packed day) so let’s limit presentations to 5 minute speeches, where everyone has to deliver their arguments in a sharp and concise way. Yes, you can use images. But most important is what comes next. After the short presentations, we have a conversation. We discuss. We weigh arguments. We agree and disagree. We use design arguments, we use historical ones. We look at buildings as wholes, we zoom-in to specific parts. We assume a position regarding each building, architecture, its significance to the discipline and even the value of getting together to talk about buildings.