February 28, 2008

Neo-Brutalism: the wave of the future

This is a call for all mochitects to join the Neo-Brutalist Party immediately. Denounce those bandwagon starchitect fans riding the "green" wave. In 10 years they will all be ridiculed for designing trendy, outdated junk buildings. Neo-Brutalism will emerge as a "timeless" design style. This is why:

A peace group called International Alert is saying that a “Climate War” threatens billions of people and will cause “100 countries to go face political chaos and mass migration.” An article about this can be found here.

While the United States is at war in the Middle East, a much larger conflict is building up. A war not between countries, religions, or terrorists. Rather, the battlefield is developing on an unprecedented global scale: between man and nature. As mainstream awareness of environmental problems emerges in society today, increased emphasis on energy efficient design strategies naturally occur (i.e. natural daylight, natural ventilation, and solar power). This begins to suggest an architecture which is one with nature, coexisting in an eco-friendly environment by taking only what is needed from abundant and predicable atmospheric weather conditions. However, scientists studying global warming suggest regardless of our actions in attempting to reverse the effects of global warming, the damage has already been done. The effects of industrialization and pollution are irreversible. Global Warming is here and its effects are something out of a sci-fi story: unprecedented temperature extremes, increasingly massive storms, and the destruction of entire species and ecosystems. Perhaps in fifty years we will all be living in space bubbles deep inside Boston's City Hall (image above) hiding from some freak blizzard or hurricane.

Rather than coexisting peacefully with nature, we must learn to adapt and conquer changing environmental patterns which are most definitely life-threatening. Thus, the purpose of a contemporary and progressive architecture should be thought of as fortification against this brutal enemy who has turned so quickly on us. Hoo-ray for the resurrgence of brutalism in architecture. Hoo-ray for Neo-Brutalism.

February 24, 2008

Edible Regionalism?

What if you could eat vernacular architecture? It seems to be a novel idea. Like The whole "Frozen Music" thing. What makes food great? One way to look at it is that local ingredients and old world preparation are a strong combo. Like Pizza. So by taking the vernacular (old world preparation) and local ingredients (context), you get the creation of place. More to come on Food and architecture soon.

February 21, 2008


This is a sleeping bag suit. It is mockitecture fashion. While being goofy on a level unuslurped by mere noveltiness, it is functionally [re]ally unfunny. I want to wear this to a cafe or movie theatre. Fashion can be funny.

Architecture can be funny, too. This is a nonument. Pure Mockitecture! One of many mockitectonic projects by London based FAT, this is quite a doozy. The Hague needed someone to watch thier bicycles, apparently, so FAT designed this, a Bicycle Surveillence Hut. (While this seems funny to us in the United States, It is a serious issue in the Netherlands."

The concept is:
"part monument, part strange fortification, and part folly, deriving from seaside architecture, fortifications, lighthouses, and earthworks."
It is mockitecture because it expresses function in a playful way. By deriving form from the function, we can connect to the events that take place here. The castle like wall that surrounds the hut makes reference not only to medieval bicycle surveillence huts, but also to follies, which is the earliest form of mockitecture. As an object, the hut is very dynamically hilarious. Especially when the tiny building at the top periodically catches fire.

FAT wins the Mockitecture firm of the year, and we will bring many more example of their mockitectonics.

Phallic Expressionism

Le Dauphin has interrogated into mockitecural biasing upon which has become a massively phallic expression of Future Systems' newest masterpiece, "the Duilding." Tectonicalled into the existing contextual "Past Systems," this "Future System" thrusts out of the ground like there is no tommorow. (For its own sake, Lets hope there is.) Apparental, indescriptably inforesaking, uponwhomerly, this is a skyscraper. It makes love to the typology of skyscraper, through a series responses and/or reflexes to the local climate. This is also mockitecture because, as some contemporary mockitectural thinkers would argue, it makes people uncomfortable.

