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Image: Front Architects

Caught in piles of reading this semester, there is a sense of cognitive development that causes concern. As the first semester in 3 ½ years, that I have decided to not partake in design studio due to a lack of inspiration, I spend considerable time questioning my definition of architecture. There are constant struggles between the purely conceptual and what is reality, usually defined as a distinction between art and construction, the latter I find tedious but compulsory.

Drawing: Atelier Bow-Wow

Recently, as prompted by a friend’s flickr page, I came across this exhibition happening at The Hayward in London called Psycho Buildings: Artists Take On Architecture featuring a few of my favourite architects and/or artists Atelier Bow-Wow and Rachel Whiteread. With Atelier Bow-Wow’s recent visit to Sydney for the Biennale and Lebbeus Woods gracing the cover of the NY Times, I think the ambiguities of architecture as art (and vice versa) are beginning to be answered. In architecture school, conservative modes of thought are usually applied with the occasional process that places less significance on things like sustainability or structure and I’m certain this varies across schools. However, I feel particular processes myself and other students have come to adopt fall under tough scrutiny on jury day.

Photo: Stephen White

Given the recent publicity and development of architecture, this gives me hope that one day we can grow our food and simultaneously row boats on our roof.

It will be amazing.

To the savvy children of design, the international Cut & Paste Design Tournament is hitting Sydney only, on the 17th November. Basically its a competition where 8 top-notch graphics designers battle it out in three, 15-minute rounds idealizing concepts. With a stylus in each of their crafty hands, the 8 design while being streamed onto projectors … its off-your-seat kinda stuff.

San Francisco 2006 Cut&Paste

Its an amazing thing seeing a design composed in a matter of minutes, and its events like this that make you acknowledge the innovation and talent amongst our community. So go on and be amazed by the power of Adobe, a graphics tablet, Apple and some amazingly beautiful, visual minds.

Here are the details:
17 Nov @ the Metro Theatre, 8-11pm.
Tickets are $10 (from box office), $15 at the door.

Finally, we’re getting a hit of international design fuss.

On Wednesday night I was fortunate enough to see a collaborative show called, Eight Hours, between illustrators, Mathias Johansson and Seamus Heidenreich. Held at the Nordic fashion house, Somedays, and with the whiskey flowing freely, the crowd of scenesters, art collectors and mums gathered for a night of spending and some music.

Sailors and Swine @ Somedays

There was some jazz.

Sailors and Swine @ Somedays

Then there was Melbourne group, Sailors and Swine, who kicked some serious ass.

Sailors and Swine @ Somedays

Sailors and Swine @ Somedays

There was singing on the tabletops too!

Sailors and Swine @ Somedays

I must also point out the two members of Sailors and Swine are also in Moscow Schoolboy and somehow they look and feel a whole lot more comfortable in Sailors and Swine. A few more photos are here.

Looks like MOMA is bringing the exhibitions straight to you with a virtual tour of a major retrospective of Richard Serra’s work. For those of you who are seemingly unfamiliar with Serra’s work, its pretty much sculptural steel that distort every sense of gravity you have, but for that happen you may have to experience the sculptures first hand.

They are large and often hard to manipulate and install apparently. However simple Serra’s work is, his spatial concepts are strong and his use of material makes him an influential figure with the architects.

So I thought I’d post some mp3s to accompany this post – some music equally as spatial and beautiful.

[MP3] Explosions in the Sky – The Birth and Death of the Day
[MP3] Eluvium – Under the Water It Glowed
[MP3] Panda Bear – I’m Not
[MP3] Sigur Rós – Ágætis Byrjun