069hil_The Culture Show BBC 1

The Culture Show BBC1_100617

Nothing could be further removed from old-fashioned gentility than the abrasive word ‘raw’. But quite unexpectedly, it is the overriding theme of the Royal Academy’s 242nd Summer Exhibition. And this feisty, heretical word succeeded in attracting 11,000 submissions! A century ago,most Academicians would have felt affronted by the very idea that their work was lacking in gloss. Today, however, ‘raw’ – signifying vitality, risk-taking and a necessary sense of adventure – has been greeted with widespread approbation. David Chipperfield, the co-ordinator of the Royal Academy’s Architecture Room, set about exploring the creative origins of architecture rather than glossy outcomes. ‘I wanted to focus on concepts rather than final representations of buildings,’ Chipperfield explains. ‘This is much more speculative and interesting. I wanted to show the plurality and diversity of what architects see.’ Chipperfield admits that ‘architects don’t like to show their rough stuff, so you have to winkle it out of them’. But he has succeeded in curating a so-called ‘Arty’ section, with works by several practitioners, which seems to be exploding with sculptural forms.

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