February 20, 2008

It's Just a Mock Song

Zither, Rachel, cardamom, frost - But at what cost?
Threshold, skin, fortress, win - A life of sin
Pliers, tension, toy store, grace - The human race
Raking, fourteen, basket, screw - Now how 'bout you?
Passion, cardboard, raisin, stop - A better crop
Field, cater, open, new - Who's mocking who?
It's just a mock song
Gas, thirsty, rattle, tick - A bone to pick
Fountain, egg, treason, cave - Will you dance on grave?
Throat, carrot, meeting, choke - I got that joke
Temper, thistle, Rodney, wilt - The house I built
Fewer, pink, Kyle, ball - I've known them all
Penny, thistle, cell phone, blow - Reap what you sow
Because it's just a mock song
Call it what you will

February 15, 2008

Unleash the Tectonic Fury!

So Im in a studio that is centered sround a wellness center at the Cranbrook Academy's campus. I have a great Mockitecture project that will not only blow your socks off, but will create a landmark for the people of Cranbrook. The context of Cranbrook is a very rural boarding school campus. The building is by eleil saarinen, and there is a rich tradition of handi craft. The buildings are arranged through a seires of axes, that is axises, not like an ax with a handle, but the plural of axis. the buildings are of brick and this is the main visual design element.


How about a giant brick in the middle of the lawn in front of the front gateway? it would be turned on its side so that it would read as a brick with holes in it, and you could see through, creating another axis/portal. the portality of the grand junction would be amassiflous.

in keeping with the arts and crafts theme of c-brook, i will employ all the little boys and girls to fire me some giant bricks. these bricks will be whatever size i want them to be, like say, the size of a bench. instead of lots of little bricks, i will have one big brick. stairs will be very long skinny bricks... this way people laugh when they see the bricks. this is good mockitecture.

My building may block some views, but i will replace them with new veiws vis a vis (yeah boyyee) a series of alliterational electronically focused LED screens which act as "Archificial Viewing spaceships" they trans port the user to the woods of cranbrook, even though they are really lloking at the back of a giant brick. Lots more to come on this mockitectural conquest.

Art that Kills

An Australian artist, Maurice Agis, who created what visitors called a "psychedelic cathedral" is being charged with manslaughter after two people died in his giant, walk through art installation titled Dreamspace. The inflatable building was torn off its rope ties by strong winds, collapsing the structure harming many people inside. Read more about it here. The official website for the art piece is nothing more than a blank page with large black text reading, "Web-Page Temporarily Closed. All DREAMSPACE exhibitions have been cancelled." Extinction.
So how does this psychedelic cathedral relate to mockitecture? Certainly this is no hot dog-shaped hot dog stand, nor any other example of comical regionalism. DREAMSPACE (obnoxiously and officially spelled in all capital letters, sorry...) is a redefinition of religion as we know it. Taking one of the most traditional and highly symbolic forms of architecture, the cathedral, and radically redesigning the experience is a monumental achievement any mochitect dreams of creating. Maurice Agis created a disorientingly abstract space through manipulating light, color, form, movement, and sound. All of our preconceptions about the church have been thrown out the window and in fact, the design is so radical that visitors describe their sense of time being thrown off. They explain the variety of spaces encourage exploration from walking, to running, to sitting and laying down. Taking in this obscure experience certainly warrants a great deal of time. To greatly summarize this place which will no longer be, it is a place which embraces what I like to call "sensory overload."

Mockitecture is full of sensory overload, producing overwhelming moments throughout the design. It contains a great deal of obscurity, non-traditional design, and most importantly challenges the current practices of architecture. So the question becomes, if radical enough, can mockitecture kill?

