Figuring It Out
19 June 2013 AA Lecture Hall, London   The project is a response to what I see as two crises of the European city: One, the city’s form is deeply rooted in a past that freezes it in place. Two, the ways in which we conceive that city prevent it from keeping up the pace of a constantly accelerating world. To cure these weaknesses the project ruthlessly rejects old conventions and will therefore erase the Figures of Europe, both physically (as in buildings) and conceptually (as in culture).   The leveling operated by the Machine imposes two changes to the European City: First, it liberates it from a heavy and burdened past. Second, it provides the grounds for a possible future.   To liberate the City all the Figures that have held the city a prisoner of it’s past have disappeared. Stripped of Icons and Masters, the city now belongs to the new generation, one that does not have time to burden itself with History. As for the grounds, the Machine, because it can only operate within the Now, provides the frame for the future, but certainly not it’s content. And that frame exposes a refreshing and optimistic vision: That if the institutions of Europe are destroyed then the Youth itself will become Europe!   To be able to present a project at the Honours presentation last Friday was a truly exciting experience. Although surely stressful, it was a day that I enjoyed from begining to end: the panic of preparing for it, the joy of presenting and finally the pride of receiving the actual thing.   But even more than the prize itself, what I deeply enjoyed was to stand in that room with the 9 other students, all with very different projects. To see this variety reminded me that this is the strength of this school, a strength that is increased by the wide range of tutors to which we presented and also by the large audience that was there that day. It was, for me, an amazing way to end 4 years at the AA, to be able to present my work but ultimately to show the work/world of a unit, in my case a unit that has been my home for two years, and one that will undoubtebly stay with me for a very long time.   For more information: Diploma Unit 9 Programme Brief Antoine Vaxelaire on the Diploma Unit 9 Blog