Outram on London

We have added John Outram Associates to our links.
“…Looked at today, 3 years after our ‘retirement’ from Battersea in Christmas 1997 – London is looking increasingly like a funfair anyway. The monument to the non-architecture of suburban Bungalow-Culture that is the Dome, the Monorail to Nowhere Much that is the busted Futurism of the London Eye and other urbanistically-sterile ‘ovulations’ like the Lord’s media Stand and Fosters GLA-Haus, mark the decline of the Capital-City of Empire to a ‘Visitor Attraction’ designed for (for whom?) by the ‘Great and the Good’…”

Link to full text

John Outram Associates

The site is a collection of his brilliant writing and projects.

Skin + Bones


The New Yorker magazine last week contained a very interesting review of an exhibition that has just opened at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Skin + Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture celebrates the “increasingly fruitful dialogue” between architecture and fashion. The article lists all the old favourites as contributing: Bernard Tschumi, Toyo Ito, Zaha Hadid, Frank Gehry to name but a very few. The exhibition compares each (with some credulity from the reviewer, Judith Thurman) with particular fashion designers, Yeohlee Teng, Tess Giberson, Victor & Rolf and Martin Margiela respectively. Thurman makes the point that although architects have complained about the exhibition, it serves fashion designers well, but she is unconvinced, declaring: “The disparities between fashion and architecture are, if anything, heightened by proximity”

I’ve seen the catalogue (it is available in Manchester) and it is a beautiful book with a lovely perforated cover and lots of coloured photographs of buildings and frocks.

Link to the original article at newyorker.com

‘A rattling good story’


Thomas Corrie, a recent graduate of the University of Sheffield school of Architecture has received a HIGH COMMENDATION in the President’s Medals 2006 (Link to President’s Medals site) for his dissertation ‘Treading in the Path of Others’ which was supervised by Eamonn Canniffe. Thomas, who was part of the M.Arch Studio 6 ‘In the footsteps of the Party of Beauty’ which Eamonn ran with Dominic Roberts and Robert Evans in the 2004-5 academic year designed a hotel for grand tourists on the Tiber Island in Rome and continued his interest in eighteenth century architecture with his dissertation study on Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire (pictured above), and the origins of its motifs in the ancient sites of the Roman world. Thomas’s study was funded by a travel scholarship from the West Yorkshire Society of Architects and the Sir Henry Stephenson Travel Scholarship of Sheffield University, enabling him to retrace Robert Adam’s Grand Tour in Italy and Croatia. The resulting dissertation was described by Tom Dyckhoff, the architecture critic at The Times and a member of the judging panel, as ‘a rattling good story’. Since graduation in the summer of 2006 Thomas Corrie has been working at Hopkins Architects on a project for Yale University.

The President’s Medals site includes a short movie about the dissertation, and footage of the well attended awards ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects.

The Schiffli Machine

Video of the machine in action

Our friend in embroidery, Melanie Miller, is encouraging wider use of the amazing Schiffli machine currently unloved and underused in the embroidery workshop. She has initiated a research project which involves inviting practitioners from a number of disciplines to explore the possibilities of the machine. Contact Melanie Miller (m.miller@mmu.ac.uk) if you would like more information.

From the MMU website:

Mechanical Drawing/Schiffli Project.

The Schiffli project, led by Dr. Melanie Miller will enable both MIRIAD researchers and visiting artists to work with the unique and historic Schiffli embroidery machine.

The schiffli machine is a multi-needle machine that stitches repeat patterns or images across a piece of cloth. Controlled by a pantograph, image-making using the schiffli machine is essentially a drawing process. Drawing is regarded as fundamental to many different creative disciplines, and the development of a body of work by a range of practitioners invites systematic analysis, within the creative contexts of drawing and design processes.