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- Opinion: while many architects are designing slippery “architexture”, Norman Foster and Alejandro Aravena are unlikely allies in the pursuit of real architecture, says Will Wiles.
- What could we call the new, expanded, discipline that Foster and Aravena both appear to have in mind?
- Perhaps we don’t need a word for it at all – it’s architecture, behaving as architecture should.
- Architecture as surface and appearance, architecture that is camouflage and alibi.
- Aravena calls for a rethinking of the role of the architect, and new language to express that role.
- But Transport for London (TfL) and the Garden Bridge Trust have carried on regardless, egged on by powerful Bullingdon backers, mayor Boris Johnson and chancellor George Osborne.
- The president of the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association has described it as a “vanity project of a windswept garden on an unneeded bridge”, while leading bridge engineers have called it a “private garden platform pretending to be a bridge”.
- The National Audit Office has been ordered to examine the “rationale” behind George Osborne’s pledge of £30m of Treasury funding for the bridge.
- Their correspondence over funding the bridge was recently uncovered by the Architects’ Journal, in which Osborne spelled out his £30m grant and urged Johnson to “do the same”.
- Opponents have objected to the £60m of public funding and the £3.5m annual maintenance costs, to the restricted access for bikes and to the murky procurement process, which saw Thomas Heatherwick appointed ahead of other experienced bridge designers.
- Pomo summer: Memphis Group designer Martine Bedin’s Super Lamp can be trailed along like a dog on a leash, demonstrating the collective’s playful style.
- “We were always discussing the possibilities of new furniture, furniture that could move,” said Bedin. “I was designing everything on wheels at this time.
- The Super Lamp was one of a variety of lighting designs that Bedin created for Memphis.
- The Super Lamp is still produced and sold through the Memphis Milano gallery, and has remained one of Memphis’ most recognisable pieces.
- Sottsass and his wife Barbara Radice also visited Bedin in Paris, and spotted the design for the Super Lamp while flicking through her sketch book.