Submit Response


Submit Response is a weblog by Jack Mottram, a journalist who lives in Glasgow, Scotland. There are 1308 posts in the archives. You can subscribe to a feed. This post was made on and belongs in the architecture, art and culture category. The previous post was , and the next post is .

Architectural Eavesdropping

A criticism often levelled at weblogs is that they tend toward the circle jerk (or echo chamber, if you’re feeling scientific; orouboros, if you’re feeling pretentious). This is often horribly true, but the same characteristics of weblogging that promote useless iteration and reiteration more often enable wonderful little flurries of thoughtful, fascinating activity. So far, so meme-spready, but here’s an example of a particularly pleasing run of posts I’ve followed in the last few days:

First, Things:

The plan form of the NatWest building famously reproduces the bank’s interlocking logo, but are there other buildings designed with such graphic simplicification in mind, so they can be easily distilled into a logotype? The Gherkin lends itself well to this approach, but there must be many more.

This spurred a question at Rodcorp:

“How simply (or in how few lines) and recognisably can we draw buildings?”. The question tends to privilege strong silhouettes and bridges, but so be it. Here’s a list… and some drawings from unreliable memory.

Next, Dan Hill shares his rather beautiful sketches of the Guggenheim in Bilbao at City Of Sound:

I’m not going to apologise for the hasty, impressionistic style of the sketches. Having tried and failed to draw the thing vaguely accurately, I decided the only possible response was to let go.

Dan’s post was in part following the discussion on buildings as logotypes, and the drawing of them, but also responds to Peter Lindberg’s thoughts on the contextual nature, or otherwise, of the Guggenheim at Tesugen:

Salingaros has claimed that Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Bilbao completely ignores context, and yet Gehry himself calls it very contextual. And my impression… is that this building has meant a lot for the city of Bilbao, and that people living in Bilbao feels it has given the city a boost in self-confidence. But Salingaros says it’s nothing more than a tourist attraction.

Seeing loose discussions like this unfold (and fold back on themselves - Peter’s post is in response to an earlier post of Dan’s about Peter’s writing) more than make up for having to scroll infuriated past a hundred ‘Me too!’ entries in my aggregator.

Of course, this post is itself a little echo slapping off the back wall of the webloggers’ cave. Sorry about that, but I know sod all about architecture and can’t draw for toffee.

Update: Peter just dropped me a line to point to another response, this time from Deconstructor, bringing talk of shared conceptual images of common shapes to the table, and much else besides. (And to gently chide me for my misspelling, now corrected, of his weblog’s title. There’s something about the word Tesugen that demands an extra ‘n’ before the ‘g.’ That’s my excuse, anyway.)

Posted at 2pm on 28/04/04 by Jack Mottram to the architecture, art and culture category.
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