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Fat

Postmodern Revivalism Doesn't Exist; Now Is Not the Time to Be Criticizing It

11:30 - 2 November, 2017
Postmodern Revivalism Doesn't Exist; Now Is Not the Time to Be Criticizing It, The Democratic Monument: Adam Nathaniel Furman's Manifesto for a New Type of Civic Center. Image © Adam Nathaniel Furman
The Democratic Monument: Adam Nathaniel Furman's Manifesto for a New Type of Civic Center. Image © Adam Nathaniel Furman

This essay by the academic and writer Martin Lampprecht responds directly to an opinion piece penned by Sean Griffiths, a former partner of FAT, entitled "now is not the time to be indulging in postmodern revivalism".

Oh my. Where to begin? My first impulse was just to move on and shake my head in wonder, perhaps, that a well-established designer and architectural thinker would wish to publish an article so dyspeptic. It is, after all, a common pattern: the young pranksters of yesteryear, once their hairlines have started to recede, transform into  schoolmasters as befitting their recently-acquired academic sinecures. It’s all just part of the normal generational cycle that keeps a culture moving forward. Business as usual.

Synthesized Ornament and the Emerging Role of Minimalist Decoration

14:00 - 28 November, 2015
Synthesized Ornament and the Emerging Role of Minimalist Decoration , A House For Essex / Grayson Perry + FAT Architecture. Image © FAT/ Living Architecture
A House For Essex / Grayson Perry + FAT Architecture. Image © FAT/ Living Architecture

Is ornament seeing a resurgence in architectural design? Writing for The Financial Times, Edwin Heathcote examines the rising phenomenon of decoration as a growing element of contemporary architectural design. Describing FAT and Grayson Perry's recently completed 'kitsch' abode 'A House for Essex' Heathcote justifies the assimilation of decoration into the central design philosophy, thus creating an entirely new aesthetic category. "The building sits somewhere between outsider art, high culture and the most sophisticated postmodernism," Heathcote explains, adding that its decoration "is not just applied as a layer but subsumed into the architecture."

Grayson Perry On 'A House For Essex' And His Collaboration With FAT

05:00 - 12 May, 2015
Grayson Perry On 'A House For Essex' And His Collaboration With FAT, Grayson Perry's preliminary sketch for A House For Essex (2012). Image © Grayson Perry (courtesy Victoria Miro, London)
Grayson Perry's preliminary sketch for A House For Essex (2012). Image © Grayson Perry (courtesy Victoria Miro, London)

In an article for The Guardian, Turner Prize winning ceramic artist Grayson Perry has written for the first time about his "plans for a Taj Mahal in Essex." The designs for the House for Essex, which have been realised over the last three years by FAT and led by Charles Holland, are of a "secular chapel" in the heart of the southern English countryside. The building was commissioned by the Living Architecture Project, which is headed by Alain de Botton and are the proprietors of property designed by the likes of Peter Zumthor, MVRDV, and David Kohn. This, their fifth foray into experimental collaborative architecture between architects and artists, is set to open its doors for holiday letting this year.

San Rocco's Single Edition 'Book Of Copies' In Circulation

05:00 - 20 April, 2015
San Rocco's Single Edition 'Book Of Copies' In Circulation, San Rocco Book of Copies. Image © San Rocco
San Rocco Book of Copies. Image © San Rocco

Earlier this year San Rocco, recipients of the inaugural Icon Award for Emerging Architectural Practice of the Year in 2013, published a limited single-edition run of a new publication: the San Rocco Book of Copies. Within five volumes of 4120 pages lies what they describe as "a database comprised of images that may be copied in order to produce architecture; a receptacle of a collective form of knowledge that we can provisionally call 'architecture'."

FAT And Crimson's 'A Clockwork Jerusalem' To Be Exhibited In London

04:00 - 10 April, 2015
FAT And Crimson's 'A Clockwork Jerusalem' To Be Exhibited In London, Electric Pastoral. Image © FAT Architecture / Sam Jacob
Electric Pastoral. Image © FAT Architecture / Sam Jacob

A Clockwork Jerusalem, the exhibition showcased in the British Pavilion at last year's Venice Biennale, will make it's UK debut at London's Architectural Association (AA) next month. Commissioned by the British Council and curated by Sam Jacob, co-founder of FAT, and , partner at Dutch practice Crimson Architectural Historians, the exhibition shines a light on the large scale projects of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s by exploring the "mature flowering of British Modernism at the moment it was at its most socially, politically and architecturally ambitious - but also the moment that witnessed its collapse."

