000off_survey monkey business

In our informational age, statistics and data have been increasingly deployed as architectural strategies to legitimise design activities. The datascapes of MVRDV, for example, analyse the contemporary city in terms of pure information: “a city that knows no given topography, no prescribed ideology, no representation, no context. Only huge, pure data”. The MetaCity/DataTown project was positioned on the threshold between data visualisation and urban planning and attempted to provoke new architectural and urban thinking. The manipulation of data in a spatial manner with the accompanying all-persuasive power of numeracy means statistics has also be found to bolster weak arguments too. Mark Twain’s phrase “Lies, damned lies, and statistics” exposes the interpretative nature of statistics.

Today SurveyMonkey proclaims itself as the world’s most popular online survey tool yet in its name recognises that in the retrieval of data and information as a means of consultation validation there is an element of monkey business.


On 25 Nov 2012, at 13:42, Martyn Hook ‘writes’ via WHAT_phone:

PRS2 Anthony Hoete (Ah!) interviewed by Melanie Dodd (MD), Nat Chard (NC), Mark Burry (MB), Richard Blyth (RB) and Martyn Hook (MH).

MD_Gaming is absolutely essential to the WHAT_architecture, but whilst the office seems to ‘play with architecture’ and put the fun-back-into functionalism,you personally think that such an approach to the PhD might not be taken seriously as it lacks rigour. This is a healthy dilemma to have: the concerns of authorship and ability. WHAT_architecture non-project activities such as the PhD could be a starting point. Be less worried about the inherent capacity of the processes to be valid as the body of work to date has a particular…

Ah!: …a particular what !? [MH: the text SMS truncated MD’s sentence and a vital word missing. We could spend the next 2y trying to locate that missing word!]

NC_The WHAT_architecture office manual (The Automatic Manual) could be a really useful device. If the question is how does one find rigour then maybe articulating why that matters in a manual would allow people in the office…

Ah!: – to play? To participate in the PhD project? Yes the Automatic Manual represents the playing instructions. The thesis as operating system. Staff = players; office = game board; projects as pieces.

NC_It would allow you to understand how the office works and communicate how it could be useful. Tom Sachs film ten bullets introduction to workers in the studio but it also allows insight to the studio.

MB_what I’m detecting a reticence. You are actually asking what is the rigour not is there a rigour. The work has great quality that is where the evidence of rigor lies. Accept leadership in a flattened context but empower people to contribute.

GC_what is next.

Ah!: …yes, WHAT_ is next.

GC_Commentary on the ‘thesis’ as the antithesis don’t worry about it find the path. Extracting the research from the practice is the point.Amplify the office manual. An intellectual manual for not simply instruction.

MD_the board game idea of how to play.

RB_the problem is not what the rigor is the issue is how to use the rigor that is present. You are dodging and weaving around it. The blog is extraordinary. Immaterial imaging of the material. A mash up approach to grounding the material. The blog is also an immaterial ground the stuff what’s the process of editing the blog the blog is the ground against which you set plays against.

No time to think the team just do it. How the blog itself could be seen as Phd could be a series of plays against the blog. Reflection occurs in the doing tease out each play.

MH_fight close to the bull…

Ah!_…bullding? Did you say close to the building mate?

Ah!:_The Ph.D. thesis manifest not as a book but as a building. What would the architecture of the Ph.D. be like? A building that was a designed, built and presented as a Ph.D? In engaging with the Architecture of the PhD we attain a hyper reflexive practice, and practice makes perfect. I will present PRS3 as a ‘game chat show’ and to avoid the technical problems I encountered in both PRS1 and 2 it will project live from the web into the Gent studio. Audience beware!

Martyn Hook

ReSent from his WHAT _Phone


Oudevismijn: Architectural discourse as dinner party as Ph.D.


1. Roller Crowd

2. Television Crowd

3. Sporthole Atrium


A survey conducted by BD has revealed that 22% of qualified architects in the UK are currently unemployed. The survey included fully qualified architects as well as graduates who are still in training, and paints a bleak picture of the current state of the British architecture industry. Other trends which the survey highlights are a reduction in job security as many architects move to freelance work to stay active, and an average 30% wage reduction for those still in employment.


128art_BOY BAND

Having recognised that Shoreditch wasn’t such a hot idea for a band name, Kingsland emerged from the hairdressers to belatedly realise that there’s another Kingsland (and this one ain’t in Dalston). What about Pedley Street Boys? Or Vallance? Or Boyfriends of Allen Gardens? The shoot might also explain why our sofa has got footprints on it…




Title sequence? PYLON: the lines of power are being drawn…