Saint George Saint George (c. 275/281 – 23 April 303 AD) was a Greek who became an officer in the Roman army. His father was the Greek Gerondios from Cappadocia Asia Minor and his mother was from the city Lydda. Saint George became an officer in the Roman army in the Guard of Diocletian. He is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography, Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox churches. He is immortalized in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon and is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. He is regarded as one of the most prominent military saints. Eastern Orthodox depictions of Saint George slaying a dragon often include the image of the young maiden who looks on from a distance. The standard iconographic interpretation of the image icon is that the dragon represents both Satan (Rev. 12:3) and the Roman Empire. The young maiden is the wife of Diocletian, Alexandra. Thus, the image as interpreted through the language of Byzantine iconography, is an image of the martyrdom of the saint.
St George’s Cross are a white flag with a red cross, frequently borne by entities over which he is patron (Republic of Genoa and then Liguria, England, Georgia, Catalonia, Aragon, etc.).The cross was originally the personal flag of another saint and key Christian figure, St. Ambrose. Adopted by the city of Milan (of which he was Archbishop) at least as early as the Ninth century, its use spread over Northern Italy including Genoa. Genoa’s patron saint was St. George and through the flag’s use by the vast Genoese trading fleet, the association was carried throughout Europe.
WHAT_architecture is part research-part practice. Or is that part-design, part-research!? Part university-part office!? Part educational, part commercial? The WHAT_architecture office is trying to make research both commercially viable yet an authentic design vehicle. Whilst the procurement of larger scale work naturally comes with the mediation of risk, at times experience is a trade off for creativity. Here we present WHAT_internomics. Young talented architects who we give a design voice to demonstrate their capabilities and contributions to both the project as object and also the project as design experience... we try to put the ‘fun back into function’ by enjoying WHAT_ we do yet also pushing the boundaries of design exploration practice!
Ciro Garcia Lopez
The recent collapse of HMV, Jessops (and a 140 other High Street retailers according to BBC’s NewsNight) should remind us all that ‘big does not mean better’? In today’s public procurement;, companies are scaled according to financial turnover. Big is better because it less risk. It won’t sink. But big ships do s ink (Titanic). If TfL, LA, BAA, EL AL, ET AL equate size with risk then perhaps it is time to recall. When you go (home, restaurant, catered upon) for dinner tonight will you go big? A super market? An organic farm? Or are you being served? McDonalds? A Franchise, indeed Frenchise culinary delight: Patisserie Valerie perhaps? Or Michelin-star buy in? Waitrose begerts Sainsburys begets Tesco begets Iceland.
In business today, SMEs offer bespoke, handshaker-free, connectivity.
Design Practice Research at RMIT is a longstanding program of research into what venturous designers actually do when they design. The program was established by Leon van Schaik and is probably the most enduring and sustained body of research of its kind: empirical, evidence-based and surfacing evidence about design practice. Two kinds of knowledge are created by this research. One concerns the ways in which designers marshal their spatial intelligence within which they practice design. The other reveals how public behaviours are invented and used to support design practice.
Old Street, new media city? As we stare out of the WHAT_architecture office window and survey the ‘Tech City Silicon Roundabout’ that, this week, was trumpeted from a unified PM and Mayoral bandwagon, we wonder if the redevelopment of the Old Street roundabout will really accelerate (East) London’s ambitions to become Europe’s startup capital? Of course you need financial capital to become a capital city and this roundabout has for some time been a mobility centrifuge of commerce and creativity. Those that walk past our office window have for sometime been readily characterised (chastised?) by their attire as much as their direction: ‘bankers to right, hipsters to the left’.
The snappy designation of Old Street Roundabout as “Silicon Roundabout” can be traced to Dopplr’s Matt Biddulph who, in 2008, defined it as “the ever-growing community of fun startups in London’s Old Street area”. Using Biddulph’s Google map as a cue, Wired Magazine then used its readership too crowd source, populate and produce it’s own map of the Shoreditch ‘Ditcherati’ which was featured in the January 2010 issue.
There are other European cities however with startup capital city aspirations. In the same week as Boris and Dave powerpointed an artist’s impression (read architectural perspective), the Guardian headlined a story on ‘How poor but sexy Berlin has tapped talent to be Europe’s startup capital…’ with an image of the founder of the online gaming company Wooga (who’s Alexanderplatz office bears an uncanny cartoon resemblance to one of their own games). London vs Berlin? Silicon Roundabout vs SiliconAllee? Game on!
This RMIT Interview between Martyn Hook and Anthony Hoete was first published on blablablarchitecture:
MH: What book?
Ah!: Dictionary/cookbook/atlas/novel/encyclopaedia/magazine/web blog in print?
MH: Why a book?
Ah!: Thesis/physical object/snapshot.
MH: Who wrote this book about?
Ah!: WHAT_architecture: MagdAh!
MH: When will the book be published?
Ah!: It’s not one book: but a sequence of books that result in one final tome: !? By way of example here is a pre-book: a pamphlet which is a quick flick through a project primed in it’s Arabasic version.
MH: Looks like a glossy brochure.
Ah!: Yep, let’s rip it up and start again… must do better!
Ah! … for example, if we build on these book examples we at least develop the plot:
WHAT_architecture operates a stringent Equal Opportunities policy with recruitment. This involves an interview (via person, telephone, Skype… but always involving speech) as the interview represents an audio-opportunity to equalise applicants’ qualifications and portfolios. Universities are varied in their distribution of awards, grades and results. You can get an instant Ph.D. online today. Furthermore, lesser known schools can also produce socially equilibrated, technically proficient, user-friendly graduates.
Portofolios , whether of an office or of an individual, contain the work of many authors and so the interview is the opportunity to dissect contribution in terms of input and time expenditure. Talking offers an alternate perspective from the architect’s tools which are primarily visual: drawing, modelling, rendering. However a chat can tell you a lot. The portfolio interview operates as ‘handle with career’.
And if it all those sounds start to get familiar one can return to the visual expression of the interview : the face as façade. The image below bears a similarity to one of our successful applicants., although we recognise appearances can be deceiving.
Recent design festivals such as 100% Design and Design Junction appear to be no more than home furnishing campaigns peddling endless hi-spec, low utility objects such as fruit bowls, candle stick holders, coffee tables etc etc. So another year, another designer chair.
However Dejana Kabiljo’s ’Occupy! Chair’ uses military Yugoslavian bed springs to create a gold lacquered armchair. The piece originates from former Yugoslavian army beds being heaped on military flea markets.