A MUSEUM OF RAIN Excerpt
By Jeffrey Smith, Doug Rice and Robert Horton
Summer School Unit 3 tutors
26 September 2013
Architectural Association, London
Without knowing completely what this might be or what form this might take, we were none the less certain the combination of these very evocative words, “museum” and “rain”, possessed the opportunity for a challenging programme design study and a challenging building design study as well. But how were we going to quickly understand rain in all its moods and conditions?
Surveying examples from the history of film, we explored the vast wealth of insight into rain realised by directors, writers, and actors for over 100 years. To ground the study, Victoria Park, a large 19th century park in London’s East End was selected as the “context”. With its range of spatial conditions and landscape features it offered a variety of potential sites as the students’ programme and design work evolved.
Initially students developed ideas individually. Then, seeing overlapping themes and ideas with their fellow students, they formed naturally and easily into three teams pursuing three very different ideas: one creating a very solemn place where rain interacts with personal memories, another, a small but very highly-designed industrial facility where rain is silenced and moss is grown and sold, and a third where rain is collected and the “world’s largest waterbed” is created.
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Jeffrey Smith graduated from the University of Oregon. He has taught Architecture Theory and Design at the University of Oregon and the University of Washington alongside working for corporate firms in the area. He is an avid painter, traveller and photographer.
After a 15 year career in advertising and graphics, Doug Rice graduated with a degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Washington. He currently has a TV show on the KCTV network in America titled "Yard Talk."
Robert Horton is a film critic who has written books and curated many programmes and exhibits on the subject. He is currently the film critic for Seattle's National Public Radio Station and the Herald in Everett, Washington. He writes about films on his blog, The Crop Duster.