Sam Jacob On The "Post-Digital Phase"

00:00 - 26 November, 2014
Sam Jacob On The "Post-Digital Phase", Eco Ruburb, a community hybrid of the rural and the urban (with Hawkins\Brown). Image © Sam Jacob Studio
Eco Ruburb, a community hybrid of the rural and the urban (with Hawkins\Brown). Image © Sam Jacob Studio

In an interview with Core77 Sam Jacob, formerly of FAT and now principal at Sam Jacob Studio, has "always pursued an idea of design practice as a combination of criticism, research and speculation that all feed directly into the design studio." This approach has allowed his ideas to "cross-fertilize, find connections and directions that make the practice stronger, more agile and able to respond intelligently to the problem at hand." Jacob, who is also a Visiting Professor at Yale and the University of Illinois at Chicago whilst simultaneously director of the Night School at London's Architectural Association, recently saw the end of FAT's final project: the curation of the British Pavilion (alongside Dutch architect and academic Wouter Vanstiphout). In the UK, former partner Charles Holland is bringing a collaborative project with artist Grayson Perry to completion in Essex.

Read more and see some of Jacob's drawings after the break.

Socialism, a social hub, cafe and community centre. Image © Sam Jacob Studio Eco Ruburb, a community hybrid of the rural and the urban (with Hawkins\Brown). Image © Sam Jacob Studio Spoila Tribuna, "a dream version of Chicago". Image © Sam Jacob Studio Eco Ruburb, a community hybrid of the rural and the urban (with Hawkins\Brown). Image © Sam Jacob Studio + 5

V&A and RIBA Present “Architects as Artists”

00:00 - 14 November, 2014
V&A and RIBA Present “Architects as Artists”, Designs for Truro Cathedral, 1878   Artist: William Burges. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Designs for Truro Cathedral, 1878 Artist: William Burges. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Drawings have long been used as a method for architects to represent their projects. However, architects sometimes make drawings to communicate a sense of space in a deeper and more meaningful way - in a manner that begins to venture into the realm of art. A new exhibition opening at London's V&A Museum this Saturday entitled Architects as Artists examines the overlapping relationship between architecture and art, and documents the many ways in which it is used and created.

Architectural concept showing a log harvest in 2041,from the series Re-Forestation of the Thames Estuary, 2010  Artist: Tom Noonan. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London Design for an artists house and studio,Tite Street, Chelsea, 1878  Artist:  Edward William Godwin. Image Courtesy of Victoria and Albert Museum, London Egyptian temple Antony in Egypt, 1928   Artist:  William Walcot. Image Courtesy of RIBA Library Drawings and Archives Collection Night section, A House for Essex.  Artist: FAT Architecture and Grayson Perry. Image Courtesy of FAT Architecture + 5

Galvanizing a Legacy: FAT's Final Built Work is Unveiled

01:00 - 11 August, 2014
Galvanizing a Legacy: FAT's Final Built Work is Unveiled, © Dave King / Channel 4 Television
© Dave King / Channel 4 Television

The scaffolding has come down, revealing the first glimpse of FAT's extraordinary A House For Essex. Designed in collaboration with British ceramic artist Grayson Perry and commissioned by Alain de Botton’s alternative holiday rental project Living Architecture, the house will be the final built work that FAT complete. The bejewelled two bedroom dwelling, topped with a shimmering golden copper alloy roof and clad in glinting green and white tiles, sits in the rolling landscape of Essex - Charles Holland (FAT) and Perry’s home county. Adorned with sculptures integrated into a wider narrative that spatially recounts the life of a fictional character called Julie, the barn-like shape, bold colours and decoration has not simply garnered widespread attention but has also captured people’s curiosity.

Find out more about the project in an interview with the architect after the break.

Sculptures by Grayson Perry. Image © FAT/ Living Architecture Section. Image © FAT/ Living Architecture Under Construction (August 2014). Image © Dave King / Channel 4 Television Aerial View. Image © FAT/ Living Architecture + 15

What Can Be Learnt From The Smithsons' "New Brutalism" In 2014?

