Why we build, is it in the narrative?

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I had the pleasure of seeing Rowan Moore talk live about his book why we build in Manchester with someone special.

As she said herself, its a interesting way to give some insight into the world of the architect. Something I originally wanted to be a long long time ago but I choose Design instead.

Anyway as Rowan was talking about positives and negative in different architecture decisions. I started seeing a slight pattern in the positives. Originally I put it down to playfulness of buildings and spaces but then I started thinking its about the narrative. What do I mean?

As an architect, you lay the foundations of how the space is going to be used in the same way as storytellers/game creators imagine the world the narrative is formed in. They then plan routes/journeys people and things go through that space. In the same way a book lays the foundation and the person’s mind takes it on to different level.

Its a thought and maybe very wrong (specially because everyday work I assume is pretty mundane) but I think about my best examples of good architecture and think about how it leads you on a path but allows you to explore without getting in the way.

Its like being taken on a journey. In fact, the features or sticking points are also like social objects or talking points.

The Street at PQIMG_2227

Pacific Quay in Glasgow is BBC Scotland’s headquarters and I was in love with the Street idea. I seen a similar idea in 8-House’s ├śrestad District, Copenhagen. The street for me is a narrative through the complexity of a building. But not only that, its a talking point (social object) and a great place to bump into people and have the conversations you get in corridors.

Street installations

This artist has created fake people and animals, placing them all over Washington DC and New York

I think of it as one step beyond the graffiti of the streets. Mark Jenkins has set a range of installations on the streets of Washington DC and New York. The installations are odd to say the least, but you can imagine what kind of react they get from passer-by. But don't worry, you don't need to imagine it, there's tons of videos with reactions on his Notes from the Underground site. Oh by the way, this was nicely found via Digg.com.

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