000off_office memo: The WHAT_dictionary

We are an office speaking multiple languages: English / Bulgarian / Maori / Northern / Spanish / Japanese / Czech / Korean / Portuguese / Polish / French. Let’s embrace this. We currently have a very anglo-linguistic dexterity, for example: “Agreed = A greed!? Intern National. Legobusier. Blablablarchitecture. What? Words are at the heart of WHAT_we do!?” We k/now need to take linguistic gymnastics to your own language. WHAT_makes a culture!? Su Dobra.


WHAT_architecture presents Legobusier©: a Lego meets Le Corbusier modern architecture master class Five reasons why: 1. Public participation! Legobusier© promotes doing over seeing. This is a workshop not an exhibition! 2. Democratic demographic! Open to all children between the ages of 8 and 88. 3. Put the fun back into functionalism! Modern architecture to be enjoyed by the whole family. 4. Build a city! Through an understanding of Le Corbusier’s ‘5 points’, your building will help construct a city. 5. Get famous! Win the WHAT_architecture Gold Medal.



Small modest things can, at times, inspire visions of granduer. The recent Diamond Jubilee celebrations included a Buckingham Palace concert featuring popular music artists from the UK. Now we have certain insider information that leads us to understand that our Queen doesn’t necessarily want to look like an embarrassing funky grandmother: Tinie Tempah ain’t on the royal playlist and rightly so: don’t pretend to be something you’re not but show a courtesy. Time moves on as one generation cedes to the next. The Jubilee concert demonstrated a certain UKPR savvy by recognising that in 2012 QE2 needs to be seen as being in touch with her people. A (rooftop) performance by the soft-ska band Madness singing ‘Our House’ was memorable for the projected imagery of terrace houses onto Buckingham Palace. Juxtapose imagery represents a powerful mechanism (i.e. comparative analysis) to highlight the divergence between where we have come from and where we are going. And at the same time a convergence which maintains identity, origin, home. The project Hinemihi is projected with a similar portent. A small humble grass hut can unify and inspire visions of greatness in the enormous 2012 London Olympic arena. Hinemihi welcomes the NZ Olympic team to her on August the 8th as part of Te Maru O Hinemihi’s project consultation… .



000off_PLAY TO PAY

As we, er, brace ourselves for the 2012 London Festival of Architecture with its thematic of the city at play, the sociopoliticoeconomic that is UEFA2012 reminds us that play is not just about having fun, but is quintessentially about making money. England, the country that invented quite a number of sporting disciplines (football, rugby, cricket, tennis…) but today champions few, seems to be made to pay for its play creativity. Perhaps that’s due to imperialism: from Plato to Play-Doh, the history of play is to submit to rules. Yet once rules are understood, we play with being inside, onside, bending rules…and outside, offside and breaking rules. To play is to understand our distance from whatever line you choose/ To play is then to gamble. P WLD GF GA. Football alone has spawned a number of speculative  ‘England goals’: 1966, 2010, 2012… on the balance of payments from these examples alone that put’s England luckily still winning 2 non-goals to 1.


Whilst it would be great to retain the entire original roof construction, the roofing subcontractor does not want to work on such a proposal due to safety. Furthermore, retention of all the original fabric would necessitate a raising of the roof cornice with resulting planning issues. So… the installation of a painted plasterboard ceiling will dramatically change the quality of the space which begs the question how much of the existing structure should be revealed? The existing rafters and trusses or just the trusses alone? And what colour ought the ceiling be? Once the shock of the transformation subsides, the white ceiling does provide high contrast between original and new building fabric. See also John Pawson_Tilty Barn, Essex, 1995

072hin_maori fashion!?

When a culture become inclusive rather than exclusive, it leads to appreciation, then eventually understanding. The appropriation of culture is a creative activity. Let’s take fashion as a case in point: it’s a long way from the whare traditions of ta moko, piu piu and tukutuku to the contemporary fashion houses of tattoo, skirt and tapestry evident in facial cosmetics Jean-Paul Gaultier, dresses by Shona Tawhiao and smocks of Marni…