00:00 - 22 June, 2014
What Can Be Learnt From The Smithsons' "New Brutalism" In 2014?, Alison and Peter Smithson (year unknown)
Alison and Peter Smithson (year unknown)

Sheffield born Alison Gill, later to be known as Alison Smithson, was one half of one of the most influential Brutalist architectural partnerships in history. On the day that she would be celebrating her 86th birthday we take a look at how the impact of her and Peter Smithson's architecture still resonates well into the 21st century, most notably in the British Pavilion at this year's Venice Biennale. With London's Robin Hood Gardens, one of their most well known and large scale social housing projects, facing imminent demolition how might their style, hailed by Reyner Banham in 1955 as the "new brutalism", hold the key for future housing projects?

Robin Hood Gardens, London. Image Courtesy of John Levett - http://www.flickr.com/photos/joseph_beuys_hat/ Robin Hood Gardens, London. Image Courtesy of Amanda Vincent-Rous - http://www.flickr.com/photos/51746218@N03/ Drawing at the 2014 Venice Biennale, Alison & Peter Smithson (1963). Image © James Taylor-Foster Robin Hood Gardens, Alison and Peter Smithson + 8

Sam Jacob & Wouter Vanstiphout on Curating "A Clockwork Jerusalem"

01:00 - 18 June, 2014
Sam Jacob & Wouter Vanstiphout on Curating "A Clockwork Jerusalem", The Mound. Image © James Taylor-Foster
The Mound. Image © James Taylor-Foster

The British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale takes the large scale projects of the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s and explores the "mature flowering of British Modernism at the moment it was at its most socially, politically and architecturally ambitious but also the moment that witnessed its collapse." The exhibition tells the story of how British modernity emerged out of an unlikely combination of interests and how "these modern visions continue to create our physical and imaginative landscapes." To those who know the UK's architectural heritage, this cultural and social history is delivered in a way which feels strangely familiar, whilst uncovering fascinating hidden histories of British modernity that continue to resonate in the 21st century.

We caught up with Sam Jacob, co-founder of FAT Architecture (of which this exhibition is their final project), and Wouter Vanstiphout, partner at Rotterdam-based Crimson Architectural Historians, outside the British Pavilion to discuss the ideas behind, and significance of, A Clockwork Jerusalem.

© James Taylor-Foster
© James Taylor-Foster

Venice Biennale 2014: FAT, Crimson Explore the Foundation of British Modernism

00:00 - 14 March, 2014
Venice Biennale 2014: FAT, Crimson Explore the Foundation of British Modernism, Venice Biennale 2012: Museum of Copying / FAT. Image © Nico Saieh
Venice Biennale 2012: Museum of Copying / FAT. Image © Nico Saieh

Curators FAT Architecture and Crimson Architectural Historians have released more details on this year’s British Pavilion for the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale. Responding to Rem Koolhaas’ theme, "Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014,” A Clockwork Jerusalem will “explore the diverse cultural influences that shaped and were shaped by British Modernism in the post war era and over the last 100 years.”

"A Clockwork Jerusalem will offer the opportunity to explore and rethink fundamental aspects of British modernity, beyond architecture,” described Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture, Design and Fashion at the British Council. “As the Venice Biennale evolves into a global research project, we are keen to make a significant contribution to the cultural debate around the past, present and future of UK and global architecture.”

More from the curators, after the break...

Venice Biennale 2014: Full List of National Participants Revealed

01:00 - 10 March, 2014
Venice Biennale 2014: Full List of National Participants Revealed

A few hours ago in Venice, Rem Koolhaas presented his curatorial vision for "Fundamentals" in a live-streamed opening press conference. As we reported last year, "Fundamentals" will focus on architecture rather than architects and history rather than contemporaneity. Koolhaas will not just curate an exhibition of his own, but will be coordinating the "collective effort of all national pavilions."

This year's exhibition features the participation of 65 countries--including 11 first-time participants (Azerbaijan, Côte d'Ivoire, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Kenya, Morocco, Mozambique, New Zealand and Turkey). See the complete list of national participants--which includes collaborations with Jacques Tati, Hans Ulrich Obrist, FAT, Iñaki Ábalos and others--after the break.

Click here to see all of ArchDaily's previous coverage of the 2014 Venice Biennale. And stay tuned... we'll be bringing you on-the-ground reports from Venice when the Biennale launches in the first week of June!

