The Photographer in the Hall of Mirrors

This is an extract of an long essay on the work of photographer Nicolas Grospierre. It will appear in a book surveying his practice that will be published in 2013. ♦ … Unlike painters or sculptors, architects do not work directly on their creations. They rely on drawing and occasionally model-making to act as a … Continue reading

Paper Architecture: The Columbaria of Brodsky and Utkin

 This essay appeared in the catalogue for the Postmodernism. Style and Subversion 1970-90 Exhibition at the V&A Museum in London in 2011. ♦ Architects in the Soviet Union experienced a strange premonition of postmodernism fifty years before its domination of the architectural scene in the West. The monumental classical style known as Socialist Realism which … Continue reading

LOOKING FOR THE COMMON GROUND: THE 13TH VENICE ARCHITECTURE BIENNALE

 This piece was commissioned by Space magazine. It appears in the magazine’s October 2012 issue. Each Venice Architecture Biennale is given a theme by its curator, a leading architect or critic. The 2010 show was gathered under the slogan ‘People meet in architecture’ by SANAA’s Kazuyo Sejima. Two year’s earlier Aaron Betsky called for ‘Architecture … Continue reading

Symposium on Zoos in Central Europe in London in mid September organised by Eszter Steierhoffer

The Dark Side of the Modern Home

This is an extract of an essay published in Sparke, Massey, Keeble and Martin, eds., Designing the Modern Interior (Berg, 2009) ♦ The modern home is, conventionally, bathed in the light of order. Adolf Loos’s vision of a ‘New Zion’ stripped of its nostalgic ornament; Le Corbusier’s ‘fenêtre en longeur’; and Pierre Koenig’s glass curtain walls … Continue reading

From Homelessness to Homelessness

This essay was written as a coda to a book edited by Robin Schuldenfrei, Atomic Dwelling (Routledge, 2012) ♦  Covering the period between the end of the Second World War and the early 1970s, the essays in this book explore subjects in the era in which modernism triumphed, or so it seems. A set of … Continue reading

Architecture and the Image of the Future in the People’s Republic of Poland

The realm of freedom actually begins only where labour which is determined by necessity and mundane considerations ceases … Karl Marx, Capital[1] What would communism look like? And what would its material form be? Ideologues in Eastern Europe after 1945 spent much time and energy persuading the citizens of the new people’s republics that this … Continue reading