February 7, 2008

To celebrate the uselessness and power of architecture. Florence Yall

If a building must convey more than a mannerist meaning of its own function, then that meaning has to be democratic. If it does not serve a broad audience, and ideally the general public, then there is no reason for architecture to have meaning. This is the problem with postmodernism. It is not funny because no one gets it. It is rendered useless because ninety nine percent of the people who engage the building have no understanding of what these historical references mean. Further, ninety percent of those people merely drive by it. Why would we we critique classicism? That is what modernism did. The response to classicism as if to say classicism is dead. Postmodernism is beating a dead horse.

I'm afraid we as architects are speaking a language that no one can understand. Buildings as they are built today do not carry the significance and power that we think they do. This is not to say that there aren't considerable nuances and implications attached to design, however, architecture is neither politics nor painting. It cannot change the world (actually the world dictates architecture in every way), nor does it have the communicative power of painting to arouse in us what painting and graphic arts only can. Building contains this power, but not on the same level as these other fine arts.

So the only solution can be an abandonment of elitist meaning in architecture. The building should either have a democratic message, which is possible, or no meaning at all. The non-meaning does not render a building useless, however. If it functions and looks beautiful, it is successful. To be tectonically didactic as a generator of form is one thing, say to show the mark of the maker, or to expose the building process to anyone who wants to see it. But there are more important aspects of a building than these "architecture for architectsy" details. There is nothing worse than designing for critics. If a building is truly great, it is embraced by the people who see it from the highway, the people who walk by it, and most importantly, the people who walk through it everyday.

Quasi-mockitect Renzo Piano states that "Buildings in some ways have a duty to suggest behavior." There is no question that a hot dog shaped hot dog stand does this. The building becomes synergistic with its function. Slap a super graphic that says "pinks" on the top bun, and there is your signage. (insert learning from las vegas quote here) Neo-California Crazy is a perversion and glorification of the building suggesting behavior. The other benefit to this over-expressing and literalization of pure form is the creation of a landmark. Along with this landmark comes identity and place. Piano goes on to state that, "Places are the portraits of communities. and if the place is impossible, then the community becomes impossible."

Take for example, this water tower out side Florence, KY. The anchor of the town, it incorporates from the community what the highest profile building cannot. Florence Y'all. Taking from local vernacular and creating a landmark to call their own. Many many people see this from the I-75 each day. No single piece of architecture carries more significance in this way in Cincinnati than this watertower. Across America, people identify with their unique buildings, and this is a concept that contemporary architecture has missed out on. A white box is a white box in Japan or Batesville, Indiana.

The consumer culture of America supports this notion. Consumerism ironically excels at stepping out of line architecturally. This is why so many of our landmarks are stores and restaurants. People are attracted to them because they can identify with them. It does not take 4+ years of school to figure out that a hot dog shaped hot dog stand is awesome.

February 6, 2008

Buildings Doing What?

Prerequistibley, I would like to extend a big phallic thank you to the numerous people who are helping me amass the largest museum of mockitecture on the face of the planeta (planet). Thank you very much, and keep em comin'. There has been much disussion about how mockitecture manifests itself. Well, I dont know. But what I do know is that this project below is indeed mockitecture. RingOfFire (blog name) raised my attention with this sensually elegant, provocative, and downright dirty piece of neo-phallic expressionism.

The building: "City of Sex" sex museum... A formal gesture that rivals many of the greatest mockitecture projects of the past. This is not only awesome because it looks like buildings having sexual relations, but it also encroaches on the street. That is quality mockitecture. The building itself is not the best. Not the worst building ever, but not the best. I give it a thumbs up however because it is suggestive. Like, architecturally. And It makes me laugh. Can't architecture just make me laugh now and then? It is untapped potential in architecture to make me laugh.

The Second building came from Le Dauphin, and it looks like an ipod. not much else there, just looks like an ipod. yeah. it looks like an ipod. It raises questions about iconographic monumentality and monumental iconography. While this is not the intention of the architects I assume, it makes a monument to our times and our culture, which is important. And the ipod is quickly becoming (or quickly became) the symbol to our times.