Dolls’ House Designs for KIDS Unveiled

01:00 - 13 October, 2013
Dolls’ House Designs for KIDS Unveiled, Adjaye Associates. Image Courtesy of A Dolls' House
Adjaye Associates. Image Courtesy of A Dolls' House

Inspired by the dolls’ house that Edwin Lutyens designed for The British Empire Exhibition in 1922, twenty British practices are each designing a contemporary dolls’ house in aid of the disabled childrens’ charity KIDS. Each version will sit on a 750mm square plinth to be auctioned at Bonham's on the 11th November and contains one feature which would make life easier for a disabled child. Among the participating practices is Zaha Hadid Architects and Rogers Stirk Harbour + PartnersFAT will also be working with Turner Prize recipient Grayson Perry CBE, and Studio Egret West with artist Andrew Logan.

See all the entries after the break...

20 Architects Design a Dolls' House for KIDS

00:00 - 14 September, 2013
20 Architects Design a Dolls' House for KIDS, Inside Out House. Image © Coffey Architects
Inside Out House. Image © Coffey Architects

Inspired by the dolls' house that Edwin Lutyens designed for The British Empire Exhibition in 1922, twenty British practices are each designing a contemporary dolls' house in aid of the disabled childrens' charity KIDS. Each version will sit on a 750mm square plinth to be exhibited during this year's London Design Festival (14th - 21st September, 2013) before being auctioned. Each design must contain "a unique feature to make life easier for a child who is disabled."

Venice Biennale 2014: FAT, Crimson & Owen Hatherley Selected to Curate British Pavilion

00:00 - 1 August, 2013
Venice Biennale 2014: FAT, Crimson & Owen Hatherley Selected to Curate British Pavilion, Museum of Copying, FAT’s exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2012. FAT is part of one of the teams competing to design the British Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2014. Image © Nico Saieh
Museum of Copying, FAT’s exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2012. FAT is part of one of the teams competing to design the British Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2014. Image © Nico Saieh

FAT Architecture, Crimson Architectural Historians and Owen Hatherley have been selected to curate the British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Biennale next June. The chosen team will respond to Rem Koolhaas’ theme “Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014” with a project titled “A Clockwork Jerusalem.”

Vicky Richardson, British Council, said: "We look forward to working with FAT, Crimson and Owen Hatherley on ‘A Clockwork Jerusalem’. The Selection Committee felt their approach was both challenging and poetic, and that their work will make an important contribution to understanding modernity in British architecture."

Two Teams Shortlisted for 2014 British Pavilion in Venice

00:00 - 19 July, 2013
Two Teams Shortlisted for 2014 British Pavilion in Venice, Museum of Copying, FAT's exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2012. FAT is part of one of the teams competing to design the British Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2014. Image © Nico Saieh
Museum of Copying, FAT's exhibition at the Venice Biennale 2012. FAT is part of one of the teams competing to design the British Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2014. Image © Nico Saieh

BD Online reports that the British Council has shortlisted two teams who will compete for the honor of curating the British Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. With Rem Koolhaas at the helm of this year's Biennale (June 7 - November 23), the selected theme will be: ‘Absorbing Modernity: 1914-2014.’

AD Interviews: Sam Jacob / FAT

01:00 - 27 June, 2013

Sam Jacob and his firm, FAT, challenge what we conceive as architecture. Using both history and contemporary theory, his practice channels ideas to networks of people with similar interests—seemingly infiltrating all corners of the architecture profession (and beyond). Taking pride in the expression of architecture outside its traditional means, Jacob says, “Lack of success in terms of square meters you build, as fast as possible, is no problem at all. We’ve had opportunities to think, opportunities to invent our own ways of making architecture.”

At last year’s Venice Biennale, we asked Sam Jacob about his Museum of Copying—an interesting subject since architecture is, in essence, an unending series of iterations (check out the interview here). As a writer/critic/architect, he teaches at the AA, blogs at Strange Harvest and Dezeen, tweets @_SamJacob, and oversees architecture, art and installation projects at FAT.

FAT was founded in London in the 1990s and is led by Sean Griffiths, Charles Holland and Sam Jacob, each of whom are committed to developing architectural culture both through practice and through design research at institutions including Yale and the Architectural Association.

Read the transcript of our interview with Sam Jacob after the break….

AD Interviews: Advice for Young Architects

01:00 - 14 June, 2013

Since ArchDaily started, we have interviewed close to two hundred architects to understand the diversity of our profession, and to give you insights from the most successful practices in the world.